Saturday, April 14, 2012

Prayer




A great way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us.  

Try this version of St. Ignatius’s prayer.

1.     Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding. 

2.     Review the day with gratitude. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details. 

3.     Pay attention to your emotions. One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings? God will most likely show you some ways that you fell short. Make note of these sins and faults. But look deeply for other implications. Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your work? Are you concerned about a friend? Perhaps you should reach out to her in some way. 

4.     Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Pray about it. Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude. 

5.     Look toward to tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Full of delighted anticipation? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.

St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. End the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude. Your life is a gift, and it is adorned with gifts from God. End the Daily Examen with the Our Father.

FROM

Friday, April 13, 2012

Christian one-liners

 






















 
1.                 A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
2.                 Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
3.                 Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
4.                 Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
5.                 Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
6.                 Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
7.                 Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
8.                 Give God what's right -- not what's left.
9.                 Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
10.            God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
11.            He who angers you controls you.
12.            He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
13.            In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma but never let him be the period.
14.            Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an endless hope.
15.            Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16.            Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
17.            Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
18.            Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
19.            Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.
20.            Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
21.            The church is prayer-conditioned.
22.            WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
23.            We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
24.            When God ordains, He sustains.
25.            When praying, don't give God instructions -- just report for duty.
26.            Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.

Taken from the Internet
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arise



In John 20:18, we read that Mary brought the news of Jesus’ resurrection to the disciples. Yet, this news did not immediately strengthen or encourage them - “the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19). That is quite ironic. Mary’s message meant God had even conquered death but the disciples were concerned with self-preservation. Imagine if an organisation were to form a Disciple search committee to look for people to carry Christ’s message. Would these disciples be on the list of candidates? I think their names would probably be at the bottom. Yet Jesus did not shunt them aside but continued to stand with them and call them.

We have heard this before, “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Nowhere is this seen more clearly in this text, as Jesus appears before his disciples and gives his disciples the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). From then on, the Holy Spirit would live in them and empower them to do the task he had assigned them – “as the father has sent me, I am sending you.” This is the life to which they were, as we are called to, today – to extend forgiveness in his name and bring life to others. There can be no higher calling than that. With God there is no Plan B. He calls us and then empowers us through the Holy Spirit to fulfil our calling. As we have studied, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us the moment we receive Christ as Saviour, never to go away again. When we move through fear to embrace our calling, God’s Spirit empowers us to participate in God’s mission.

It’s not about us. It’s never about us. It’s about the Holy Spirit working in and through us. So when God calls us to serve him in ministering to others, we must remember that it’s not about us. It’s about the Holy Spirit working in and through us as we humbly submit to his leading and guidance. We should walk in faith and not think of what we cannot do but what God can do through us.

This is the way it is. God is omnipotent and sovereign over all things. That means he can accomplish his purpose for his creation without us. But in his grace and love for us, he has called us to bring life to others. However, he leaves that choice to us. God is just like a millionaire who goes out into the streets, picks up orphans and brings them into his home and family to clean them up. After that, he invests his personal resources in training and developing the orphans, i.e. us. After we have been trained and developed, he uses more of his resources to open up markets and fields to enable us to use the talents and gifts he has developed in us. That is the power of his amazing grace at work in our lives. It’s not about us; it’s about God working in us. The message of Resurrection Sunday is “Arise”. Jesus Christ did arise from the dead about two centuries ago. He gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples so that they too might arise and bring his message of forgiveness far and wide without fear. That is what they rose up to do. The Holy Spirit is also given to each one of us who declares Christ as Lord and Saviour. This Easter, may each one of us arise to fulfil all that God has called us to do.