The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Light is shining....

“Hurry, bring the flashlight!” I remember those words growing up when the electricity went out. Many people believe that the light is going out on our civilization. The darkness of violence, war, disease, natural disasters of all kinds seems to be spreading over our world. The darkness in human hearts is growing as addictions, hate, injustice, poverty, human misery created by greed over take us. Turn on the flashlight, we scream. The prophet, Isaiah, understood the need for a light in darkness;

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Many followers of Jesus understand this refers to the Messianic hope fulfilled by Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world.” Wait there is more here. Didn’t Jesus say, “You are the light of the world”? When you receive the Light of the world, you become the light of the world. Seeing to much darkness? Let life shine! – Ron Friesen

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A mother's touch....

Much is made of God the Father, yet the Bible also talks about the motherhood of God as in this verse from the prophet, Isaiah:

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;….” (Isaiah 66:13)

Why not? Why should God not represent qualities that we associate with mothers: nurturing, caring, feeding, and comforting. Many of us struggle with our image of God as father from our experience of our earthly fathers. Many of us find comfort in knowing that God is also a mother to us in our moments of sorrow and sadness. If you are sorrowing today, know that God is your comforting mother. – Ron Friesen

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let's get along...

Can’t we just all get along? How often have we heard this or said it? The text from Isaiah’s prophetic vision of the future takes this getting long business to a new level:

“The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.” (Isaiah 65:25)

Wolves and lions turning into vegetation-eating friends hanging out in the barnyard with the lambs and oxen! What kind of utopian vision is this? It does seem far-fetched, doesn’t it? Yet, deep in the human breast beats a vision where violence is no longer the hallmark of our world. Followers of Jesus believe that this vision is not idealistic or unreasonable; this vision is a propelling force to see a just world. – Ron Friesen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Look who is looking for you....

Are you glad sometimes that people are persistent in looking for you? Remember when you were lost as a child and your parent kept looking for you? Did you know that God is persistent in looking for even when you are not looking for him?

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’” (Isaiah 65:1)

Long before you were looking for God, God was looking for you. Have you ever found the right present for someone while you were looking for something else? Many of us found God even though we were not looking for any divine reality. God is speaking even when we are not talking to him. God is still looking for you. – Ron Friesen

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Good news for guilty people...

Guilt is a major paralyzer of the human spirit; it is also the great motivator for making people better people. Guilt consumes us as we find ourselves being our own prosecutor, defendant, judge and jury. Guilt, Dr. Dorothy Marron, notes is present in addictions, depression, relationship problems and even physical illnesses.
Aldous Huxley made this observation about guilt in Brave New World:  “Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”

The prophet Isaiah, living many years before Mr. Huxley, noted:

“Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;
do not remember our sins forever.
 Oh, look on us, we pray, 
for we are all your people.” (Isaiah 64:9)

Franz Kafka was right: “Guilt is never to be doubted.” Why? Because as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “All our righteousness (or goodness) is imperfect and tainted.”

Feeling guilty? God is ready to forgive. – Ron Friesen

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What is a new life?

Human nature is so puzzling sometimes. People receive all kinds of blessings and then they sabotage their lives. Followers of Jesus talk about how they have been given the great gift of divine forgiveness. The same followers also talk about how God has taken care of them. The prophet Isaiah noted the same phenomena:

“In his (God’s) love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit.” (Isaiah 63:9-10)

Why do we bite the hand that feeds us? Apparently, the goodness of God does not guarantee that those who experience his forgiveness are transformed. Transformation is not a one-time experience; transformation is a moment-by-moment commitment to walk in the love and mercy of God. – Ron Friesen