CPS what is it good for?

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FredS
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CPS what is it good for?

Post by FredS » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:35 pm

I'm not wired to be a Bible thumper, or even a mild mannered evangelist for Christ. It's just not me. I've been in to contemplative prayer for the last few years and I sequester myself in a Benedictine monastery every few months to really immerse myself in prayer. I love my time away and alone. I've enjoyed studying the desert fathers during this time, and in one of my favorite books on the subject, Thomas Merton (one of my favorite writers) said that the fathers didn't flee to the desert to get away from their society, but to save it. Like rescuing ones self from a sinking ship in order to come back with life preservers for the fellow passengers. To get your own s**t together in order to help others. Over the last ten years, I've learned a lot: from God, from my pastors, and yes, from CPS. Other people have noticed and other people ask me about it. Like I said, I don't feel called to evangelism, but other people want to know what I know. So Mrs FredS and I have started leading a small group. I don't call it a 'Bible study' because we don't always study the Bible. Now, however, we're studying Ephesians. Last week, we read chapter 2.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Like most Protestant Churches these days, our group has a varied church history. CofC's, Episcopalians, a couple flavors of Baptists, and even some Lutherans. As we discussed whether we should behave differently amongst those in the Church vs those outside, the (ex)Lutheran guy asked about all the different strains of Christianity. How can they all be right if they're all different? Is there anything at the core that must be in common? What is it? If we have that common core then why do we squabble and split over the non-essentials?

CPS prepared me to offer some thoughts on that subject.

So there's that.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by DepartedLight » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:45 am

Interesting.
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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by sweetandsour » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:42 pm

Don't know of any Benedictine monasteries near me; but sometimes I crave solitude. Honestly, when I do get a chance to go deer hunting, the solitude is the main reason. I pray, think, cry, count blessings ... I don't shoot deer anymore. Sometimes it's hard to leave the woods and return to the world.
I'm old but I'm happy.

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by mont974x4 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:47 pm

My place of solitude has been invaded.
It sounded better when the voices in my head were saying it.

Ire attracter-at-large and general misanthrope.

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by Goose55 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:12 pm

I'm new; a babe here, but it seems to me that CPS is a testament to the truth that "it is not what goes into the belly that defileth a man, but what comes out of the heart."

My guess would be that the judgment from appearance by many non pipe smoking Christians would be that pipe smokers are defiling their bodies; the temple of God. I think that scripture needs to be looked at again.

CPS gives us the opportunity to do just that -- revisit such sayings of Jesus, and the Apostles, to understand what they really mean.
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by tuttle » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:23 pm

FredS wrote:....CPS prepared me to offer some thoughts on that subject.
I can't tell you the amount of conversations that I've had where I bring with me knowledge/experience/etc from CPS. I often think of CPS as iron sharpening iron in some respects. It's almost a training ground in that sense as well. Interacting here is different than pretty much anywhere I've interacted. Where so many traditions/opinions/theologies/etc can swirl into one place and yet still exist as a weird hybrid type of fellowship. It's like a bazaar at the crossroads of some empire where views/customs converge all at once. You come away with a little something each time you visit.
"You're my kind of stupid" -Mal Reynolds

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by hugodrax » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:55 pm

Interesting you asked. Someone the other day said he had been taught all Catholics were wrong. I was taught that all Protestants were members of the John Birch Society, rabidly opposed to not just my religion, but my people. Growing up in rural western Pa in the fifties really colored my father's perceptions and his perceptions colored my belief. CPS has taught me that only some of you are like that (that's humor, not criticism). Some catholics are, too. My father is a perfect example. For most, we differ on theology but acknowledge each other's fundamental humanity. I've gotten into a few arguments with Dad over this.

For modern believing Christians, we are practically ecumenical. I've learned a lot from everyone here. Sometimes an argument renforces my belief, sometimes it makes me question it.

Edited in interests of fairness.
Last edited by hugodrax on Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by UncleBob » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:23 pm

mont974x4 wrote:My place of solitude has been invaded.
That is easy. Walk into the front room where everyone is and then just announce to nobody specific, "Well, time to clean the garage." Then walk out.

You will have several hours of sweet, sweet solitude.
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by mont974x4 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:12 pm

UncleBob wrote:
mont974x4 wrote:My place of solitude has been invaded.
That is easy. Walk into the front room where everyone is and then just announce to nobody specific, "Well, time to clean the garage." Then walk out.

You will have several hours of sweet, sweet solitude.
I don't have a garage. My place of solitude is my study. I can smoke there.
It sounded better when the voices in my head were saying it.

Ire attracter-at-large and general misanthrope.

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by wosbald » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:20 pm

Off Topic
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:You come away with a little something each time you visit.
Yeah. A headache.




