Illustration results for spiritual life
"LIVING LIFE UPSIDE DOWN" by Russ Lee
John has a new way of looking at life
He’s tired of his job, his kids and his wife
He says the secret to his success
Was in leaving and finding himself
Now he’s someone to somebody else.
And you say we’ve risen to a new age of truth
You’re calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit
But I say, I say,
We’ve got a program for saving the earth
While unborn children are denied their right to birth
One baby’s blessed, another cursed
Have we made this world better or worse
Now that the life of a tree comes first
And you say we’ve risen to a new age of light
You’re telling me what used to be wrong is now right
But I say, I say,
What if we’ve fallen to the bottom of a well
Thinking we’ve risen to the top of a mountain
What if we’re knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking we’re heaven bound
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we’re living life upside down.
Bishop Lalachan Abraham
QUOTATIONS ON TRUTH
Where I found truth, there found I my God, who is the truth itself (Augustine).
Genuine spiritual knowledge lies not in wonderful and mysterious thoughts but in actual spiritual experience through union of the believer's life with truth. When a truth is unfolded by God it most naturally becomes a power in man, who then finds himself able to believe (Watchman Nee).
Saints not only desire to love and speak truth with their lips, but they seek to be true within; they will not lie even in the closet of their hearts, for God is there to listen; they scorn double meanings, evasions, equivocations, white lies, flatteries, and deceptions(Charles Spurgeon).
“In fact, 15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic (money and possessions) – more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined. Why did Jesus put such an emphasis on money and possessions? Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money. We may try to divorce our faith and our finances, but God sees them as inseparable.”
- Randy Alcorn in The Treasure Principle (2001, p.8)
Ortberg notes this about the inability to love:
1. The most serious sign of hurry sickness is a diminished capacity to love. Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is one thing hurried people don’t have (87).
2. The truth is look around at our society hurried people cannot love because they are always in a hurry!
3. Ortberg adds this thought about the hurry sickness (lack of patience syndrome): It is because it kills love that hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life. Hurry lies behind much of the anger and frustration of modern life. Hurry prevents us from receiving love from the Father or gi...
In the foreward of his book, Inside Out, Larry Crabb writes this: “Modern Christianity, in dramatic reversal of its biblical form, promises to relieve the pain of living in a fallen world. The message, whether it’s from fundamentalists requiring us to live by a favored set of rules or from charismatics urging deeper surrender to the Spirit’s power, is too often the same: The promise of bliss is for NOW! Complete satisfaction can be ours this side of heaven.....
We are told, sometimes explicitly but more often by example, that it’s simply not necessary to feel the impact of family tensions, frightening possibilities, or discouraging news. [We are told that] life may have its rough spots, but the reality of Christ’s presence and blessing can so thrill our soul that pain is virtually unfelt. It simply isn’t necessary to wrestle with internal struggle and disorder. Just trust, surrender, persevere, obey.
“The effect of such teaching,” continues Crabb, “is to blunt the painful reality of what it’s like to live as part of an imperfect, and sometimes evil, community. We learn to pretend that we feel now what we cannot feel until Heaven.
But not all of us are good at playing the game. Those whose integrity makes such pretense difficult sometimes worry over their apparent lack of faith. “Why don’t I feel as happy and together as others? Something must be wrong with my spiritual life.” To make matters worse, these people of integrity often appear less mature and their lives less inviting than folks more skilled at denial. And churches tend to reward their members who more convincingly create the illusion of intactness by parading them as examples of what every Christian should be.
[But] beneath the surface of everyone’s life, especially the more mature, is an ache that will not go away. It can be ignored, disguised, mislabeled, or submerged by a torrent of activity, but it will not disappear. And for good reason. We were designed to enjoy a better world than this. And until that better world comes along, we will groan for what we do not have. An aching soul is evidence not of neurosis or spiritual immaturity, but of realism.
1. Morrie: In His Own Words By Morrie Schwartz:
· Learn how to live, and you’ll know how to die. Once you know how to die, you know how to live.
· Death ends life, not a relationship.
· Dying is only one thing to be sad over. Living unhappily is something else.
· Everything that gets born dies. The best way to deal with that is to live in a fully conscious, compassionate, loving way. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to recognize that this is the only way to live.
· Maybe the distance between life and death isn’t as great as you think. …Maybe it’s not that great chasm that you always thought it was..maybe it’s only a bridge
· If possible find and practice a spiritual connection…We can explain some of life’s questions scientifically, but I don’t think that is the full picture. I think it is clear some higher power exists. … It is something powerful.
· Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don’t wait.
· Grieve and mourn for yourself, not once or twice, but again and again.
· Get as much help as you can when you need it.
· When you are utterly frustrated or angry, express these feelings. You don’t have to be nice all the time—just most of the time
· I’m going to die—you are going to die—but I’m also going to live on in some other form.
