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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Brother Lawrence?

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 Re:

Quote:

bereangirl wrote:
Hi Here4Him,

Yes I read his book some years back. It's actually more of a collection of letters that he wrote in instructing his friend in prayer than a "book". The main point is that we are to pray without ceasing and that God is present with us all the time and to be mindful of that. He took that to heart and made a point of focusing on that truth on a daily basis. The book shares his insights as he was growing in this area.

It's a good book to read but the only thing that left me a bit frustrated was that as a monk Brother Lawrence spent his work duty in the kitchen peeling potatoes and he spent this time in prayer while he worked. I dare say it's a whole lot easier to practice the presence of God in a quiet monastary kitchen than in a busy office with phones ringing off the hook. I found myself thinking when I finished the book, "Easy for him!"

I think it's still worth the read though.

Blessings,

Bereangirl



That is why the Bible states man can't serve two masters --- regardless of the need to eat.

;-)

 2006/10/18 7:57
Here4Him
Member



Joined: 2006/9/23
Posts: 212
England

 Re:

Thanks for all thats been said.

Bereangirl,
I know just what you mean- it is so hard to be mindful of the Lord all the time when you are busy and having things to do. I think it it something we all need to work on whether we are peeling potatoes, in an office or working in Christian ministry like me! How can we work on this? Any suggestions? Perhaps I should read Brother Lawrence to find out!

CJaKfOrEsT, thanks for your explanation of the mystics- i learned more about them through that.

Finally, i guess the main reason why I posted this thread was because I had heard about Bro Lawrence and was researching him because I was doing a RS lesson on prayer in a school. As i was reading about him i stumbled across something that he was quoted as saying which concerned me:

"after having given myself wholly to GOD, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He; and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world ..."

'Make all the satisfaction I could for my sins'? Didn't he understand the gospel?

Maybe i am doing the man a great injustice and misunderstanding him here- maybe we can learn a lot from him and his writings. If as you say he was a man who loved and knew God then i suppose we can learn from him, but do you see why I had concern?

As an example of a praying man i stuck to what I saw as the safer bet of 'Praying Hyde' and posted this thread to ask the question and Bro Lawrence!


_________________
George Platt

 2006/10/18 13:22Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Most of the preachers that have been of greatest blessing, including Tozer, Chambers, Reidhead, Wesley, amongst others, have been greatly influenced by the likes of Guyon, Fennelon, Lawrence, Boehme, and Law (although the last two weren't Catholic).


I'm not sure whether or not Chambers ought to be in this list. I think he was much more suspicious of the mystics than Tozer or Wesley. For myself I share his suspicions.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/10/19 9:11Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
I'm not sure whether or not Chambers ought to be in this list. I think he was much more suspicious of the mystics than Tozer or Wesley. For myself I share his suspicions.



I think that Chambers was "suspicious" of everyone, with possible exception of P.T Forsythe. In saying suspicious, I would probably rather put cautious, in the sence of recognising that we must "let God be true, and every man a liar", and not in a kind of "watch out for this guy, he can't be trusted". Chambers exhorted his students to read secular philosphy and psychology, saying that a man of "one Book" will often read other books, and is aware of error in contrast with truth.

The basis of my inclusion of Chambers in this list, is based on this except from his biography, "Abandoned to God":
Quote:

Undoubtedly the greatest influence on Chambers and countless other students was Dr. Alexander Whyte, pastor of Free St. George’s Church. More than a great pulpit orator, Whyte was also a dedicated teacher of the Bible. Every Sunday, following the evening preaching service, five hundred young men gathered at 8:15 in Free St. George’s for Dr. Whyte’s Class. The venerated pastor came down from the pulpit, took off his clerical gown and spoke informally, but with great intensity, for forty-five minutes. Just before nine o’clock, he stated three or four questions for the men to consider as they read during the coming week.

During Chambers’ first year in Edinburgh, Whyte focused on “The Mystics” during these Young Men’s Classes. Each week he discussed the spiritual vitality and commitment of Tauler, Thomas a Kempis, Luther, Santa Teresa, St. John of the Cross, Madame Guyon, and Fenelon. Through books like Vaughan’s Hours With the Mystics and Theologica Germanica he introduced his eager students to many of the spiritual and devotional writers of the seventeenth century. In 1896 the class began a series titled “The Great Autobiographies.” Alexander Whyte loved great books and freely recommended them to his listeners. Many times Chambers saw him hold aloft a battered old volume with loving care as he urged his audience, “Sell your beds and buy it.”


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2006/10/22 3:04Profile
lovegrace
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Joined: 2006/8/12
Posts: 313


 Re:

Quote:

enid wrote:
I have to admit, I have the book by brother Lawrence, but I only read half the book. For some reason I could not read the rest. Let's face it, it's a very short book. But I just could not read it.

Something about it just didn't feel right.



I felt the same way, enid. And I couldn't describe why.

I could sum the book up for you in a few sentences. "Do everything as it was unto God. Keep God on your mind, when your doing dishes, cleaning your house, and any/everything you do. As if you were madly in love with God, let Him be your every thought."

There have been a few times in my life where He was my every thought. Wow, what a blessing to have God on your mind all the time. 8-) Nothing but an eternal well of refreshing water.

Bless ya.

 2006/10/22 9:09Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Mystery and intrigue

Bereangirl;

Quote:
It's a good book to read but the only thing that left me a bit frustrated was that as a monk Brother Lawrence spent his work duty in the kitchen peeling potatoes and he spent this time in prayer while he worked. I dare say it's a whole lot easier to practice the presence of God in a quiet monastary kitchen than in a busy office with phones ringing off the hook. I found myself thinking when I finished the book, "Easy for him!"


:-) Good point and one well recognized these days personally. Of course it is also somewhat difficult to ascribe the wrong intentions, think that has been well enough spoken to already. Still, a great challenge to us. Read this short book quite early on and found it very helpful in just recognizing what a prayer life or life of prayer really amounts to out in the hubris of the daily assaults.

[i]"after having given myself wholly to GOD, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He; and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world ..."[/i]

Quote:
'Make all the satisfaction I could for my sins'? Didn't he understand the gospel?

Maybe i am doing the man a great injustice and misunderstanding him here- maybe we can learn a lot from him and his writings.



Would chalk that up to a 'turn of the phrase', believe the meaning is more in line with having ones confession up to date.

Aaron;

Quote:
Based on my limited understanding of the mystics, I think that it's mostly a case of "grew up in the wrong century".



Interesting how that particular tag often ends up on those who 'buck' the system.

Quote:
It could be said that as the most eclectic Jazz is to the musician, so the writings of the mystics is to the theologian. Much of what they say fall on deaf ears as either stupidity or offensiveness (sounds a bit like the cross), while only those who have come to the end of reading all the saccharin attempts to explain away things that don't fit into the various "theological categories" can tolerate the bittersweet flavour, that is reminiscent of the finest chili or curry dish, that would have children running for a pitcher of water.


Rather like that brother. Something telling of that control factor when even the aberrations can't be taken for what they are.

Do understand well enough the caution raised about these things, there are some other threads around here placing a caution and consideration, would only broaden it to even the theology of other great minds of the Lord, always testing with that 'suspicion' of a Berean.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/10/22 17:15Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
During Chambers’ first year in Edinburgh, Whyte focused on “The Mystics” during these Young Men’s Classes. Each week he discussed the spiritual vitality and commitment of Tauler, Thomas a Kempis, Luther, Santa Teresa, St. John of the Cross, Madame Guyon, and Fenelon.


I am not sure that a man who listened to someone who read mystics is thereby a mystic himself. He is referred to as a "Christian Mystic" by some but surely these are people who either did not read Chambers or had not thought about the mystics.

btw
Quote:
I think that Chambers was "suspicious" of everyone, with possible exception of P.T Forsythe. I


I am suspicious of Forsyth!!


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/10/23 8:53Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
I am suspicious of Forsyth!!



I am suspicious of Mike Balog ;-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/10/23 9:36Profile
ellay
Member



Joined: 2006/10/30
Posts: 1


 Re: Brother Lawrence?

Hello,
I invite you to spend some time at [url=http://www.PracticeGodsPresence.com/index.html]www.PracticeGodsPresence.com[/url].

In addition to Brother Lawrence's "The Practice of the Presence of God" as it was first published, there are twelve small books of Reflections on Practicing God's Presence and also an "easy on the eyes" edition of THE GOSPEL.

Read with humility, simplicity, faith, and love for Our Father and I hope you will see that this is a lifestyle for all of us, no matter our age or circumstances.

I am totally dedicated to the Brother Lawrence tradition because it is the way of Our Lord.

May God draw you ever closer to Him!

 2006/10/30 23:18Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Brother Lawrence?

Such a small book, yet so powerful in its applications.


_________________
D.Miller

 2006/10/30 23:32Profile





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