Christianity 201

November 10, 2015

Disciples’ Interest in Prayer Wasn’t Academic; They Saw Its Power

“Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he finished, they said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” – Luke 11:1

Today we visit another member blogger from Faithful Bloggers, Irvin J. Boudreaux, whose background is quite varied. As always, click the title below to read this where it was first published, and then look around the blog for other material, as this writer uses an interesting collection of classical writings.

Having a Prayer

Some years ago, when Leonard Griffith was pastor of the famous City Temple in London, he wrote a fascinating book entitled Barriers to Christian Belief. In that book he dealt with some problems that have over the years been real obstacles and stumbling blocks for people in their faith pilgrimage… specific problems that hinder people, that burden people, that disturb people… and keep them away from the Christian faith. One of the barriers he listed was…”unanswered prayer.” It does seem to be a fact of our experience that many people do get discouraged and they do give up and drop out on the faith because they feel a sense of failure in their prayer life.

This leads us to ask then… “How do you pray?” “Why pray at all?” “When do you pray?” “Is there a special formula or a sacred language that should be used?” One thing is clear. There are many questions and there is much misunderstanding about how you pray and why. In a Peanuts cartoon Charlie Brown is kneeling beside his bed for prayer. Suddenly he stops and says to Lucy, “I think I’ve made a new theological discovery, a real breakthrough. If you hold your hands upside down, you get the opposite of what you pray for.”

Prayer must be more than an emergency magical lamp rubbed in a crisis. The truth is that many people give up on prayer because they never understand what prayer is. Much that passes for prayer is irrational, superstitious, and self-centered, and is therefore unworthy of the pattern of the prayer that Jesus offered to us his disciples.

How do you pray and why? We are not the first to ask. The disciples of Jesus came to Him one day and said, “Lord, teach us. Teach us to pray!” Notice something here. When did the disciples ask for this? When did they make this request? Was it after Jesus gave a lecture on prayer? No! Was it after Jesus led a seminar on prayer? No! Was it after Jesus preached a powerful sermon on prayer? No! None of these. Remember how it is recorded in Luke 11… “Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he finished, they said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” They saw the power of prayer in Him. They saw how important prayer was to Him. See the point.

Harry Emerson Fosdick stresses it in his book, The Secret of Victorious Living. “Note that this awakened interest in prayer came not at all from new arguments about it, but from a new exhibition of its power. Here, before their very eyes, they saw a personality in whom prayer was vital and influential! The more they lived with him, the more they saw that they could never explain him or understand him unless they understood his praying and so not at all because of new arguments, but because of amazing spiritual power released in him by prayer. They wanted him to tell them how to pray.”

The disciples sometimes were slow to learn, but at this point they were quickly and precisely on target. They saw in Jesus the answer to this question: how do we pray and why do we pray? And they learned from Him what the elements are that lead to a meaningful prayer life.


I really enjoyed looking around Irwin’s blog. We don’t usually do this, but here’s a bonus for today, a shorter article on piece. Again, click the title below to bookmark this, forward it to a friend, or link to it on Facebook.

The Peace We Seek

The peace Jesus gives to us through the Holy Spirit is more than we can ever imagine.

  • Peace means the cessation of all warfare, but it also means much more.
  • Peace means a feeling of inner well-being, but it also means much more.
  • Peace means an end to psychological tensions, but it also means much more.
  • Peace means halting interpersonal conflicts, but it also means much more.
  • Peace means the settling of silence on the soul, but it also means much more.

In Valyermo, California , the Benedictines converted a 400-acre ranch into a religious community called St. Andrew’s Priory. As you enter the grounds, you find that the land is posted: “No Hunting Except for Peace.”

The world is hunting for peace. What will we give it?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

— Jesus

Prayer

Jesus our peace, if our lips keep silence, our heart listens to you and also speaks to you. And you say to each one of us: surrender yourself in all simplicity to the life of the Holy Spirit; for this, the little bit of faith you have is enough. Amen

January 31, 2013

Coming Forth As Gold

This was sent me for reasons that are entirely personal and not for the blog. So if the sender sees it here, I want to be clear that I wasn’t missing the point. But now I want to share it with everyone here. It’s from The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s daily devotional website, where it appeared as Lost.

Job 23:10-11 – But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. (NIV)

Fog! Thick, swirling, engulfing fog! And I was hopelessly lost. I had decided to take a shortcut home to save time, but now I had absolutely no idea where I was. My GPS was in a drawer somewhere in my house, and I no longer carried maps because I had a GPS. How ironic!