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by Tatanka » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:03 am

These posts are the first I've read about stillness, contemplation, reflective listening to the Silence. Ps.46:10. A severe black night of depression and hell led me to read St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avela. This led me to find other Christian mystics and a correspondence with father Thomas Keating after reading his books, and the introduction to contemplative prayer. There have been no more glorious spiritual highs than from the time of listening to the Silence.

All my previous interest in theological doctrinal discussions have faded so dramatically over time I only want to hear more of the New Covenant Gospel of Jesus! Recently Luke 10:42 impacted me powerfully - so much so that I do not finish a day without thinking of it several times. I will never join another church. I think I have joined the "Dones" ~~ the growing group of those "done with 'doing church.'" I just want to love Jesus more, to sit with Martha's sister Mary at Jesus feet, gazing and listening to the Savior. I feel like expanding on the song, "Take the world and give me Jesus" and adding, "and take all the systems of organized religion and give me Jesus." I identify with the beggar and publican. A very sinful beggar, just pointing where I found Bread.

I long to have the FATHER and the Lord Jesus look at me and nod in agreement that I am - in their knowing - "keeping in step with the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25). It's encouraging to hear others speak honestly and openly about this most personal and most important topic in all the world - - talking about the life challenge for followers of Jesus - of being and abiding "in Christ."
Soli Deo Gloria!

"If the doors (windows) of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is - infinite." ~ William Blake

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by Thunktank » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:30 am

wosbald wrote:
Off Topic
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:You come away with a little something each time you visit.
Yeah. A headache.
I would come away with a headache too if I spent as much time as you do inventing big words.

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by Roadmaster » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:08 am

tuttle wrote:
FredS wrote:....CPS prepared me to offer some thoughts on that subject.
I can't tell you the amount of conversations that I've had where I bring with me knowledge/experience/etc from CPS. I often think of CPS as iron sharpening iron in some respects. It's almost a training ground in that sense as well. Interacting here is different than pretty much anywhere I've interacted. Where so many traditions/opinions/theologies/etc can swirl into one place and yet still exist as a weird hybrid type of fellowship. It's like a bazaar at the crossroads of some empire where views/customs converge all at once. You come away with a little something each time you visit.
Well said and I agree 100%.
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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by FredS » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:49 am

Tatanka wrote:These posts are the first I've read about stillness, contemplation, reflective listening to the Silence. Ps.46:10. A severe black night of depression and hell led me to read St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avela. This led me to find other Christian mystics and a correspondence with father Thomas Keating after reading his books, and the introduction to contemplative prayer. There have been no more glorious spiritual highs than from the time of listening to the Silence.

All my previous interest in theological doctrinal discussions have faded so dramatically over time I only want to hear more of the New Covenant Gospel of Jesus! . . .
Ah yes. St John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila have also helped me through the dark night of the soul. Father Thomas Green's Drinking From a Dry Well has been helpful too. I discussed this via pm with one of our guys just the other day. If a Christian is serious about solitude and contemplative prayer, there will come a time when he no longer (or seldom) get's the warm fuzzies when he's alone with God. Our problem is that we really like the warm fuzzies. But, like our relationship with an earthly lover, the fiery passion morphs in to a deeper love, and we find that simply abiding - knowing and being known, down to our core - is actually a truer love. But there's a period there, between the two phases of love, where one feels all alone. We even have a term for it - "the 7 year itch" - when it comes to our spousal relationship. It's a make-it-or-break-it time. The folks mentioned above tell us that this is a normal part of our relationship with God and they provide advice on how to move through it rather than get stuck in it.

And yes, once we are truly abiding in/with God, a lot of the theological noise around us appears foolish and meaningless. Learning what's really important (loving God and His people) has changed my world so dramatically that my wife and I jokingly refer to me as Fred 2.0. I still get down in the dirt and fuss and fight once in a while but it's not where I live any more.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Re: CPS what is it good for?

Post by Tatanka » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:26 pm

I still get down in the dirt and fuss and fight once in a while but it's not where I live any more.

I love the story of the healing of the blind man in Luke 18 and John 9. I identify with this blind man because of the years I "now" see that I was blinded by all man's add-on's that hide true grace salvation, the simple, yet bottomless depth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the little tax collector, I had to climb a tree above all the systemetized religion I had been programmed with, to see Jesus as the Gospel.

I love the blind man's final reply to the religious leaders questioning who it was that was "supposed" to heal him of blindness, when he said "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I DO KNOW, I WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE." Vs. 25. I like the paraphrase:

I ain't what I wanna be; I ain't what I'm gonna be; But through the blood of Christ, I AIN'T WHAT I WAS!" :) :)
Soli Deo Gloria!

"If the doors (windows) of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is - infinite." ~ William Blake

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