Henri Nowen wrote in his short book – The Way of the Heart – “When I visited Mother Teresa of Calcutta a few years ago and asked her how to live out my vocation as a priest, she simply said: ‘Spend one hour a day in adoration of your Lord and never do anything you know is wrong, and you will be alright’”
As I periodically reserve a day on my calendar to invest in God it only took an hour to hear from Him in a way that is available to all of us. We simply need to decide that the solitude necessary to commune with the Trinity must become part of our life. Do so in a way that works for you but in more intentional blocks of time. Daily is best but just start somewhere. So much can be revealed to us when we sit in solitude and ask God into our lives, expecting a conversational intimacy with Him that He absolutely wants to have with each and every believer.
True freedom was personified by Jesus, who became truth, which was designed to set us free. This brand of freedom has no political affiliation or agenda as it spoke of the position of the heart and of relationship with God. But the object for limited government was defined not by the 2nd Adam per se, but for the first Adam in the Garden of Eden.
The first governing principles the world has ever seen were applied to the first man the world has ever seen, the crowning achievement of a literal, seven-day saga that saw the earth and everything that comprised it birthed from a ‘formless void.’ Adam’s directives were simple: (although there is an alternative account of creation within Genesis, the same action occurs)
1. Work – “till and keep the garden” and “fill the earth and subdue it”
2. Be fruitful and multiply
3. Name every living creature
4. Do not eat from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’
Divinely decreed to follow four statutes by the Governor… Sure, things are a bit more complex today. To begin with, there are more than two people in the world! But have we deviated from the simplest, purest template for limited government ordained by God, or are we headed west away from the eastern gardens of Eden? The model for freedom was inherent to man’s origin, and God saw and recognized that it was “good.” So how is it that men and women acting in the ‘better interests’ of other men and women are exercising dominion over other people instead of over the earth, its creatures, and its vegetation? Pilate felt that he was entitled to such authority when discussing the essence of truth with Jesus before he was taken away to be crucified, but his assumption was corrected when Jesus spoke: “You would have no such authority over me unless given from above…” (John 19:11)
American Christians have long enjoyed a level of freedom and favor in wearing their beliefs on their sleeve. Even in the last few decades, relatively speaking, there’s not been much animosity toward Bible believing and Bible applying folks. I think that this tenure is short-lived, however, with plenty of recent events and legal decisions across the country that would indeed confirm that things are heating up. Todd Starnes of Fox News keeps a running tally
Compared to Christians fighting for their lives in North Korea, the Middle East, or East Africa, we still are not required to weather life-threatening situations every day but the time is near when Christians will have to make a decision about where they stand. This whole idea of ‘persecution’ became very real to me recently as I read an article about a court verdict in Oregon. The Judge’s opinion, the very words he used to issue his decision, were very similar to something I had heard before. The details of the case are actually irrelevant but the verdict and the penalty are not.
“The Dude’s Guide to Manhood” – Darrin Patrick
Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits
With a foreword written by none other than Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, this trumpet call for true masculinity amidst a culture of paternal weaklings starts off with a bang and never really lets up. Although Patrick’s overhaul of the current American male status does not quite qualify as being Eldredge-esque, it does however serve as the perfect men’s small group supplement, with plenty of time-tested truths that all men should hear and heed.
The Dude’s Guide to Manhood comes complete with a lot of high praise, including endorsements from Rick Warren, John Piper, Craig Groeschel, and St. Louis Cardinals’ all stars Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday. If that lineup doesn’t motivate you to read this book (in the manliest way you know how) I’m not sure what would. Author Darrin Patrick touches on all of the right points that men tend to struggle with like humility, devotion, and discipline, and yet is astute enough to offer sound insight for those men suffering from identity crisis in the face of a counter-masculine American culture.
Grade – B
In a blog entry a couple of weeks ago, I described how self-service is incompatible with a life lived humbly. Because this principle, or way of life, is so critical to Christians, especially Christian leaders or those having authority or rank in some way, I thought it appropriate to revisit and even reexamine this keystone character trait.
For starters, here are a few observations about humility:
1. Becoming the least makes us the greatest in the Kingdom
This isn’t a philosophical maxim, this is a statement that Jesus makes to his disciples after James and John inquire about becoming ‘great.’
There is something about summer that makes us want to compile a reading list and see it through, or in this case, read it through. Perhaps it’s because summer tends to be vacation season and what’s better than digging into an interesting book while at the beach or mountain cabin? Maybe it’s the fact that the days are longer and as long as the sun is up why not make use of it! Either way, business owners, entrepreneurs and sales/marketing pros should check off a few of these books on their summer “to read” lists in order to grow and maximize their business(s).
Salesdog.com recently released a ‘Top 10’ list of books that are sure to produce good value for people looking to cultivate better sales and better overall performance/fluidity with their business. The list is as follows in no particular order: