…upheavals of human civilizations do not threaten the advance of God’s agenda in the world. Despite the surface chaos that periodically engulfs us, there is a design and purpose to history and our existence. We are to orient our lives according to this fact, and discover significance by contributing to this overarching purpose.
Keeping the Peace in Our Hearts
Whatever we do in the Name of Jesus, we must always keep the peace of Jesus in our hearts. When Jesus sends his disciples out to preach the Gospel, he says: “Whatever town or village you go into, seek out someone worthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, may your peace come upon it; if it does not, may your peace come back to you” (Matthew 10:11-13).
The great temptation is to let people take our peace away. This happens whenever we become angry, hostile, bitter, spiteful, manipulative, or vengeful when others do not respond favourably to the good news we bring to them.
Congregation is a company of people who are defined by their creation in the image of God, living souls, whether they know it or not. They are not problems to be fixed, but mysteries to be honored and revered.
Eugene Peterson, The Pastor
The first conception gave us Jesus, the second conception gave us the church.
Eugene Peterson, The Pastor
…our work [what some refer to as secular work] can glorify God. Of course God is glorified in worship and evangelism, in giving to others and in the exercise of faith. But…God is also gloried through imitating God in undertaking activities that are unique to human beings, God-imaging creatures.
Doing God’s Business (Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace), by R. Paul Stevens
I wonder if at the root of the defection [speaking of pastors “defecting” from churches] is a cultural assumption that all leaders are people who “get things done,” and “make things happen.” That is certainly true of the primary leadership models that seep into our awareness from the culture-politicians, businessmen, advertisers, publicists, celebrities, and athletes. But while being a pastor certainly has some of these components, the pervasive element in our two-thousand-year pastoral tradition is not someone who “gets things done” but rather the person placed in the community to pay attention and call attention to “what is going on right now” between men and women, with one another and with God-this kingdom of God that is primarily local, relentlessly personal, and prayerful “without ceasing.
A Pastor: Memoir, Peterson
Men and women who are pastors in America today find that they have entered in to a way of life that is in ruins. The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans. Any kind of continuity with pastors in times past is virtually nonexistent.
The Pastor: A Memoir, by Eugene Peterson
HOW VIRTUE DRIVES OUT VICE
Where there is Love and Wisdom,
there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility,
there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.
Where there is Poverty and Joy,
there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation,
there is neither Care nor Restlessness.
Where there is the Fear of God to guard the dwelling,
there no enemy can enter.
Where there is Mercy and Prudence,
there is neither Excess nor Harshness.
St. Francis of Assisi
Christianity is a way of life in which our thoughts and deeds and experiences are infused and transformed by the mystery of the love of God, a way of life witnessing to the love and forgiveness revealed in Christ Jesus.
Kerr, Mulder (Famous Conversions, The Christian Experience)
As long as we want to change the condition of other people because we feel guilty about our wealth [or education, or happy upbringing], we are still playing the power game and waiting for thanks. But when we start discovering that in many ways we are the poor and those who need our help are the wealthy, who have a lot to give, we become true social agents and so not give in to the temptation of power, because we have discovered our task is not a heavy burden or a brave sacrifice but an opportunity to see more an more of the face of Him whom we want to meet.
Henri Nouwen, Creative Ministry (pg 88, 89)