Monday, July 18, 2016

When you see a good man, follow him; when you see a bad man, check your heart. –Chinese proverb

So Frank Ross opened Jack’s teaching yesterday by singing a soulful “You’ve Got a Friend.”
And Jack closed with the reminder, “Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, and He’ll be there, yeah, yeah. You have a friend.”

O LORD, I cry to you for help; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:14

And since I seem to be turning into a church-hopping junkie, I listened to Mike address anxious thoughts that can so easily imprison us, while Jesus holds out the key to freedom for the taking.

We have a friend.

And Jack explained what true intimate friendship looks like. A friend loves at all times; a friend is born for adversity; iron sharpens iron; wounds from a friend can be trusted–painful and plain words for restoration. A friend can love you so much that he has the courage to tell you the truth.

And the word from My Friend this morning, echoed the reminder from Jack about first dealing for the beam in our own eye before we start pointing out the specks in the eye of the other and addresses the anxious thoughts that come from trying to manage one’s own life alone, on one’s own strength, wisdom and self-justifying versus Him-justified accusations.

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14

Thérèse of Lisieux surrendered herself to God's mercy, as did the publican, with confidence that 'What pleases God is that He sees me loving my littleness and my [inner] poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy.'" We are all saved by pure grace, no exceptions. We must never live in such a way that grace is not needed hour by hour. –Richard Rohr

And somehow this all ties together in my heart.

Cameron and Alan led us through the Audrey Assad song that has been on “repeat” in my little black car all week long, and which was waiting for me this morning as well.

You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law You set me free
You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law You set me free

In the silence of the heart You speak
In the silence of the heart You speak
and it is there that I will know You 
and You will know me
in the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak.

You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
in the work of the Spirit I cannot see.
You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
in the work of the Spirit I cannot see.

In the silence of the heart You speak. 

 My Friend speaks truth.
Which leads to humble confession.
And freedom.
Be anxious for nothing.
Hour by hour.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your servant who calls upon you, and grant that I may know and understand what things I ought to do, and that I also may have the grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.