Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jesus Creeders ponder Hesed!

Abi hasn't had much time for commenting on blogs lately, but Scot McKnight's Friday is for Friends post is by Matt Edwards and talking about ... cHesed!

Having just recently finished my 40 Days of cHesed -- and being very sorry to have missed the conversation on Friday -- I chimed in late on Saturday, if anyone was still following.

This is what I said:

Scot -- woohoo! A post on hesed!

The Abbess is totally bummed to basically have missed this conversation, but I'll jump in and make an observation or two about the nature of hesed, if I may....

I believe that the point of hesed is faithful covenant-keeping -- with God and with others in the covenant. This speaks to hesed-as-agape, where we are to faithfully have deliberate affection for one another (Jesus Creed!). It also speaks to hesed-as-charis, where we are to faithfully provide grace needed rather than what might be deserved. And it also speaks to hesed-as-eleos, where are to faithfully provide mercy that initiates that which the other needs in order to be able to keep covenant.

These attitudes motivate proper response. Love responds to the other with submission -- restraining my want to their true need (not their want). Honor and respect are needs we all have, eh? But submission cannot be made when it is not supporting the other's ability to keep covenant. We cannot support covenant breaking activity -- and this is where speaking the truth in love enters.

Jesus honored Mary and Joseph in so many ways throughout his life, but he did not honor them above his Heavenly Father's will. So, the Temple at 12 and Mary and the family coming to "take Jesus home."

Grace responds to the other with service -- working for their best interest to be served. Humble service that enables another to keep covenant is a treasure.

Jesus lived a live of service to others -- and it is the indwelling Holy Spirit's grace that serves us at all times so that we may be able to keep covenant.

Mercy responds to the other with leadership -- taking initiative to help the other success in keeping covenant faithfully.

Jesus showed mercy that risks by taking the initiative to lead others toward obedience and faithfulness -- sometimes by turning over tables and taking the Elders on head to head, and sometimes by touching the untouchable and healing on the Sabbath.

Hesed is a much bigger concept than most grasp -- or, it is quite simple to comprehend (if one will take the time), but it requires the presence of, and submission to, faithful covenant-keepers around us (and the Holy Spirit within us) to help us practice this foundational faithfulness ... one relationship at a time!

Great conversation....

Blessings, all!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Take a few moments to help out....

My friend Mark sent The Abbess a link to Wayne Jacobson's blog ... where he invites readers of the amazing best-seller to take a survey about Paul Young's book, The Shack.

I have ... and encourage you to do the same. I will be interested to see if they do make the book into a movie. There are lots of pros and cons. What do you think?

And I am amazed that there are now over 7 million copies sold. WOW.

Hmmm ... I may have to read this book (that would make three times) again here soon.

Be blessed,


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Praying with St. Patrick

Green and purple are interesting together -- if done thoughtfully, now -- so this Celtic-inspired Abbess thought it might be good for us to pray with our brother, St. Patrick, on his day!

A Prayer of St. Patrick

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Abi is trying to do some reading....

I have become convinced that time goes by twice as fast for me as the rest of my family. That seems to be the only explanation for why I just can not seem to get things off my "to do list" ... or not.


But I'm still trying to live in each moment -- to be as fully "present" as I can. It is not an easy thing to do....

In the meantime, I have three new books. One I have finished (and loaned to a friend -- hi, Sue!), the second I have begun and a third that must wait just a bit longer.


The first book is what The Abbess considers a "must read" because it is the first book on "leadership" that has been truly "fresh" in a very long time. It is called Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence. I am hoping that I can find a group that will process this book with me, because I don't think it can be properly internalized without live, gracious and honest feedback. I agree with Len Sweet, who praised it at the Recalibrating Concepts of Church conference at George Fox last month ... get this book! I am grateful that they included MaryKate on the speakers panel. More on what I thought later (when I get my book, with my notes, back ;^) ... no hurry, Sue!)

The second book, which I have already begun, is Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are -- and since the other books by Neil Cole have been so resonate and influential with me, I was fairly confident this one would be to. It is looking like it will not disappoint ... again, as with Organic Church, it seems like Neil has been thinking the same thoughts and seeing the same movies as I have.

The third book is ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church, by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost ... and, like Neil, Alan's work has always resonated with me ... and I owe so much to Alan's kindness and generosity of spirit from my early blogging days at TFW -- from which sprang The Abbey....

...but I do not think I will get to any reading today.

Sigh. in the moment, being "present" to that which the Spirit sets before you, does not result is dynamic day-planning sessions -- but that's okay with this wee, purple abbess.

Shalom to you....

Monday, March 2, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 40

Day 40 Living with Purpose

Can you believe our 40 days are over?

The great news, however, is that the journey has really just begun—and that is cause for celebration! So, share the story of your journey with someone—and know that you are welcome to stay connected here for the next stage in Abi's journeys.

Today’s Look at 1 John

We hope that you have gotten to like reading the Bible through an entire section without stopping. We hope that you have been able to feel the flow of John’s thoughts and have a better understanding of John’s words. This is one habit to keep for the rest of your life!

Read 1 John chapter 5. Listen to the wonderful description of God’s amazing actions and attitudes toward us. Remember that it is God’s power continually at work in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that keeps us on target!

Keep Breathing!

Look at the amazing transformation that you have allowed God to make in your life. Treasure the intimacy you experience in your friendship with God.

Allow yourself to feel the strange sensation of joy that has no words—only silent tears streaming down your face. That is what God is feeling right now. He would welcome your company so you can share his joy.