The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Monday, August 29, 2016

Embrace the poor, embrace God

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

The just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.

The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.

A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
-Psalm 68

Sunday, August 28, 2016

You are chosen by God!

Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.

But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
-Psalm 33

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Biblical paradoxes that lead to life

Let me give you some of Jesus’ and Paul’s paradoxical teachings that at first seem like contradictions, but when you hold them both together, when you live inside of them, “the third something” emerges. These are truths that can only be known at the level of inner experience. They cannot be controlled at the level of the head. When we open ourselves to paradox and mystery, we can finally be transformed at the deepest levels. Here are just a few of Jesus’ and Paul’s seemingly contradictory statements:
Finding is losing; losing is finding (Luke 17:33).
The poor are rich (Matthew 5:3); the rich are very poor (Mark 10:17-25).
Hunger is satisfaction (Matthew 5:6); satisfaction is emptiness (Luke 12:16-21).
Weeping is bliss; bliss is weeping (Matthew 5:4).   
The wise and learned do not understand; mere babes do (Matthew 11:25).
Folly is wisdom; the wise are ignorant (1 Corinthians 1:18-27).
Weakness is strength; strength is weakness (1 Corinthians 1:18-27; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 13:9).
Hold these paradoxes in silence and your lived experience. Let them teach you true wisdom and transform you. Holy people live inside of a very creative tension that is held together by grace and compassion, never by logic alone.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Preach it!

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.


Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.

Psalm 96

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lift your eyes

R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him, 
and salvation, along the way of his steps. 

- Psalm 85

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What are you lacking?

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life; 
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A time for renewal



 Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God;

and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
- Psalm 51

Monday, August 8, 2016

Faith that keeps believing

There is a lot of false teaching about faith There are some who teach that faith is like rubbing a Genie bottle and God will give you whatever you wish. 

Biblical faith is continuing to believe and trust in God even when what you are praying for and seeking is never experienced.  Please read carefully this account faith.

Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen. 
Because of it the ancients were well attested.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go. 
By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise;
for he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and maker is God. 
By faith he received power to generate,
even though he was past the normal age
—and Sarah herself was sterile—
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was 
trustworthy.
So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead,
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as countless as the sands on the seashore.

All these died in faith. 
They did not receive what had been promised
but saw it and greeted it from afar
and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,
for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. 
If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come,
they would have had opportunity to return. 
But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. 
Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lift your eyes....

The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.

Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Keep a tender heart

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.

You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!