I’m with you fellars! (Or why you should read Practicing the Presence of God)

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite quotes in O Brother, Wherefore Art Thou? I think Delmar says it to Pete and Everett when they are arguing about who is going to be the leader. What makes it funny is that they are all chained together at the time. Anyway that’s how I feel right now writing my first post ever on Ignorant Prostestant. I feel like we are all together and ignorant whether we want to be or not. I am excited about this journey of exploration and sharing it with fellow sojourners.

I recently took a short exploration through the writing The Practice of the Presence of God. Have you heard of it? Have you read it? If so, post your thoughts or favorite quote. If not, you should read it if you have ever thought any of the following:

  • Being a Christian is too complicated.
  • I can’t pray because my mind is so cluttered.
  • Does my work have real meaning?
  • If I could just escape the hustle and bustle of life I would be a better worshipper.
  • Praying without ceasing is impossible in our culture.
  • I don’t seem to have joy.

This is not a modern day self-help book; it is simply the conversations and letters of Nicholas Herman of Lorraine. He is better known as Brother Lawrence. Have you ever heard of Brother Lawrence? He was a balding, slightly rotund, tobbacco-chewing deacon at the church I grew up in. Not really but that is my mental image anytime “brother” precedes someone’s name. What mental image do you get?

Actually Brother Lawrence was an uneducated kitchen helper with a past. Amazingly his life and his words have impacted thousands. He probably would have passed into oblivion if someone had not written down his words and kept his letters. I would be surprised if you’re an Ignorant Protestant like me and you are familiar with him. Brother Lawrence was a seventeenth century mystic who lived in a Carmelite order in France. If you unfamiliar with the words mystic, Carmelite, or order then you are probably an IP for sure. The reality is that as an evangelical (descendant of the protestors), our history diverged before Brother Lawrence was ever born. This is unfortunate. But this is also what ignorantprotestant.com is all about – so you are “saved.” Sorry, poor choice of words. I know that being saved means you made a decision in an invitation at church camp during puberty. I simply meant that this is what this blog is all about. We can become “unignorant” together. Are you in? I am! I’m with you fellars.

So read The Practice of the Presence of God. It can be purchase at Amazon.com for a few bucks and takes about twenty minutes to read. When you finish, post your thoughts. Here is one of my favorite quotes.

” The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Wow! I have two children and one on the way. There is a lot of noise and clatter in my kitchen but I do not usually even think about God – much less possess tranquillity. I want it!

Let me give you a warning. This is not a modern self-help book with five steps to this or three principles for that. You will have to actually slow down and think about his words and life. Afterwards I promise you will want to slow down and think about Christ’s words and life.

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