I crawled along slowly, for fear of running off the road or meeting another car in the middle of the road. As I squinted through the ghostly tendrils curling across my window, I noticed a cross-road ahead, but I couldn’t make out any signs. Feeling a sense of panic beginning to build up, I decided to pull off onto the shoulder, and putting on my flashers, I did the only thing I could under the circumstances: I began to pray.

Suddenly, a verse from the Bible popped into my mind:

Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (NIV)

For a moment, I was stunned. Was that God telling me that I should follow this side road? Which way? Now I was really confused and more than a little scared.

Suddenly, out of the fog, a whirling red light appeared behind me, its rays wavering through my back window, and I heard a muffled voice on a loud hailer: “You there, in the car. Are you all right?”

The next thing I knew, there was a person standing beside my window, shining a light on his police badge. I let out a relieved sigh of gratitude. It was probably the only time in my life when I would be so happy to see a flashing red light shining through my back window!

As I began rapidly pouring out my predicament, the officer kept patiently nodding his head. I didn’t realize how uptight I had been, and I could feel the tears of relief threatening to spill out. The officer evidently saw my reaction, and he quietly asked me where I was headed.

When I told him where I lived, he said that he would drive ahead of me, and when he honked his horn, I was to turn left at the traffic lights. Then I would be on familiar ground and soon be home. It happened exactly as he had promised, and as I pulled into my driveway, I quietly bowed my head in a prayer of thanksgiving to the One who had promised so often to direct our paths.

Sometimes, when we are faced with difficult situations, we may feel that our minds are in a kind of thick fog, a state of utter confusion, possibly even to the point of panic. We know that we must make some important decisions that will affect our lives, but how do we begin? It is then that we need to stop and “pull off the road”, as it were, and be still in God’s presence, in order to calm down and hear His voice. We must turn the entire matter over to the One who has promised to guide us in the way we should go, because He knows the way.

When we follow His leading, it won’t be long until we can see clearly what we are to do, and we can move confidently in the right direction towards the goal.

Prayer: Lord, help us to rely on You every day to guide us in the way that You have planned for us. Teach us not to lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways to acknowledge You, knowing that You will direct our paths. Amen.

Sharon Greer

July 17, 2012

What Keeps You Up At Night?

Matt Brown is the founder of Think Eternity; and he and wife Michele blog at ThinkE.   This appeared this week under the title The Presence of God is the Answer.

I can’t stop thinking about a quote I heard from Matthew Barnett, Pastor of the LA Dream Center:

The Presence of God is the answer to everything that keeps us up at night.” 

That about sums it up.

What are you facing right now? What is holding you down? What is keeping you up at night? What is trying to steal your joy and your peace? What is causing deep boredom in your everyday life?

What is the answer to all of these? The Presence of God.

But how do we get the Presence of God? Moses prayed a good prayer thousands of years ago that people have been using to tap into the Presence and glory of God ever since. It goes something like this:

Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.

You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’  If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:12-18).

We don’t serve a distant God, we serve a God who cares more, who loves deeper than we know. Who is active in our lives. Consider these two Psalms:

You are near, oh Lord. Nearer to me than my foes. -Ps. 119:151

In vain you wake up early & stay up late with anxious working. For God gives blessings to His beloved even while they sleep. -Ps. 127:2

What do you need to let go of? God’s Presence can help you.

~Matt & Michelle Brown


Green letter Bible?  Usually — not every time — on this blog you’ll see scriptures in green. To me it serves as a reminder that God’s word is life!

 

October 12, 2011

A Closer Look at Jesus’ Daytimer

This is from Mark Buchanan’s book, The Rest of God

…The distinguishing mark of the purposeful is not time-management.

It’s that they notice.  They’re fully awake.  Jesus for example.  He lived life with the clearest and highest purpose.  Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next with no apparent plan in hand other than his single overarching one: Get to Jerusalem and die.  Otherwise, his days as far as we can figure were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off the cuff plans, spur of the moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of story telling…

  • who touched me?
  • you give them something to eat
  • let’s go to the other side

Jesus was available — or not — according to some oblique logic all his own. He had an inner ear for the Father’s whispers, a third eye for the Spirit’s motions. One minute he’s not going to the temple, the next he is. One minute he refuses to help a wedding host solve his wine drought, the next he’s all over it. He’s ready to drop everything and rush over to a complete stranger’s house to heal his servant but dawdles four days while Lazarus — “the one he loves” — writhes in his death throes or fails to come at all when John — “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” — languishes on death row. The closest we get to what dictated Jesus’ schedule is his own statement in John’s gospel: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 8 NIV)

~Mark Buchanan

September 14, 2011

Corporate or Collective Forgiveness

Blogger and pastor Kevin Rogers has been spending several days [here and here] looking at the subject of forgiveness.  This one appeared recently under the title We Forgive You.

