Rule for Life:
Whereas I am called to be a steward of all God has given me…
Whereas (“one of” May 2007) God’s greatest gifts is life itself…
Whereas God knows best the purpose and plan for my life…
I freely offer all of myself back to God…
“Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me. I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.”
St. Ignatius Loyola (Jesuit)- 16th century
Realizing that Success will only be achieved as I serve as a non-anxious presence in the midst of chaos…
Realizing that without intention chaos will shape me rather than me shaping chaos…
I commit to follow this Rule of Life as a means to achieving success.
I will review weekly this Rule for life. I will prayerfully seek God to discern if there are things to add or change.
Resolved to live patiently, striving to be content yet not complacent in life; patiently allowing God to work in His time to produce growth and maturity. December 2005
“wisdom slows things down” Father Warren Savage March 2007
Personal Spiritual Formation (changed from “direction” May 27, 2007)
Recognizing that Spiritual Formation is a lifelong commitment to allow the Spirit of God to transform me more and more into the likeness of Christ… May 17, 2007
I will practice meditation in the midst of busyness by reflecting upon a specific verse or short passage of scripture for a month.
I will practice the Daily Office May 18, 2011
Recognizing that in times of retreat I hear clearly from God, I will build into my schedule times apart (2-3 day mini-retreats) for prayer, meditation and rejuvenation. (rejuvenation added April 28, 2007)
I will incorporate the discipline of fasting into my life on a regular basis. (Wed & Fri of each week) May 18, 2011
Recognizing that God created me as a relational being and that I can not travel this journey of transformation alone I commit to entering into a relationship with a spiritual director for the purpose of creating a time of peace and listening to discover where God is moving in my life. May 18, 2011
I will, when I feel pain and suffering, think of the pain and suffering my Savior endured on my behalf and then boldly move forward confident that there will come an Easter morning for me.
Recognizing my sinfulness and need for grace, mercy and forgiveness I will practice the Jesus prayer twice a day to help guard against pride and to learn to pray without ceasing. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God; Have Mercy Upon Me A Sinner”
I make a commitment to set aside one half hour each day for the sole purpose of conversation with God. In that time I will embrace quiet and will seek to hear from God regarding all aspects of my life.
Understanding that the Bibles is, “not so much a book to read or to be understood or meditated upon…but to be LIVED, St. Benedict I am…
- Resolved, to commit myself to faithfully study and meditate upon the Scriptures, inviting God to reveal to me deeper truths of who He is and the Spirit’s invitation for my life.
- Resolved to Live and Study as if “the Bible is worthy of your best effort and thought. I know you want to be practical, but you need the materials to be practical with. Don’t be satisfied with less than your best – and prepare as though your listeners’ lives were in the balance.” Terry Brensinger
- Resolved to never be satisfied with knowledge alone, but to seek out the practical ways in which the scriptures teaching can be applied to my everyday life.
Call nothing your own, but let everything be yours in common. Food and clothing shall be distributed to each of you by your superior, not equally to all, for all do not enjoy equal health, but rather according to each one’s need. For so you read in the Acts of the Apostles that they had all things in common and distribution was made to each one according to each one’s need (4:32,35). St. Augustine
Recognizing that I am a Steward of my body I commit to eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis and taking steps to be sure, as much as it is up to me, that this vessel remains ready to be used by God.
I commit to give away a minimum of 10% 15% ( fall 2006) of my income for the work of building the Kingdom of God.
I commit to challenge the idea of ownership. If I am but a steward of all I have why is it that I so quickly desire to purchase and to “own”?
I commit to not quickly purchase items, to take time to question whether or not they “need” to be purchased.
“I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Mindful that learning and growing is a part of the spiritual life I will focus more on improving my strengths than compensating for my weaknesses. I commit to “play to my strengths” rather than spending undue time, energy, and anxiety on areas of “weakness”.
Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. Jonathan Edwards
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
I will not feel compelled to speak into every situation. I will remain quiet and search for the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Resolved to spend no more than two hours a weekday watching television; resolved to watch no television after 11pm. November 2005 (renewed May 18, 2011)
I will strive to live my life according to the prayer of Christ,
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me…May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:16 (December 5, 2005)
In all my conversations I will seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Resolved, never to speak anything at all against anybody, save in those situations where it is necessary to protect the safety of others and or the work of the Kingdom of God. I will never lightly speak against anybody but will do so only after much prayer and thoughtfulness.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (December 5, 2005)
In the face of conflict…
I commit to addressing directly my brothers and sisters…
“If a brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17
I commit to examining my own heart and mind for thoughts of racism, and or other isms that serve to allow me to consider myself better than others. I will work to promote racial reconciliation and healing in my own life and invite others to join with me in the process of racial reconciliation.
Recognizing that we live in relationship with others, and the most unlikely persons are most likely to reveal Christ’s presence to me I commit to entering into dialogue and relationship with all people, even those who make me uncomfortable.
Believing that true unity is modeled in the relationship between God (Father, Son, Spirit) I will seek to know and accept the reality of who I am, strengths and weaknesses. I will seek to know and understand the reality of who others are. I commit to allowing myself and others to live out the complete reality of who we are as created people created in the image of God. (January 18, 2007)
I recognize that I do not need to bring 100% of who I am to bear in every situation. (January 18, 2007)
Practice greater patience with my family, in moments of frustration, stopping to celebrate the great gift God has given me in them.
I will practice Sabbath by ordering my weeks so that I have times of rest and times spent exclusively with Nancy, Joseph and Rayann.
I will be home for dinner 3 nites (Mon. – Fri.) each week. We will eat dinner at the table. We will prepare, eat, clean up as a family.
I will take one 24 hour period for personal relaxation/hobby each week.
I will encourage Nancy to pursue God’s calling upon her life. I will encourage and empower her to develop her writing and speaking ministry.
I will work to take time away with each person alone. I will rotate Saturday breakfasts with Joseph and Rayann. I will plan times away with Nancy. Each year I will take the kids away on the “Big Adventure” during their February vacation.
There will be very clear times when family trumps ministry.
I will work to help Nancy, Joseph and Rayann to experience God in the midst of life.
I will work to help them learn how to live lives of service.
Resolved, that I will always remember what success “looks like.” I will not confuse others desires, standards, expectations with what I know to be God’s call to success for my life.
“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth…” 2 Timothy 2:24-25
I will remain committed to ministerial care groups. I will make my participation in an open, honest, and intentional group which serves to challenge me, hold me accountable, and care for me a priority. [I will seek to challenge, hold accountable and care for those God brings me into relationship with. 12/5/05] If there is no group to join I commit to working to form such groups wherever God leads me.
I commit to remaining engaged with the culture within which Christ has called me to serve. I will seek understand that culture so as to share the love of Christ. I commit to believing that Christ can be found in culture and that Christ can transform culture.
In whatever place I serve, (I will) not easily leave. (Before making any such decision I will search the heart of God for clear direction. I will not leave out of frustration or anger…I will leave only upon being released by God. I will not make any such decision on a Monday. April 28, 2007)
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
I will maintain physical and emotional fidelity to Nancy (1-18-07)
Although your eyes may chance to rest upon some woman or other, you must not fix your gaze upon any woman. Seeing women when you go out is not forbidden, but it is sinful to desire them or to wish them to desire you, for it is not by tought or passionate feeling alone but by one’s gaze also that lustful desires mutually arise. And do not say that your hearts are pure if there is immodesty of the eye, because the unchaste eye carries the message of an impure heart. And when such hearts disclose their unchaste desires in a mutual gaze, even without saying a word, then it is that chastity suddenly goes out of their life, even though their bodies remain unsullied by unchaste acts. St. Augustine
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following
your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
*prepared and prayerfully adopted May/June 2005
revisions marked by (with date)