Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Invitation to a Journey

So I hurt my knee. I'm not sure how I hurt my knee or what the problem is with my knee, but I hurt it, and there are ramifications to my exercise routine. I usually walk the dog every morning and then run for about 30 minutes. However, my knee pain is preventing me from running. If you know me then you know that daily exercise is essential to my mental and physical wellbeing (I mean, how do you get a body like mine without daily exercise), so I knew I had to do something.

I tried the elliptical, but that didn't work. So much for it's low-impact-on-joints promise. Next I decided to try the stair-master... it has changed my life. I don't think I have ever had better workouts in my entire life. And while you would assume that the stair-master would hurt my knee, it doesn't hurt it at all.

Now why am I sharing this? Well, my change in my exercise routine has enabled me to read more, and over the past three weeks I've read two books on the stair-master, and I thought it would be a good idea to record my thoughts on those books on this blog that nobody reads.

The first book I read is Invitation to a Journey by Robert Mulholland. I cannot recommend this book enough. I think it is life-changing. I love his definition for spiritual formation:

Spiritual formation is the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others.

There are four parts to his definition. First, spiritual formation is a process. Second, it is the process of being formed. We don't form ourselves. We position ourselves to be formed by God. Third, we are formed by God in the image of Christ. The goal is to be like Jesus, or as I like to say, to live the life that Jesus would live if Jesus were living our life. Fourth, we are formed in the image of Christ, not for our own sake, but for the sake of others. We have an others-focused faith.

The rest of the book unpacks his incredible definition, and you need to read it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What defines us and what defiles us... and praying for indifference.

 It's been almost two years since I've written anything for this blog. Maybe it will be the same length between today's post and my next, but I had two things on my mind today that I wanted to write down and typing is easier, and more legible, than writing.

The first comes from today's Lectio 365 app where they are discussing Mark 7:14-19. 

What defines us and what defiles us?

For the Jews in Jesus' day, it was food. But Jesus declares all food clean in this passage (praise God!). 

So what should define us as Jesus followers and what is it that defiles us?

I'm pondering that today.

Second, I read a chapter in Ruth Barton's book, Strengthening the soul of your leadership, that talked about developing discernment to hear God's voice and know his will. One thing she tells us to do is to pray for indifference. That is, pray that we will be indifferent to anything and everything other than God's will.

That is a tough prayer to pray, but I will make it mine today.