Friday, March 28, 2008

John Michael Talbot - God Alone is Enough - from a prayer of Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Let nothing trouble you.

Let nothing scare you.

All is fleeting.

God alone is unchanging.


Everything obtains.

Who possesses God

Nothing wants.

God alone suffices.

From The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila Volume Three translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriquez (c) 1985 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 U.S.A.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Study Abroad Trip to Italy 2008

The following is a press release from Regent University about the Studies Abroad Trip that I led last year and the the one scheduled for later this summer:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Regent University's School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship's (GLE) fourth study abroad trip is set for June 20-29. Titled, "In the Footsteps of St. Benedict, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi," the 2008 tour will take participants to Rome, Montecassino and Assisi, Italy for a 10-day period.

In 2007, Dr. Corné Bekker, GLE associate professor, led participants in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and ministry of St. Francis of Assisi through Rome and Assisi, Italy. According to Bekker, students were given the unique opportunity "to explore the global leadership of the two pivotal figures in the history of Christianity through lectures, visits to archaeological sites and in-depth discussions." "I was intrigued with not just the study of Paul’s leadership during his time in Rome, but especially so, the idea of studying the leadership of both Francis and Clare of Assisi," said Ph.D. student Catherine Self. Whether standing in cathedrals or sitting under trees at various historical sites, participants discussed and explored in great detail the significance of each site as well as the leader-follower relationship and leadership formation and succession in regard to the Apostle Paul and St. Francis of Assisi. Through this opportunity, participants were able to examine principles of effective global leadership from a biblical and theological perspective.

"Reading the Scriptures and church history documents in their original setting and seeing them come alive to the students was very inspiring. It is a most rewarding experience for a professor to see students grow in their understanding and arrive at greater insights on the possibility of Christian leadership that can change the world," stated Bekker. Italy was chosen for the 2007 trip because Sts. Paul and Francis, both known as radical reformers in Christian history, "offer insights into principles and models of authentic and orthodox biblical leadership that changed their world," stated Bekker.

"It is helpful to see these sites when considering how the Apostle Paul and St. Francis of Assisi served God, ministered to others and inspired followers. It adds a fresh perspective for understanding these individuals’ leadership styles," said Louis Morgan, Ph.D. student. While academic credit was available for this trip, some participants chose to take the trip for their own personal growth. In preparation for the 2007 trip, all participants were asked to read prescribed text books on Paul and St. Francis that dealt with the theology, history and leadership of these figures.

"Under the leadership and teaching of Dr. Bekker, the lives of Paul, Francis and Clare became as real to me as the people I encounter today. His understanding of Mediterranean culture and the social, historical and literary influences of the era fleshed out what are otherwise just black letters on the white pages of a book," said Self. "To suggest that God blessed me through this study is an understatement of what was an experience of a lifetime." In addition, she stated that for others who choose to participate in future study abroad trips through GLE, "it is a simple first step of faith that may be the beginning of a life-changing journey."

Registration is now open for the 2008 study abroad trip. Visit for more information and to register for the 2008 tour.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Book on Simplicity

ICFAI Books released a new book on the phenomena of downshifting this month. The book is entitled, "Downshifting: A Theoretical and Practical Approach to Living a Simple Life", and is edited by Franco Gandolfi and Helene Cherrier. I contributed a chapter to this timely book on the ancient Christian spirituality of downshifting and its contemporary applications.

The write-up of the book reads as follows:

"Something puzzling yet profound is occurring in consumer-driven societies: an increasing number of individuals from all walks of life are pursuing lower consumption practices and embracing simpler lifestyles. They are ‘getting a life’ and ‘escaping the rat race’. This growing inclination toward simpler lifestyles or downshifting is part of a larger shift in societal values, attitudes, and the notion of what constitutes success and happiness.

This distinctive book constitutes a collection of readings that examines and exposes the various approaches and practices of downshifting. Eleven theoretical and empirical chapters written by prolific writers and distinguished scholars from around the world offer theoretical and practical lenses on the downshifting phenomenon. This book on downshifting is an invaluable resource and instrument for researchers, consultants, executives, and social science students."

The book is available at ICFAI Books:

John Chrysostom's Easter Sermon (347-407 AD)

Let all Pious men and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward; let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the feast, and those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too late, for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him who comes on the eleventh hour as well as to him who has toiled since the first: yes, He has pity on the last and He serves the first; He rewards the one and is generous to the other; he repays the deed and praises the effort.

Come you all: enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward; you rich and you poor, dance together; you sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day; you who have kept the fast and you who have not, rejoice today. The table is richly loaded: enjoy its royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one: let no one go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of faith; all of you receive the riches of his goodness.

Let no one grieve over his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed; let no one weep over his sins, for pardon has shone from the grave; let no one fear death, for the death of our Savior has set us free: He has destroyed it by enduring it, He has despoiled Hades by going down into its kingdom, He has angered it by allowing it to taste of his flesh.

When Isaiah foresaw all this, he cried out: "O Hades, you have been angered by encourntering Him in the nether world." Hades is angered because frustrated, it is angered because it has been mocked, it is angered because it has been destroyed, it is angered because it has been reduced to naught, it is angered because it is now captive. It seized a body, and lo! it discovered God; it seized earth, and, behold! it encountered heaven; it seized the visible, and was overcome by the invisible.

O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and life is freed, Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.