January 23, 2021

Quotes from Some of Our Friends…

Tim Gombis shared a statement he heard about what it means to “grow in grace.” This is worth sharing again:

To grow in grace is to learn to love, to hope, to unify, and to trust, and no longer to separate, manipulate, manage, and control. 

It is to move from self-regard and self-protection to other-regard, growing in flexibility in relationships and in openness to others.

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John Frye is contributing a regular column about pastoral ministry at Jesus Creed called, “From the Shepherd’s Nook.” In a recent post, he reflected on the word “pastor” (shepherd) itself:

Here’s my hunch. I could be wrong. When we pick through the rubble of evangelical wrangling about the local church, we find a pearl of great price. Though the word “shepherd” is archaic in this digital age and the imagery very Ancient Near Eastern, not post-modern, still the word reveals energetic dimensions of the heart and actions of God for people that no other word carries. When I read the Gospels and I encounter Jesus the Pastor and when I study the Gospels as pastoral manuals (not just as preserved written strata from which to mine systematic Christology), God help me, I want to be a pastor. Pastor is such a beautiful word.

* * *

Hey! This sounds familiar. I think Karen Spears Zacharias and your humble Chaplain must have been drinking the same water this past week. You go, girl!

Never in all of my borne days have I come to disdain an election season more than I do this one. I am sick-to-death of all of it.

I am sick of Obama.

I am sick of Mitt Romney.

I sleep through Biden’s speeches.

And I don’t even know who Paul Ryan is.

Mama asked me where he was from and I had to Google his bio.

I don’t believe a single word any of them say. Not. One. Single. Word.

* * *

Ryan McLaughlin reminds us that not every important ministry calling is on the front line:

Lately, though, I’ve come to understand that not only is monasticism extremely pragmatic, it’s a vital calling for the life of the Church. Monks and nuns who are called to the contemplative life are devoted to prayer–prayer for the Church, prayer for the world, prayer for the souls in purgatory… and if we truly believe in the power of prayer, then I can’t think of anything that we as Christians on the front-lines of life need more than a squadron of ultra-committed prayer warriors to get our back.

* * *

Finally, Justin Taylor marshals some magnificent quotes to encourage us against becoming preoccupied with introspection in our relationship with God. Here, for example is a wonderful passage from Robert Murray McCheyne:

Learn much of the Lord Jesus.

For every look at yourself take ten looks at Christ.

He is altogether lovely . . . .

Live much in the smiles of God.

Bask in his beams.

Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love.

And repose in his almighty arms.


  1. I love Tim Gombis’ quotation about what it is to grow in grace. I need to keep that in mind.

  2. Kerri in AK says

    I’m totally with Ryan McLaughlin. At the previous community where I was a volunteer, the community was located in the south portion of a Benedictine Abbey. The 15 or so sisters in the Abbey live lives almost completely devoted to prayer – they meet seven times a day to pray for all and everything and to sing God’s praises. At some point it came to me that what kept evil from engulfing the world were all those living the monastic life, like the 15 cloistered elderly women next door, and their constant, purposeful prayer. Their dedication and love of God filled me with reassurance and gratitude.

    I now live in a blended community of Franciscan brothers and lay people. We say four offices plus a Eucharist every day (except Monday. Even monastics need a day off!). These Franciscans may not spend as much time in corporate prayer, preferring to preach the Gospel with as few words as possible, but four to five times a day we pray for all, each other and the entirety of Creation. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a prayer warrior before but that seems to be what I’ve become – even as a lay member. What a humbling thought!

  3. Love the Ryan McLaughlin quote because it’s so true.

  4. Justn Taylor of The Gospel Coalition highlighted here on IM ?!? 😯 You’re not running a fever Chaplin Mike are you?

  5. I must admit that my pea-sized brain has never thought of monks and nuns in the way Ryan McLaughlin describes. I see Kingdom truth in his words. Indeed, you can learn something new every day!

  6. Just kidding….

  7. I disagree with your view of politics, Chaplain Mike. There is a clear and distinct difference between the two presidential candidates this year. To make them both morally and politically equivalent is both lazy and overly cynical. Please, don’t jump on the bandwagon and stick your nose at politics thinking it’s too dirty for you. The only way a democracy truly works is if the citizenry ACTIVELY engage in the political process.

    • So they present different view points on a few of the dozens of issues politicians have to deal with. If they are very misleading on the other issues and somewhat misleading on those few, what is wrong with CM’s post?

  8. I am so with Karen Spears Zacharias. I vote because it’s my right to, and because a lot of blood was spilled in defense of that right. But I have absolutely no faith in our politicians and no more patience to listen to them. Until we Christians are willing to be broken and humbled before God, not much is going to change in this country. Certainly not the politicians.

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