Wednesday, November 04, 2009

spiritual maturity?

How do you define spiritual maturity?
We're so committed to discovering and applying God's principles for making life work that we no longer value intimacy with God as our greatest blessing. We're more attracted to sermons, books and conferences that reveal the secrets to fulfillment in everything we do than to spiritual direction that leads us through affliction into the presence of the Father...

We no longer identify ourselves as a community of visibly broken saints, men and women profoundly grateful for grace, knowing we're dead without it...
- Larry Crabb, The Pressure's Off, p.183

Monday, November 02, 2009

are you poor?

Who Are the Poor?

The poor are the center of the Church. But who are the poor? At first we might think of people who are not like us: people who live in slums, people who go to soup kitchens, people who sleep on the streets, people in prisons, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. But the poor can be very close. They can be in our own families, churches or workplaces. Even closer, the poor can be ourselves, who feel unloved, rejected, ignored, or abused.

It is precisely when we see and experience poverty - whether far away, close by, or in our own hearts - that we need to become the Church; that is hold hands as brothers and sisters, confess our own brokenness and need, forgive one another, heal one another's wounds, and gather around the table of Jesus for the breaking of the bread. Thus, as the poor we recognize Jesus, who became poor for us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen - Bread for the Journey