Tag Archives: intriguing

Thomas à Kempis and Solitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 25, 2017

solitude - sitting

Thomas à Kempis and Solitude

I realize I’m probably going out on a limb, but I suspect Thomas probably was more introverted than extroverted. Being more extroverted myself, I read his instructions from the Imitation of Christ as far beyond me, for the most part. However, I have several children who are, indeed, introverts. I could much more easily see them adapting to some of Thomas’s recommendations.

Don’t suppose that I mean that some of his recommendations are not intriguing! Certainly, they are. Especially since I am becoming more introverted now that I’m in my fifties, I would like to strive to follow some of these.

For instance:Thomas’s instructions, as far as leaving the crowd behind. “What’s certain? The person who wants to arrive at interiority and spirituality has to leave the crowd behind and spend some time with Jesus.” [1] This is good instruction, whatever century you are in, whatever situation in which you find yourself. I especially am intrigued by his statement wanting “to arrive at interiority and spirituality.” That makes me want to get inside my interior and sprinkle some spiritual fertilizer around! I would like to develop my interiority and spirituality, for sure.

Another insight hit home to me: “A cell that’s much prayed in is a pleasant spot. A cell that’s rarely prayed in is a forbidding place.” [2] This statement reminded me of the church I pastor, St. Luke’s Christian Community Church (in Morton Grove, a suburb of Chicago). This church has a prayed-in feel. I know that much of that feeling of deep-down prayer comes from our Korean friends, who meet in our sanctuary from 12 noon to 2 pm every Sunday. They are pray-ers! Similar to Thomas à Kempis, our sanctuary is a place that is familiar with prayer. Even, saturated with prayer. It’s great that we have opportunities like this!

When it comes to the bottom line, solitude is expressive, yet solitary. A way to God, yet also a way to havedear Ho relationship with others in our community. Dear Lord, thank You for such wise words and such insights  Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er.


[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 149.

[2] Ibid, 150.

PEACE – Centered in the Holy

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 21, 2016

holy holy holy Isaiah 6

PEACE – Centered in the Holy

I am fascinated at how many variations people come up with. In terms of personal definitions of PEACE, that is.

(Reminder: not to worry! I will continue with posting of definitions of PEACE from the young people at St. Viator’s High School right after Easter!)

Some days ago, I attended a United Church of Christ ministerial meeting here in the Chicago area at the beginning of March. I asked a number of my fellow clergy “What does PEACE mean to you?”

The Reverend Sally Iberg came up with this personal definition of PEACE: “PEACE is centered in the Holy.”

Short, succinct. To the point.

I do not know Sally Iberg well. Her definition intrigued me at the time, and still interests me greatly. I haven’t had the time to connect with her to find out more about her definition. (Which intrigues me even further.)  When she speaks of the Holy, I know she refers to God. Yet, she refers to even more than God. (As most people think of God.)

I think of the astounding holiness of God. The Holy, indeed! When an individual is centered on God, of course there will be peace within. But, that’s not all. No! “The Holy” is a much more expansive concept of God. Yes, all-powerful and all-knowing. All-loving and, yes. PEACEFUL. Peace, like God’s peace. Peace, like the peace that passes all understanding, or Jesus’s peace—not as the world gives peace.

Oh, Holy One, thank You for Sally’s wonderful definition. It certainly sparked some pondering and meditation, as I took time and reflected. Dear God, especially in this Holy Week, help me keep Holiness before me. Help me ponder Your peace and holiness.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 12, 2016


Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Intriguing thought! Peace equals holiness. I had to step back and think about this particular definition for a bit. Let it penetrate my mind and heart.

The name of the person I talked to? Chuck. Also known as Dr. Charles L. Reid III, Chuck’s personal definition of peace: PEACE = Holiness.

Chuck did not waste any time in coming up with his personal definition. He knew. He was sure. He is the pastor of the Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines. His definition came straight from the New Testament, from Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)

As I mentioned, I was quite intrigued by this definition. I asked Pastor Chuck to explain further. He said, “From what is given in Scripture as a guide for living, holiness should be an objective for our lives.  Therefore, PEACE = Holiness was what came to my mind when asked about peace.  The pursuit of peace and reconciliation reflects Christ’s ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation.  When holiness abides within, PEACE will live also.

Yes, I do agree. Excellent concept. Truly a worthwhile objective to strive for.

As for a moral compass and guide to living, Scripture is certainly a time-tested compass. Thank you, Pastor Chuck. I appreciate you and your example of pursuing peace and reconciliation, with holiness a big part in your life.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this thought-provoking definition of PEACE. Allow it to work into all of our hearts and take root. Thank You for Pastor Chuck, his wife Barbara, and all of the congregation at Bethesda Worship Center. Help each of them to live at peace with their fellows. Dear Lord, striving to be holy is a large part of walking with You. Help Your works and Your words to accomplish Your purposes. Especially Your wish to have all people live in PEACE. Thank You, God!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er