Showing posts with label Merton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merton. Show all posts

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Praying in Your Happy Place - Grab Random Moments with God - Purity 455


Praying in Your Happy Place: Grab Random Moments with God  

Purity 455 06/26/2021   Purity 455 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the view from a paddle board on calm waters under a cumulus cloud dotted sky comes from a friend and faithful servant of God who resides in the United Kingdom. They captioned their post “Praying in my happy place”.   This scene was so stunning that one of their friends asked, “This is England?’ To which they responded: “yep you have to grab random moments but it’s England.”  

As we have made it to another summer weekend, I share my friends’ photo, caption, and comments to encourage all my friends to grab random moments and to pray in your happy place.   Our lives are meant to be enjoyed in God’s presence, where we can bask in the wonder and awe of who He is, who we are, and the experience He has brought us to.  

As fate would have it, I just happened to look at an email I receive from a local church community and amongst the various announcements and news, the author of the newsletter decided to share the following quotes from Thomas Merton (1915-1968), an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion.  I was moved to share them because I think they reflect how I feel about my walk of faith and can be an encouragement to my fellow travelers on the path of Christian Discipleship.  Merton wrote:

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your Will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

In Silence God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience.

When you see God in everyone, then they see God in you.

Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”

-Thomas Merton

These quotes really convict me to read the few Thomas Merton books I have in my vast e-book library.  I hope they encourage you to draw close to God and to possibly bring a revelation that our faith is much more than sitting in pews once a week.  Our faith, our membership in God’s kingdom, is a spiritual reality that can we enjoy every day and even more so on the weekends where we can grab random moments with God to pray in our happy place.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Revelation 4:11 (NKJV)
11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."

Today’s verse focuses on the Lord’s function as creator and sustainer of all things, a function that makes God worthy of all glory, honor, and power.     

There are some foundational points of our faith that we should continually be able to draw strength, awe, wonder, and hope from.   

For example our salvation, the fact that we have been called out of darkness by God to live with Him forever, is one of those points.    

God as Creator is another one.  The Lord made all of existence. He made all things seen and unseen. He made all things physical and spiritual.  

It amazes me that learned people would contemplate and support a theory that the universe just formed itself out of nothing.  Better theologians and apologists than me have shown that the existence of anything logically requires a Being that is self-existent, someone who’s “effect” of existence didn’t have a cause. God is also called “the unmoved mover” by apologists to try to get this point across.  

After Hubble’s telescope revealed that the universe was continuing to expand, theorists could not logically support the long-held belief that the universe was constant, something that just always was. They had to admit that there was a single point in time and space from which creation sprang into existence, the event many call the singularity, which is simply reflected in scripture in:

Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The Bible is filled with verses that reflect the simple truth of God being the creator of all things. 

The question is:  If we logically agree with the fact that God created everything, will we seek His meaning and purpose for our lives?  

It seems like a “no brainer”, He made everything, including me, so yeah I will seek to know Him and live to meet His purpose.  

As we all know it is unfortunate that people use the free will that the Lord instilled in them to not only doubt the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, but they will even refute God’s existence and role as Creator.   What is plain to those who believe is not clear to those who don’t.  

So we as Christians should take great comfort from God’s creation and the fact that we know the Artist that designed the very fabric of our lives, but we should also endeavor to use His creation to show other’s the truth that there is a God who put this altogether and that He showed His love for use through Jesus Christ. 

The evidence for God is all around us. Enjoy what He has made for us and do your part to lovingly show how awesome and good He is.

As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, beginning Chapter 5.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Chapter 5

Becoming the Spiritual Person God Wants You to Be

Before the turn of the twentieth century, an asylum in the suburbs of Boston housed severely retarded and disturbed individuals. One of the patients was a girl who was simply called Little Annie. She was totally unresponsive to others in the asylum. The staff tried everything possible to help her, yet without success. Finally she was confined to a cell in the basement of the asylum and given up as hopeless.

A Christian woman worked at the asylum, and she believed that every one of God's creatures needed love, concern and care. So she decided to spend her lunch hours in front of Little Annie's cell, reading to her and praying that God would free her from her prison of silence. Day after day the Christian woman came to Little Annie's door and read, but the little girl did not respond. Months went by. The woman tried to talk with Little Annie, but it was like talking to an empty cell. She brought little tokens of food for the girl, but they were never received.

Then one day a brownie was missing from the plate the caring woman retrieved from Little Annie's cell. Encouraged, she continued to read to her and pray for her. Eventually, the little girl began to answer the woman through the bars of her cell. Soon the woman convinced the doctors that Little Annie needed a second chance at treatment. They brought her up from the basement and continued to work with her. Within two years Little Annie was told she could leave the asylum and enjoy a normal life.

She chose not to leave, though. She was so grateful for the love and attention she was given by the dedicated Christian woman that she decided to stay and love others as she had been loved. So Little Annie stayed on at the institution to work with other patients who were suffering as she had suffered.

Nearly half a century later, the Queen of England held a special ceremony to honor one of the most inspiring women in the United States, Helen Keller. When asked to what she would attribute her success at overcoming the dual handicap of blindness and deafness, Helen Keller replied, "If it hadn't been for Anne Sullivan, I wouldn't be here today."

Anne Sullivan, who tenaciously loved and believed in an incorrigible blind and deaf girl named Helen Keller, was Little Annie. Because one selfless Christian woman in the dungeon of an insane asylum believed that a hopeless little girl needed God's love, the world received the marvelous gift of Helen Keller.

What does it take to be that kind of Christian? What is needed to move us beyond our inconsequential selfish, fleshly pursuits to deeds of loving service to God and others? What was the essence of Christian maturity that motivated Anne Sullivan's benefactress to such a significant ministry?

First, it requires a firm understanding of who you are in Christ. You can't become like Jesus unless you are His divine offspring. You have to be grafted into the vine because apart from Christ you can do nothing (see John 15:5).

Second, you must crucify daily the old sin-trained flesh and walk in accordance with who you are in Christ and "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

Third, it requires the grace of God. "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). We cannot live righteous lives by human effort based on external standards. Under the covenant of grace, we live by faith according to what God says is true in the power of the Holy Spirit.

To live under grace we need to learn how to walk or live by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16-18). How do we walk by the Spirit? If I answered that question by offering three steps and a formula, I would be putting you back under the law again. The Holy Spirit is a He to whom we relate as our divine guide, not an it that can be boxed and quantified. We are talking about walking with God, which is a Father-and-son relationship.

The apostle John said of the Spirit: "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). Being filled and led by the Spirit may take you places you never planned; but the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you. I think we need to "pull in the oars and put up the sail." Let's explore some of the guidelines in Scripture for walking by the Spirit.

Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


God bless you all!


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship