Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Holy Reminders

An email from an old friend.

“Brother Dan, in reading some of your recent writings, I perceive (and I hope that you will accept this compliment in the spirit in which I'm saying it) that you are a completely different person than the Dan Phillips that I knew. I'm guessing that somewhere along the road, God shook you to the very core of your being, because He appears to have breathed life into a valuable servant.”

Gee, who am I. Have I changed that much? Yes, we all change. Our perceptions change, as well as our goals and dreams. And, hopefully, we change in such a way that God is able to work more effectively in our lives. But these remarks did cause me to pause and ask myself, “What are the key things in your spiritual life that are important?” I call these HOLY REMINDERS!!

For tons of years I have kept a spiritual journal of “what God is doing in my life at the time.” Sometimes it is difficult re-reading these entries. But, on occasion, when I take time for a day of RE-COLLECTION I review some of the important points in my spiritual life looking for the HOLY REMINDERS. Here are a few foundation stones that I have considered recently. Certainly, they are just a few items for me to remind myself of and how they are important to me.

First, we need to RE-SURRENDER ourselves to God EVERY DAY.
A tough one. For many years the Psalms have been my favorite book of the Bible. Praying the Psalms is beneficial for the spiritual life, but in November of last year, while on a retreat, I wrote these words: KEY TO THE PSALMS – “To make use of them as a prayer that will enable us to SURRENDER OURSELVES TO GOD.” Surrendering daily to God does make a difference in our lives.

2. A second HOLY REMINDER is the importance of Prayer. I know the recent report says that prayer makes no difference in the outcome of a patient in a hospital who is prayed for. Well, I don’t believe it! I do believe that prayer may not come out as we had hoped, but I do know that God’s ultimate will is for the furtherance of HIS KINGDOM. Here are some thoughts on prayer:

Prayer Shows Our Dependence on God
Prayer is not doing something but being with someone
Prayer is “a loving exchange of friendship between God and the soul.” (St. Augustine)
When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I do not, they don’t (William Temple)

3. GOD IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WILLING TO GO THE DISTANCE WITH HIM. Caleb…….Do not be discouraged, the battle is not yours. (2 Chron.20:15)

4. GOD IS ALWAYS SEEKING TO WORK MIRACULOUSLY IN OUR LIVES.

One of my frequent prayers is “Oh Lord, let something happen here that only you can do.” I try to look back each week and find the highlights of God working in my life. Sometimes the results are surprising.

So where do we start: Maybe a prayer you carry with you everyday ! OK?

WHAT ARE THE HOLY REMINDERS IN YOUR LIFE? How about a comment?

3 Comments:

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous A said...

Dan,
Your first point about surrender hits home with me. Hits like an ouch. To me that almost says it all. It is a constant process to keep surrendering.

Very good thoughts here. Thanks.

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Ines said...

Hello!!
I don't know how to start my comment because you’re a pastor, so it should be more formal, I suppose. I looked over Father’s blog and I’m admirable of Father’s work and great achivements. With respect to today’s note, I’ve found those words very interesting and I started to wonder what’s important in my faight and why I belive. (“Our perceptions change, as well as our goals and dreams. And, hopefully, we change in such a way that God is able to work more effectively in our lives. But these remarks did cause me to pause and ask myself, “What are the key things in your spiritual life that are important?”). My wondering may seems to you quite simple and strange, but in the society I’m leaving, in my surranding, people in my age (I’m 20) do not belive in God any more. Moste of them goes to the church because they were brought up in such a faith. In every day life they are brutish and indifferent to everything, even to pain and harm. Anyway I was only looking over the websites and I’ve found Father’s blog. I wanted only to write that You’re a fantastic Father and I can only envy you you’re grate religious communitie. (My country has no more great priests, ther is only a corruption).
Thank you for reading my comment.

Ines

P.S. If I have made some mistakes, please forgive me, English isn’t my native language.

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOLY REMINDERS............They are everywhere....Urgungs to goodness in various forms...The kindness of a parent to an afflicted child...A person with loving care of an old person...the sight of a Church steeple pointing up and directing our thoughts to God...maybe a newspaper article about a good work...maybe an occasion to offer sympathy and understanding...maybe a gift that has no occasion behind it... observing the beauties of nature... sensing the Presence of God even in the dew upon the grass (This morning, they were like so many jewels refracting the early morning sun.) Thank God for the holy reminders. May we be more alert so as not to miss so many of them.

 

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