April 13th to 19th: Conclusions

Reading:  Heart Speaks to Heart III “Look, here are my hands…” and Epilogue, as well as Making All This New Conclusion

We have been on an incredible Lenten journey together, and I am deeply grateful to each and every person who has journeyed with us (either actively or silently).

As with any journey, it is important to take the time to solidify what we have learned, and how we have grown, to be sure that we take it with us.

1) “Thank you for letting me believe more every day, hope more every day and love more every day” (Heart Speaks to Heart, p 57).
a) Below I’ve inserted a portion of a letter written by Henri in September of 1991.  May it remind you and inspire you to give God your full “yes” more and more every day.


2) I invite you to take some time to look back over the previous six weeks and remember the most important things that Jesus spoke to you about.
a)  Please share with us the one or two things that you really want to take with you and integrate more fully into your life from here on in.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21

In gratitude to each of you,


April 6th to 12th: “Set Your Hearts”

Reading: Making All Things New: Part 3 “Set Your Hearts”

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 2: 22-23

As we draw near to the end of our Lenten journey, Henri wisely guides us to bring all that we have reflected on into the every day of our lives.  So that our hearts can speak to the heart of Jesus every day.  So that He can make things new in us each day.

In order to do this we develop a “spiritual discipline … the concentrated effort to create some inner and out space in our lives…” (p68).  Henri urges us towards two disciplines of prayer:  solitude and community.

1) “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life.  Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and him alone.”
a) When you think about setting aside regular times of solitude to be with God, what kind of resistance comes up in you (or used to)?
b) Do you find yourself afraid of the inner chaos that can erupt in such times of solitude?
c) Are you among those who have discovered the joy and healing that comes from time alone with God?  What is your daily time of solitude like?  Please share your journey with us, so that others who are just starting out with the discipline of solitude can be encouraged.

2)  “Solitude is not a spontaneous response to an occupied and preoccupied life… therefore we must begin by carefully planning some solitude” (p71).
a) If you ready to move forward in your spiritual life, begin now by planning regular times of solitude with God.  Even if you need to start with ten minutes a day.  Plan it.  Schedule it in.  Protect that time.  You are invited to share with us your commitment, so you have a sense of accountability.
b) What can you do right now to prepare a place where you can easily go for your time of solitude?
c) For those who are a little more experienced in this discipline, is there a specific Psalm, or word of Scripture that you have found to quiet your heart and focus your attention on God?
d) What are some of the other forms of solitude that you have found helpful in focusing your attention on God?

The second discipline Henri refers to is the discipline of community – “the effort to create a free and empty space among people where together we can practice true obedience.  Through the discipline of community we prevent ourselves from clinging to each other in fear and loneliness, and clear free space to listen to the liberating voice of God” (p 80-81).

1)  “Community is grounded in God, who calls us together, and not in the attractiveness of people to each other” (p83).
a) Consider the community you are in right now, marriage, friendship, family, religious life etc.  You may feel at the moment that you are not mutually compatible.  But ask God why He has called you together, ask Him what your true identity as a community is.
b) To help with question a), Henri invites us to hear the word of Scripture together in a communal silence (see page 85).  No debating, discussing, sharing or arguing.  Just a quiet listening together.  An attentiveness to each other, and an awareness of the caring presence of God.
c) Please share some other disciplines of community that you have found that help your community (marriage, friendship, family, religious life etc.) “be an act of true obedience … responsive to the way we have heard God’s voice in our midst” (p88).

Again, there is much to reflect upon in this chapter, and I look forward to hearing from each of you.

March 30th to April 5th: The soldier “pierced his side with a lance…”

Reading:  Heart Speaks to Heart, Chapter II The soldier “pierced his side with a lance…”

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:13-14

So far on this amazing journey we are sharing, we have sought to create a conscious opportunity for our heart to speak to the heart of Jesus, free from the many things that distract us, and last week we took the time to specifically invite His Kingdom to be first in our lives.  This week we have the opportunity to reflect upon, and receive, the sacrifice Jesus made in order to bring each one of us into His Kingdom.

1) “You have given everything.  You ‘have emptied yourself, taking the form of a slave; you have humbled yourself by accepting death, death on a cross.’ Your body has been fully given for me; your blood has been fully poured out for me.  You who are love have not held back anything for yourself, but have let all your love flow from your heart to make it bear fruit in me” (p36). 
a) How do these words speak to your heart?

2) “Your broken heart… there  all suffering has been suffered, all anguish lived, all loneliness endured, all abandonment felt and all agony cried out” (p37).
a) In deep trust in His love for us, we once again have the opportunity to bring all of our suffering, anguish, loneliness and abandonment to the heart of Jesus.  Let your heart speak to His.

3) An additional opportunity this chapter brings us is to realize that we need not get stuck in our pain.  “Your precious blood flows from your broken heart to heal my broken heart, and the broken hearts of every man and woman in every time and place” (p42). 
a) To those of you who have experienced the how the blood of Jesus can heal a broken heart, please share with us your story, so that others can be encouraged, and understand how to bring their broken heart before their Healer.

4) “O Jesus, I look into my own heart and at my own hands.  There, too, I find blood… So often they have been instruments of greed and lust, of impatience and anger, of accusation and recrimination” yet “your heart knows no revenge, only forgiveness,” “the blood flowing from your heart is the blood of the innocent Lamb by which the sins of the world are washed away “(p40, 41 & 42).
INVITATION:  Come before Jesus with a heart of repentance.  Be honest with him about the “blood” on your own hands, and ask Him to wash them clean.  If you are a visual person, perhaps you can see the blood of Jesus flowing over your hands, and cleansing them.

5) “I adore you, Jesus… I thank you.  I praise you.  I love you” (p 44 and 45)
INVITATION:  Listen to your favorite song of adoration and praise (and share it with us too!), and just take time to adore Him.  You may also appreciate the song “Worthy is the Lamb” this week.

I very much look forward to hearing from you all!