Pastor and author Stephen Crosby said, A mature Christian has capacity to absorb the offenses and weaknesses of others, not just demand they perform up to the code of ideals.’  [i]

When we are offended, isn’t it often our inclination to point out how the other has failed to keep the code? Our maturity lies not in being preachers of the ideal, but in acting graciously. Mature people have the capacity to forgive all manners of injustice directed towards them.

Henry Ward Beecher said, ‘Keep a fair-sized cemetery in your back yard, in which to bury the faults of your friends.’ [ii]

Implicit in our asking for God’s forgiveness, is the recognition that we intend to practice forgiveness toward others.

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

In one breath we ask God to forgive us. In the next breath we state our practice of forgiving others. The two thoughts are joined as if one does not exist without the other.

Is the Father reluctant to forgive us until we act that way toward others?  There are several accounts of Jesus stating this connection.

After teaching the prayer Jesus said,

Matthew 6:

14 “Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

(NIRV)

But, this is not a case of God saying ‘You go first’. This is the Father who waits ready to forgive and absorbs offense before it is acknowledged. He acts out forgiveness and initiates the first step toward us—always. He shows up to deal with offense before we are ready to face the problem.

It is likely that we cannot comprehend forgiving others until we first experience forgiveness ourselves. Forgiveness is a learned behavior.

Lewis B. Smedes said, ‘When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it.’ [iii]

As powerful as it is for you to forgive one person, there is added strength in a group of people forgiving an offender. For us to say ‘we forgive you’ opens the door to a community that works as a team. Being restored to one can mean restoration to all.


[ii] http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/forgivenessquotes.htm

[iii] http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/forgivenessquotes.htm

September 6, 2011

God’s In Charge

Ula Gillion lives in South Africa and blogs at Jesus Carries Me.  She called this post, Smooth Sailing Results in Limited Understanding.

Suggested Reading: Matthew 8:23-27

The disciples didn’t always know exactly what Jesus’ next move was going to be or what He had planned ahead, but they followed Him nevertheless.  “He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.” They didn’t get very far with Jesus when a sudden storm came up. These were seasoned fishermen. They were well acquainted with the weather patterns and recognized the signs of an impending storm, but this “furious” storm caught them off-guard, nonetheless. The Greek word used to describe the intensity of the storm is the word seismos, a word related to the word we use to measure the intensity of an earthquake (seismic activity). The storm was so severe that it caused a shaking similar to that of an earthquake, and in no time the waves were sweeping over the boat.

But, amazingly, throughout the shaking and the strong gale force winds and the water sweeping into the boat, “Jesus was sleeping…” I suppose it is easy to take a nap in the middle of a storm if you know you are in control of things. Jesus could sleep because He knew He was in control of the winds and waves. The problem, however, was the disciples didn’t know that He was aware of the storm. They did however believe He could do something about it and filled with fear, they decided to wake Him up. “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Although they have at this point not yet fully grasped who Jesus was, they nevertheless knew that they could call to Him for help. It does appear that they thought the storm will take Jesus by surprise. They were about to discover that not only was He fully aware of the storm, but with a simple word nature’s power will bow down to His. At that moment  they called for Him to help, I wonder what it is precisely they thought He would do about the storm. One thing is certain; they did not expect Him to settle the problem with a single word. He spoke and it grew “completely” calm. Not a little calmer or considerably calmer. It grew completely calm through a word out of our Lord’s mouth.

Evidence that they did not expect this result is in the stunned silence that followed.  Their jaws dropped to their feet and they exclaimed, “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” That is why He asked them why they had so little faith. They didn’t yet understand that this Man with them in the boat is the Lord of all the earth. They did not yet understand that He is the One through whom all things have been created and that all things will therefore obey Him. They did not yet understand that God placed all things under His feet –that with them in the boat was the One called Immanuel –God with us. God Himself was with them in that boat.

Do we really grasp the One who is with us in the boat when we go through the storms of life? Do we really understand that He only needs to speak one word and then everything will grow completely calm? Do we know that He can do with one word what we have been struggling for years to achieve? We need only to call on that name –the Name of Jesus, and all the powers of the universe will have to obey His command. He will never allow His own to be destroyed. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us.

Whatever storms we face will only be allowed to develop us and never to destroy us. Because of this storm His followers gained a greater understanding of who Jesus was. Had it not been for the storm, they may have continued for a while longer with their limited perception of Jesus. The storm revealed another aspect of His glory. The storm looked big and monstrous, but only until Jesus spoke. When He speaks our storms will appear minute in comparison to His power. Just as it happened for the disciples, our storms may give us deeper insight into the glorious power of our Lord. Without the storms, we may still continue limiting Him in our minds. Smooth sailing results in limited understanding of God, so let us praise Him in the storm!