· The best preparation to live fully is to be prepared to die at any time.
· You’re not a wave; you’re a part of the ocean.
· There’s a bird on your shoulder and every day you ask it, “Is today the day that I die? Am I ready? Am I living the life I want to live? Am I being the person I want to be?”
SPIRITUAL RIVER RAFTING
The necessary safety equipment for river rafting and spiritual river rafting:
i. The Helmet – Helmets protect the most vital and vulnerable part on a person their head – their thinking!
1. Spiritually: We need to be wearing the helmet of salvation as we ride the wave of the spirit because the river is full of obstacles, rocks, river hydraulics, hot spots, whirlpools, and drop offs.
a. The helmet is placed on our head by the Lord to protect us on our river journey.
b. The Lord made it to fit our exact size head.
ii. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
1. Life jackets – life preservers – breast plate of righteousness – wear it will keep you afloat in the water if you get knocked out of the raft.
2. Spiritually: Life jackets keep you from sinking as so does your righteousness. Your right standing with God.
iii. Rafting Clothing
1. In rafting you need to wear the right clothing to stay warm and dry.
2. Spiritually: In spiritual rafting the Shield of Faith or faith is what we are to wear so as to stay warm and comfortable in our long wet journey of life, it will protect us from the elements and keep us warm and secure.
iv. Sunscreen –To me this is the anointing from the Holy Spirit which keep us protected from those un-for-seen damaging ultra violet rays which can burn you .
1. The sun’s rays off the water do more damage than from above so you need sunscreen to protect your skin.
2. Spiritually: The anointing of the Holy Spirit protects you from the unseen elements of life and empowers you to move forward.
v. The oar represents - the Bible- the Sword of the Spirit
1. They give us the ability to direct the raft and to help maneuver it down the river of life.
2. Bit notice we only get one?
3. It only works in conjunction with other peoples oars.
vi. A patch kit
1. You need to carry a patch kit for your raft in case it gets a hole in it so you can fix it.
2. Spiritually: The patch of forgiveness is what all of us in the church should carry to patch any leaks in the raft.
vii. Pure drinking water – usually they recommend a water pack that you were.
1. You must bring good clean drinking water to prevent dehydration.
2. Spiritually: You need to have the Holy Spirit in you to stay hydrated.
a. If no spirit then you will dry up
viii. The safety rope
1. You need one to throw out to someone in need to pull them to safety if they get caught in a whirlpool or undertow.
2. Spiritually: Belt of truth is our safety rope to throw to those caught in whirlpools in the river, or rough water.
ix. Water Shoes
1. Protect your feet from getting cut up and helps protect them the elements.
2. It also helps your feet get better traction under the water.
3. Spiritually: The Gospel of peace is the covering we need to be able to keep our traction on the slippery rocks in the journey and we need it’s protection from sharp objects found under water. It’s essential to protect our feet in the journey so we can keep moving down stream to our destination.
x. The raft - is the church – He gave us this boat given to helps us float and manage the ride or the flow of the Holy Spirit.
There are no short cuts to maturity.
It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christlike character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time.
When you try to ripen fruit quickly, it loses its flavor. In America, tomatoes are usually picked unripened so they won’t bruise during shipping to the stores. Then, before they are sold, these green tomatoes are sprayed with CO2 gas to turn them red instantly. Gassed tomato...
"Bureaucracies are designed to perform public business. But as soon as a bureaucracy is established, it develops an autonomous spiritual life and comes to regard the public as its enemy."
CHILDREN ON SILENCE
Author Kathleen Norris used to play a game with elementary-school children in which she would make a deal with them. "First you get to make noise," she would bargain, "and then you’ll make silence."
The time of noise was always predictably chaotic -- shouting, pounding and stomping, like a football team exploding out of a locker room. But the period of silence that followed was unexpectedly passionate and creative. When the children were asked to write about it, reflects Norris, "their images often had a depth and maturity that was unlike anything else they wrote."
One boy discovered that "Silence is a tree spreading its branches to the sun."
One third-grader’s poem turned into a prayer: "Silence is spiders spinning their webs; it’s like a silkworm making its silk. Lord, help me to know when to be silent."
And a little girl offered a gem of spiritual wisdom that Norris finds herself returning to when her life becomes too noisy and distracting: "Silence reminds me to take my soul with me wherever I go"
(Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith [New York: Riverhead Books, 1998], 16-17).
When we follow the command of Jesus to be silent, we spread our branches to the sun and soak up the light of God’s love, forgiveness and peace. When we hear God’s still, small voice, we are like silkworms spinning the silk of a sanctified life. When we listen for the guidance of the Lord -- really listen, instead of telling the Almighty all about what we are convinced we need to achieve -- we rediscover that our most precious treasure is the God-breathed soul that each of us has from the very beginning of life, a soul that we really should remember to take with us into all the splendid surprises of each day.