In  HOPE

  In HOPE 8.13 

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David Timms  

Ministry Resource

Last Saturday (April 26) I spoke at the Church 2020 Conference in Johnson City, Tennessee. This half-day conference examined paradigm shifts necessary for effective discipleship in the contemporary church. Video of the sessions will soon be available theougfh Enmmanuel School of Religion. You might like to bookmark www.esr.edu and check for its availability in the next week or two. I'm happy to dialogue with you about any of the issues raised in the presentations.

Hope Happenings

This Saturday evening (May 3) at 7pm the Music Department of Hope International University presents an evening concert: Bless the Lord . The concert features the HIU Chorale, Advanced Ensemble, International Percussion Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

 

"To learn to live, and love, and die. These are, of course, the classic questions of human psychological development. And it may be that growing to mature adulthood requires us to reject much popular mythology: that life is simply handed to us, that love is easy, quick, fated, romantic, and death a subject to be avoided altogether."
~ Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk, p.252.


Live, Love, Die

Many of us fail to live, love, or die well.

 

We toil and accumulate while neglecting the most classic questions of human existence. As Kathleen Norris suggests, we take life for granted, presume that love is easy, and try to ignore death. But for followers of Christ, life, love, and death take center stage.

 

We learn to live by discovering the wonder of each moment-God's presence in it and the gift it offers us. We do not live when we fixate on the past nor when we fantasize about the future. Living is a now event. To the extent that yesterday's hurt or tomorrow's fear dominate our present moment, we fail to live fully.

 

Complaining indicates existing but not living. It emerges from either negative past experiences or pessimistic expectations. It saps our current energy and distracts us from the gift of the present moment. The critical spirit suggests an incomplete life.

 

We learn to love as we immerse ourselves in God's love. Only such love can lift us above the adolescent efforts that stymie most of us. Only such love can include those who choose to call us enemy.

 

Real and rich love is not "easy, quick, fated, or romantic." Instead, we learn the depths of love by embracing the hostile, the unlovely, and even the seemingly unlovable.

 

We learn to die not by embracing fatalism or resigning ourselves to the inevitable once we discover inoperable cancer or heart disease. We learn to die by practicing death every day. The apostle Paul asserted "I die daily." For him, "to live is Christ and to die is gain." Indeed, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." Death lost its sting not because of his confidence about eternity but because of his daily divestment.

 

Death ought hold no fear for us. It steals nothing from us. On the contrary, it opens the door to resurrection-every day and for eternity. Thus, we learn to live by learning to die, and only in such death can we love our enemy because s/he can take nothing from us that we haven't already surrendered.

 

Kathleen Norris describes learning to live, love, and die as "the classic questions of human psychological development." It seems they also represent fundamental issues of Christian discipleship.

 

May the Lord teach us to live, love, and die well today.

 

In HOPE -

David

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2008) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.