11.30.2004

Great words!!

For a long time I have always wanted to communicate what Eugene Peterson has here in these few words from this article. Throughout my sojourning with God and following after the way of Christ I had become detached from all the methodology and rote formulas of "christian practice." This would include the traditional practice's of "devotions," "bible study," and the classic "prayer closet." Now in and of themselves these practice's are not wrong. They most certainly are not wrong but they are not entirely indicative of what the life of the redeemed should be characterized by or consist of. Bear with me.
These terms of practice for me have misled me to think categorical and compartmental in the past. Deep down inside I new there was something else, something richer and deeper still that made up what it meant to be a "spiritual person" and to be spiritual. It is difficult to practice somethings that other people do. There is a sense of detachment and lack of ownership to a certain quality needed to be and do such things as spiritual practices. So while the practices are good we can't and are not going to be able to just do them unless we already have the "spirit of the disciplines" within. The life of a being, the being that is fully alive and in tuned to life is the life that is in communion with the divine mystery Yahweh. Christ has shown us to be connected to him by his Spirit and through faith. And to live this life is not by necessarily viewing it and doing it by categorical and compartmental deeds and practices but by simply being it. Breathing, eating, thinking and moving in conjunction with God all the time.
I think for the most part some of you already understand me but I would like to assure others who may be reading this that I am not espousing a nurtured walk with God and truth by way of outside of the revealed will of God through and by holy scripture. What I am trying to communicate is the failure of emphasis of practice which lead to an unhealthy and emasculated christianity. No compartments, no categories but rather a full embodiement of prayer. Prayer as life. A life with God in all things that transcends all things.
After seeing prayer in this fashion then I am able to do the other things of classic practice through a life of prayer.
It is early in the morning and I gotta get dressed and head out the door to go to work. So I am unable to really edit my thoughts and seek a more refined articulation of what I am writing about. Hopefully the excerpt that follows will give a better idea of what I am saying. After reading this I got really pumped up to think about this by way of writing and posting to assimilate my own experience with the much echoeing words of Peterson within my own heart.

"MH : Say more about the idea of "a life of prayer," as opposed to saying our prayers.

EP: It's a life that you are immersed in. Prayer is the interiorness of our life in relationship to the God who has spoken to us. So deep within us there is a dialogic reality. God spoke life into being and we answer it. That is the way our life is. As our life enters this lively word, this revelation, prayer is living our life now in response to that. Prayer cannot be confined to a certain period of time. It is nurtured in those things, and we realize certain aspects of it during those times.
At one point I realized that the time I spend in the external act of prayer, where if someone could see through a knothole and say I was praying, I'm not really praying then--I'm just getting ready to pray. When I get up off my knees or out of my chair at eight o'clock, that's when I start praying. That other time of saying my prayers is just getting ready to pray. It's just getting rid of the distractions and making pre-deciding things about the day which give you room so that you're not just swallowed up by everybody else's agenda.
While I was growing up my parents would often invite missionaries to our family home in Montana so they could rest and recover. When I was around fifteen years old or so there was a man who came to visit us one summer. He was a Frenchman named John Wright Follett, a small, bird like man who had never married. He was a teacher of quite acceptance in the Pentecostal movement in the thirties and forties and because his name was a household name in our circles, I was in awe of him. When I met him he was probably seventy years old. One day he was laying in a hammock with his eyes closed and I wanted to talk to him. I told my mother I wanted to talk to him and she said, "Just go up and talk to him, it's okay." I timidly approached the hammock and said, "Dr. Follett how do you pray?" He didn't open his eyes at all. He just grunted and said, "I haven't prayed in forty years!" He stunned me and I walked off totally puzzled. Since then I have realized the wisdom of the man. You see, anything he had told me I would have imitated. I would have gone and done what he said and thought that's what prayer is. He risked something to teach me what prayer was, and I'm glad he did. Prayer wasn't something he did, it was something he was. He lived a life of prayer. It took me about six or seven years to understand what he had done but it was sure better than wasting time trying to imitate what he did.
"
To read the entire article click here.


11.29.2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

11.28.2004

Seasons of Transition

It seems that I am always in a season of transition. In this long season thought forms are being deconstructed and reconstructed. I am also trying to find my place in the occupational world and adapting to a new life as a husband and father of three newborn boys.

I have gotton a job. I have been working now for two weeks with FedEx Home Delivery. My route is based in New Castle and Rushville. It has been an adventerous challenge. County roads are a riddle and it's very easy to get lost out there in the middle of nowhere. I had the fortunate blessing of meeting a very burly bearded farmer yesterday on the road in the middle of Egypt. The dude was very cool. He had an awesome sense of humor and attitude. He was the kind of guy that I would love to sit back with and hang out with a couple of beers and talk about the organic world, farming and God.

Our three boys are too much for me to take in at the moment. What I mean is that they are such a rich blessing that I cannot absorb it all. Children truly are a heritage from the Lord. There has been moments where I would feel a deep anxiety when I think of there little beauty and wonder and not being able to cherish every moment of their little lives for they will become larger and older very soon.

Our family is hungering for communion with the household of God. I long to gather with them and be provoked by the wondrous beauty and infinite mysterious person and grace of God unto greater holy living. By holiness I mean a life that is conformed to the desire's and appetites of Christ. Marked by the perfectly honed quality of moderation and self-control. I want to celebrate life as a human should. Knowing that God is the center of all things and all things are given to us from him for us and him. I am reminding myself of John Piper's often qouted coined, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

I would like to plan a party sometime soon. Call it a party or call it a gathering. I will let you all know soon. I would like to cram our house with friends, food and koinonia.

God bless you all in the daily endevours of life. May they be oriented in our hearts and minds to be from and too God for his and ours delight.

