Abiding is like inhaling the reality of the Kingdom of God, especially through internalizing the words of God and then putting those words into action. This is why he tells us to abide in him as he abides in the Father.
Abiding is the source of our love, joy, peace, and all of our fruitfulness. The transformation of the self is what leads to the blessed life and this is what Jesus is after. Community is central to spiritual formation in Christ. It is not an individual thing! It is the secret to peace! Self-Denial or being dead to self is the condition where the mere fact that I do not get what I want does not surprise or offend me and has no control over me.
Instead we are easily controlled by the love of God and neighbor. Self-denial does not mean having no needs, but includes looking to God and others to meet our needs. What you would expect to happen in the course of nature does not happen because God has intervened.
“The Best Books I Read in 2013”
You should pray with expectation that God will intervene. Then you leave it to him. Like a parent handing the keys over to a sixteen year old son or daughter. Our apprenticeship to him means that we live within his word, that is, put his teachings into practice. Love of Jesus sustains us through the course of discipline and training that makes obedience possible. Obedience , with the life of discipline it requires, both leads to and, then, issues from the pervasive inner transformation of the heart and soul.
Finally, there is power to work the works of the kingdom. Great power requires great character if it is to be a blessing and not a curse, and that character is something we only grow toward. The Three Dimensions of Discipleship to Jesus 1. Doing what God wants in all areas of life not commanded.
There are many situations in daily life that the Bible does not explicitly address. We will work through unbelief, contrary habits, procrastination, and empty professions to decide to become the kind of person who would obey God. Intention and decision involve our will. For instance, we can use particular spiritual disciplines to train with Jesus to become more like him in a specific way e. For many people their inconsistencies plague them with guilt.
Disciplines are activities within our power that enable us to accomplish what we cannot do by direct effort because we meet with the actions of God grace with us. The effect of discipline is to enable us to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done e. There is no complete list of disciplines for the spiritual life but there are some main ones to learn. Trying harder just gets you more of what you have now. The key to change is an intelligent application of the will in a spiritual formation training program with Jesus.
Abstinence and Engagement counterbalance and support one another — they are the outbreathing and inbreathing of our spiritual lives. Disciplines of abstinence counteract tendencies to sins of commission and disciplines of engagement counteract tendencies to sins of omission. A proper abstinence breaks the hold of improper engagements so that the soul can be properly engaged in and by God.
Disciplines of Abstinence Disciplines of Abstinence are ways we abstain to some degree and for some time from the satisfaction of what we generally regard as normal and legitimate desires.
Solitude is choosing to step free from human relationships for a lengthy period of time, in isolation or anonymity, to make room for occupation of our lives by God. It is to do nothing and not try to make anything happen. It is the primary spiritual discipline which enables us to learn other disciplines e. Solitude facilitates ministry because it enables clarity and resolution of purpose and strength to avoid distraction.
Silence completes solitude. It is not an absence but a presence, a positive reality, in which we experience in quiet or are in a place with only natural sounds e. Fasting is abstaining in some significant way from food and possibly from drink. We may also fast from media or other things. Fasting is feasting — on our Lord and doing his will. Frugality is abstaining from using money or goods at our disposal, refusing to gratify our desires for status, glamor, or luxury.
Chastity is to turn away from dwelling upon or engaging in the sexual dimension of our relationships to others — even our spouse for an agreed upon time period. Secrecy is to abstain from causing our good deeds and qualities to be known. Sacrifice is to abstain from the possession or enjoyment of what is necessary for our living by forsaking the security of meeting our needs with what is in our hands. It is total abandonment to God. Disciplines of Engagement Disciplines of Engagement are designed to re-connect us with God and the Kingdom of the Heavens.
Study combines with meditation. The study of God in his Word and works opens the way for the disciplines of worship and celebration. Worship is to engage ourselves with, dwell upon, and express the greatness, beauty, and goodness of God through thought and the use of words, rituals, and symbols. Service is engaging our goods and strength in the active promotion of the good of others and the causes of God in our world. Often we may serve another simply as an act of love and righteousness, not as a discipline to enhance our abilities to follow Christ.
Prayer almost always involves other disciplines and spiritual activities e. Fellowship is engaging in common activities of worship, study, prayer, celebration, and service with other disciples of Jesus. Submission is dong what others think best. It is humbly setting aside our own ideas as supreme and our own will as ultimate, totally eliminating self-promotion.
It is the highest level of fellowship. It applies the cross in our own lives, freeing us of the burden of having our own way and being all wise in our own eyes. Holiness is the power to act as we ought, to be response-able, able to respond with appropriate power to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Virtue is the substance of holiness, a combination of skill, wisdom, power, and steadfastness for good.
