Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us

Just like last year, we will start this year with a book that helps us to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. Many people say that they want to pursue having a closer relationship with God in the New Year. However, many people also have no clue how to do that. They often resolve to goals of praying more or reading their Bibles more. While these can push us in the right direction, do these practices truly push us to have a deeper relationship with God? Enter Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us by Albert Haase. Haase is an experienced Fransican friar with experience as a missionary in mainland China and as a spiritual director. This month’s book was released by IVP in August of 2019, and it shows us that spirituality is not something attained by the spiritual elite, but is accessible for all of us.

Continue reading “Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us”

What to do When You Disagree with the Sermon

Have you ever been sitting in a church service, hear something from the pastor and think, “I’m not sure that’s right”? What do you do? If you are are visiting or “church shopping,” the solution seems pretty easy. However, this same problem can still arise from your regular pastor. Below are a few suggestions that I find helpful when this issue occurs

Continue reading “What to do When You Disagree with the Sermon”

What I’ve Been Up To

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here (outside of that book review last week). Mostly this is because of school. I got very busy over the last couple of weeks trying to get all the work done I needed to, that I just didn’t have the brain space to write for this blog, for that, I apologize. Now that the school year is over, and I have a small break before my summer class begins, I think I have the opportunity to reflect on some of the ideas I have been wrestling with this past semester. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Up To”

So What is Spiritual Formation?

I had a conversation with a professor of mine, where he asked what I thought the program was all about since I am almost done.  My response was, “It helps me know how to practice my faith.” After reading a post from Richard Foster this morning, I began thinking that this may have been slightly wrong. It is so much more than merely practicing my faith, it is a total orientation of my life.

This morning I read a blog post about the future of the Spiritual Formation movement from Renovaré. Currently, one of my majors is in Christian Spiritual Formation, so naturally my ears perked up. I had a conversation with a professor of mine, where he asked what I thought the program was all about since I am almost done (graduation December 2019!).  My response was, “It helps me know how to practice my faith.” After reading this post this morning, I began thinking that this may have been slightly wrong. It is so much more than merely practicing my faith, it is a total orientation of my life. Continue reading “So What is Spiritual Formation?”

On Busyness

So something happened this week that has not happened since I took this blog back up; I didn’t have time for it. Over the past couple of years I have found myself becoming increasingly busy, as I am a full time employee, full time student, part time worship leader, and still need to find a way to be a husband and father. My school work became a little intense last week, which did not leave me much time to get anything done. Now that I’m on the other side, I find myself curious about busyness. I have had lots of people, recently, exclaim to me “Wow! You’re busy.”  However, I’m not so much worried about what people think (except for my wife), but I am curious as to what God has to say to us about being busy. Continue reading “On Busyness”

Serving Others and Worshiping God

Apparently I need some more discipline in my life as I’ve missed a couple of these posts!

The last couple of posts I did regarding, spiritual disciplines, were all about giving something up. First, it was about living a simple life of modesty so you could live in such a way that you could be a blessing to others. Then, it became about fasting and teaching your body and mind to live in a way that was focused on God. This post is not about giving something up. Spiritual disciplines are about training, and that doesn’t mean to cut everything away. Ask any athlete what training is like, and it will sound like a lot of adding onto what they are already doing. Continue reading “Serving Others and Worshiping God”

Getting Closer by Giving Something Up

Last week we talked about what it meant to intentionally live a life of simplicity and modesty, so you can do more in service to God. The spiritual discipline of frugality is all about training your desires to see that you do not need as much as you think you do and to be responsible with the resources God has chosen to bless you with. This week’s discipline seems to follow nicely because now we will be giving up something we actually do need, in order to train our focus to rely completely on God. Continue reading “Getting Closer by Giving Something Up”

Can You Give That Up?

It’s still a new year and I love taking a look at these disciplines to try and be closer to God. I find that every year I say that I am going to be closer to God but don’t really feel like I make progress in that direction. Last week we took a look at prayer and meditation. I felt like that was an easy place to start, as many Christians equate those practices with getting closer to God. This week, we are going to take a look at something that might be counter intuitive. This week we will look at the spiritual discipline of frugality. Continue reading “Can You Give That Up?”

Are You Even Listening?

A spiritual discipline is an action we do to become more like Christ, that we need God’s help to accomplish. They may start out easy, but like any type of discipline, they will become harder as you mature in their practice. This week we will look at a couple disciplines that probably appear on most (if not all) lists of disciplines that I have seen: prayer and meditation.

As I promised last week, the “Christian Living” posts are going to be about spiritual disciplines as we make moves to be closer to God in the New Year. You can type “list of spiritual disciplines” into your favorite search engine, and everywhere you look will have a different list; some are the same, some are different. The opinion that I keep is that a spiritual discipline is an action we do to become more like Christ, that we need God’s help to accomplish. They may start out easy, but like any type of discipline, they will become harder as you mature in their practice. This week we will look at a couple disciplines that probably appear on most (if not all) lists that I have seen: prayer and meditation. Continue reading “Are You Even Listening?”

Intro to Spiritual Disciplines

Starting to take a look at spiritual disciplines

In case you have not heard already, last week began a whole new year. Everyone’s calendars (provided you still have one of those things) either turned to the first couple months of a new year or you had to replace it entirely because it is now 2019! Every year the media gets flooded with posts and articles about setting new goals or New Year’s Resolutions. I tried really hard not to add to the myriad of voices discussing this topic, but I just can’t help myself. If you are anything like me, the words “I’m gonna be closer to God this year” have at least crossed your mind in the past week. One good way to do this is through spiritual disciplines. Continue reading “Intro to Spiritual Disciplines”