Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Power of Remembering

Deeply Loved

40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus

By Keri Wyatt Kent


Memory, like a muscle, atrophies when unused, grows when exercised. I was blessed to grow up in a church where we read, studied, and memorized Scripture. At church camp I memorized verses to win prizes and to be the best Christian—or so it seemed. Later in life, I realized that memorizing may have earned me gold stars at Sunday School, but it didn’t earn me God’s favor. It did, however, teach me his vocabulary, attune the ear of my heart to the inflections of his voice…

Memorized scripture will come to mind at just the right time—this is the way God speaks to his beloved. We hear his voice in our heart, in a recalled verse of hymn lyric. We speak truth to others, dipping from the well of Scripture within us…

Memorizing truth about Jesus’ love for us can help us experience God’s love more deeply.

To read more from Deeply Loved, find the book at your favorite retailer or download the ebook for half price for a limited time only from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christian Book Distributors!

About the Author:

Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of ten books, a freelance writer and speaker. She writes and speaking about slowing down, simplifying and listening to God. To learn more, join Keri on a 40 day Lent study of her book on Facebook or by following her on Twitter (@KeriWyattKent #DeeplyLoved).

Excerpt from Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus by Keri Wyatt Kent. © by Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick of Ireland (fifth century)

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

Recovering reliable historical information about many of the saints is difficult if not impossible, and Saint Patrick (c. 390–461) is no exception. Born in Scotland, Patrick was imprisoned and taken to Ireland when he was about sixteen years old. He retuned to Scotland, only to have a dream in which the people of Ireland called out to him, “we beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once again.” He did return, and although the details are obscure and the legends are large, he wandered and ministered in Ireland for over thirty years, converting the nation.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Books, Books, and More Books!

Time to do a bit of book review catch up. I've decided in 2013 to do less book reviewing for publishers, and more book reviewing from my own library. (Although I just received an advance copy of Dan and Chip Heath's new book - without requesting it -- Decisive: How to Make Better choices in Life and Work. Not complaining!)

I logged only 17 books read last year, well short of my goal of 24.  But in January and February 2013 I already finished five books! January business travel was very good for book reading as was my two-to-three-hours-a-day compute to my client's offices.

The Weight of Mercy, Deb Richardson-Moore
This book is a must read for all who serve at Open Door fellowship/Ministries or those simply passionate for the poor. I laughed throughout this wonderful memoir of a journalist turned pastor of an inner city ministry. Her journey paralleled our own that I savored her words. She like us went to seminary at mid-life -- simply following God's call. And like us she landed in an unexpected place. The inner city of West Greenville, North Carolina. Her stories of the addicted, homeless poor, emotionally and spiritually impoverished could easily have been written about those in the Open Door Fellowship congregation. She learned so many of the lessons we did, the hard way. There is no manual for such ministry. This is a wonderful and entertaining read.

Leadership 101, John Maxwell
This great book was "read" on my drive to work - a minimum one hour each way weather depending. Yep, it was an audio book. But I enjoyed it so much that I now have The Complete 101 Collection. Leadership 101 is one of eight books in the collection, and has great counsel on the development of a leader, the traits of a leader adn the impact of a leader. A great audiobook for my commute.

The Hidden Life of Prayer, David McIntrye
This was one of those Kindle finds that I couldn't resist at $.99 - thank you Tim Challies for the recommendation. Well, this little book is more than worth the change. It's quite a treasure. I read it on an airplace ride to Florida (business!) and I kept highlighting passage after passage. It is written by David McIntyre (1859 – 1938), a Scottish preacher and Principal of the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow from 1913 to 1938. I do love Scottish preacher: "The soil in which the prayer of faith takes root is a life of unbroken communion with God, a life in which the windows of the soul are always open towards the City of Rest."

Living in the Land of Enough, Courtney Carver
And this was the ebook I read on the flight home. Another quick read and inexpensive Kindle acquisition - $.99! This is a book about choice. Choosing to choose less. The chapters span the topics of Money, Time, Diconnect, Food, Space, Entertainment, Gratitude and the simple fact that You are Enough. I love that last one. I think it's the reason I stuggle with Much. Great ideas, great encouragement.

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, Patrick Lencioni
This is my new favorite business book -- and a great "read" on my commute to client's offcies. I was introduced to the content at this past year's Global Leadership Summit. I'm a big fan of Patrick Lencioni and I believe this is his best book yet. This is one of those rare business books that is about the hard and soft sides of a successful business. I was chewing on a variety of topics as I went through it -- sharing with my husband and how it applied to the Church and with clients about how the information could challenge their organization. Excellent. We picked up the hard copy on this one for future reading.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Burning in the Bush

I have much on my mind. So much change in the wind and then altogether stuck - all at the same time. So much security that I've always counted on is not security at all. I no longer have the carefree attitude of one who draws a regular, predictable paycheck. I am married to a man who walked away from a corporate career when God spoke to him in a proverbial burning burn. So we serve.

I spent the afternoon talking with a friend who must choose between security and hope. So many tough and unfair things have crossed her path over the years; many too recently. How to choose when another life is your responsibility and you have no one else to fall back on. Just God. Thank God. Just God.

Me too. I am undoing the false gods; they are burning in that bush.