God’s Will Be Done

Cover, A Christian Guide to Spirituality

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Who is in charge of your life?

If God is in charge of your life, then you want to participate in the advancement of God’s kingdom and to do his will. Jesus treats them as the same thing. Remember, Hebrew poetry does not rhyme; it doubles. The second phrase repeats the first, but in different words. The more subtle the doubling; the more beautiful the poetry.

To see this doubling, ask yourself a question: how do you know that you have entered a kingdom? A kingdom exists where the king’s edicts are obeyed. Jesus prays: “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” (Matt 6:10)

The third phase in the prayer reinforces the first two. Where does Jesus pray that God’s kingdom will be? Let it be a kingdom on earth as in heaven. Where does Jesus pray that God’s will be done? Let it be done on earth as in heaven. We aspire that earth be like heaven.

James, the brother of Jesus, echoes this distinction in his contrast between faith and action. He writes simply: “faith apart from works is dead” (Jas 2:26). Our faith may model heaven, but on earth our actions must reflect it.

Did you notice the subtle reminder of God’s creative power in Jesus’ prayer? Hint: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1) Earth is modeled after heaven in the creation order. It still would be but for the corruption of sin. In praying the Lord’s Prayer, we are petitioning God to restore creation and are, in effect, participating in its re-creation.

A Hebrew doublet sometimes takes the form of a negative contrast. In Psalm 1, for example, we read: “for the LORD knows the way of the righteous [will prosper], but the way of the wicked will perish [not prosper].” (Ps 1:6) One is a blessing of the law followed; the other is a curse of the law broken. The logic of the pattern invites us to fill in any missing pieces.

In Jesus’ prayer, two negative contrasts are implicit. It is your kingdom come; not my kingdom come. It is your will be done; not my will be done. Submission implies choosing God over self.

God’s Will Be Done

Also see:

Preface to A Christian Guide to Spirituality

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Purchase Book: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

   
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La Voluntad de Dios Sea Hecho

Cubierta por Una Guia Cristian a la Espiritualidad

“Venga Tu reino. Hágase Tu voluntad, Así en la tierra como en el cielo.” (Matt 6:10 NBH)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

¿Quien es a cargo de tu vida?

Si Dios está en control de tu vida, entonces quiere participar en la avanza del reino de Dios y a hacer Su voluntad. Jesús les trata como la misma cosa. Recuerde, la poesía hebrea no rima; se duplica. La frase segunda repite la primera frase, pero en palabras diferente. La más sutil la duplicación; la más hermosa la poesía.

Para ver esta duplicación, hágase una pregunta: ¿como lo sabes que has entrada un reino? Un reino empieza donde se obedecen los edictos del rey . Jesús pidió: “Venga Tu reino. Hágase Tu voluntad” (Matt 6:10).

La frase tercera en la oración refuerza la dos primera. ¿Dónde orar Jesús que el reino será? Que sea un reino en la tierra como en el cielo. ¿Dónde orar Jesús que la voluntad de Dios se hará? Que se haga en la tierra como en el cielo. Aspiramos a que la tierra sea como el cielo.

Santiago, el hermano de Jesús, hace eco de esta distinción en la contrasta entre la fe y la acción. Escribe simplemente: “la fe sin las obras está muerta” (James 2:26 NBH). Nuestra fe puede modelar el cielo, sino en la tierra de nuestra acciones deben lo reflectar.

¿Nota el recordatorio sutil de la poder creativa de Dios en la oración de Jesús? Pista: “En el principio Dios creó los cielos y la tierra.” (Gen 1:1 NBH) La tierra está modelar después el cielo en la ordena creativa. Estaría todavía sino por la corrupción de los pecados. En orando el Padre Nuestra, Peticionamos a Dios a restaurar la creación y, en efecto, participáramos en su re-creación.