Virtue puts the emphasis on the practical side of holiness. Character is the internal, overall structure of the self that is revealed by our long-run patterns of behavior. It is from our character that our actions more or less automatically arise. What God gets out of your life is the person you become. The Morally Good Person is someone who is intent upon promoting human goods including good humans that are effectively within their reach.
Dallas Willard's Definitions - Soul Shepherding
Self-Esteem: How many birds are you worth? More than a few! Joy is not the mere sensation of pleasure — it is a pervasive, constant, and unending sense of well-being that flows from vision, peace, righteousness, and hope. True joy is robust — even including outright hilarity! Peace is a rest of will that comes from divine assurance about how things will turn out. Christ is the head of the Church universal and its churches. There may be a number of congregations what we call churches that gather in that area, each made up of children of light who are to light up their world.
The world is a big place!
The Radiance of Being Dimensions of Cosmic Christianity by Caldecott & Stratford
So his books and articles are to recommended to all. In this book he is delving quite deeply into a number of areas that interest him — for example the mystery of the Trinity and aspects of the truth that appear in other faiths. I wonder if it might seem a little obscure to those who know nothing of his work otherwise, so it is perhaps not to be recommended as a first introduction to his work. Tagged as: artist , beauty , book , caldecott , education , france , liturgia , nature , school. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy.
David was received into the Church in London in Visit the Way of Beauty blog at thewayofbeauty. Lessons in Stewardship from the Unjust Steward. However, the interesting revelation of String-Theory, is that it opens the door to the possibility of other dimensions of reality. These particles that seem to disappear from our reality are not being destroyed, but are simply entering another dimension. Amazing enough, there is ancient documentation that supports the very concept of ten dimensions of space and one dimension of time.
Additionally interesting, is the revelation that this very documentation also comes from close relation with the Bible Story.
Cosmic, Cosmos, Cosmological, Cosmology
The book of Enoch is not scripture, but Enoch was one of the most prominent men in the predeluvian era. Enoch was in the direct lineage of Adam and he was the father of Methuselah. God invited Enoch up to heaven as His guest. Enoch later returned to earth with amazing knowledge, and eventually was called into heaven without having to die as a mortal. The Book of Enoch is not considered scripture, but apart of the Jewish Mid rash, as defined as the collection of ancient Hebrew non-scriptural literature.
In a second book, The Secrets of Enoch, he describes his journey into heaven and describes what he observes there. During his heavenly journey, Enoch describes a multidimensional reality of ten heavens and one dimension of time. Complete agreement of facts from the past and the present. A concept of ten dimensions of space and one dimension of time. I understand that the book, The Secrets of Enoch, is not a well read book, so I offer the following text for clarity.
Bold print added by this author. Its final editor was a Greek and the place of its composition Egypt. III:1 "It came to pass, when Enoch had told his sons, that the angels took him on to their wings and bore him up to the first heaven and placed him on the clouds. And there I looked, and again I looked higher, and saw the either, and they placed me on the first heaven and showed me a very vast sea. IV:1 "They brought before my face the elders and rulers of the stellar orders, and showed me two hundred angels, who rule the stars and their services to the heavens, and fly with their wings and come round all those who sail.
VII:1 "And those men took me and led me up to the second heaven , and showed me darkness, greater than earthly darkness, and there I saw prisoners hanging, watched, awaiting the great boundless judgment, and these angels were dark-looking, more than earthly darkness, and incessantly making weeping through all hours.
VII:2 "And I said to the men who were with me: 'wherefore are these incessantly tortured? VIII:1 "And those men took me thence, and led me up on to the third heaven , and placed me there; and I looked down-wards, and saw the produce of these places, such as has never been known for goodness. VIII:2 "And I saw the sweet-flowering trees and beheld her their fruits, which were sweet-smelling, and all foods born by them bubbling with fragrant exhalation. VIII:3 "And in the midst of the trees that of life, in that place whereon the Lord rest, when he goes up into paradise ; and this tree is of ineffable goodness and fragrance, and adorned more than every existing thing; and on all sides it is in form gold-looking and vermillion and fire-like and covers all, and it has produced from all fruits.
VIII:9 "And there are three hundred angels very bright who keep the garden, and with incessant sweet singing and never-silent voices serve the Lord throughout all the days and hours. IX:1 "This place, O Enoch, is prepared for the righteous, who endure all manner of offence from those that exasperate their souls, who avert their eyes from iniquity, and make righteous judgment, and give bread to the hungering, and cover the naked with clothing, and raise up the fallen, and help injured orphans, and who walk without fault before the face of the Lord, and serve Him alone, and for them is prepared this place for eternal inheritance.
X:1 "And those two men led me up on to the Northern side, and showed me there a very terrible place, and there were all manner of tortures in that place: cruel darkness and unilluminated gloom, and there is no light there, but murkey fire constantly flameth aloft, and there is a firery river coming forth, and that whole place is everywhere fire, and everywhere there is frost and ice, thirst and shivering, while the bonds are very cruel, and the angels fearful and merciless, bearing angry weapons.
