Monday, October 8, 2018

Knowing that We Don't Know

 
 

Good morning! Sharing Richard Rohr again today. May you be blessed by his meditation. 


Knowing that We Don't Know
Monday, October 8, 2018

 
I encourage you, then, to make experience, not knowledge, your aim. Knowledge often leads to arrogance, but this humble feeling never lies to you. —Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing [1]
In meditation, we move beyond doctrines and dogmas to inner experience. When we move to the level of experience, we see that this self, which is primarily a “radio receiver,” is not to be taken too seriously, for it is always changing stations and is filled with static and interference. When I am faithful to meditation, I quickly overcome the illusion that my correct thinking, or thinking more about something, can ever get me there. If that were so, every good PhD would be a saint!
You see, information is not the same as transformation. Even good and correct thinking is trapped inside my little mind, my particular culture, my form of education, my parental conditioning—all of which are good and all of which are bad. Great mysteries are naturally experienced and known within our small and limited contexts, so we should be much more humble about our own opinions and thoughts. How could the Infinite ever be fully or rightly received by the mere finite?
Alongside all our knowing must be the equal and remaining “knowing that I do not know.” That’s why the classic schools of prayer spoke of both kataphatic knowing—through images and words—and apophatic knowing—through silence, symbols, and beyond words. Apophatic knowing is the empty space around the words, allowing God to fill in all the gaps in an “unspeakable” way. The apophatic way of knowing was largely lost to the West by the time of the Reformation in the 16th century, and Western Christianity has suffered because of it. We wanted to match the new rationalism with what felt like solid knowing, and we mimicked the secular mind instead of what Paul calls “knowing spiritual things in a spiritual way” (1 Corinthians 2:13). We lost the unique access point of the mystics, the poets, artists, and saints (who usually did not even know they were using this alternative consciousness).
Strangely enough, this unknowing is a new kind of understanding. We do have a word for it: the old word faith. Faith is a kind of knowing that doesn’t need to know for certain and yet doesn’t dismiss knowledge either. With faith, we don’t need to obtain or hold all knowledge because we know that we are being held inside a Much Larger Frame and Perspective. As Paul puts it, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known myself” (1 Corinthians 13:12). It is a knowing by participation with—instead of an observation of from a position of separation. It is knowing subject to subject instead of subject to object.
It took me years to understand this, even though this is straight from the Franciscan school of philosophy. Love must always precede knowledge. The mind alone cannot get us there (which is the great arrogance of most Western religion). Prayer in my later years has become letting myself be nakedly known, exactly as I am, in all my ordinariness and shadow, face to face, without any masks or religious makeup. Such nakedness is a falling into the unified field underneath reality, what Thomas Merton called “a hidden wholeness,” [2] where we know in a different way and from a different source. This is the contemplative’s unique access point: knowing by union with a thing, where we can enjoy an intuitive grasp of wholeness, a truth beyond words, beyond any need or capacity to prove anything right or wrong. This is the contemplative mind which religion should have directly taught, but which it largely lost.
 

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.
 
 
[1] The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counsel, trans. Carmen Acevedo Butcher (Shambhala: 2009), 224-225.
[2] Thomas Merton, “Hagia Sophia: Dawn,” In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton, ed. Lynn R. Szabo (New Directions: 2005), 65.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014), 15-16.
Image credit: Stars and Clouds at Nighttime (detail), Arnie Chau.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

66/100Days of Bible Promises

Welcome and good morning!

Can't really explain why I haven't been around much; just being a slacker I guess. :)

I'm still working in my devotional and started another one yesterday. Those challenges still keep calling to me. lol

Day 66

(click on pic for larger view.)


I have so many reasons to praise the lord on any given day, but I love how I have learned to let Him lighten my burdens. I am training myself to give my difficulties over to God for help. It has truly been amazing how much lighter I feel. God will fight your battles for you and He is so much better and more equipped to do so. Our part is to just pray for that help and sit back, listen and watch. Praise Him in every situation, even when you don't feel like praising Him. Especially when you don't! Our job, the reason we were created, is to praise Him all day long.
Give Him thanks and praise!!
Try it.
It just might change your life.
It has changed mine.

Gratitude
1. Praising God
2. Pets
3. Family

Psalm 66:8
Praise our God, you peoples;
let the sound of His praise be heard!!

Blessings,
Deborah


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Straighten That Crown!

Welcome and blessings.

I'm having one of those "feeling really blessed" days.
You know the kind.
We always feel blessed, but once in a while a day comes along and you just feel it deep within your soul.
It rocks your world.
Yes, that feeling!
Yesterday, I wrote in my journal for the first time in two months and wrote three poems.
The healing has begun.
Praise God.

