Tag Archives: obedience

Submission and Thomas Kelly

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, April 1, 2017

testament of devotion - Thomas Kelly

Submission and Thomas Kelly

I had never heard of Thomas Kelly before I read this excerpt. Born into a Quaker family in Ohio, he sounded like a fascinating person, wrapped in a difficult series of circumstances. He understood that he was excellent at educating people, and performed this task in any number of settings (besides being professor at several institutions of higher learning.)

However, it is his repeated difficulties that interest me, and how he managed to deal with them, live with them, and even surmount several.

When speaking of submission? I suspect I can see why Thomas Kelly might be content to submit to God. “Like Saint Augustine one asks not for greater certainty of God but only for more steadfastness in Him. There, beyond, in Him is the true Center, and we are reduced, as it were, to nothing, for He is all…” [1]

Ah. Talk about feeling very, very small compared to the magnificence, the awesomeness, the divinity, the immenseness of God. I can see where he is going with this thought.

Further along the path to submission and obedience, Kelly has this to say: “Once having the vision, the second step to holy obedience is this: Begin where you are. Obey now. Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed. Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats, in utter, utter submission and openness toward Him.”

Wow. Double wow. Those two quotes alone can convince me to have a different view of submission (and obedience, which goes hand in hand with submission). Dear Lord, help me to rein in my stubbornness. I know that You are the only one I can fully trust and submit and obey. Help me be more open and steadfast, Lord. Thank You.
@chaplaineliza

 

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), 178.

Pray. Be Obedient. Listen!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, December 11, 2015

girl praying

Pray. Be Obedient. Listen!

I love words. I love the etymology of words. So, when I read today’s selection in the Advent reflection book, I “geeked out” over it. (As the young people might say today.)

Henri Nouwen said, “The word ‘listening’ in Latin is obedire, and audire means ‘listening with great attention.’ That is where the word ‘obedience’ comes from. Jesus is called the ‘obedient one,’ that means ‘the listener.’” [1]                                                                                                                                                                   Ah, dear Lord. Such a great idea, for us to keep our minds on You this day. So many things can distract a person from paying attention to God. So many things can keep us from stretching our necks out. Help me to listen to You, and to You alone, dear Lord.

@chaplaineliza

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

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 26.

God, Stir the Soil in Me

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden - credit Kevin Jones

Chicago Botanic Garden – credit Kevin Jones

God, Stir the Soil in Me

I have long had a heart for God. Long had obedience, trust and love been on my mind. I wanted to run after God in my teenage years, but I didn’t know exactly how. (I did struggle through, but not following as well as I wished I had, in retrospect.)

So, as I read the prayers in this section, some of them reach deep, deep down within me. To a much younger me. I cry out, from a distant, deep-down place. Lord, Lord! Here I am! Choose me! Send me! Help me to serve You through service to others!

Yes, today’s prayer is about Obedience. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Will Be Done” (Prayer 267, pages 88-89) [1] There were so many prayers. So many moving words, so many heartfelt cries to You, God! But, I am going to place the prayer I ultimately chose, here.

“God, stir the soil,/Run the ploughshare deep,/Cut the furrows round and round,/Overturn the hard, dry ground,/Spare no strength nor toil,/Even though I weep.

“In the loose, fresh mangled earth/Sow new seed./Free of withered vine and weed/Bring fair flowers to birth.” (a prayer from Singapore, Church Missionary Society)

Ah, stir the soil within me, God! I know Your plowshare must needs run deep. I know—so well!—the ground within is hard and dry, Lord. Please, Lord, I ask—no, I beg—spare no strength nor toil. I realize You must labor over this fallow earth, gracious God. And, yes. I know I often weep at the pain it takes to transmute the fallow earth of my heart and soul into a bountiful garden.

Dear Lord, as You prepare the soil of my soul, in the loose dirt sow new seed. I know full well how difficult it is to break up the stubborn, clay-ey clods. (I know, full well! What a challenge I must be to You, Lord.) Yet, at the same time, You wish to, need to clear away the withered, dry plantings of the past. The weeds as well as the good plants. Just as the lush gardens I see outside my friends’ home, You wish to make the earth within me just as beautiful and bountiful; into a fair garden within my heart and soul.

Dear Lord Jesus, the words of the Gospel for this Sunday are ringing in my heart: “For the Son of Man Himself has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to set many others free.” (Mark 10:45, J.B. Phillips translation)

Gracious God, I hear You call. Here I am, Lord. Send me.

@chaplaineliza

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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 88-89.