Un doblete hebreo a veces toma la forma de un contraste negativa. En Salmo 1, por ejemplo, leemos: “Porque el SEÑOR conoce el camino de los justos [sera prosperar], Pero el camino de los impíos perecerá [no sera prosperar].” (Psa 1:6 NBH) Una frase es una bendición de la ley siguió; la otra frase es una maldición de la ley quebrantada. La lógica del patrón nos invita a rellenar los piezas que faltan.

En la oración de Jesús, dos contrastes negativa se implícita. Viene tu reino; no viene mio. Se haga tu voluntad; no hará mía. La sumisión a dios implica la elección de Dios sobre sí mismo.

La Voluntad de Dios Sea Hecho

Ver también:

Prefacio de La Guía Cristiana a la Espiritualidad

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Comprar Libro: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Boletín informativo: https://bit.ly/Bright_2021

 
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Gottes Wille Geschehe

Ein Christlicher Leitfaden zur Spiritualität, 20201014

Von Stephen W. Hiemstra

Dein Reich komme. Dein Wille geschehe wie im Himmel so auf Erden. (Matt 6:10)

Wer ist verantwortlich für dein Leben?

Wenn Gott für deinen Leben verantwortlich ist, möchst du am Fortschritt des Reiches Gottes teilnehmen und seinen Willen tun. Jesus behandelt sie als dasselbe. Denken Sie daran, hebräische Poesie reimt sich nicht; es verdoppelt sich. Der zweite Satz wiederholt den ersten, jedoch mit anderen Worten. Je subtiler die Verdoppelung; Je schöner die Poesie.

Um diese Verdoppelung zu sehen, stellst du dich eine Frage: Woher wisst du, dass du ein Königreich betreten hast? Es gibt ein Königreich, in dem die Erlasse des Königs befolgt werden. Jesus betet: “Dein Reich komme. Dein Wille geschehe.” (Matt 6:10)

Die dritte Phase des Gebets verstärkt die ersten beiden. Wo betet Jesus, dass Gottes Reich sein wird? Lass es ein Königreich auf Erden sein wie im Himmel. Wir streben danach, dass die Erde wie der Himmel ist.

Jakobus, der Bruder Jesu, spiegelt diese Unterscheidung in seinem Kontrast zwischen Glauben und Handeln wider. Er schreibt einfach: “Der Glaube ohne Werke tot.” (Jas 2:26) Unser Glaube mag den Himmel modellieren, aber auf Erden müssen unsere Handlungen ihn widerspiegeln.

Hast du die subtile Erinnerung an Gottes schöpferische Kraft im Gebet Jesu bemerkt? Hinweis: “Am Anfang schuf Gott Himmel und Erde.” (Gen 1:1) Die Erde ist in der Schöpfungsordnung dem Himmel nachempfunden. Es wäre immer noch ohne die Korruption der Sünde. Indem wir den Herrn Gebet beten, bitten wir Gott, die Schöpfung wiederherzustellen, und beteiligen uns tatsächlich an ihrer Neuschöpfung.

Ein hebräisches Dublett hat manchmal die Form eines negativen Kontrasts. In Psalm 1 lesen wir zum Beispiel:  “Denn der HERR kennt den Weg der Gerechten [wird gedeihen], aber der Gottlosen Weg vergeht [nicht gedeihen].” (Ps 1:6) Eines ist den Segen eines Gesetzes befolgt; Der andere ist den Fluch eines Gesetzes gebrochen. Die Logik des Musters lädt uns ein, fehlende Teile auszufüllen.

Im Gebet Jesu sind zwei negative Kontraste impliziert. Es ist dein Reich gekommen; Nicht mein Königreich kommt. Es ist dein Wille getan; Nicht mein Wille geschehe. Unterwerfung bedeutet, Gott vor sich selbst zu wählen.

