Swallow Me Up


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Abba,
I long to abide in you
To dwell with you
To rest in you
But for some reason I can’t;
My mind wanders
My spirit is restless
My choices are divergent
My schedule unrelenting
Abba,
Sorrow and sadness cling to me
My soul is tired
I wonder if I’ve lost the story
But you remind me;
To be lost is to be found
To be known is to be loved
To wrestle with doubt is to find faith
To shed tears is to realize intimacy
Abba,
Pierce through my darkness so that I may see you
Forgive me
Re-align me
But most of all, don’t leave me;
You are all that is good
You are all that is true
You are all that I need
You are beauty painted with ash

Swallow me up in the ocean that is You.

Global Day of Prayer for BURMA

Sunday March 11th 2012 is the Global Day of Prayer for Burma. While there has been some positive recent developments, there continues to be great oppression, killing and displacement of the peoples of Burma by its militaristic government. Please download the this years update and pray with me on Sunday March 11th!

click here to download the magazine  DOP 2012 Booklet

Thanks!

Monty

2011 Challenge

Slide1

Alignment and Illumination…being and doing…both are necessary, but there is a vast difference in the outcomes depending on which flows from which…

When doing comes first, ego is inflated and legalism is born. Your God experience is based on "shoulds" and the net result is a religous organizational experience that is lacking spiritual power.

When our doing flows from our purposeful decision to "be" with God, the result is a faith-empowered God-infused organic journey with Trinity that is fresh, alive, and allows the light or presence of God within us to illuminate out of us…Christ is still incarnating in His people as we spend time with Him.

So, we align our hearts, minds and bodies with God through His Word, and through time with Him…this is the being side of things…Now, we have so much more to offer than merely ourselves or our good intentions, we have Christ infused into all that we are and all that we do…this turns every moment into a sacred moment and illumination for ourselves and those around us happens…this is the doing side of things.

There are two parts to the 2011 challenge, a being part and a doing part.

Being:

Spend 20 minutes of "God-talk" time every day at 11:00. It can be 11:00 a.m, or p.m, whatever works for you. When 11:00 rolls around, stop what you are doing, and spend some time just "being" with God…talk to Him, pray for others, ask Him to reveal more and more of who He is to you…allow Him to refresh and renew your tired soul…or simply slow down, center your thoughts on God and practice being with Him…with no agenda, no asks…Just breathe His presence into your present moment and know that He is God. Before long, 20 minutes will be gone, but the peace of His presence will linger in your soul drawing you back for more.

Doing:

Do 20 positive acts on the 11th day of each month. It can be positive words to a friend or family member…a random act of kindness towards a stranger…an encouraging Facebook post or note…or an action that has positive consequences for our world or community like picking up trash without being asked, doing something to lower your carbon footprint or even volunteering for a shift at our clothing bank the Gift of Apparel! You will find that it will get easier and easier to do 20 positive acts, and before long that will begin to morph into other days as your whole disposition begins to transform into a channel of God's positive grace!

I will post some ideas here on the blog and or on my Facebook page! If you have some ideas of positive acts PLEASE add them in the comments areas for others to see and try!

So here's to a 2011 that balances our being and doing so that God has the opportunity to flow through us all like grace filled rain!

Dei Gratia,

Monty

Powerful Prayers Vol. VIII: Kenneth Phifer


Powerful prayers
I Want To Stop Running


Eternal God, you are a
song amid silence,

A voice out of quietness,

A light out of darkness,

A presence in the
emptiness,

A coming out of the void.

You are all of these
things and more.

You are mystery that
encompasses meaning,

Meaning that penetrates
mystery.

 

You are God,

I am man.

I strut and brag.

I put down my fellows

And bluster out assertions
of my achievements.

 

And then something
happens:

I wonder who I am,

And if I matter.

Night falls,

I am alone in the dark and
afraid.

Someone dies,

I feel so powerless.

A child is born,

I am touched by the
miracle of new life.

At such moments I pause…

To listen for a song amid
silence,

A voice out of stillness,

To look for a light out of
darkness.

 

I want to feel a Presence
in the emptiness.

I find myself reaching for
a hand.

Oftentimes, the feeling
passes quickly,

And I am on the run again:

Success to achieve,

Money to make.

 

O Lord, you have to catch
me on the run

Most of the time.

I am too busy to stop,

Too important to pause for
contemplation.

I hold up too big a
section of the sky

to sit down and meditate.

But even on the run,

An occasional flicker of
doubt assails me,

And I suspect I may not be
as important

To the world

As I think I am.

 

Jesus said each of us is
important to you.

It is as if every hair of
our heads were numbered.

How can that be?

But in the hope that it is
so,

I would stop running,

Stop shouting,

And be myself.

Let me be still now.

Let me be calm.

Let me rest upon the faith
that you are God,

And I need not be afraid.

 

Amen

(* from
Kenneth Phifer’s book “A Book of Uncommon Prayer”)

_____________________________________

 

Monty’s Rumination…

 

There truly is not much
for me to say about this prayer. 
The deep, heartfelt words paint a very real tapestry that many will
instantly connect with.

 

When I first meditated on
this prayer, I was at a monastery with some other pastors, and one line
captured my attention more than any other:

 

“I hold up too big a section of the sky to
sit down and meditate.”

 

Even now, those words roll
over me and leave me feeling somewhat uneasy. I’m uneasy because that is very
often how I feel. My biblical theology tells me that it is God who holds up the
sky, but if that is so, why does so much of it seem to depend on me?

 

My  practical theology tells me that it is
impossible for me to hold up a big section of the sky, and that if I think I
am, I need to let it go, but if that is true, why does it seem so many people
and things really do

depend on me?

 

We are forever in the
catch-22 of monergism and synergism, how much is mine and how much is God’s.
When we think that too much depends on us, we posses weary souls, tired feet,
and frazzled emotions. When we think that too much depends on us, we create God
in our own image. When we create God in our own image, there is no one left who
is stronger than ourselves to lift us from the tangled web of living. When we
think too much depends on us, our self-importance creates an ego that fills the
universe, so of course there is no time to relate with a God who is smaller
than we are.

 

Yet, in our over inflated
bigness, Jesus still loves us, still calls us, still waits…

 

As he graciously reminds
me of His power, passion, and presence, I relax, realizing He not only holds up
all of the sky, but He made it too. Then I breathe the final words of the
prayer:

 

“I would stop running, stop shouting, and be
myself. Let me be still now. Let me be calm. Let me rest upon the faith that
you are God, and I need not be afraid.”

 

God has your corner of the
sky,

 

Dei Gratia…Monty