Wednesday, April 28, 2010


'The anxiety that has plagued me during the last week shows that a great part of me is not yet 'abiding' in Jesus. My mind and heart keep running away from my true dwelling place, and they explore strange lands where I end up in anger, resentment, lust, fear, and anguish. I know that living a spiritual life means bringing every part of myself home to where it belongs.'
-Henri Nouwen

'I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.'
-Jesus of Nazereth

The word 'abundance' comes from the greek word perissos which means beyond measure, surplus, or excess. Currently, I am at Princeton Seminary's Institution for Youth Ministry Certificate Forum in Princeton, NJ. I just got done attending my last class called: 'Soul Tending: Refilling the well'. This class was a two day/two part class which helped me journey inwardly-I like to think I spend enough time with God, but in truth...I know I don't. I wonder...can you relate?
Becky, the one teaching the class had Pastor Dan sit down for an interview concerning his walk with God. When asked 'what are some of the red flags or flares that indicate you're running on empty' he shared about how his wife is upset with him, his kids ask 'where's dad', he just wants to flee to his shop to organize nails or goes straight to his 'man cave'. It's an indication he works too much he admitted. Now, if you're in ministry-which we all are, you can probably relate. Now, he took it a step further by sharing how it really effects his relationships-specifically his kids. One of his son's has autism and how he doesn't like to look into his eyes (it's when you can tell he's upset or dislikes something) when he hasn't been around for a while. He said the greatest thing for him as a father is when his son looks him in the eye. It's when they really connect and bond.
The interesting thing here is...he took it even further...he said, when 'I retreat from everyone around me, it's me not wanting to look God in the eyes-yet I know he longs for me to do so.'
Now, if that's not touching...I don't know what is. But let me ask you this: when was the last time you looked God in the eye? How vain are your expectations on relationships and productivity? What is keeping you from seeking him more? What needs to be stripped away from the 'life' you prop up as more important?
Marinade on that...
The next thing I would like to share comes from Isaiah 55:1-2, 12. Lets unpack this a bit. What do you think it means to 'spend money on what is not bread, and your wages on what does not satisfy'? I think it means we're doing too much looking (and for some, doing/working) in the wrong places. I think it goes back to what was mentioned earlier concerning the definition of abundance...God offers us so much more, but we keep doing it our own way-wasting our time, money, and energies.
I think it's time that you and I peal away the layers that we claim we are and really give to God what we try to cover up-the insecure, selfish, condemning, arrogant, know-it-all, judgemental-the real dirty and unclean people who struggle with self-doubt and brokenness.
In closing, look up Isaiah 44:3 and re-read Isaiah 55:1-2, 12. What is God revealing to you through his word? What is it that you need to do on your end? It's time for some 'Soul Tending'...we've been running on empty for far too long.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Wow, this was another great one! So very true it is to. I am finding myself getting back on track with the Lord, I'm reading more, praying more, and turning to Him more when I should. I have a LONG ways to go, but I know I'm heading in the right direction. It's so easy for us to fall back than to move forward. And it takes great dedication and committment to take away distractions in your life to better it and be more Christ like. I have been struggling too long and SO thankful I am given another chance. We don't deserve His chances but He is a loving God who blesses us with those many chances. I thank and praise God for speaking through you again and making an amazing blog! Love you! :)