Gottes Wille Geschehe

Siehe auch:

Einleitung auf Ein Christlicher Leitfaden zur Spiritualität 

Andere Möglichkeiten, sich online zu engagieren:

Autoren Seite: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Herausgeber Seite: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Mitteilungsblatt: https://bit.ly/Bright_2021

 

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George Researches her Fiction

George_review_20210330

Elizabeth George [1]. 2004. Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life. New York: Harper Collins.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

The corona virus pandemic turned me into a full-time writer and aided my transition from nonfiction to fiction writing. This life behind closed doors has given me time to read a lot of craft books. Among the best of these has been Elizabeth George’s Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life.

George focuses on teaching craft. She believes that art, passion and discipline cannot be taught, but the craft of writing can be (x). In her final words, she writes:

“You will be published if you possess three qualities—talent, passion, and discipline. You will probably be published if you possess two of the three…You will likely be published…[if you] have discipline.” (253). For her, craft is a discipline that must be part of any successful writing career so she focuses on teaching it.

Background and Organization

Elizabeth George was born in Ohio, but grew up in California where she earned a teaching certificate in English at the University of California, Riverside and a master’s degree in counseling and psychology. She has received many honors and awards for her detective stories placed in England written with a literary touch.[2]

Writing Away is written in twenty-two chapters divided into five parts:

  1. An Overview of the Craft
  2. The Basics
  3. Technique
  4. Process
  5. Examples and Guides (vii-viii).

The chapters are preceded by a preface and followed by notes and an index.

Research Plows her Ground

Throughout her book, George includes lengthy excerpts of her writing and the writing of others that sometimes seems excessive, but makes it obvious that she thoroughly researches her topics before sitting down to write. This research method is necessary in writing most nonfiction, but George’s preoccupation with research is much more than other fiction authors usually admit in fashioning their craft books.

This research focus allows her two advantages in crafting her fiction. The first advantage is that she is able to consider more plot, character, and descriptive alternatives before committing herself to any particular alternative. Some authors will run through a litany of alternatives in their mind, but she visits her locations and interviews professionals that she writes about with a journalist’s intensity. She also records her impressions as she goes about her work to pick up the smells and sounds of a place that most of us simply scribble from memory. Where my character sketch might fill a page for my main character, hers can go on for pages and include details about family history, education, and flaws.

The second advantage is that she can focus on her literary expression when she finally writes and it helps her to economize on the number of edits required to create a final draft. She talks about this advantage a bit, but the depth of her writing speaks more clearly of how it aids her craft. It is hard to imagine her winging it through her prose, although it rolls forth unpretentiously, not in labored fashion, like you might envision someone gifted in conversation.

Landscape

One measure of a book is whether I can remember anything from it once I put it down. George’s description of landscape fits this description.

George defines landscape as: “The broad vista into which the writer actually places the individual setting of the novel.” (29). You might image an artist starting by choosing the colors to paint a background for images that populate the canvas later, like maybe a baby blue tint in a Chagall painting.

In my own writing project, Masquerade, the landscape for the main characters is oppression of constant work that demands attention every waking hour. When the two main characters meet, they employ costumes to distinguish themselves on the street. It seems cute or serendipitous at first, but grows into a theme in the book—in part, an exposition of identity.

George calls this sort of thing an “internal landscape,” (35) which resonated with me because I had done conscientiously. Knowing that I had done this gave me a theme to develop more completely.

Assessment

Elizabeth George’s Writing Away is must read for aspiring authors who struggle to develop the descriptions in their settings, characters, and plots.

Footnotes

[1] https://www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_George.

George Researches her Fiction

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

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Heaven and Earth: Monday Monologues (podcast) May 3, 2021

Stephen_W_Hiemstra_20200125b

 By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on Heaven and Earth. After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Heaven and Earth: Monday Monologues (podcast) May 3, 2021

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Prayer Day 24

Available on Amazon.com
By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Heavenly Father.

We praise you for hope in the future and for the gift of patience.

We praise you for the vision of Eden and for the promise of new creation where the fullness of salvation will be revealed and all things made new.

For in Christ we know the end of the story.

You are our rock and our salvation.

To you and you alone be the glory.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer Day 24

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Purchase Book: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

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Oración Dia 24

Cubierta por Una Guia Cristian a la Espiritualidad

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre Celestial.

