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Love Liberates

“I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.'”

— Dr. Maya Angelou

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“There is no higher achievement in all the world than to be a person in community, and this is the call of every Christian. The vows that are made when we become members of the church are vows we live into everyday of our lives. They are more than an oath to stick around with a particular group of people…. This Transformation which takes place as we try to live out our lives with those who are also called to be on this inward path is simply learning to live by love… learning to be persons in community with other persons.”

– Elizabeth O’Connor

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The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do
not usually look for it. It comes the very moment when you
wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day
rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning
consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that
other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other
larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all
day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and
frettings; coming in out of the wind.

We can only do it for moments at first. But from those
moments the new sort of life will be spreading through our
system: because now we are letting Him work at the right part
of us. It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid
on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through.

– C.S. Lewis

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One Whisper of the Beloved

Lovers share a sacred decree –
to seek the Beloved.
They roll head over heels,
rushing toward the Beautiful One
like a torrent of water.

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

He will melt your pride
making you thin as a strand of hair,
Yet do not trade, even for both worlds,
One strand of His hair.

We search for Him here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
“O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”

Enough with such questions! –
Let silence take you to the core of life.

All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.

– the Beloved As God, poetry of Rumi

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May I feel your presence
at the heart of my desire,
and so know it for Your desire for me.
Thus shall I prosper,
thus see that my purpose is from You,
thus have power to do the good which endures.

Show me what a blessing it is
that I have work to do.
And sometimes,
and most of all
when the day is overcast
and my courage faints,
let me hear Your voice, saying,
‘You are my beloved one
in whom I am well pleased.’

Hands, Lord, Your gift to us,
we stretch them up to You.
Always You hold them.

– from prayers of Oswald of Northumbria (605-42), in Celtic Daily Prayer

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Lord of all being and source of every blessing, we thank you for all good things:
for life and love, for health and food, for work and home, for nature’s beauty and
comfort, for human skills and laughter, for memory and hope, and for everything
in this past week which has given us pleasure, nourishment, and strength.

– Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland

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“God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love.”

– Henry Drummond

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Spirit of the Living God

1 Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

2 Spirit of the living God, move among us all;
make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love:
humble, caring, selfless, sharing.
Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love.

– author st. 1 Daniel Iverson (1926)
– author st. 2 Michael Baughen (1982)

Copyright: st. 1 © 1935, 1963 Birdwing Music (ASCAP); st. 2 © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved

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Still

Still
trying.
Still
breathing.
Still
unclenching.
Still
striving
to be
still.
To hold
still.
To practice
still(ness).
To live into
still(ness).
Still.

– Posted by Rachel Hackenberg at Faith and Water

CREATING COMMUNITY

What’s the most important thing I can say about the Holy Spirit?
Power?
Tongues?
Gifts?
No.
Fellowship!

Yes, fellowship is
the deepest work of God’s Spirit.
The Spirit of God
is drawing us
all of the time
into a common life
with one another.

That is the central work
of God’s Spirit –
creating community.

– Creating Community by Trevor Hudson, South Africa
From The Way of Transforming Discipleship