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Oct 12 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Guest Speaker – 10/08/2023



Welcome and Prayer: Nancy Lopez

Good morning, RefleXion Community. The Lord is with you!

A few times this week I was in conversation with others—and, honestly, with myself—about the condition of our hearts.  Since Chuck is teaching from Jeremiah, it’s easy to focus on the verse that says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  Even if we believe that in Jesus we’ve been given a new heart, we’re distraught that we still have the old one.  And sometimes then we remain in shame, or fear.  Or we might try to cover it up with an acceptable image.

We know the greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Jesus invites us to bring our whole life and follow him.  So, what does our whole life look like?  Would we go to a doctor and not bring our wounds?  Would we not come to talk about our schedule and plan without bringing an agenda?  Why would we think that we can’t bring our full, sick hearts to the One who created them?  We are not yet fully formed.  We are not yet healed.  And He has the light and love and grace we need.

Here’s the invitation we read in Hebrews,  “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”  This is the way to healing, not to withhold our sickness, but to bring it in to his presence.  Are we ashamed, fearful, or do we just think we don’t need healing?  In all ways we try to deal with our sin without God, we can call it an attempt at sin management. We bring our whole heart, our whole body, our whole mind to God.  We open to His gracious presence.  Remember how Paul prayed about his weakness, and the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”?

Let’s not obsess about getting it right.  Trust God; trust Grace.  May we enjoy his presence this morning.

Let me pray for us:

Gracious God, we desire to be made whole.  We hear your good invitation to come in confidence to your throne of mercy and grace.  Thank you for your presence with us always; we are making space for listening and leaning into what you have for us. This world is in chaos; may our participation in it bring hope and peace.  Prepare us to be the people who come in your name, for your glory, for your kingdom, Lord Jesus. Amen

Guest Speaker: Ed Piorek


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength…and love your neighbor as yourself

“The first and most fundamental contribution of the Contemplative Tradition is that it constantly fans the
flames of our ‘First Love’ (Rev. 2:4). Its message is this: ‘Love God with all your heart…love God with all
your heart…love God with all your heart. Without heart-love you have nothing.” Richard Foster)

Love is the purest motivation for solitude, silence and simple prayer.
Love desires intimacy above all other things. (Psalm 27:4)

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 116:1, Jesus’ Prayer.


Contemplation positions us to experience the First Love of God the Father (1 John 4:18)
Love may have felt stirrings in our hearts.

“Trinity inhabits the soul by divinely illuminating its intellect with the wisdom of the Son,
delighting its will in the Holy Spirit, and by absorbing it powerfully and mightily in the delightful
embrace of the Father’s sweetness.” (St John of the Cross)

Love surrounds us even in the silence.

We need to see silence as a living presence of itself…not just an absence, but by that
very fact, a presence.” (Richard Rohr)


All life is meant to be at the same time profoundly contemplative and rich in active work.” (Merton)

Loving with the Father’s Heart of compassion.
Loving others as human beings created in the image of God.

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