Monday, September 30, 2013


2 Peter 1:3-4     His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

        “Entering a tavern in the Polish countryside, a Rabbi saw two peasants at a table, both gloriously in their cups. Each was protesting how much he loved the other, when Ivan said to Peter: ‘Peter, tell me what hurts me?’ Bleary-eyed, Peter looked at Ivan” ‘How do I know what hurts you?’ Ivan’s answer was swift: “If you don’t know what hurts me, how can you say you love me?’”
            And the Divine double take, of course, is that loving ourselves frees us to love others. There’s a passage in the novel The Face Beside the Fire that I have been unable to get out of my mind. Laurens Van der Post describes an insecure woman in fierce competition with her husband. To avoid revealing her vulnerability, she foregoes tenderness. ‘Slowly she is poisoning Albert [with a] poison…found in no chemist’s shop….It is a poison brewed from all the words, the delicate, tender, burning trivialities and petty endearments she’s never used.’ The love we withhold through our power struggles in marriage and in our relationships is liberated through our union with Jesus. It is a new way of living in which comparisons, contrasts, rivalries, competition and power trips are gradually left behind.
The compassionate love of Jesus at work within us is an empowering to suffer with, endure with, struggle with, partake of, be moved in the depths of our being for the hunger, nakedness, loneliness, pain, squalid choices and failed dreams of our brothers and sisters in the human family. We don’t have to join mission works in places unknown to us. The passion of Christ is being played out in our own communities, perhaps in our own homes, in anyone who is in agony of flesh or spirit. Jesus is there not in some vague, eerie way but as a real presence-for what we do for the least of our brothers and sister, we do for Him. On that Calvary next door where Christ still hangs, I will minister to my Savior and my Lord.

The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, by Brennan Manning, pg. 145-154.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples…

             “I try to be sensitive to the Lord about each person who comes through our program while still holding fast to our guidelines. It would be easier to follow the law to the letter, but I don’t think that would be the best for each client. Mercifully, we serve a living God who is able to lead, guide, and direct us. We are not following the last will and testament of a deceased wise man. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today.

            Many of our residents get upset when a client receives different disciplinary actions for the apparently same infractions. We all seem to have an innate sense of right and wrong, and when it is not followed it is very distressing. This is especially true when we feel another person has been in the wrong. How is it that we always seem to see all the extenuating circumstances when we are the offender?

            God makes it clear in His Word that He looks upon the heart. That is what I try to do when I counsel and discipline the residents. I endeavor to see the reasons behind their behavior and help them to grow through their trials. In the parable of the workers, the master did not reward each according to the hours they worked, but paid them all the same wages at the end of the day. The workers were very upset about the injustice of that, but Jesus pointed out that each had received what they had agreed upon. It was actually a metaphor showing that everyone who calls upon the  name of the Lord shall be saved…It also illustrates how different God’s thoughts are from our thoughts…It also boils down to one thing. Either you believe that God is in control of your life or you don’t. If He is in control, then He is in control of your authority and how their actions will affect you. If He is not in control, then you must continue to try to be god yourself by controlling and manipulating every situation in your life. How tiresome…

Excerpt from The Lighthouse News by Jeff Retsyn, August 2008   

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