Thanks to someone in Men’s Group (Gary), I was finally able to find this clip after what seemed like years of searching. I have no idea when I saw the film, but I always remembered this prayer. At the time, I was a bit put off by it to be honest. Now I view it differently.
Today I see this as an honest prayer. Stewart’s character prays to give thanks to God, but the prayer focuses on all that Stewart has done to get what he has. His prayer shows that he believes he has what he has because of the strength of his back and the sweat of his brow. I say this prayer is honest because, for many, this is what they believe, but not necessarily what they pray. Even when we reflect Stewart’s feelings, we try to hide those feelings under words of thanks and gratitude. Our actions will give us away though.
Those who truly are able to see that all they have is a gift from God end up living differently (and praying differently). They live with gratitude and a thankfulness. They also are able to give back to God generously because they know that God has given everything to them. Knowing God has given everything to them, enables them to proceed in life with faith, giving to God along the way.
So, how do you really feel about what you have and where God fits into the picture of your blessings?
N. T. Wright is my favorite biblical scholar. He has helped me work through many issues regarding biblical faith. Here’s an article where Wright addresses the concept of Heaven and how we have gotten it wrong. I highly suggest to not just read this article, but also work through the belief systems that have created a Heaven that keeps us from living out God’s life now. The Good News in all of this is that we don’t have to die in order to live!
First-century Jews who believed Jesus was Messiah also believed he inaugurated the Kingdom of God and were convinced the world would be transformed in their own lifetimes, Wright said. This inauguration, however, was far from complete and required the active participation of God’s people practicing social justice, nonviolence and forgiveness to become fulfilled.
Once the Kingdom is complete, he said, the bodily resurrection will follow with a fully restored creation here on earth. “What we are doing at the moment is building for the Kingdom,” Wright explained.
Indeed, doing God’s Kingdom work has come to be known in Judaism as “tikkun olam,” or “repairing the world.” This Hebrew phrase is a “close cousin” to the ancient beliefs embraced by Jesus and his followers, Wright said.
via Religion News Service | Faith | Doctrine & Practice | N.T. Wright asks: Have we gotten heaven all wrong?.
Ian Morgan Cron was asked where he saw signs of resurrection. He relates a retreat he led for worship leaders and what he discovered and what he is discovering. While not everyone will agree with what he says about worship trends, I love what he says about silence and noise. Perhaps it is time to realize that:
It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak. – St. John of the Cross
Silence from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.
Today’s Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of Lent. Here are some thoughts from Diana Butler Bass as she reflects on Lent and denial.
Lent & Dying To Self from The Work Of The People on Vimeo
From St. Francis of Assisi
How Virtue Drives Out Vice
1. Where there is charity (love) and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance.
2. Where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor disturbance.
3. Where there is poverty with joy,
there is neither covetousness nor avarice (greed).
4. Where there is inner peace and meditation,
there is neither anxiousness nor dissipation.
5. Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house (cf. Lk 11:21),
there the enemy cannot gain entry.
6. Where there is mercy and discernment,
there is neither excess nor hardness of heart.
Continue reading “Driving Out Vice”