When you hear the words, “Spiritual Disciplines,” what comes to your mind? For many, feelings of religious striving start to envelope their thinking. They may have difficulty listing many of the disciplines, but they don’t have trouble experiencing guilt, boredom, dryness or tiredness that the enemy wants to associate with these practices. Maybe it's just the word “Discipline” that sounds odious.
In reality, spiritual disciplines can be an incredible means of accessing God and experiencing His grace. Maybe it is more comfortable for us to call them practices. They are like maps that point us in the direction of God. They help direct our attention toward Him, and they can bring us a sense of closer proximity. Some of the practices that many find helpful relate to the Bible (reading, study and/or meditation); Prayer (silence, stillness, solitude, listening, dialog); Reflection (personal awareness, examination of conscience); ...
A few times a year we hear about a house, car or building being swallowed up. All at once, the ground gives way and everything above the surface drops and disappears. These sinkholes can be very destructive and terrifying experiences, as they seem to happen with no warning. Engineers, however, say that (particularly in Florida) there are areas where limestone lies beneath the surface. Acid rain and other underground water can dissolve the limestone. When enough stone is melted away the underground cave collapses under the surface weight. It looks like it happens all at once, but the subterranean deterioration takes place over time.
We must tend to the condition and wholeness of our souls, or we may experience a kind of sinkhole collapse in our lives. It might appear that our present circumstances have caused our bondage or our downfall, but often the cause is subterranean deterioration. When we run too fast, push too hard or allow others to have too much sway in our lives, we...
Why did God include rest as part of His created order?
Land also needs rest.
Even machines and computers need rest.
It is God Who created the concept of Sabbath rest and He intended it to be exercised weekly. He also created a daily cycle that includes rest/sleep.
God could have created us without a need for rest, but He didn’t. He clearly values rest. It serves as a kind of reboot. It cleanses our souls from the toxic buildup that life sometimes produces. It heals wounds that have been inflicted. It resets our minds with hope and direction. The rest of God provides a kind of new start.
Sabbath rest includes stopping our regular work, worshiping the God of creation and reflecting upon our lives within the framework of God’s purposes. It also involves delighting in God, creation, our lives, and our connections.
Isn’t it interesting that many of the Sabbath gifts have fallen out of the rhythms of modern life? No...
The Exchanged Life
How are you doing in your soul? What is the condition of your spirit – the deepest part of you? It may take a moment to access your inner state, but it is good to check-in with yourself from time-to-time.
The apostle Paul said the Kingdom of God is a matter of “Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17) This is what the Life of Christ looks like in us. Jesus described His life as restful, rightly fit for us and light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Deep down within yourself, do you sense righteousness, peace, joy, rest and lightness? Or do you feel cluttered and weighed down on the inside?
At the core of the Christian life is a death and resurrection. Jesus’ crucifixion is a payment for our sin-saturated lives and a release from sin’s strangle-hold. His resurrection demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit and is a picture of new, supernatural life. This inner life...
Are you aware of the state of your soul?
Do you know how to attend to your soul?
CLICK HERE: "Are You Aware of the State of Your Soul?"
These are hugely important topics that are seldom discussed, and few have received any training in this area. We must learn to attend to our souls, so we can additionally attend to the souls of others. If we can't care for ours, we certainly can't meaningfully care for theirs.
Let' move beyond our addictions to the frenetic energy around us. Let's get deeper than opinions, and processed conclusions that we've borrowed from others. Let's avoid the temptation to think we know things we don't really know, to think we've done things we haven't really done, or to think we are making a difference when we actually aren't doing anything. Let's be attentive to our souls, and learn to attend to them.
Here are three tips I discuss in this short video:
1. Think about what you are thinking about.
2. Feel what you are feeling
3. Invite God into your...
Make A Healthy Turn from 2020 to 2021!
It's not too late to do some good, guided reflection through 2020.
In this video, I help you do some rounded reflection and discernment in order to start to reorient yourself and reform your actions into 2021. Do this well, and you will be on solid ground!
Here is a replay of a webinar I did at the turn of the year. I received responses that people found this information very helpful and inspiring.
Here, too, is a 13-page Guide to help you meaningfully work through the process Guided Reflection PDF.
Check out the Video of the Webinar
Often our early encounters with God are somewhat unorthodox. That's because God doesn't really fit in a box - He reveals Himself to us in unique ways. Taking time to reflect over our early experiences of God can be very fruitful - we may see how He was working and drawing us to Himself far earlier and more profoundly than we realized.