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Bob Buehler's Wordpress blog
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him turn to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
– Isaiah 55:6-7 (esv)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Sometimes you just have to start over.
A few days ago I was upgrading this and some other websites I maintain, and something went wrong: my personal website became inaccessible. Since most of what was on the site was imports from other places that also belong to me, I did a radical thing and deleted the blog installation associated with this domain. So now, in mid–October 2012, I start with content borrowed from elsewhere (all my own stuff, not to worry — and much of it also previously duplicated here). One of the things about the upgrade I was doing involved making this available also as an app for mobile users, so… hello world, again!
Sometimes people take the injunction to “pray without ceasing” to mean something like, “pray often.” This makes prayer into an activity, something we do, something that is separate from the rest of our lives. And yes, there are times when devoting ourselves to prayer, to the exclusion of all else, is appropriate. But even if you are a monk, there is a rhythm to life that includes eating, sleeping, caring for bodily needs, working, creating, interacting with others, learning, forming opinions, making decisions, resting, relaxing, entertaining or being entertained. What sense does it make to talk about praying without ceasing, if we have to cease praying to do one of these things? As long as prayer is seen as one activity in a list like this, it is impossible. So it has been suggested that prayer is more deeply a matter of being intentionally aware of the presence of God, whatever else may be going on. And this awareness has immense benefits, if we train ourselves in it. It is the secret to a peaceful existence. I said to a friend once, in a discussion about a difficult moment:
God provides a sort of a buffer between ourselves and the world, so we don’t need to calculate anything, but respond always to God, rather than react to what is around us. In this buffer zone is peace, humor, love, quietness, energy and thus we always can act from strength, whatever our weakness is. Even in the admission of weakness or failure, in that way there is still strength and ease of heart.
This requires, of course, the ability to perceive the presence of God in the immediacy of every situation. It is the intentional act of such perceiving that I would here call prayer, and to the capacity for such perception, I would assign the word: faith.
Comments are welcome.
“For the promise is for you, and for your children, and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
The word for spirit in Hebrew and in Greek is the same as for breath, wind, air; and in both cases we are surrounded, immersed, in this on which we actually depend for our very existence. What makes us alive is not the spirit that surrounds us, but the spirit which enters into us and nourishes all of our inner being. It would be a completely artificial thing to somehow separate the two, as though the air in your lungs is of a different nature than the air in the room, but from within your lungs, there is a function being performed that can’t happen anywhere else.
It is in this way we can say that we are immersed in spiritual reality, but only benefit personally when the spiritual reality becomes our inmost source of being. Physically, we breathe…. inhale and exhale; and spiritually, we are continually filled with God and emptied of God.
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
— Matthew 6:34