Friday, August 28, 2015

Easily offended or loving?

John Wesley's first publication, Collection of Forms of Prayer for Every Day in the Week (1733), is part prayer book and part self-examination book.  The book is organized so that a set of self-examination questions prepare the reader for the prayer that follows.  (A sample of the book is available on Google Books.)

An abundance of Wesley-inspired self-examination questions is available on the web for those who are interested.  I've always found the lists to be too long to be helpful.  Possibly something shorter and more pointed would have more of an impact.

I found such a list in Victorious Living (also available online).  I'll let you know if the questions turn out to be an effective spiritual practice.   If you give them a try or if you have a different list, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience.

Here's the list that E. Stanley Jones got from a friend--
  1. Am I truthful?
  2. Am I honest?
  3. Am I pure?
  4. Am I easily offended, or am I loving?
  5. Am I selfish, or am I consecrated?
The fourth question is the one that really gets to me at the moment.  I think this reaction might have something to do with the presidential election season that has just began and that is already starting to offend me.  

I confess.  Yes, I am easily offended by most of the presidential candidates.  No, I do not have a loving attitude towards them.  Christ, if you want me to be loving in this situation, then you will have to work a miracle.  I trust your ability to fix what's broken in me, and I will try my best to react to your gracious intervention in an appropriate manner.

What do you know!  A set a self-examination questions followed by a prayer . . . this list just might have potential.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Contemplative worship

     The link below will take you to a podcast from the radio show The Spirit of Things.
Benedictus Contemplative Church
     The host interviews the priest and members of a church in Australia that follows a contemplative order of worship.  Their weekly worship service sounds appealing, more like a group spiritual exercise than a performance passively observed by an audience.
     Have you heard of the renewal movement of which this church is a part, World Community for Christian Meditation (

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gather Us In

Our opening hymn for worship this morning was "Gather Us In."  For those of you unfamiliar with this hymn, I found a video of someone playing a version of the tune.  Below are the lyrics to the hymn and alongside that are my reflections and reactions as we sang.