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If you want to equip people for prayer for deep healing, you can look at Terry Wardles website, Healing Care: a ministry of formational prayer.  Actually, I will be going to a three and a half day training, from Jan 13-16, at Ashland Theological Seminary, where Terry teaches, on Prayer Formation.  Several other people (mostly shepherding elders and prayer ministry volunteers) from my church are also going.

Thanks, Joshua, for the post.  In the past, I felt a sense of guilt at my inability to practice the presence of God for more than a few minutes.  A spiritual guide, farther along in the journey of faith than I was, said, "Think of God the same way that you think of a loving parent with a small child.  The parent finds great joy when the child snuggles up and just quietly sits on the parent's lap.  However, a parent's joy and love aren't diminished in any when the child then runs off to play.  Giving myself the same grace that God extends to me has kept me from feeling guilty and, over time, my ability to be present and just "sit in the Father's lap" has greatly increased. 

Thanks, Mark, for your thought provoking article... and for the resources to help us all become more attentive and better listeners.

I am working through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and the issue of indifference is at the center of St. Ignatius's statement of Principle and Foundations.  Thanks for making this wonderful-but-difficult concept accessible to Reformed folks. 

Thanks for your reflections, Abigail.  In a way, you answered your concluding questions about what has served as "king" in my life and culture in the four "No, God!" statements you gave earlier in the article.  I counted the word "I" ten times and the words "me" or "my" fourteen times in those four statements.  I have too often served the king of self, which is also the biggest "king" in our culture.

Thanks, Rod, for sharing this touching story about your Mom.  She sounds a lot like my Mom.  I learned, from an early age, the importance of relationships from my Mom.  At 84, she is still teaching me about the value of relationships.  We are blessed, aren't we, by our mothers' influence in our lives?

Posted in: God's Own Fool

These current Network posts are an encouragement to me.  Rod Hugen wrote about his mother, who sounds very much like my mother, and you wrote about your father, who sounds a lot like my father.  His relationship to God, his dependence on God and his trust in God were deep and constant. His optimism about the future had everything to do with who he believed God to be and what God's purposes are and he considered it a really big privilege to be able to join God in what he was doing.  My dad died on New Years Day three years ago.  I join you in thanking God for such fathers as we were blessed with.

About 20 years ago, in a class on church growth at Fuller Graduate School of World Missions, as it was then named, I heard Dr. Peter Wagner say that the most effective strategy on earth for growing the church is to plant new churches.  It still is.

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