Category Archives: Present Perfect

A Sad Commentary about Western Christians not Hearing God — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“Most Western Christians aren’t even aware that God is always speaking to us and trying to lead us. We are sheep, but we rarely, if ever, actually hear the voice of our shepherd (John 10:2-16). We are his body, but we rarely, if ever, actually hear from the head (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18). We are his soldiers, but we never hear from our commanding officer (2 Timothy 2:4). Instead, we tend to live as functional atheists who are lords over our own life—despite our profession of faith that Jesus alone is Lord of our life.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle location 1572

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Using our Imaginations to Grow in God — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“Since our mind thinks with images, I intentionally imagine God’s loving presence around me like an ocean, a warm glowing bubble, or a mist as I recite these truths. I also sometimes imagine myself so full of God’s love that it exudes from me like light from a very bright lightbulb…”

“A second discipline that I find indispensable is this: I set aside regular times when I darken a room, play some nice background music, and imaginatively see, hear, and sense Jesus pouring his perfect love on me. As vividly as possible, I see, hear, and sense Jesus expressing to me all the things Scripture says about me… This is called ‘cataphatic [or imaginative] prayer’”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 607, 616, 619

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Practicing God’s Presence Impacts the World — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“The practice of the presence of God has sometimes been criticized for lacking a social dimension. I don’t think the criticism is at all warranted. True, the discipline is focused on individuals, for only individuals can choose to remain aware of, and surrendered to, God’s presence. But as Lawrence, de Caussade, and Laubach all testify, when we practice God’s presence we become conduits through which God’s love impacts others. As we yield to the ever-present Spirit of God, we find ourselves acting like Jesus… Yielded to the Father’s will, moment-by-moment, he continually broke taboos, stereotypes, and laws that kept people oppressed… Surrendering to God’s will takes us out of our self-focused flesh-mind-set and empowers us to see what God sees, love as God loves, and sacrifice for others the way God has sacrificed for us. Nothing could be as socially impacting as this.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 1491, 1509

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‘Submit Every Thought to Christ’ Means to Invite Him to Listen — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“To submit every thought to Christ… we’re going to need to have Christ on our mind all the time… This doesn’t mean we should try to analyze every thought to make sure it’s submitted to Christ. This would turn our mental focus completely onto ourselves and would pull us out of the present moment. It would also likely drive us crazy. Rather, to take every thought captive to Christ simply means to remain aware that he is ever-present and to surrender to him. Invite him into your thought process, and turn your thoughts into a conversation with him.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 377-381

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Whisper ‘Jesus’ to See Jesus in Difficult People — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“Mother Teresa had a prayer she spoke each day that enabled her to minister effectively: Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and, whilst nursing them, minister unto you. Though you hide yourself behind the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize you, and say: ‘Jesus, my patient, how sweet it is to serve you.’”

“To acquire and retain the ability to see through Jesus’ ‘unattractive disguises’ when dealing with challenging people, many find it helpful to whisper the name ‘Jesus’ over and over. This prayer reminds them that they are serving Jesus, regardless of how the other person may be acting toward them.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 1364, 1371

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Self-Absorption Keeps Us from Recognizing God’s Glory around Us — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“My trivial, self-centered mental chatter about the past and future—like a dark cloud blocking the sun—had kept me from seeing the glory of God that surrounded me every second of every day. Never before had I realized the extent to which our focus determines what we experience—and do not experience—in any given moment. Never before had I seen how being absorbed in the past or future causes us to miss the wonder of the present.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”

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Placing Reminders to Return Our Focus on God — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“Frank Laubach encourages us to invite others to join us. ‘We need the stimulus of believers who pursue what we pursue, the presence of God,’ he writes. Thus, I encourage you to ask a friend, or a group of friends, to embark on this discipline with you… It helps to embed little reminders in your environment that will bring you back to an awareness of God in the present moment. Try posting sticky notes in places that you’ll see throughout the day. (You’ll want to change these frequently so they don’t just become ‘wallpaper’.) Try associating the practice of God’s presence with a piece of jewelry that you wear or a stone or cross that you carry in your pocket… If you work at a computer, set up an automatic reminder in your calendar each hour or half hour… Imagine all of the ways you could slip little reminders into the nooks and crannies of your life.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 429-438

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Try Thinking of God Before You Get Out of Bed — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“I too have found the practice of surrendering the first moments of waking consciousness to God to be profoundly helpful. At first it was hard to remember to practice the presence before getting out of bed, but I now find that, more often than not, God is automatically the first thought on my mind. For ten or fifteen minutes I lie in bed and simply try to remain aware of God’s ever-present love. After this, I preview my day in my imagination and offer up everything to God. I typically follow this by praying for whatever people and needs that pop into my mind.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”, Kindle locations 418-422

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Be Mindful of His Presence — A Quote by Gregory Boyd in “Present Perfect”

“Don’t try to feel his presence. In fact, don’t try to do anything at all. Simply be mindful of the fact that you are, in this present moment, submerged in the ocean of God’s perfect love… Stop reading for a second and just breathe in God’s presence as you take your next couple breaths. Then, as you continue to read, see how often you can remind yourself of that fact.”

— Gregory Boyd, “Present Perfect”

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