Growth in destruction

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it looks like complete destruction.” - Cynthia Occelli


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I read this quote this morning and it has shaken the dust from something in me. There is an awareness to have in the moments when everything breaks down or falls apart, an awareness and recognition of the potential for beauty and growth that now begins in those otherwise desperate moments.

When I Preach

When I preach or speak, I hope for the inner-dialogue from those who listen to resonate with the words of Henri Nouwen in his book Creative Ministry.

"What you say loudly, I whispered in the dark; what you pronounce so clearly, I had some suspicion about; what you put in the foreground, I felt in the back of my mind; what you hold so firmly in your hand always slipped away through my fingers. Yes, I find myself in your words because you words come from the depth of human experiences, and therefore, are not just yours but also mine, and your insights do not just belong to you, but are mine as well." (35)

This will only happen if I am willing to be known as pastor and preacher, and only if I am willing to be fully available in relationship and connection. The pastor is still a fellow man, and the moment a pastor forgets that reality, they are not a pastor. They are a performer.

Power in the Presence

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Today, I have had eternal life and power on my mind and heart. Even this morning on my walk, I had the prayer on my lips: "God has not give me eternal life; He has given me himself, and HE IS LIFE!" That is to say the Holy Spirit does not give power, the Holy Spirit is the power within me. 

Romans 6:9-11 says, "Death hath no more dominion over Him...in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God."

When I finally lay down my own life to be dead to who I once was, the gift I receive is not a new life. The gift I receive is the very presence of God in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is life and power that now resides within me. Any power or life I receive cannot be separated from God's presence or utilized apart from Him because the life and power IS Him. 

When Jesus says in John 15, "Remain in me as I remain in you" I am reminded that the eternal life I have is in this in-dwelling of Christ. That is to say life is in the very presence of God. Power is in the presence of His Spirit, and that presence is at the center of who I am.

When I live in connection and entanglement with that presence, there is power and life in my days. When I am disconnected and distracted, I live my days with less power and life than is actually available to me.