Day One: September 2020

​Beginning today, the differentiation between my Facebook page and Oboedire site is in effect. I am grateful to those of you who have subscribed to Oboedire, and I want to create this “Day One” (first day of the month) communication as an Oboedire-family piece to update you in a general way, and to share thoughts that are currently on my mind, but which I am not developing into full-fledged posts. “Day One” will also include recommendations to other resources.

If you are also a Facebook friend of me or Jeannie, you will know that we have spent the past two weeks rescuing and befriending kittens. Jeannie has written the continuing saga on her Facebook page (Jeannie Waller Harper; they are tagged on my page as well). We have kept the first two kittens (Sweetie and Honey), and given kitten #3 (now named Hagrid) and kitten #4 (to be named) to two great families.  I am sure we will have ongoing cat stories and pics on our Facebook pages.  It’s like being parents again! 😀  Jeannie and I are calling ourselves Sarah and Abraham.

As the new Oboedire rolls out, it will be a “less is more” approach.  For now, you can expect these three things….

(1) This “Day One” Oboedire family piece.

(2) “In Sight”….the anchor series for Oboedire, the first Saturday of each month.

(3) “Along the Way”….occasional posts that comment on life in general.

The “In-Sight” for September continues making use of Micah 6:8, this time showing how it calls us to be mystic-prophets. It posts on the 5th.

On this first day of September, we find ourselves on the other side of both Democratic and Republican conventions, each one conducted in a “perfect storm” of unrest, disease, and natural disasters. In addition, it is clear that lines have been drawn and we are in for a rough ride between now and November 3rd, with “aftershocks” following that, no doubt.  

That being the case, it is essential for us to establish ourselves on “the solid rock,” clinging tightly to Christ and to the mainstays of the spiritual life. It is also crucial for us to become increasingly engaged in the “new thing” God is doing in our day. To these ends, I offer some resources….

(1) Clinging tightly to Christ….my new book, ‘Life in Christ’ (Abingdon Press) has just been released. It may be my last book.  But whether it is, or not, it is a summation of my foundational convictions, using Paul’s letter to the Galatians as the biblical text for exploring them. I have been studying Galatians the past few years, and it has become an ancient/future means for me to express my bedrock beliefs about the spiritual life.

(2) Mainstay for the spiritual life….I am looking once again at the Rule of Saint Benedict.  I believe it offers us a place to stand as we live in the “perfect storm” of these days. I wrote an extended series here on Oboedire (“Benedict’s Rule”), and you can find it in the Categories list on the Oboedire home page. I hope you will find it helpful, either as a first-time read, or as a reprise. This time around, I am looking at the Rule through the insights of Joan Chittister’s book, ‘Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of Benedict Today.’

(3) God’s “new thing”….David Gushee’s book, ‘After Evangelicalism’ (Eerdmans) has just been released. It is an informative and encouraging read, and I think it will soon be a guide to move us ahead in a much-needed revival in the church and society. We are in a God-initiated new awakening, and we need good guides to help us navigate the passage. David Gushee is one such person to pay attention to and to follow.

Well, I hope you have found this first Oboedire-family post to be helpful.  Again, thank you for being on the journey with me.  And if you know others whom you think would be interested, please let them know about Oboedire.  The only way it grows is by word of mouth.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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