Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Pathway 7

The final pathway of our series on growing an emotionally healthy spirituality is to go “the Next Step and Develop a Rule of Life.”

This discipline has been used in the church from some of its earliest times, but is perhaps most widely connected to life in monasteries and other intentional faith communities. Bottom line: They intentionally guide your growth towards God.

Need to be inspired to understand the power of a rule of life? Consider Mother Teresa.

Already practice a few spiritual practices? Use this reflection to help you think through changes.

All of this seem too much? How about focusing on one thing to do or one goal to keep in mind?

Finally, wondering what a rule of life in a community can look like for ‘normal’ people? Check out Awakening of Hope.

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Soul Training Exercises

At the beginning of the month of September, 19 people from our church began a journey to become Apprentices of Jesus. Each week we have read from a book, reflected on Scripture, memorized verses from Colossians 3.1-17, and practiced soul training exercises to help us practice, experience and think about what we’re learning as we become more Christlike.

These soul training exercises aren’t as big of a deal as you might think. To experience the true nature of God, we’ve slept more, spent five minutes a day in purposeful silence, noticed creation more often, and made it a point to count our blessings.

We thought you might like to try some of them out too.

New on the bookshelf: Deliver Us from Me-Ville

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Deliver Us from Me-Ville by David Zimmerman has been added to the Goodreads bookshelf.

Building on the teachings of Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Zimmerman outlines the journey from Me-Ville to God’s Kingdom that all Christians must travel (and often, re-travel). The good news is, Jesus is the one who comes to Me-Ville to lead the way out!

Each chapter includes ways that the journey changes us, practices we can actively engage in as willing participants on the trip (we aren’t just along for the ride, after all), and “Escape Routes” or spiritual practices to try when we find ourselves back (or headed back) to Me-Ville.

As an added bonus, the book includes discussion guides for each chapter, making it suitable for both individuals and groups to read together.

 

The Dangers Within: Gluttony

You’re getting two posts this week because we were down for the count last week because of sickness. We hope you’re encouraged and challenged by the last two posts in our series on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Radio DJ Texas Tinay eats buffalo burgerGluttony is an ugly sin. It makes us look ugly to others, it leads us to feel ugly, and it causes real physical harm to our bodies. Most of us have been around people who drink too much alcohol, and many of us have struggled with our eating habits; it seems that no one is immune to this dangerous sin.

At the root of our excessive eating (or the other extreme, dieting) and drinking is the desire to fill the emptiness inside with some sort of contentment. To learn more, listen to GroundWork’s episode, “Gluttony.”

Can gluttony apply to things besides our eating and drinking? Jerod Clark thinks so. What are other ways that we take to excess to find happiness or that feel good moment?

Finally, take a look at the three spiritual disciplines contemporary theologians think the Church desperately needs to embrace today. The first one is fasting, the counterpart to gluttony because it reminds us that our deepest hungers can only be satisfied by God.

This post is about gluttony, food, fasting, and contentment.

The photo is from the Orange County Archives. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Sunday Follow Up: Tools for Discernment

On Sunday at Christ Community Church, Pastor Turk talked about discernment in our prayer lives. You can hear that message, “Discern” on our website. To help you along, we’re featuring two new resources, and reposting a few old ones.

First, Nicole Cottrell shares some basic insights on “How to Hear from God.” Then be sure to check out Richard Dahlstrom’s unique take on discerning the catalyst moments– moments that didn’t seem like they would matter and then end up changing everything– in “If you give a moose a muffin…”

TOOLS FOR DISCERNMENT REPOST
Choices by kalli williams
We face choices everyday– some more monumental than others. Here are three resources to help you along the way of discernment:

Amy Vogel’s “So You Want to Know God’s Will” is especially helpful if you’re having a hard time hearing God’s voice.

“Simple Questions to Help you Discern” comes from Spiritual Director Teresa Blythe. The questions may be simple, but the answers may be life-transforming.

And “Godly Decision Making” is an excerpt from the book Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups by Ruth Haley Barton. It is thorough and helpful as you start with some of the more major decisions.

This post is for adults and provides resources for discernment.

Photo by kalli williams. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.

“I love the Bible”

Well that’s easy to say. But what does it mean? Rachel Held Evans writes:

I love the Bible more now than ever before because I have finally surrendered to God’s stories.

Read the rest of her thoughts— including how it’s given her a limp– just like Jacob had after he wrestled with God.
Do you feel a little guilty that you aren’t reading the Bible enough? It may not be what you’re reading, but how you’re reading. Check out “There’s more to Bible reading than… being on your own.” You just may find you aren’t doing so bad after all.

Looking for some help/inspiration/encouragement/accountability to fall more in love with the Bible? Hop on to the movement “Live Light in 25 Words” out of Australia. The site includes resources, ideas, apps and plans to get you reading God’s word– starting with 25 words a day.

This post is for adults and teens who desire to spend more time reading and studying God’s word, the Bible, so that the Holy Spirit will transform them.

Photo by Mark Lehigh. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Sometimes, you just want to quit.

Doug Fields gleans some helpful advice to get you through those days when you just want to quit your job. Though Doug speaks briefly from the perspective of someone in the ministry, the advice isn’t unique to church work. And let’s be honest, most of us aren’t in a position to just quit. So what can we do to make it through those really bad stretches until we figure it out? Check out: “When I want to quit.”

 

This post is for those in the workforce and addresses issues of lifestyle, attitude, devotional life and perspective.