The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Forgiven!


The well-known psychologist Leo Buscaglia noted that we could empty our hospitals if people would learn the power of forgiveness. Long before Dr; Buscaglia walked this earth, the early church knew the power of forgiveness. It was St. Paul who wrote over 1900 years ago, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Guilt is bondage; forgiveness is freedom. Today, when the lie comes to your mind about your guilt, remind the lie and the Liar, “I am no longer condemned, my life is hidden in the Christ of the Cross.” – Ron Friesen

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A lesson from the Garden: We were there


This is Holy Week in the life of the Christian Church. I will be sharing lessons from the Garden.

Today’s lesson: We were there….

Among the last recorded words of Jesus in the Garden are these: “The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners” (Mark 14:41). Who were the sinners into whose hands Jesus was delivered? Among those who came to arrest Jesus were Roman soldiers representing Rome and its power and Jewish religious leaders representing the ruling religious parties. The Christian understanding is that we were all represented in those “hands of sinners.” Whoever we are, we all have to answer the question of the hymn, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” with a resounding, “Yes!” – Ron Friesen

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Lesson from the Garden: The victory is won and lost here…



This is Holy Week in the life of the Christian Church. I will be sharing lessons from the Garden.

Today’s lesson: The victory is won and lost here…


The words of the prayer of Jesus in the Garden contain a significant lesson for all of his followers: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 25:39). Spiritual battles are not fought in the mind or in the emotions; they are fought in the will. It is easy to fall in love with a loving God; it is easy to assent to the teachings of Jesus; it is much more difficult to turn our wills over to God. To pray with Jesus in the Garden is to learn to pray: “not my will but yours be done.” – Ron Friesen

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A lesson from the Garden: Put away your sword


This is Holy Week in the life of the Christian Church. I will be sharing lessons from the Garden.

Today’s lesson: Put away your sword.

When we experience threat or danger, it is easy to pick up the handiest tool to attack the intrusion that threatens the sanctity of our faith. Peter grabbed a sword; we grab a pen and write a letter to the editor. Or we grasp our angry feelings and lash out with cursing and vitriolic defensiveness. Jesus watches our defensive tactics, shakes his head, and says, “It is enough, put it away now.” Then he does the act that undoes the fruit of our impulsive defensiveness: he heals the wounds left by our attempt to defend ourselves and him. Jesus does not need you to defend him. – Ron Friesen

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lesson from the Garden: The Battle is not easily won


This is Holy Week in the life of the Christian Church. I will be sharing lessons from the Garden.

Today’s lesson: The battle is not easily won….

Notice that Jesus stepped away from his disciples three times and “prayed the same thing.” Have you noticed that you often have to pray for victory more than once? The battle for our soul is great and cannot be easily fought off with one prayer or shout to God. Our Lord who was divine and human had to go aside and pray three times for the strength to do the Father’s will. The early church understood that Jesus “learned obedience” (Hebrews 5:8). If our Lord had to learn obedience, are we exempt from this lesson in the Garden? – Ron Friesen

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A lesson from the Garden: You are not alone


This is Holy Week in the life of the Christian Church. I will be sharing lessons from the Garden.

Today’s lesson: You are not alone.

Do you feel alone when you are going through your struggles? Jesus struggled in prayer in the Garden so profusely that the sweat of his brow looked like drops of blood. He was wondering if he would make it through. The Gospel of St. Luke reports: “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him” (Luke 24:43). Our current western culture is so naturalistically inclined and self-centered that any idea of supernatural beings such as angels is dismissed as superstition and folly. People who make themselves the center of the universe will never struggle with doing the will of Another. If we do not experience the visitation of heavenly beings, could it be that our seeking is solely for ourselves? – Ron Friesen