I've always been a worker bee...a religious, spiritual worker bee...but sincerely so. A God who was straight-faced, hardly cracking a smile, was the One I served. Despite that, I still loved Him, but I wanted Him to smile upon me. My journey took me through the "do & don't" list of my "birth church" to a convent for several years to evangelical Christianity, all the while exchanging one "do & don't" list for another...sincerely so, "born-again" so,...but working, ever working, not for my salvation, but for my sanctification...but sincerely so!
Then after a health breakdown and all, I got to know the Living God...the great I AM! And you know what? He was smiling at me! Why? Because of Jesus and the love of His Abba and MINE!!!!
So when I discovered Brennan Manning's books, way back when, they were pure joy and delight! They were like the sweetest of "fertilizer" for the young plant beginning to grow of "being loved and embraced by my Abba" no matter what!
So I am grateful to God for this "fellow runner" in the "race of faith." He has been one in the magnificent "cloud of witnesses" surrounding me. Hebrews 11-12
I've quoted Manning several times over the past two-plus years at a branch in the Vine. I'd like to share one of my favorites with my Congratulations to a dear brother on his graduation to Glory! You will be missed, dear brother, but we know you would never want to come back!
We are not cowed into timidity by death and life. Were we forced to rely on our own shabby resources we would be pitiful people indeed. But the awareness of Christ's present risenness persuades us that we are buoyed up and carried on by a life greater than our own.
The Christ within who is our hope of glory is not a matter of theological debate or philosophical speculation. He is not a hobby, a part-time project, a good theme for a book, or a last resort when all human effort fails. He is our life, the most real fact about us. He is the power and wisdom of God dwelling within us.
The Rabbi's Heartbeat, Brennan Manning
I just found this "book trailer" on a link advertising Manning's last book, All is Grace. To my delight and surprise, I noticed that he retired in Belmar, NJ where my mother, brother, and sister live. In fact, it looks like he may have preached at my mom's church, St Rose in Belmar, at some time in the past. Take a look and follow this link to order his book.
You might also like the series, Abba's Child...some of these posts are based on Brennan Manning's writings.
A CD by Rich Mullins was playing in my car this week. I thought it would be appropriate to share this song of his (one of my favorites) in memory of Rich's mentor, Brennan Manning. Rich had named his band the Ragamuffin Band after Manning's classic book Ragamuffin Gospel. Both Rich and Brennan are now in heaven, "getting caught up!" Enjoy!
If I Stand Rich Mullins
There's more that rises in the morning Than the sun And more that shines in the night Than just the moon It's more than just this fire here That keeps me warm In a shelter that is larger Than this room
And there's a loyalty that's deeper Than mere sentiments And a music higher than the songs That I can sing The stuff of Earth competes For the allegiance I owe only to the giver Of all good things
CHORUS: So if I stand let me stand on the promise That you will pull me through And if I can't, let me fall on the grace That first brought me to You And if I sing let me sing for the joy That has born in me these songs And if I weep let it be as a man Who is longing for his home
There's more that dances on the prairies Than the wind More that pulses in the ocean Than the tide There's a love that is fiercer Than the love between friends More gentle than a mother's When her baby's at her side
And there's a loyalty that's deeper Than mere sentiments And a music higher than the songs That I can sing The stuff of Earth competes For the allegence I owe only to the Giver Of all good things
And if I weep let it be as a man Who is longing for his home
View Brennan's obituary and video tribute on his website: