The contempt of others is often joined by our self-contempt. We judge ourselves even more severely than our enemies. Our enemy starts the fire, but we add the fuel. The blaze consumes our remaining dignity, until we are tired of the voice of accusation resounding in our heads — then, we get busy and noisy. We silence the accusations with the five thousand songs on our iPod that play in a random, unpredictable order. -Dan Allender, Sabbath, pg. 168
“Our business is to present the Christian faith clothed in modern terms, not to propagate modern thought clothed in Christian terms. Confusion here is fatal.” -J.I. Packer
“What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.” -Jewish proverb
“Tears are nature’s lotion for the eyes. The eyes see better for being washed by them.” -Christian Nevell Bovee
Below are book notes I took whilst reading, “Traditions of the Ancients.” The following are notes that strike me, and are fitting for me at this time in life and ministry. You may have different things stand out to you should you read this book.
It’s a whole lot easier to draw up a thoughtless list of superficial negative behaviors and clean them up than it is to cleanse my inherent sinfulness in tears of purification. pg. 13
What is blocking God from his rightful place of true lordship in my life?
Contemplative prayer is silent prayer. It’s distinctive from meditation in that in contemplative prayer the mind is disengaged as much as possible. In meditation, the mind remains active, reflecting on God or Scripture or another element of the faith.
“There is a simple gazing (looking) at the Lord while the heart reaches out in wordless prayer and the will seeks to be one with his.” -James Borst (simple definition of contemplation)
Many Americans, though, are woefully unprepared to grieve. As a culture, we try to hide death, cheat death, trick death, deny death, all in a vain hope that death will just go away. pg. 56
Praying the Scriptures: Psalms 2:1-6; 5; 8; 13; 25:1-7, 11, 20-21; 51; 61:1-5; 63:1-8; 71; 84; 88:1-2; 89:1-8; 104; 123; 130:1-6; 139:1-4; 141; 144; 145.
Here’s what all the sources do seem to agree on: lector is a way of reading the Scriptures that involves an encounter with God as we listen to what he is saying to us through the text. pg. 112
Lectio Divina (4 steps)
- lectio – reading the Word
- meditatio- meditating on it
- oratio -praying over it
- contemplatio- contemplating or “being with” God.
Calling them “steps” is a bit misleading, since the four elements flow into each other throughout your time spent in lectio.
What is my attitude towards repetitive work? Do I see it as a blessing, gift, and opportunity to let my mind wander and ponder the mysteries of God?
The church automatically rejected as a candidate for baptism any man who took the military oath after seeking baptism; those who were soldiers already were apparently grandfathered in. pg. 135
Next time you’re chopping vegetables, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or folding laundry, open your heart to God, slow down, and either repeat a phrase from your “ceaseless prayer” practice or just meditatively pray appropriately, blessing the people you are cooking for, expressing gratitude that you are healthy enough to mow your lawn, thanking God for the beauty of the snow, asking God to be with those who will wear all those clean clothes. When you see your work as sacred and the tools of your work as gifts from God, everything changes. pg. 137
Macrina- A woman who had grown up accustomed to luxury, Macrina joyously embraced the ascetic life with all its hardships. “Nothing was left but the care of divine things and the unceasing round of prayer and endless hymnody, coextensive with time itself, practiced by night and day.” -Groegory pg. 162
Unlike Bible study, meditation involves taking a short portion of Scripture and spending time with it; I like to think of it as “dwelling” on the verse or verses. If you are beginning to think this sounds like lector divine, you’re right. pg. 171
When you meditate, you search out what God is saying to you through the passage and pursue its truths in a prayerful way. This slightly elevated cognitive and intentional thinking level is also what sets meditation apart from contemplation, which is simply “being” in the presence of God. pg. 171
Examination of sin. At one time we can be too harsh on ourselves, at another, we can take advantage of God’s grace and go too easy on ourselves.