This year as with many “Holy Fridays” in the past, I am re-reading Isaiah 53 “The Suffering Servant” prophecy written some 700 yrs before Christ came. My approach to the Isaiah reading this year has varied slightly as I have introduced a practice I learned about recently called Lectio Divina Latin for divine reading. Lectio Divina is basically a prayerful Scripture reading practice that has been in use for over a thousand years. The practice is simply a way of ruminating on God’s Word and listening to what He has to say to us from Scripture.
Today marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday and today according the liturgical church calendar for millions of Christians and for 100’s of years, the church has commemorated “Ash Wednesday” (maybe you’ve noticed people with ashes on their foreheads around town)— Ash Wednesday is a day of humbling ourselves in fasting, prayer and repentance as we begin the Lenten season.
The game of Chess has gained recent popularity with the male population of the Fowler household. I admit I’m slower these days to want to learn a new thing that requires thinking strategically, and so far have avoided the competition around the dining room table.
Hope in desert places
We stood in a hospital room this past week, praying over a beautiful two year old girl who is fighting for her life. The tubes coming out of her in multiple directions and the bandages covering her head painted a bleak picture. We prayed over her parents, utterly consumed and confused by what was happening to the precious daughter. We prayed the night prior, multiple people uttering prayer after prayer. We have prayed through the past two years, multiple times, together, by ourselves, in large groups and small, loudly and softly.
“Who do you think she looks like, you or Erik?” If we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard this question in the last 9 weeks since our daughter’s birth, we’d have a pretty good chunk of change right about now. Psychologists say it’s common for us to look for recognizable characteristics in the people around us; we all look for traits, however big or small, that help us relate to each other and better make sense of our interpersonal relationships.
A few months ago I was really dealing with fear and anxiety, not something I've struggled with much in my life historically but there it was. I was losing sleep, getting frequent headaches, feeling squeezed inside and having reoccurring thoughts and dreams that exposed and exploited my fear of the future. We've all likely had things in our lives that caused fear and anxiety.
I have a dog named Astro, he's a great dane, he's a BIG guy!! When he was a puppy he didn't understand waiting for his food, he would whine, he would beg, he would jump, he would puppy pout... he didn't understand we had to mix the food, it needed to be prepared for him... dinner was on its way but it just wasn't ready yet.
Jesus taught us a prayer... it was short, covered all the bases and can easily be memorized, millions of His followers recite this prayer weekly.
God is limitless, He is BIG, He has complete knowledge of all things in every way, yet He's very close, healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds! I was struck by this at church Sunday morning listening to Phil Comer teach on prayer, one of his big ideas was simply "Prayer is a privilege."
Good Thursday Everyone,
Over the last several days we’ve looked at various aspects of friendship, constancy, carefulness, candor… today we consider this fourth and final virtue of friendship, counsel.
Good Wednesday Friends,
I wanted to share the collaborative effort of those who contributed to the friendship virtues discussion, here are the results from yesterday…
Good Tuesday Friends,
Today I have a challenge for you, give one or two attributes of a “true friend”, A friend is… I hope to collect lots of adjectives and then put then string them together to create a collaborative definition, so please go ahead and participate just give me one word or adjective and you can know you’ve contributed to a revolution!!
As the revolution marches on in our war against loneliness the next layer of “friendship” I want us to look at are the characteristics of real friendship, how would you differentiate between friends and merely companions? Remember the words of the wisdom writer…
One of the great difficulties in this journey of discovering friendship is that most of us would struggle to define what “real friendship” is… I’d venture to say the majority of modern people have companions but not friendship. The wisdom writer makes a distinction between companions and a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
As promised I’m gonna be post happy for the next several days as we launch our “friendship campaign” the war on loneliness, join the revolution!! #endloneliness
I wanted to let you in on a conversation I’m having with myself and a few others… regarding a highly valued seldom regarded practice… its called “friendship.”
I, like most of you, have a few heavy life stones that make hope difficult for me and tend to strangle my optimism and at times I’m emotionally lazy and I let despair win… but lately (meaning since last Sunday) I’ve decided to look for hope and I’ll admit I’ve had a hard time finding her… this often elusive virtue of trust that things are going to be good.
There are times when life becomes too heavy and the only prayer you have is the word… “Here.”
…like the Mom who’s been holding a screaming baby all day and her husband walks in the door and all she can say is “Here!”
For me “worry” always seemed like “little old lady syndrome”, frail people worry, weak people worry, strong people take action, capable people work hard and confidently face their problems. Thats what I used to think… then I moved out of my parents house