Te alabamos por la esperanza del futuro y por el don de la paciencia.

Te alabamos por la visión del Edén y por la promesa de una nueva creación donde se dará a conocer la plenitud de salvación y todas las cosas hechas nuevas.

Porque en Cristo sabemos el fin de la historia.

Tú eres nuestra roca y nuestra salvación.

Para Tí y sólo a Tí sea la gloria.

En el nombre del Padre, el Hijo, y el Espíritu Santo, Amén.

Oración Dia 24

Ver también:

Prefacio de La Guía Cristiana a la Espiritualidad

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Comprar Libro: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Boletín informativo: https://bit.ly/Bright_2021

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Gebetstag 24

Ein Christlicher Leitfaden zur Spiritualität, 20201014

Vor Stephen W. Hiemstra

Himmlischer Vater,

Wir preisen dich für die Zukunftshoffnung und für das Geduldsgeschenk.

Wir loben dich für die Vision von Eden und für das Versprechen einer neuen Schöpfung, in der die Fülle der Erlösung offenbart und alle Dinge neu gemacht werden.

Denn in Christus kennen wir das Ende der Geschichte.

Du bist unser Fels und unser Heil. Für dich und dich allein sei die Herrlichkeit.

Im Namen des Vaters, des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes, Amen.

Gebetstag 24

Siehe auch:

Einleitung auf Ein Christlicher Leitfaden zur Spiritualität 

Andere Möglichkeiten, sich online zu engagieren:

Autoren Seite: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Herausgeber Seite: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Mitteilungsblatt: https://bit.ly/Bright_2021

 

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The Spiritual Disciplines of Prayer and Fasting

Stephen_W_Hiemstra_20200125b
Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020

Sermon by Stephen W. Hiemstra on May 1, 2021

Mubarak Mosque, Chantilly, Virginia,  Ramadan Virtual Interfaith (Iftar) Online Program

Background

Good afternoon. Thank you for extending me the invitation join you in this Time for National Healing through Prayer. In my talk I will focus on the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting and share a prayer from my book: Everyday Prayers for Everyday People.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Stephen W. Hiemstra. I am a Christian author and a volunteer pastor. I have been writing about Christian spirituality now since finishing seminary training in 2013. During the pandemic I translated a second of my books into Spanish, started blogging in German, and drafted my first novella. Now that I am fully vaccinated I have started to catch up on other parts of my life.

My wife, Maryam, hails from Iran and considers herself a Muslim. We have been married over 35 years and have three grown children.

Invocation

Please join me in a word of prayer.

Loving Father, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 ESV) In the power of your Holy Spirit, open our hearts, illumine our minds, and strengthen our hands in your service that we might draw closer to you day by day. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Comments

Prayer and fasting are spiritual disciplines that serve to remove impediments to our relationship with God. God calls each of us into relationship with himself, but we are not always receptive to his call. The usual implements to this relationship can be described as sin and the worst of these is to reject God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

Prayer removes the worst impediment to God’s grace and is the most theological activity that we ever engage in. Personal prayer is difficult because we often neglect our own hearts and find it easier to mimic other people’s prayers rather than sort out our own theological beliefs. It is hard to be honest with God if we are not honest with ourselves.

Other spiritual disciplines are best focused on our favorite sins, the ones that we secretly wrap our hearts around. Fasting is particularly helpful because by deliberately limiting our favorite sins—things like gluttony, sexual addiction, or lusting after power or money—we make room in our hearts for God.

In general, making room in our hearts for God is the focus of spiritual disciplines. When we forgive someone that has sinned against us, we empty our heart of the pain making room for God to enter. This benefits us even if the person sinning against us is unworthy and continues to sin.

Focusing on our worse sins in fasting has gotten more traction in recent years. It is accordingly popular today to have a technology fast or to limit our food consumption. Suggesting that Americans limit other sins tends to get less attention because first you have to admit that you have a problem. Among Christian counselors is often joked that Da Nile (denial) is not just a river in Egypt.