I'm working on day 47 in my "100 Days of Bible Promises," and the title today is,
"Enduring Through Trials."



As I'm reading through the verses, I remembered this meme I saw and saved a year or so ago and found it in my files. Sorry, I don't know who originally posted it or made it, but it hit me hard and I started to cry with joy. I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE KING! And so are you! We are sons and daughters of the King and on those dark days we need to straighten our crowns and remember that. How easily we can forget.
We also know how the book ends. *smiles*



Sending love and hugs to you, my dear readers. Times are tough and we need all the help we can get these days.

Gratitude
1. A loving God
2. A leap of faith
3. Trials that strengthen

1Corinthians 10:13
God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Blessings,
Deborah

Monday, July 9, 2018

38/100 Days of Bible Promises and Bible Journaling Resources

Welcome and Good Morning!

Today I want to share with you where I get some of my Bible journaling supplies and day 38 of "100 Days of Bible Promises."


And maybe even Day 37. :)



(Click on pictures for larger view.)

The graphics on these two pages are found in the digital section at
"Sweet 'n' Sassy Stamps."
http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/new/

and
Praise and Pray Etsy Shop
https://www.etsy.com/shop/PraiseandPray

Another Etsy shop I use is Bible Journal Love
https://www.etsy.com/shop/BibleJournalLove?ref=l2-shopheader-name

I receive no compensation for sharing these shops.

Gratitude
1. Faith like a mustard seed
2. Striving for faith that can move mountains
3. Camping trip tomorrow!

1Peter 3:15
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Blessings,
Deborah



Saturday, July 7, 2018

36/100 Days of Bible Promises

Welcome and blessings.

A very good message.


 (click on picture for larger view.)

I struggle with waiting and patience. This was a good lesson for me to read. I am learning to wait on the Lord. 

I pray.
I believe.
I wait.

But, sometimes, not without tapping my foot. *smiles*

Gratitude
1. Learning patience
2. Learning to wait
3. Rejoicing in answered prayer

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

Blessings,
Deborah

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Grief & 100 Days of Bible Promises

Welcome and blessings!

I've been working in my devotional, "100 Days of Bible Promises," almost daily and it has really been helping me with my grieving. The upbeat daily devotionals and scripture reminders have helped me remember that God is near in every aspect of my life, especially when I'm in the valleys of darkness. Reading and finally feeling like being creative has given my spirit a huge lift. I'm beginning to see a light at the end of tunnel. That is not to say I don't still miss the people I love and have lost. It just doesn't feel so raw now. I can make it through a day without crying when I think of them. Not everyday yet, but I'm getting there. It all takes time and everyone has their own way to deal and their own pace to get there. Rushing and denying only makes it last longer. The people I lost were all worth grieving over. They were kind, loving people who should be missed and grieved for. There will be an empty spot inside me for the rest of my life, but I know I will see them again and that helps a little. Not a lot right now, to be honest, since I don't know when that will be. But it is something to look forward to.

Here are a few of my pages.









Click on the photos for a larger image.

Gratitude
1. The Creator
2. Ways to create
3. The Holy Spirit

Isaiah 40:31
Those who trust in the Lord
will find new strength.
They will soar high
on wings like eagles.
They will run and
not grow weary.
The will walk
and not faint.

Blessings,
Deborah

Saturday, June 23, 2018

24/100 Days of Bible Promises

Welcome and Good Afternoon!

I'm sharing another page in the devotional, "100 Days of Bible Promises."

Today's title is "Put on the Armor of God."

I feel like I've been in a spiritual battle most of my life. This past year especially. It comes and goes, but one thing I have noticed; that after a dark spell or battle, I feel closer to God. Lessons are learned in the battle that I don't think I would have learned otherwise. They are like a wake up call and I find myself stronger in my beliefs and I have added another layer of armor. I feel like I can fly and my soul feels refreshed!



I found the armor graphics on Pinterest a long time ago. I went back and tried to find them again, but could not. I'm sorry I can't give the person credit who made them. Thank you, whoever you are.
(click on photo for a larger view)

Gratitude
1. God's word to fight the battles
2. Supportive friends and family
3. Shanna Noel for writing this book

Ephesians 6:11-12
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.
For our battle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the spiritual forces of evil.

Blessings,
Deborah

Knowing that We Don't Know

    Good morning! Sharing Richard Rohr again today. May you be blessed by his meditation.  Knowing tha...