...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Daily Morvian Text: John 21:6

I've found the Daily Moravian Texts a great help in my spiritual practice. The daily e-version of it is available below, and here at www.moravian.org. I was introduced to the Daily Texts by Fredrick Herzog, my professor at Duke Divinity School. He would open each class with the reading and his own personal reflection.

Today's New Testament text:
Jesus said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.

If the first half adulthood is about establishing ourselves in the world, then what's the second half all about? Maybe it's more about our inner world, our spirit, then it is about mastery and control over our environment. It seems that we work very hard at maintaining ourselves, our safety, security, comfort, and convenience and if there is any time, energy, and motivation, then we will look at the state of our own spirit.

For clergy this rings true when it comes to the typical standards for measuring "success": buildings, butts in pews, budgets. It was about five years ago that "standards for measuring clergy effectiveness" included a person's spiritual well-being, not just outer accomplishments.

At any age, we cannot lead others to a place we where have not been. For clergy, to try the right side of the boat means to become aware of what has been left undeveloped or underdeveloped within. It means attending to the living Spirit of God, the Risen Christ, the source and origin of our ministry. It means to go where we haven't been fishing to find the basic resources that were there all along.

The risen Christ be with you!

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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