The season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter in the spring, is traditionally a time when Christians fast and pray most deliberately. As a Christian author, however, I can tell you that sales of my prayer books have been  strongest over the past year during periods when the pandemic was causing people the most pain.

On a personal level, I often pray most fervently when I am working out—while I swim laps or run outdoors—because my prayers remain uninterrupted. The stress of the pandemic and my need to keep mentally alert in my writing have motivated me to begin this spring to train for the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall. My preparations include both my workouts and a serious diet. Although I am not quite as disciplined as a  good Muslim during Ramadan, I have lost about 20 pounds since March 10th when I registered for this marathon.

Closing Prayer

Please pray with me.

 

Almighty God,

We thank you for

the security of a roof over our heads,

gas to power our heaters, and

power to run our appliances.

Help us to remember those who lack these things.

 

We thank you

for the mercy of being born in a land of plenty

that gave us food to eat,

clean water to drink, and

sanitary plumbing to use.

Help us to remember those who lack these things.

 

We thank you

for the protection of honest police,

the care of competent physicians, and

the instruction of educated teachers.

Help us to remember those who lack these things.

 

Give us discerning minds,

tender hearts, and helping hands,

when we forget who we are and

how you have called us.

 

In the power of your Holy Spirit,

bridge the gap

between discerning minds and the ones we have,

tender hearts and the ones we have,

helping hands and the ones we have.

Forgive us, heal us, and save us from our gaps.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

10/16/2016

Reference

Stephen W. Hiemstra. 2018. Everyday Prayers for Everyday People. Centreville: T2Pneuma Publishers LLC.

The Spiritual Disciplines of Prayer and Fasting

Also see:

How do Christians Connect with God?

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

 

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On Earth as in Heaven

Cover, A Christian Guide to Spirituality

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The next two phrases in Jesus’ prayer—“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”—are one sentence in the Greek text. These phases repeat the same thought in different ways. Together they express, in a highly emphatic way, the idea that we want God’s desires to prevail in our lives, not ours. With this prayer, the disciple radically commits heart and mind to the attainment of God’s holy kingdom on earth.

The synoptic Gospels begin citing John the Baptist’s famous phrase: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 3:2) In the gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist introduces the phrase, kingdom of heaven, while Jesus introduces the phrase, kingdom of God, in the gospels of Mark and Luke. Thus, while the Baptist focused on judgment, Jesus’ stressed salvation (Matt 3:10; Matt 4:23).

Where does this kingdom language come from? [1]

This kingdom language hints at a restoration of the Garden of Eden. In Eden we see a picture of a world uncorrupted by sin. Adam and Eve rest with God and have access to the Tree of Life. Before the fall, there is no death, no strife, and no corruption. After the fall, there is death, strife, and sin. The kingdom of heaven restores the uncorrupted world of Eden.

One clue of this creation theme echoing Eden is the appearance of strange animal behaviors and spiritual beings. In Isaiah, for example, we read:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isa 11:6)

In Jesus’ birth and resurrection accounts, angels appear (e.g. Luke 2:10, Luke 24:4). Not surprisingly, the tree of life returns in the Apostle John’s vision of heaven (Rev 22:2).

What are we to conclude? The restoration of Eden in God’s new kingdom presents an image of hope. The resurrection of Christ has inaugurated a new kingdom that has not yet been fully realized. In praying for this new kingdom to arrive, we look beyond the present death, strife, and sin to hope for the joy that is to come.

[1] Strassen and Gushee (2003, 22–23, 35) draw a parallel between the beatitudes in Matt 5:3-10 and Isa 61:1-11. Their focus on Isaiah is attractive because Jesus himself cites Isa 61:1 already in his “call sermon” in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19).

References

Stasssen, Glen H. and David P. Gushee. 2003. Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

On Earth as in Heaven

Also see:

Preface to A Christian Guide to Spirituality

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Purchase Book: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

 
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