X:3 "And those men said to me: 'This place, O Enoch, is prepared for those who dishonor God, who on earth practice sin against nature, which is child-corruption after the sodomites fashion, magic-making, enchantments and devilish witchcraft, and who boast of their wicked deed's, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancor, fornication, murder, and who, accursed, steal the souls of men, who, seeing the poor take away their goods and for themselves wax rich, injuring them for other men's goods; who being able to satisfy the empty, made the hungering to die; being able to clothe, stripped the naked; and who knew not their creator, and bowed down to soulless lifeless gods, who can not see or hear, vain gods, who also built hewn img and bow down to unclean handiwork, for all these is prepared this place amongst these, for eternal inheritance.
XI:1 "Those men took me, and led me on to the fourth heaven , and showed me all the successive goings, and all the rays of the light of the sun and the moon. XI:2 "And as I measured their goings, and compared their light, and saw that the sun's light is greater than the moon's. XI:3 "Its circle and the wheels on which it goes always, like a wind going past with very marvelous speed and day and night it has no rest.
XI:4 "Its passage and return is accompanied by four great stars, and each star has under it a thousand stars, to the right of the sun's wheel, and by four to the left, each having under it a thousand stars, altogether eight thousand issuing with the sun continuously. XI:5 "And by day fifteen myriads of angels attend it, and by night a thousand. XI:6 "And six-winged ones issue with the angels before the sun's wheel into the firery flames, and a hundred angels kindle the sun and set it alight.
XIII:1 "Those men bore me away to the east and placed me at the sun's gates, where the sun goes forth according to the regulation of the seasons and the circuit of the months of the whole year, and the number of the hours day and night. XIII:2 "And I saw six gates open, each gate having sixty-one stadia and a quarter of one stadium, and I measured them truly, and understood their size to be so much, through which the sun goes forth, and goes to the west, and is made even, and rises throughout all the months, and turns back again from the six gates according to the succession of the seasons; thus the period of the whole year is finished after the returns of the four seasons.
XIV:1 "And again those men led me away to the western parts, and showed me six great gates open corresponding the the eastern gates, opposite to where the sun sets, according to the number of the days three hundred sixty-five and a quarter. XV:1 "Then the elements of the sun, called Phoenixes and Chalkydri break into song, therefore every bird flutters with its wings, rejoicing in the giver of light, and they broke into song at the command of the Lord.
XV:2 "The giver of light comes to give light to the whole world, and the morning guard takes shape, which is the rays of the sun, and the sun of the earth goes out, and received it brightness to light up the whole face of the earth, and they showed me this calculation of the suns goings. XVI:1 "Those men showed me the other course, that of the moon, twelve great gates, crowned from west to east, by the the moon goes in and out of the customary times.
XVI:2 "It goes in at the first gate to the western places of the sun, by the first gate with thirty-one days exactly, by the second gate with thirty-one days exactly, by the third with thirty-one days exactly, by the fourth with thirty-one days exactly, by the fifth with thirty-one days exactly, by the sixth with thirty-one days exactly, by the seventh with thirty-one days exactly, by the eighth with thirty-one days perfectly, by the ninth with thirty-one days exactly, by the tenth with thirty-one days perfectly, by the eleventh with thirty-one days exactly, by the twelfth with twenty-eight days exactly.
XVII "In the midst of the heaven I saw armed soldiers serving the Lord, with tympana and organs, with incessant voice, with sweet voice, with sweet and incessant voice and various singing, which it is impossible to describe, and which astonished every mind, so wonderful and marvelous is the singing of those angels, and I was delighted listening to it. XVIII:2 "Wherefore are these very withered and their faces melancholy, and their mouths silent, and wherefore is there no service on this heaven?
XVIII:3 "And they said to me: 'These are the Grigori, who with their prince Satanail rejected the Lord of light, and after them are those who are held in great darkness on the second heaven, and three of them went down on the earth from the Lord's throne, to the place Ermon, and broke through their vows on the shoulder of the hill Ermon and saw the daughters of men and how good they are, and took to themselves wives, and befouled the earth with their deeds, who in all time of their age made lawlessness and mixing, and giants are born and marvelous big men and great enmity.
XVIII:4 "And therefore God judged them with a great judgment, and they weep for their brethren and they will be punished on the Lord's great day. XIX:1 "And those men took me and bore me on to the sixth heaven , and there i saw seven bands of angels, very bright and very glorious, and their faces shinning more than the sun's shinning, glistening, and there is no difference between their faces, or behavior, or manner of dress; and these make the orders, and learn the goings of the stars, and the alterations of the moon, or revolution of the sun, and the good government of the world.