 

March 9, 2011

Looking for Satisfaction

Today we join Trenton, Missouri pastor Doug Franklin at a blog whose title says it all: I Refuse to Play Church.  This item appeared on his blog under the title Satisfaction.

Do you ever feel like the old Rolling Stones song “Satisfaction“? The song says, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

We all have a desire to be satisfied. We search out satisfaction through money, food, relationships, entertainment, jobs, hobbies, exercise, and all kinds of things that are both good for us and bad for us. We have a need to be satisfied and we try different things to satisfy the feeling of being unsatisfied.

No matter what we try we are left singing with Mick Jagger, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” This is because there is really only one thing that can truly satisfy us. The things of this world may give us temporary relief, temporary happiness, temporary highs but, they will never totally satisfy us. The emptiness that each of us have can only be filled by God. There is nothing in all of creation that can satisfy us completely, the stuff will always leave us unsatisfied. Satisfaction comes from the Creator of everything.

Psalm 17:15
“As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”

There is truly only one thing that can satisfy us forever and always. All other things leave us wanting more. They leave us empty. WE will continue to sing over and over, “I can’t get no satisfaction. But, I try. But, I try. I can’t get no satisfaction.”

The emptiness that you feel can only be filled by God. You and I will be satisfied, fully and completely by Christ. Seek him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

January 27, 2011

The Chastisement Of Our Peace


He was wounded for our transgressions.

Those words, from the KJV of Isaiah 53:5 are probably among the scripture verses most known by heart.

By his stripes we are healed.

If you grew up Pentecostal or Charismatic, there is no escaping teaching on that part of the verse; no escaping the connect-the-dots between the scourging Christ suffered and the healing that is available to us today, in the 21st century.

But what about the third of the four clauses in that verse?  Here’s the whole verse in the new NIV:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah, in this Messianic prophecy is saying that Christ’s suffering has brought us forgiveness for our transgressions and iniquities as well as (if you’re not dispensationalist) healing of mind and body.

But there it is, in the second-to-last, a reference to peace.

I mention all this because of a post I did this morning at Thinking Out Loud, where a U.S. pastor had his congregation complete an index card indicating the trials they were facing and the burdens they were carrying.  If Isaiah 53 applies, then it must apply to the point of bringing peace to the very doubts, anxieties, fears, angers, jealousies, anger, pride, insecurities, addictions, pain, disappointments, attitudes… and everything else that people mentioned on those little 3-by-5 cards.

First, let’s do some translation hopping:

  • He took the punishment, and that made us whole (Message)
  • The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him (NASB)
  • the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him (Amplified)
  • He was beaten so we could be whole.  (NLT)
  • The punishment which gives us the peace has fallen on him (tr. of French – Louis Segond)

Clearly, the intent of this verse is that our peace is part of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

The New International Bible Commentary says:

Peace and healing view sin in terms of the estrangement from God and the marring of sinners themselves that it causes.

The ESV Study Bible notes on this verse concur:

His sufferings went to the root of all human vice.

Lack of peace as sin?  Worry and anxiety as sin?  That’s what both of these commentators seem to say.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary makes clear however that the peace that is brought is a general well-being, not simply addressing the consequences of sin.

But in the Evangelical Bible Commentary, something else is suggested, that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is bringing a peace that represents the restoration between God and man.

Many of the other commentaries and study Bibles I own do not directly address this phrase.  A broader study of the chapter reveals a Messiah suffering for all of the burdens we bear, such as the ones listed above in the pastor’s survey.  (“Oh, what peace we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear…”)

I’d be interested if any of you can find any blog posts or online articles where this particular phrase is addressed apart from the wider consideration of the verse as a whole.

At this point, let’s conclude by saying that the finished work of Christ on the cross is sufficient for all manner of needs we face; all types of burdens we carry.

 

September 13, 2010

Some Monday Thoughts on Sabbath Rest

This is from Stanley Groothof who blogs from British Columbia (BC) Canada at the blog, The 4th Point.   It was written mid-July…



My family recently returned home from a sunny, week-long vacation at Lakelse Lake Provincial Park near Terrace BC. Once again I experienced how resting can be hard work.  It does not come naturally to me.  I might step out of the office and leave the building, but I’ll still take my work with me in my mind – thinking over sermons, wondering about particular people, planning meetings and ministries.  My body might be out of town, but sometimes it takes two or three days before my brain begins its vacation.  And often a day or two before our scheduled return, my brain already begins thinking it’s back in the office.  Just because we say we’re resting or just because it looks like we’re resting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are!

