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In HOPE - Faculty Publications

  In HOPE 7.28 

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David Timms  

Ministry Resource

If you are a Christian leader seeking to build a culture of service in your team or congregation, you might find great inspiration in Ken Blanchard's little book The Simple Truths of Service (2005). This short, 25-minute read is filled with great stories -- especially the story of Johnny the Bagger -- that give a whole new twist on the idea of "service." I read someone else's copy ... and have just bought my own. This is one to pass around!

Hope Happenings

The Celebrate Hope Dinner happens again next week -- Friday, October 12 -- at the Disneyland Resort. Special guest speaker is Mike Huckabee, Chairman of the Education Commission of the States, former Governor of Arkansas, and 2008 Presidential Candidate. Huckabee is also an ordained minister and author of 4 books. For more information about this special event, go to www.hiu.edu .


Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


If our life is poured out in useless words,
we will never hear anything,
will never become anything,
and in the end,
because we have said everything before we had anything to say,
we shall be left speechless at the moment of our greatest decision.
-- Thomas Merton,
Thoughts in Solitude, p.90

Too Much Talk

"We have said everything before we had anything to say."

Ever feel swamped by words? Words on the Web, on the radio, on television, on billboards, in books, in magazines, in emails, in every nook and cranny. Yes, even in this e-resource!

As Barbara Brown Taylor suggests, we may like the barrage of words because it helps bury the silence we fear. Yet, those words, pouring forth like a torrent to us and from us, pile up dead around us. The word -- the Father's richest gift to us -- has been sapped of its power to create and restore, to sustain and renew.

Too much talk.

Scot McKnight tells us that Mother Teresa's creed for life was simply this:

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

It sounds simple enough. And she believed that everything meaningful originated first from a silence -- our silence before God. Not us pouring out requests to Him; not us complaining; not us excusing ourselves; not us talking, talking, talking. But us listening -- in silence. Such attentiveness gives the Father opportunity to speak real words, life words, into us.

Some of us need background noise for everything we do; study, housework, driving, eating, even sleeping. True silence deafens us and threatens us. Indeed, even when we pray in groups, we do our best to avoid "awkward silences." We feel far more comfortable praying together when someone is always speaking. Yet, as we chat incessantly, how do we hear the Lord speak? 

The discipline of silence, practised by Christians throughout the ages, gives opportunity for the Father to speak if He so desires. It acknowledges that very often we have "said everything before we had anything to say."

The power of words lies not in their profusion, but in their profundity. In our hunger to help others, we can forget this basic truth. And profundity is never the product of our own wisdom, but always the result of the Father's timing. Can we speak less, and trust Him to take a small offering of five sentences and two paragraphs and truly feed those in need?

May our Journey include not emptiness but attentive silence, and thereafter not futility but significance -- with our children, our spouses, our friends, our neighbors, and Christ Himself.




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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) 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.