Illusions of ControlNew Every Morning | November 25, 2018
CAN WE SURRENDER the mantle of trying to be, as someone has described us in our drivenness, “General Manager of the Universe?” Many of us are so accustomed to trying to be good – doing what is right, covering everything on our to-do list – that we live our lives, even our spiritual lives, at a frantic pace. We cram every minute of every day with activity and achievement, measuring our worth by what we earn or what good deeds we have done. But this beatitude [“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3)] says that approach is all wrong. When we offer to God what we cannot be or do – our weaknesses – then the kingdom is ours. God says in this beatitude, “When you give up your illusions of control and power and acknowledge your absolute need for me, all that I have opens to you.”
– Mary Lou Redding
The Power of a Focused Heart
From page 22 of The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright © 2006 by Mary Lou Redding. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does “poor in spirit” mean to you? Share your thoughts.
Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
John 18:37, NRSV
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This week we remember: Ann Eliza Worchester Robertson (November 19).
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PREPARE FOR ADVENT: Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.
I think we also need to keep in mind that faith without works is dead. While we can’t be saved by good works neither can we be saved without good works.
My interpretation of poor in spirit – is a deep, residing humility…a recognition of the need for the Spirit to purify desires, motives and actions. Knowing the darkness of my natural heart and the necessity of ongoing transformation through the work of the Spirit. Father – thank You for doing this work in me, keep me aware of my need to lean in further.
What a blessing to hear from Rusty and to hear the gratefulness in his post regarding his family. It immediately brought a smile to my face – thank you for posting Rusty. You are regularly remembered here, and prayed for – both you and K. We shall now add your daughters, their spouses and your furry friends to our lists.
Grateful for an awareness of little blessings which are not happenstance. This summer my counselor encouraged me to be on the look out for manna – God’s daily provision of blessings, sufficient for the moment. It is good to recognize and be grateful. Spent some time with my folks last evening. Mom is decorating the house – and it looks wonderful. I am trusting this is a wonderful diversion for her – and will help with her spirits. A lot of her decorations are white ceramic figures – tall, skinny fir trees; 3 wise men; snowmen – all tasteful, elegant in their simplicity. Oh how grateful I am for each day that she feels well and is willing to engage more with life.
Looking forward to church today – a continuation of last week’s sermon from Psalm 103.
I am poor in spirit when I acknowledge that it is only through God that I am able to do anything. I have no spirit without God.
Hoping to go to church, a winter weather advisory warns of ice, taking extra time. Will get ready and then check conditions outside. Hope you are all able to go to church.
So glad to hear that Rusty and K are doing fine.
Poor in spirit simply means we all need God. Without Him, we are nothing, can achieve nothing.
Blessings to all and have a great week ahead!
The last post yesterday was from Rusty! It pays to go back and check the previous day’s posts. I urge you all to do that and read what he posted.
Thank you Rusty, glad to hear from you and be updated on how you are doing. Hope we hear more from you.
Yes, Darr, I agree. Faith brings good works. Am glad Jill. that you too noticed Rusty’s post.
Poor in Spirit always meant to me that along with the joy and beauty of life , one accepts that there is suffering and one is affected by it.
Poor in Spirit…perhaps someone who is discouraged. For they shall see God.
Bracing for the predicted snowstorm. I won’t be able to do what I did last year, so that is worrisome. I am praying for only a few inches! Mother Nature is in God’s hands, as am I, so let it snow.
A calm Sunday so far.
A warm home.
An open house for a loved neighbor-hope it sells soon. She is very content at her new residence.
Relinquishing control to God reminds us that we are not all-powerful. I have so many weaknesses to offer God – good to know they will be used for good.
It is wonderful to hear that things are going well for Rusty and K. What a delight to hear from Rusty this Thanksgiving weekend.
Today I am going to the funeral of my elderly aunt, who died suddenly right before Thanksgiving. She was 93.
Blessings and prayers.
Poor in spirit means to me, those who are depressed and are without much hope. My wife was low in spirit because she had a long term painful illness (Fibromyalgia) and then developed terminal cancer. She resided in her faith
In God throughout the 20 plus years.