Will You Help Me On The Wild Waves

The following prayer is attributed to St Brendan, a Celtic monastic of the 7th Century. He has been called “Brendan the Voyager,” “Brendan the Navigator” and “Brendan the Bold.”

A Prayer of St. Brendan

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honour? Shall I throw myself wholly upon You, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks? Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?

Where is God leading you today?

Will you choose to pray as Brendan? Will you go?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

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Living With The Mission On Our Mind

We have many “missions” every day. We may set out on the mission of going to work to earn a living to sustain our family or going to the grocery store to replenish our food supply. Our mission might be a trip to the Doctor’s office seeking to restore our health. One of my missions, picking up my grandsons after school, is over for the summer but other missions will take its place.

I have come to see all these missions as the means to fulfill a greater mission. As I go about these daily routines they enable me to participate on the mission on which Christ has sent me. In The Tangible Kingdom Hugh Halter writes:

“When I walk into Starbucks, I don’t think about coffee. That’s predetermined . . . tall black Americano. I ponder the lives of everyone I see. I wonder about their spiritual journeys, their highs and lows . . . and where they look for direction in their search. My initial assumption is that in any room full of people, very few know Christ. I ask myself how I could get into their lives or how a conversation might begin. I don’t see them as projects — that wouldn’t go very far. I see them as souls the Lord loves who simply haven’t seen or heard an accurate message about the Kingdom. I always feel confident that I may one day be talking with them about life and God. Oddly enough, this seems to happen all the time.”

As you set out on your missions this week see them all under the umbrella of our great mission –

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Grace and Peace,

Terry

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Pledging Ourselves To Live Worthy Lives

When our simple church gathered this week Bill brought a copy of Dr. Darrell Bock’s Studying the Historical Jesus. He wanted to share a quote by Pliny the Younger from a letter written in A.D. 110/111.

In regards to the practices of the early church Pliny wrote:

“They had been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to sing responsively a song to Christ as God. They bound themselves with an oath—not to commit some crime—but, on the contrary, that they would not commit theft, nor robbery, nor adultery, that they would not break faith, nor refuse to return a deposit when asked for it. When they had done these things, their custom was to separate and to assemble again to partake of a meal, common yet harmless.”

Here are some things we unpacked from that quote:

  • they were accustomed to coming together on a fixed day
  • they worshiped Christ as God
  • they were accountable to one another to live godly lives
  • they participated in life together through meals

Georges Boujakly at Missional Order recently posted about Ethical Relativism and he writes:

“New converts and long time converts, researchers tells us, are not shining stars of holiness, reflecting the image and glory of Christ. Instead of being conformed to His image, being changed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), many have adopted a willing conformity to the world.”

We get together regularly, worship Christ and eat a lot, but how good are we at holding one another accountable to live Christ-like lives?

How much of an impact would we have on society if we pledged ourselves to live lives worthy of Christ when we leave our gatherings? What would such a practice look like in our church meetings?

Grace and peace,

Terry

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Open My Eyes, That I May See

Music has always been an important part of my life. As a Christian many songs have had an impact on me and help shape my life. From time to time I want to share some of these songs with you.

Clara H. Scott (December 3, 1841 – June 21, 1897) published Open My Eyes in 1885. I remember singing this hymn as a boy and as a teenager.

Open My Eyes, That I May See

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Refrain
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.

Refrain

Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

Refrain

How it shaped me.

I learned to yield my senses – my eyes, my ears, my mouth – to God. It points me to what God wants me to see and hear but it also leads me to open my mouth and share God’s good news.

Spirit divine, I sit silently and wait for you, ready to see your will for today. Open my eyes, illumine me. Open my ears and let me hear. Open my mouth and let me share.

Grace and Peace,

Terry

The Life Habit of Leaving

Living the missionI’ve been practicing the life habit of spending time alone with God for some time now. I’ve gotten better at practicing the habit of listening to God’s voice as I link or connect with him on a daily basis. My love for the savior has grown and I have learned how to express that love to him. Over the past couple of years I have added a new discipline that has given those morning times a greater purpose. I have started practicing the life habit of “leaving.”

I believe that God wants to spend time with me and that he speaks to me through his word. It’s great loving the Father and having him love on me. He has knocked off a lot of rough edges from my life in those morning hours.

He has used those times to transform me – to make me look more like Jesus. But if I am to look like Jesus, I can’t stay in my prayer closet. I have to leave, remembering that he has sent me on his mission.

Jesus spent time in quiet places praying and communing with the Father but he left those places to walk among the people. He spent time privately teaching his disciples but so much of that teaching time was to debrief them after showing them what his mission was about.

Search your scriptures and notice how many times you find Jesus out and among the people who needed him. Seashores, dinners with tax collectors, cemeteries, on the road to this town or that town. . .

What does it mean to develop the life habit of leaving?

It means that our leaving is intentional. It has a purpose. We are on a great mission today – the same mission as that of Jesus.

Expect some divine appointments along the way of your life. Look for those who need to see Jesus in you. Be aware of the neighbor or coworker who is searching for a better story. When you interact with them remember the mission. Go about your way on purpose.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” –  John 20:21 NIV

Enjoy the journey,
Terry

Join the conversation: So what does the habit of leaving look like for you?