Session 1: One Great Quote and Two Unique Blessings.

abbaschildbrennan

Certain truths can be spoken only from the well of exaggeration. In trying to describe the transcendent mystery of Abba’s love, I employed (in this book) a plethora of adjectives such as infinite, outlandish, mind-bending, ineffable, and incomprehensible. Put them all together and they are still inadequate for one simple reason: Mystery is spoiled by a word. Brennan Manning

May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit. Spiritual director Larry Hein’s blessing for Brennan Manning

Today on planet Earth, may you experience the wonder and beauty of yourself as Abba’s Child and the temple of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord. Spiritual director Larry Hein’s blessing for Brennan Manning

In the preface to the 2002 edition of Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning offers a few new thoughts to his readers that weren’t in the original 1994 publication.  These three quotes I list here today seem to speak the loudest to me as I prepare to enter into my study of this great mystery of Abba’s love.

Scripture says that there are no physical limits to the expansive love of God. No ceiling. No floor. No edges. No end.

And if that isn’t enough to blow a few circuits in my little pea-brain, Larry Hein’s blessing that beckons me to come to the end of myself in order to find the beginning of Abba’s love just about pushes me off the edge!

Yet strangely enough, over the last few years, as I’ve seen one good idea after another fall apart as I’ve tried my best to shore up my dream of being a successful 3-B pastor, I now wonder if all the recent failures have actually been a blessing from my loving God? Could it be that if I were still out there doing my pastoral gig, drunk as a skunk on the toxins of the 3-B’s, I’d never be able to quiet myself enough so that I might explore the mysterious depths of Abba’s love?

In truth, if I were still laboring to expand my church’s (B)uilding size, striving to increase the number of (B)ucks in our weekly offerings, and working diligently to recruit more (B)utts for the seats, I’d be way too busy to ponder the heights, explore the width, or plumb the depths of God’s love.

So thank you, Brennan for this one great quote and two unique blessings.

As a recovering 3-B pastor, I really needed this to get my head screwed on straight as I enter this journey into the heart of the Father. In the days ahead, may you, my dear reader, like me, experience the wonder and beauty of yourself as Abba’s Child and the temple of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen and amen.

My prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your great invitation to me, beckoning me to experience, in this lifetime, the wonder and beauty of myself as Abba’s child. Open my heart, soul, mind, and spirit to all You have for me in this journey into Your Gospel of Grace. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: What obstacles stand in the way of me experiencing more of the Father Heart of God? What expectations of mine need to be frustrated, plans thwarted, desires withered, so that I might “experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit?”

So what is God speaking to you today as you live as Abba’s child in the midst of His Gospel of Grace?

Over an eleven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at God’s Gospel of Grace; Exploring the Good News of God’s Unconditional Love & Acceptance. We are using Brennan Manning’s classic book, Abba’s Child – The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging as our guide. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Gospel of Grace home page for ease of use. ENJOY!

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