There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for the discipline of inefficiency

choosing less…gaining more

nice little ditty here by Phil Ryken on how to recover some sense of stability in a world that destabilizes by overloading you with options and stimulus.

turning the Day of thanks into a Life of thanks

wherever you might be flying to, or riding to, it might help you pass the time to download and listen to this track, and add to your thinking and praying about the centrality of thanksgiving. (It’s free so long as you register with the White Horse Inn’s podcast; don’t worry, you’ll receive no emails).

And do let us know your initial impressions of trying your heart at that ancient spiritual practice of Lectio Divina we explored last Sunday. (Here and here are the front and back sides of the bookmark instructions we distributed). Anyone feeling the need to go through detox from your need for stimulus? Tozer’s words, written well before laptops or ipods, are even more relevant to our situation:

Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again.

A.W. Tozer, Of God and Men

So, pause, reflect. Sit still.

May your attentiveness to His grace lead you to thanks that is real and abiding.

overloaded? there’s a cost you may not have considered…

“The more we watch the lives of men, the more we see that one of the reasons why men are not occupied with great thoughts and interests is the way in which their lives are overfilled with little things ” –Phillip Brooks

Phillip Ryken, pastor of 10th Street Presbyterian Church in Philly, quoted Mr. Brooks in a short essay about how we might overcome overload.

I needed to hear this. . .

in search of nothing

I’ve spoken about the need to engage in solitude before here, but even if you felt the urge to do so, would you know a place where you could hope to find true quiet? Do such places exist in our locale that don’t require an hour-long commute each way? Funny you should ask. Have a look at this link: http://solitudehub.blogspot.com/

“Peace, be still”

perhaps our most embarrassing lack

Brother Roger took James’ words of being “quick to listen, slow to speak” and established an entire sacred space around them. Taize is a Catholic retreat center in southern France where pilgrims, both Catholic and Protestant, seek a quieter, more devotedly prayerful refuge. Brother Roger was killed two weeks ago by a deranged woman. His desire to make capacious room for prayer is not thwarted though.

Why do we find lingering silence so unnerving? Why, when we gather in groups to pray do we feel the need to either cut short or fill up the moments of “nothing?”