Posted by: Ed | January 15, 2010

Gem From Bro Larry

You don’t have to be a church historian to know that part of the title (MYSTIC ME – Learning to Practice the Presence of God) from this upcoming weekend’s message comes straight from the classic devotional book by Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God.

My challenge is coming up with a message that says it 1/100 as well as BL. I’ve read this little work before (it is little – 90 pages, 1/2 page size). But I am loving reading it again. It is so full of insight, grace, encouragement, gentle rebuke.

So here’s a little gem from “The Sixth Letter”
Dear Sister
As I promised, I am praying for you, even though my prayers are meager. Wouldn’t it be happy if we could find the full treasure described in the Gospel? Nothing else mattes. This treasure is infinite; the more we explore it, the more riches we find. May we never stop searching until we have found all of it.

BAM!

Here’s another
“The most holy & necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly & lovingly w/ Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorry, seperation from God, and even in times of unfaithfulness and sin.”

U R Killing me BRO!

We’ve ordered a bunch of copies and will be selling them along with Frank Laubach’s classic, Letters by a Modern Mystic (where the rest of my message title comes from – I’m glad these guys aren’t here on earth or I’d be compelled to mail them my paycheck for this week). Feel free to buy a copy, sing with our band & then commence to reading – I’ll understand if you tune me out.

Jesus, thank you for brothers like Brother Lawrence!

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Responses

  1. Boom, outta here Brotha’ Lawrence!

    Thanks for posting it, Ed.

    Mark

  2. Ed,
    There seem to be a dozen or so versions of this book on Amazon… which one did you all buy for the church to read? Can you post a link for those of us overseas to order?

    Ciao,
    Matt

  3. Here’s the one I have. It has an interesting forward by Jim Wallis.
    http://www.amazon.com/Year-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Meditations-Writings/dp/0060884088

  4. Sorry, thought this was about Bonhoeffer.
    Here’s the amazon link for Bro Larry version that we’re moving this weekend:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=9780883681053&x=0&y=0

  5. Hey Ed,

    I just finished reading Brother Lawrence’s “The Practice of the Presence of God,” and thought it was an interesting contrast to the Laubach book. They both have a similar theme, but whereas Laubach seemed to generally struggle with his efforts to maintain a focus on God and would seem to get frustrated when it was not going well, Brother Lawrence seems to imply at times that it is fairly easy (and he doesn’t seem to always understand why others struggle with it as much as they do). I know I’m oversimplifying, but I just found myself struggling to identify with “Bro Larry.” It’s definitely good stuff, though, and I long for the day when it is as easy as he makes it out to be.

    On a related note, I think my favorite letter was the ninth letter. I thought of it a couple of weeks back when you were talking about how we want to reach spiritual maturity without necessarily going through all the steps required to get there (or at least that’s what I thought you were saying). From Brother Lawrence: “She seems so full of good will, but she wants to go faster than grace allows. It is not possible to become spiritually mature all at once.”

  6. Since “He is always with us…… will never leave us and lives in us” I guess all we really need to do is tune in much more, like all the time. But it’s not that easy to re-train our selves to do that because we don’t always feel or sense His presence. Maybe a lot of this is a “BY FAITH” thing? Open communication even when we don’t feel is the challenge, no?


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