Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that I’m at Conception Abbey for a bit of solitude until Thursday. I confess that the abbey is one of my favorite places on the planet. As a part of my spiritual rule of life, I typically spend around 25 days a year up here. I confess that I miss my family terribly for the first 12-24 hours. Then I can actually give myself to the solitude. I confess that I once went 48 hours w/out speaking here. I confess that this will not happen this time.

I confess that this is the first time I’ve decided to blog while at the abbey. I confess that I’m not sure that this should be allowed. Doesn’t it break the spirit of a private spiritual retreat? Praying with the monks and blogging? It’s a little weird. I confess that I’m going to give myself a pass on this one and try to keep my posts limited to the topic at hand: retreat and prayer.

I confess that I was well into my late twenties before someone pointed out to me that my prayers (despite my ACTS training… adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication), were mostly about asking God to do stuff I wanted God to do.

I confess that I’m staying in the new guest house at the abbey which is nice like a brand new hotel. I’m a little thrown off because I’m used to the old dorms which are a bit more austere. I’m not complaining. I can control my own room temp…

I confess that I pray better when I am walking or singing (chanting). I confess that the sound of the psalms being chanted does something crazy to my soul.

I confess that last night’s “The Newsroom” was my favorite episode thus far. Sorkin’s deconstruction of the media is genius. I confess that I think all of the Kansas references owe to the fact that Alex Graves is from here. I confess that I think last night’s slam on Manhattan, KS owes to the fact that Graves went to KU.

I confess that 1:05 prayer is perhaps my favorite office. It’s the most subdued, no instruments, and it’s almost always from ps. 119.

I confess that as an evangelical Protestant, I am very aware that I still have no idea what to do with the psalms. I feel so inferior to the Anglicans and Catholics on this one. I’ve been praying the psalms daily since 2003, and more recently my rhythm has been taking me through them every 2 months. All I know right now is that they are tethering me to something vast; something I don’t yet understand. So I just keep praying them 3-4 times a day. I have this feeling that they are making my prayers conform to a new pattern – something like seeking first the kingdom of God – and making them less about getting God to do stuff.

I confess that when I pray lament psalms, I learn what it is to intercede for those who are really suffering. My pseudo-suffering is drawn into harsher focus. I have it really, really good.

Okay, I made my confession… you make yours!

About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at TimSuttle.com

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of RedemptionChurchkc.com. He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • Elijah Heintzelman

    I confess that the idea of technology active monks made me laugh. I confess that being away from civilization to worship and meditate sounds very therapeutic and useful. I confess that I Have been in a deep depression lately, so a little meditation time would probably do me a lot of good.

  • http://www.persecution.com Jim Robertson

    I confess that my wife works way harder than me in every aspect. I confess that I over-married on purpose to compensate for my many inadequacies.

    I confess it is often easier for me to confess privately to a holy and sinless God than openly to another unholy sinful friend. I confess that I wonder if I deceive myself with my confession by actually confessing to myself and also granting myself absolution.

    I confess I’m greatly proud of my kiddos and very excited to see them perform in a summer theatical community production. I confess that although I profess that they perform as if performing for Christ, that I secretly want their success to reflect on me.

    I confess that I’ve let western Christianity mold my view of Christianity and I am often afraid of sharing in the sufferings of Christ and my brothers and sisters abroad.

  • Chris

    I confess that I am struggling with jealousy. My pastor is spending the week at an Abby in prayer and meditation, and I’m not. In truth, I am happy for him. But still jealous.

    I confess that I am uncomfortable with word chanting. I don’t know why this is, but I don’t think I could chant. I would never judge a chanter, but couldn’t chant myself.

    I Confess that the Psalms have been rocking my world. I have recently read Bonhoeffer on the Psalms and my mind has been blown. He’s sees the psalms as profoundly corporate. He believes that many of the psalms that we can not relate to are such because they are the very prayers of Jesus through the psalm writer, and only when the Body prays them together as the Body of Christ do they regain that quality of being prayed by Jesus. With this in mind we’ve been going through the Psalms as a family during our morning devotions and I confess that it has been rocking my world.

    I confess that I have a friend that is destroying his marriage and it is breaking my heart. I confess that my love for him is being over taken by a desire to do him bodily harm. I confess that God is working mightily in his wife right now and I desperately desire redemption.

    I confess that summer feels like it is going by too quickly and I have accomplished far too little. I confess that this puts a queezy feeling in my gut that I can usually ignore, but it’s always there.


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