XIX:2 "And when they see evil doing they make commandments and instruction, and sweet and loud singing, and all songs of praise. XIX:3 "These are the archangels who are above angels, measure all life in heaven and on earth, and the angels who are appointed over the seasons and years, the angels who are over rivers and seas, and who are over the fruits of the earth, and the angels who are over every grass, giving food to all, to every living thing, and the angels who write all the souls of men, and all their deeds, and their lived before the Lord's face; in their midst are six Phoenixes and six Cherubim and six-winged ones continually with one voice singing one voice, and it is not possible to describe their singing, and they rejoice before the Lord at his footstool.
XX:1 "And those two men lifted me up thence on to the seventh heaven , and I saw there a very great light, and firery troops of great archangels, incorporeal forces, and dominions, orders and governments, cherubim and seraphim, thrones and many-eyed ones, nine regiments, the Ioanit stations of light, and I became afraid, and began to tremble with great terror, and those men took men and led me after them, and said to me:". XX:2 "'Have courage, Enoch, do not fear, and showed me the Lord from afar, sitting on his very high throne.
For what is there on the tenth heaven since the Lord dwells here? XX:4 "And all the heavenly troops would come and stand an the ten steps according to their rank, and would bow down to the Lord, and would again go to their places in joy and felicity, singing songs in the boundless light with small and tender voices, gloriously serving him. XXI:1 "And the cherubim and seraphim standing about the throne, the six-winged and many-eyed ones do not depart, standing before the Lord's face doing his will, and cover the whole throne, singing with gentle voice before the Lord's face: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord Ruler of Sabaoth, heavens nd the earth are full of Thy glory.
XXI:2 "When I saw these things, those men said to me: 'Enoch, thus far it is commanded us to journey with thee,' and those men went away from me and thereupon I saw them not. XXI:3 "And I remained alone at the end of the seventh heaven and became afraid, and fell on my face and said to myself: 'Woe is me, what has befallen me?
XXI:4 "And the Lord sent one of his glorious ones, the archangel Gabriel, and he said to me: 'Have courage, Enoch, do not fear, arise before the Lord's face into eternity, arise, come with me. XXI:5 "And I answered him and said in myself: 'My Lord, my soul has departed me, from terror and trembling,' and i called to the men who led me up to this place, on them I relied, and it is with them I go before the Lord's face.
XXI:6 "And Gabriel caught me up, as a leaf caught up by the wind, and placed me before the Lord's face. XXI:7 "And I saw the eight heaven , which is called in the hebrew tongue Muzaloth, changer of the seasons, of drought, and of wet, and of the twelve signs of the zodiac, which are above the seventh heaven. XXI:8 "And I saw the ninth heaven , which is called in Hebrew Kuchavim, where are the heavenly homes of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
XXII:1 "On the tenth heaven , Arvoth, I saw the appearance of the Lord's face, like iron made to glow in fire, and brought out, emitting sparks, and it burns. Ponder this, In Enoch journey into heaven, does he not encounter a total of ten different heavens, realms of reality, or dimensions just as predicted by modern day String-Theory physics?
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Now that Enoch is before the Lord, God begins to share with Enoch the secrets of creation. XXII "And the Lord summoned one of his archangels by the name Pravuil, whose knowledge was quicker in wisdom than the other archangels, who wrote all the deeds of the Lord; and the Lord said to Pravuil:". XXII "'Bring out the books from my store-house, and a reed of quick-writing, and give it to Enoch, and deliver to him the choice and comforting books out of thy hand. XXIII:1 "And he was telling me all the works of heaven, earth and sea, and all the elements, their passages and goings, and the sun and moon, the goings and the changes of the stars, the seasons, tears, days, and hours.
The rising of the wind, the numbers of the angels, and the formations of their songs, and all the human things, the tongue of every human song and life, the commandment, instructions, and sweet-voiced singings, and all things that it is fitting to learn. XXIII:2 "And Pravuil told me: 'All the things that I have told thee, we have written, Sit and write all the souls of mankind, however many of them are born, and the places prepared for them to eternity; for all souls are prepared to eternity, before the formation of the world.
XXIII:3 "And all double thirty days and thirty nights, and I wrote out all things exactly, and wrote three hundred and sixty-six books. Ponder this, this book supposedly draws upon Enoch's writing and one of the very first items of creation covered in this ancient text deals directly to the Quantum nature of creation and the duality of matter. XXIX:1 "And for all the heavenly troops I imagined the image and essence of fire, and my eye looked at the very hard, firm rock, and from the gleam of my eye the lightning received its wonderful nature which is both fire in water and water in fire, and one does not put out the other, nor does the one dry up the other, therefore the lightning is brighter than the sun, softer than water and firmer than hard rock.