All posts by meadow4

Contemplation

Contemplation is meeting reality in its most simple and immediate form. The only way to do that is to get rid of your mental grids of judging, critiquing, and comparing. Every major religion, at its more mature levels, is trying to give you some kind of method to compartmentalize this dualistic mind. You do not fully process the moment by judging it, analyzing it, differentiating it; you must use a different processor. You must first respect anything for being exactly what it is, as it is. Like a clean mirror, you just reflect it back without any added distortions or filters. Then you can see things in their primal unity, as both “one” and yet still “distinct.”

~ Richard Rohr

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Dark Nights Provide Opportunities for Growth

“The great nineteenth century preacher Charles Spurgeon suffered from acute depression. Often he was bedridden and unable to preach, sometimes as much as twice a month. Nowadays, we may have little compassion for a pastor who battled such frequent and debilitating bouts of depression. However, Jesus invites the “weary and heavy laden” to find rest in him.
Today, these emotional struggles find psychological validation, and we ought to avail ourselves of therapy, exercise, support groups, and medication when we need it. There is no shame in finding help in any of these things.
But also consider this moment to be an opportunity to see what Jesus may be up to in your life, or in the lives of those you counsel. What you might find is that you’re being invited into the glorious purging of the dark night, where the old self and its old loves are shed and replaced by a new and deeper love for Jesus, for others, and even for you—a beloved son or daughter of a heavenly Father who longs to see you whole.”

written by Chuck DeGroat
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Notice and Wonder

We are proud to be a huge fan of Nicole Mills.  She is an assistant Spiritual Director here at The Meadow.  Nicole has started her own ministry that is highlighted in this awesome website and blog.

“I went through a spiritual wilderness, a Dark Night of the Soul. It was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve gone through.  After many, many months of struggling to find God, I had a dream that restored my hope and confirmed that He had been present all along. Sometimes it seems like darkness because He is so close to us that we are blinded by His light. He was and still is closer to me than my breath.” nicole

Please take the time and check it out!   www.noticeandwonder.com

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Old Age and the Second Half of Life

Old age is not, as the saying goes, for sissies. There are some lucky ones who little by little slow down to be sure, but otherwise go on to the end pretty much as usual. For the majority, however, it’s like living in a house that’s in increasing need of repairs. The plumbing doesn’t work right anymore. There are bats in the attic. Cracked and dusty, the windows are hard to see through, and there’s a lot of creaking and groaning in bad weather. The exterior could use a coat of paint. And so on. The odd thing is that the person living in the house may feel, humanly speaking, much as always. The eighty-year-old body can be in precarious shape, yet the spirit within as full of beans as ever. If that leads senior citizens to think of all the things they’d still love to do but can’t anymore, it only makes things worse. But it needn’t work that way.

Second childhood commonly means something to steer clear of, but it can also mean something else. It can mean that if your spirit is still more or less intact, one of the benefits of being an old crock is that you can enjoy again something of what it’s like being a young squirt.

Eight-year-olds, like eighty-year-olds, have lots of things they’d love to do but can’t because they know they aren’t up to them, so they learn to play instead. Eighty-year-olds might do well to take notice. They can play at being eighty-year-olds, for instance. Stiff knees and hearing aids, memory loss and poor eyesight are no fun, but there are those who marvelously survive them by somehow managing to see them as, among other things and in spite of all, a little funny.

Another thing is that, if part of the pleasure of being a child the first time round is that you don’t have to prove yourself yet, part of the pleasure of being a child the second time round is that you don’t have to prove yourself any longer. You can be who you are and say what you feel, and let the chips fall where they may.

Very young children and very old children also have in common the advantage of being able to sit on the sideline of things. While everybody else is in there jockeying for position and sweating it out, they can lean back, put their feet up, and like the octogenarian King Lear “pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterflies.”

Very young children and very old children also seem to be in touch with something that the rest of the pack has lost track of. There is something bright and still about them at their best, like the sun before breakfast. Both the old and the young get scared sometimes about what lies ahead of them, and with good reason, but you can’t help feeling that whatever inner goldenness and peace they’re in touch with will see them through in the end.

– Originally published in Whistling in the Dark by Frederick Buechner

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Pray for Charleston

Heavenly Father,
We lift up the victims of this terrible tragedy in Charleston, SC. We stand united in prayer and ask for comfort and peace to reign down over your people.  Lives will never be the same but Your grace can heal all pain. We grieve with the grieving and ask for your peace to comfort the families of this horrific act. God’s love for each of us is never ending and unfailing! #prayforcharleston

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

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Teaching Us How To Love!

Your enemies become your best friends when you realize that they are teaching you how to love!
Francis of Assisi

Christian Love – Selfless & Giving Love
“Christian love is giving to others those things that you would want them to give you if you were in their situation — and it’s doing so even if they can’t pay you back. In fact, it’s doing so especially if they can’t pay you back! Christian love is respect for others. It’s mercy. It’s charity.

When the King James translators came upon the Greek word agape (God’s Love), in addition to using the English word “love” to transliterate it, they often chose the English word “charity.” This was meant to reinforce the idea that agape is a selfless, giving love. God’s Love is unselfish and unconditional. Now we know what is meant by Christian love. Now we know what to strive for… ”

excerpt from 2002 – 2015 All About GOD

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Accommodation nor Domination

by: Philip Yancey

“Accommodation—watering down the message. Jesus certainly never did that. Or domination—the “let’s get our country back” mentality. What it tends to do is alienate people, turn them off. My approach is for us to become pioneer settlements of the Kingdom of God and show the world a different way to be human. We’re not called to clean up society. Jesus and Paul spent no time on that. We’re not going to convert everybody in the world. That would be nice, but it’s not going to happen.

I found this verse in Hebrews 12:15. It says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” If we went through life seeing to it that no one misses the grace of God, we (Christians)  would stand out. We would show the world a better way to be human.”

read more of this interview here

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