If anyone knows how to set up the comments for these posts please write me at mesamd@gmail.com and let me know.

11.24.2004

k

Going through some changes. My blog was accidentally erased so I had to start somethings over. But I am happy with this format so its cool. My wife is beautiful.

11.15.2004

Our Jonah Dove-bean is home
and he and we are very happy. He came to Drexel Ave. on Sunday afternoon to join his two brothers Aidan and Asher and their resident feline freind BubbySamson. The occasion of having all three Mesa Beans at home was celebrated by giving of thanks to our God with family and the enjoyment of a very tasty dish, grandma Susan's home made lasagna.
We are now a family of five. Hopefully soon we can have another celebrative gathering with our friends. We would love for you all to meet one another.
My mother Maria is coming down to Indy via Greyhound tomorrow and will be staying for two weeks! This is exciting. I long for the occasion that is afforded by this stay. I have never been able to really have close union bonding with my mother. It is a good surface relationship that we have but I much long for something deeper with her and my father Margarito. I long to share Christ with them. What I mean by that is by being in Christ together and sharing Him together in faith. May God the Lord and Father bless this time.
Maria Elena will be hanging out to help us break in our home and ourselves with these boys. Since I start my training for FedEx tomorrow and will be working than on it is imperative that I get sufficient sleep/rest for driving and delivering. Having this help will be very good for Danae and I. Tonite grandma Susan is staying the nite, Thanks a mucho Grandma!!
I still plan on posting pics so stay tuned.


11.13.2004

Last nite Joshua and I were in the Lounge and recorded a conversation over the topic, "Hiding Behind Your Theology." I soon realized in conversing that the topic at hand was and is a deep dillema with many variables that contribute to it. So while there are good things that we did talk about it certainly wasn't all there was to say on the matter. Unfortunately there is only so much time to talk. Maybe there will be a series of dialouges on the issue. The hopes of which would include live call-in's from our listeners if there are any.
If your online doing stuff and are interested in listening to this 50 min. session just click on Laymen Lounge and look for the November 12 archive of Hiding Behind Your Theology. You can also tune in on Thursdays in the evening @ 7:30 PM for live webcasting.

Other News
. I will be heading off momentarily to an orientation with FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. It will be some good money. Seasonal work with potentially good opportunities for further placement or independant contractual work. I like this stuff!
Jonah Angel may be coming home tomorrow!!! Bring him home to us on Drexel Ave. Lord and be praised for your beauty!!!!!!
Hopefully we will come into contact with you our friends soon. I know that some have left messages and we have been unable to get back with you yet. We are wanting to hang out with you too.

May God bring us together in his bond of unity and peace. To the glory of the radiant beauty of Iesou Cristu our Lord. O' that I may see this beauty more.

11.12.2004

If today you knew that it would be your last day living on this earth what would you do?

Although I don't know that today may be my last day on earth I know that I will pray more earnestly. So what does matter most?

11.09.2004

taking sometime off

11.01.2004

Asher Damon came home Saturday evening. It quickly became apparant to Danae and I the reality of having these boys. It is taking time for this to become real to our sensory experience. Rather let me say that our sensor's are slowly interpreting the reality of these little lives that our completely dependant to our care every moment of the day.
So far Danae and I have been swapping feeding/diaper changing throughout the nite. Both Asher and Aidan are about 20 to 30 minutes apart in their feedings so it does well that Danae does a round then I. Because they generally feed every three hours this affords us both opportunity to be able to get six hours of unbroken sleep. This is good for me. I can run on six. Danae on the other hand needs something between eight and ten.
These boys are so beautiful. They are so very small. They remind me of those little cute things that we fall in love with from cartoons or some stuffed animal or doll that we always wish were real and living. Aidan, Asher and Jonah are these things to us.

Last nite at Joshua's both John and I with Joshua discussed what and how we are going to have this open forum; The Laymans Lounge. The consensus amidst us was to take a book that offers or that will lend structure torwards the topics or theme that we want to discuss. Among the many different books that all three of us are working through it appears that we are going to start with the discussions provoked by Spencer Burke's Making Sense of Church; Eavesdropping on Emerging Conversations about God, Community, and Culture.

Every one of us has a desire to see some changes in how andwhy we do church. A reformation if you will. To move beyond strains of polemic tension that divide the church to finding unity in our diversity and engaging in thoughtful, healthy dialouge about doctrine and whatever else while maintaining the mind of Christ and exhibiting his wonderful fruits that are the ever so tangible extension of his being.

Patience; for some on the road do not all have the same attitude or understanding as others.
Humility; knowing that all of us our on this journey to know truth and are constantly discovering truth. We all have and are constantly coming out of darkness and into greater and brighter light. It is important to remember that we at one time were more ingnorant than we are now. None of us has the claim on truth, unless we be the disciple of truth.
Tenderness and lovingkindness; seeking the best for the brethren despite our differences we always seek to engage one another in love always remembering that if we have not this we are but clanging symbols and instruments without substance.

I am persuaded that all truth is God's truth and the Bible does communicate such things that are firmly upheld by some theological traditions. But the polemic for and against such things do have thier proper place and attitude. Never at the expense of koinonia should we entangle in polemics unless it be on the issue of Christ as Lord and the ancient confessions of the early church; The Apostle's Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Chalcedonian Creed. I imagine some would disagree with limiting to these confession's alone. It is my opinion that some other confessions start to lean torwards some of the very things that are dividing the church by polemic tension (assuming that the proponents and exponents are seeking Christ).
I do not have a desire to see the tension all together eliminated but rather that the tension would be percieved in it's proper place and without division if at all possible. This "proper place" for these polemics may be and is for some another point of contention as well. Not everyone is in agreement on what is a major and a minor point of doctrine. We must engage in healthy Christ-centered dialouge about such things. Always striving to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.