Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quotemeal: "Be thankful for the least ..." and my thoughts

Be thankful for the least gift, so shalt thou be ready to receive greater. -- Thomas à Kempis from Heartlight magazine

I love getting the quotemeal in my emails everyday. I have read some amazing thoughts. I have also read some thoughts that I don't agree with. This thought got me thinking about whether I am thankful for the least gift or not? To be honest, I am not, I keep looking for the bigger, better, gift. I tend to ignore the least gift. I have my blinders on and so I don't even see it. So how can I be thankful for something I don't even receive. God today I ask that you help me see, receive and be thankful for the least gift.

Want to know more about Thomas Kempis? b. 1379 or 1380, d. 1471, German monk, traditional author of The Imitation of Christ, b. Kempen, Germany. He was schooled at Deventer, in the Netherlands, the center of the Brothers of the Common Life founded by Gerard Groote. He joined the Augustinian canons (1399) and was ordained a priest (c.1413). His convent was Mt. St. Agnes, near Zwolle, in the Netherlands. Thomas worked principally at copying and writing. A number of his treatises on the monastic life and little devotional essays have been translated into English.

Want to read the Imitation of Christ? You can find it at Catholic First, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library , Cyber Library, and Five Franciscan Martyrs. The book is in public domain and so is available to all. I read the book while taking a course in Seminary under E. Glenn Hinson called the Classics of Christianity. It was one of the finest courses I took and introduced me to a life of meditation. It was too bad that the S. B. T. S. in their wisdom pushed Hinson out from teaching there. It was there lost, but he went on to teach at the Seminary in Richmond, VA. He has written some good books, especially on the Spiritual aspect of being a Leader. Here are some titles of a few; Spiritual Preparation for Christian Leadership ; A Serious Call to a Contemplative Life-Style , Seekers After Mature Faith, The integrity of the church, and The Reaffirmation of Prayer . He also writes for the Upper Room's Companion's in Christ. (It is a great small group study on Spiritual formation that actually brings about transformation.)

"Hold fast to Jesus both in life and in death and commit yourself to his steadfast love, for he alone can help you when all others fail. Your beloved is such that he admits no other rival; He wants your heart all to Himself and desires to reign there as a king on his own throne."
-Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Book II: Chapter 7) from The Prayer Foundation

Wow then the question for me is do I hold fast to Jesus? Have I commited myself to his steadfast love? Have I let him have all my heart for his to reign as King on Hist throne? You know I have preached on this very thing, I have felt convicted of this, and at times I find myself in that steadfast love, and then I pull back. A lot of us get the Savior part, the friend part, and some of us even get the Lord part, but most of us shirk away from the King part. I think this is something we can seek in our lives, and yet may not happen until we die or Christ comes again. But it is no excuse not to seek Jesus and commit our selves to him, including myself.

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