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Friday, January 1, 2016

And So It's A New Year...

I have made no resolutions.  However... 

Our family has just a few more Sacred Days left, and that time will be followed by Epiphany, which, for me, will begin with some Soul Care Days that I desperately need.  Mostly, I need them desperately because all of the Soul Care Days I took, last year, were saturated with crisis management, and I think I can get away for a few days, now, without that kind of distraction.  When those days draw to a close, I will jump back into school (mine and the kids') with both feet.  I cannot think of a better way to enter into Ordinary Time.

I need an ordinary year, really.  I know that's the sort of thing that most people don't wish for, but it sounds amazing to me.  More than anything, I need to reset the rhythms of my life and to spend my time on the people and things that are central to being the person I was created to be in view of the redemptive work to which God calls us to join in.

This morning, I read a post by Derek Webb that struck a chord with me in so many ways.  What resonated the most were his thoughts on personal liturgy.  He wrote that there are, "things that I don't necessarily or always believe, but I show up to recite again and again in hopes of believing them... so I'll go on reciting and adding to my liturgy in hopes of believing the words, because I wish to.  More than ever, I wish to."  This has caused me to think deeply about some words found in Scripture, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief" (Mark 9:24, NIV).

So often, I find myself in this place where belief and unbelief seem to be at war within me.  I'm not sure the very best plan is to "fake it 'til I make it," but sometimes things do become truth to us if we say them enough times.  And so I will...


  1. Your final thoughts immediately recalled to mind the following story about John Wesley:

    "Wesley spent a couple of days at Oxford, where he preached at the Castle on Sunday to a numerous and serious congregation. Then he returned to London. Ten days later he saw his mother once more at Salisbury. He was just ready to start for Tiverton to visit his eldest brother, when he received a message that Charles was dying at Oxford. He set out without delay, but found, to his great relief that the danger was past. By this means he renewed his intercourse with Bhler, who was still at Oxford, and had been at Charles Wesley’s side in his illness. “By him,” he says, “(in the hand of the great God), I was, on Sunday, the 5th” (March, 1738), “clearly convinced of unbelief of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved.” Wesley immediately concluded that he was unfit to preach. He consulted Bhler, who urged him to go on. “But what can I preach” said Wesley. “Preach faith till you have it,” said his friend “and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” This sound advice Wesley followed. It is interesting to know that the first person to whom he offered salvation by faith was a prisoner who lay under sentence of death at the Castle. Here, in the place to which his friend Morgan had introduced him more than seven years before, he began his work as a preacher of the righteousness of faith."


    I think what Bhler encouraged Wesley applies in all matters of faith, specifically salvific or otherwise, and so your thoughts here are quite good as they echo this story: "This sound advice Wesley followed..."; "...and so I will..." Way to begin the new year with some sound, encouraging Wesleyan theology! You are off to a great start! :)