Taking a break is not easy.  It means letting go, and I have a hard time doing that.  I want to stay involved (read: I don’t want to be out of the loop and/or not in control).  I want to be continually productive (read: I don’t want to disappoint people who might get the impression I’m lazy).

Nevertheless God tells me and you to take a break, to engage in Sabbath rest.  In His mercy, He does not want to watch us burn out, even if it’s by doing good and worthwhile things.  Our physical and emotional health is important to God.

But I think even more importantly, in telling me to rest, God is inviting me to trust.  He reminds me that the world will not spin off its axis if I take a break.  In her book Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Marva Dawn speaks of God’s Sabbath invitation to rely on Him, to “let God be God in our lives” (p. 29).  Sabbath rest teaches me to recognize when and where I am trying too hard on my own to secure my future without trusting God or sensing His presence.  Rest keeps things in perspective.

I like Mark Buchanan’s double definition of Sabbath.  In The Rest of God, he has the familiar definition that it is a day, typically Sunday in the Protestant tradition.  But he also defines Sabbath as an attitude:

A Sabbath heart is restful even in the midst of unrest and upheaval.  It is attentive to the presence of God and others even in the welter of much coming and going, rising and falling.  It is still and knows God even when mountains fall into the sea.

You will never enter the Sabbath day without a Sabbath heart. (p. 4)

It doesn’t come naturally (spiritual disciplines typically don’t), but part of trusting God means resting, observing Sabbath – Sabbath moments, Sabbath days, Sabbath seasons.  It lets God be God.  And it helps me be better at being the me God wants me to be.


…Read more about sabbath:  Our graphic (above) is from an article on this subject at Sweet Tea Theology.

July 28, 2010

The Discontented Self

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:18 pm
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Today’s post is lifted from the blog Mockingbird, which, as you’ll read, excerpted it from somewhere else…

A few more priceless quotes from the book-length interview Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, pg. 256-57, this time touching on the black hole of ambition, inwardly-speaking, in regards to the law:

The great lie of the [ocean-liner] cruise is that enough pleasure and enough pampering will quiet this discontented part of you. When in fact, all it does is up the requirement… I can remember being twenty-four years old and having my, you know, smiling mug in The New York Times Book Review, and it feeling really good for exactly like ten seconds.

And then you’re hungry for more. So that, clearly, I mean if you’re not stupid, you figure out that the real problem is the discontented self. That all this stuff that you think will work for a second, but then all it does is set up a hunger for more and better.

And… that general pattern and syndrome seems to me to get repeated, at least in our culture, for our kind of plush middle-class part of the culture, over and over and over again in a million different arenas. And that we don’t seem to get it. We do not seem to get it…

It may be that those ambitions are what get you to do the work, to get the exposure, to realize that the original ambitions were misguided. Right? So that it’s a weird paradoxical link. If you didn’t have the ambitions, you’d never find out that they were sort of deluded.

Mark 8:36-37 (NLT) And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?

June 11, 2010

Practicing God’s Presence

O.K.,  I’ll admit it.   I am the last person on earth to get around to reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.   Actually, it’s only a few dozen pages, but I am slowly working my way through this classic.

It’s written in an older style of English for one thing.   Not exactly Shakespeare, but I have to read a single sentence several times in order to get what I think it means.

But mostly it’s a rich text. And no, I don’t mean “rich text” in the HTML sense.   I mean it’s deep. Simple, but very, very profound.

Much like Brother Lawrence himself.   This guy had no real claim to fame.   He would be voted “least like to have inspired a Christian book that has sold millions of copies.”

In the monastery where he served, he was the guy who worked in the kitchen.   That’s it.   Every once in awhile he got sent out on some purchasing mission which, to hear how it stressed him, you would think it was a trans-Atlantic crossing.

But he trusted God for everything.   In everything.   Through everything.

But it was never a big deal.   For him it was natural.

He could pray a formal prayer, but when it done, then he would simply go back into the normal, ongoing discourse he had going with God.   And the latter type of communication with God was for him, the better and more effective of the two.

He could so some act of service, but when it was done, he would go back to the mundane activity of his work, but do it as onto God.   And for him, the latter type of effort was, he felt, the higher of the two.

Kinda the opposite of how we normally see things.

I think the style of the book is actually its best asset.   You have to mine to get the nuggets of gold it contains.   And I’m only mere pages into it, just finishing the “Conversations” section.

If you’ve missed out, get a copy.    It’s certainly not an expensive book, but its worth on a “per-page” basis is way up there.