Books for Disciples who want to Remember

This list is in now way exhaustive, but modern disciples may want to spend some time with the following books as they study Jesus’ biblical invitation to follow him. Each of these books teach us what remembering can look like when it is lived.

Books about the Christian Community
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together by Scot McKnight
The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Books about the Spiritual Disciplines
Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Books about Discipleship
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene H. Peterson
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard

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Encouraging God’s Light & Love in the Church

This week, 1 John 2 showed us how God has gathered us into a community of individuals that shine God’s light and love in unique ways that encourage others. After the message, a member shared the above song!

Being in community allows God to shine a light on our darkness through others. Think about that a little more with Tim: “Sanctification is a Community Project.”

And being in community encourages us to continue to walk in God’s light. Be encouraged by Meagan’s reflections in, “We’re All in this Together.”

Shining Love, not Hate

We’re continuing to learn from 1 John as a community at CCC. If you want to listen along, visit our church’s media player for the current sermon series as well as past messages. This week’s text was 1 John 1.5-2.11.

The first resource we’d like to draw your attention to is a recent book by Philip downloadYancey, Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News? In it, Yancey covers a lot of ground, including the various ways we can shine the truth of God as Christians.

Here are two posts that will give you a taste of the book as well as encourage you to think about how the way Christians love each other makes a difference for their witness to an unbelieving world.

First, what if we actually obeyed all of the ‘one anothers’ in the New Testament?

Second, what if we were seen as the early church was- in contrast to the rest of the world in how we treated and supported each other?

Finally, here’s a short prompt for reflecting on how the Christian community is defined in this day and age. Is this the way we really want it to be?

Going to Church

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Going to church isn’t always a top priority. Some reasons seem to make more sense than others…. Some of us have been hurt deeply by other members of the church; some of us have a really hard time interacting socially with others; some of us have hectic schedules, kids who don’t want to go, and Sunday mornings that are anything but peaceful.

But does God want us to settle for excuses? Might there be something the Spirit has in mind by gathering us together? Here’s some advice on how to deal with some of the attitudes and situations that keep us from church.

“Ten Tips for Going to Church with Your Family”

“When the Church has let you down”

“Help for those who feel ‘disconnected’ at church”

 

Photo by The Pug Father. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Sex, Intimacy, Singleness, and a whole big mess

Pastor Chelsey wrote an article for our denominational magazine’s July issue (The Banner) entitled “Single and Sexual: As God Created Us.” In it, she offers some practical advice and tries to help us navigate between the truth and the false expectations given to the various kinds of people who find themselves as single adults.

The Banner published another article in tandem with Pastor Chelsey’s that may prove to challenge what you believe about sex, marriage, and the Church’s position. The thoughts expressed in “Where Do We Draw the Line?” do not represent the position of the Christian Reformed Church or of Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, but they can serve as a catalyst for you to decide where you draw the line in faithfulness to God’s Word and call to integrity, as well as lead you to wonder what role the community plays in drawing lines for one another.

As you may be able to imagine, an article that questions basic moral positions in the Church has caused quite a stir (the comments section attests to the mess.) But you’re likely to get into a mess dealing with such a sensitive topic, and the Spirit of God can be found in the hospitality as well as conflict. You can read both articles (or just Pastor Chelsey’s lead article) on the page “Sex, Intimacy, and the Single Person.” 

Then, you can read an encouraging story of a young woman trying to live with integrity within her sexuality: Olympic athlete, Lolo Jones.

 

This post shares stories, inspiration, encouragement and a challenge on the way we think about singleness, sexuality and sex in the Christian life.

I’m an Introvert, how ’bout you?

AlonePart of the beauty of being a people made in the image of a diverse God is that we’re different from one another. Part of the challenge of being diverse is that we don’t always understand each other.

This difference in the Christian life is especially true for introversion and extroversion. We can tend to believe that faith should be expressed in particular ways with particular practices. We confuse being friendly with being talkative during the Church coffee hour, and alone time with “me” time.

The links today all have to do with learning more about introverts. (Extroverts tend to do a good job about letting the world know what they need…)

Laura Marcus shares the scariness of the church hall for an introvert and offers some ideas on how to grow.

Marc Cortez encourages other introverts to consider the ways they are making an impact on God’s kingdom through their service to others. Just because you aren’t the evangeliser, being the one who equips is just as important.

For those who wouldn’t call themselves an introvert, here’s some ideas on how to interact, in order to show love and respect,to the ‘other kind.’

Here’s a book review of Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture.

And just in case you’re an introvert who’s feeling a little down, check this out.

This post shares resources, ideas and inspiration for communication, relationship building and service, and deals directly with introversion.

Photo by Lee Haywood. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.