...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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly Moravian: The Virtue of Trying

Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Transfiguration of our Lord

Watchword for the Week -- And when they looked up,
they saw no one except Jesus alone. Matthew 17:8

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:10

Corporate Lumburgs say, "Before we do anything, we should first ask ourselves, 'Is it good for the company?'" What about Dunder-Mifflin?

The apostle Paul directs that we first "Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord." It's the question that spiritual direction and discernment asks. This one simple movement, if practiced regularly, has the potential of transfiguring us. Like leaven, if and when added, it will change the dough of our existence.

Before you try anything else, make the effort to discover and discern what the Holy Spirit wants. Not what pleases the institution or even what makes for a good survival strategy. We miss out on spiritual aliveness because we replace seeking God's way with favorable results. The power that permeates and transfigures our life lies in at least trying to please God.

What can transform the relationships I have with people, self, God, ministry, money, church, family? With what shall any of us come before the Lord? I have grand designs- just think of all the neat stuff I can do to show that I am real and hence prove my true discipleship of Jesus.

Try this first: "God, what do you want me to do?" Ask the question. It will change your life. And doing so may be the most appropriate beginning- and ending- for whatever disciplines we take up this Lent.

God of the whole universe,
you chose to reveal yourself to us in Jesus.
In Christ, your love for all is plainly seen.
Guide your church toward a vision illuminated by this love,
a vision of peace and justice.

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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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