Farmers not in a hurry

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I can’t remember a farmer who was ever in a hurry.

Farmers characteristically work hard, but there is too much work to do to be in a hurry.
On a farm everything is connected both in place and in time. Nothing is done that isn’t connected to something else;

if you get in a hurry, break the rhythms of the land and the seasons and the weather, things fall apart — you get in the way of something set in motion last week or month. A farm is not neat — there is too much going on that is out of your control. Farms help us learn patience and attentiveness : “I am trying to teach my mind / to bear the long, slow growth / of the fields, and to sing / of its passing while it waits.”

Eugene Peterson

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Take a Sabbath

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If you don’t take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You’re doing too much, you’re being too much in charge.
You’ve got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.

Eugene Peterson

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Joyful example

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I have joyfully dedicated my whole life to the object of exemplifying how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith.

George Muller - 1805-1888 Evangelist, Faith Philanthropist

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Faith

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Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”

C.S. Lewis - 1898-1963 British author and theologian

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William Cowper’s mental health

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John Newton, whose life we looked at yesterday, mentored a man called William Cowper (1731–1800). Cowper had experienced tragedy. His mother died when he was six. His father died while he was still young. He qualified as a barrister. Outwardly he was successful. However, he suffered from serious depression. When applying for an administrative post in the House of Lords that entailed a formal examination, he was so disturbed by the prospect of the exam that he attempted to take his own life. For the rest of his life he suffered from mental illness.

When he was in his thirties, John Newton encouraged Cowper to begin composing hymns. He wrote powerfully of the joys and sorrows of everyday life. In 1774, he suffered such a severe episode of mental illness that he was prevented from entering into his intended marriage to Mary Unwin. He was crestfallen. Shortly afterwards, in perhaps his most famous hymn, he wrote:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform

Nicky Gumbel - UK Vicar, Alpha Course (1955- )

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Website: https://bibleinoneyear.org/en/classic/166/

The link between suffering and joy

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Often it is the people closest to suffering who have the most powerful joy. Friends of Mother Teresa say that instead of being overwhelmed by the suffering around her, she fairly glows with joy as she goes about her ministry of mercy. One of the English officers imprisoned at Flossenberg with Dietrich Bonhoeffer said of him, “Bonhoeffer always seemed to me to spread and atmosphere of happiness and joy over the least incident and profound gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive.

True joy, as it turns out, comes only to those who devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness. This is most visible in extraordinary lives, in saints and martyrs. But it is no less true for ordinary people like us.

One test of authentic joy is its compatibility with pain. Joy in this world is always joy “in spite of” something. Joy is as Karl Barth put it, a “defiant nevertheless” set at a full stop against bitterness and resentment.

John Ortberg - American Pastor (1957 - )

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From the book "The life you've always wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People"

Available on amazon.co.uk*

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Available on amazon.com.au*


Counterfeit love, joy and peace

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I remember one day, and so this is Sydney, Australia 1986-1987, and so it was the height of rave parties in Australia. So, the drug ecstasy was running rampant, and in the university scene, people were doing ecstasy and people going to rave parties. I hadn’t seen my friend for about three days. I was wondering, “What’s going on?”

Then one day I was doing my homework up there at the home building at Sydney Uni, and my friend comes running in, and she goes, “Chris, Chris, I couldn’t wait to see you.” She goes, “You would not believe I’ve just been at this most amazing rave party, and it was the most incredible experience of my life. There was so much love there. There was so much joy. There was so much peace. We didn’t sleep for three days.”

She put her hand in her pocket, pulls out half an ecstasy tablet, and she said, “Chris, it was the most unbelievable experience, and I didn’t want you to miss this experience, and so I saved you half of this ecstasy tablet because I wanted you to step into this experience.”

I remember that moment, tears started streaming down my face and internally in my heart I made a vow, and in my heart it was like I said to the Lord, “She is more passionate about the love, joy, and peace that this synthetic drug can bring to her than I am about my faith that theoretically is supposed to bring love, and joy, and peace, and kindness, and goodness, all of the fruit of the spirit.” I thought, “That is not the fruit of the drug of ecstasy. It’s supposed to be the fruit of the spirit of God,” and that started me.

Christine Caine

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Website: https://careynieuwhof.com/episode421