In our current hurried, multi-tasking culture, an increasingly large numbers of Christ-followers are not spending time to cultivate their personal relationship with Jesus. They are Christians but are stuck, living on a spiritual auto-pilot. I am teaching the EHS Course at New Life this Fall to about 130 people. It has been an eye-opening experience for me to dig deeply into people’s spiritual practices around spending time with God, and calling them to an intentional rhythm with God integrating silence and the Daily Office (through the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day book). Not surprisingly, silence is the greatest challenge for most people along with the cultivation of a rhythm of stopping to be with God. My stopping to be with God four times a day is indispensable for my life. (In a future blog I will describe my rhythms). Let me invite you to watch this 3-4 minute introduction on the Daily Office and. Read more.
How are you being formed spiritually as a leader? This formation does not take place in a vacuum; it occurs within a certain environment and context. There are, at least, four primary ones today: Active leadership. The emphasis is on learning skills, cutting edge ideas, and creative means to preach Christ and be a more effective leader. Most conferences and para-church ministries in North America focus here. Intellectual leadership. The emphasis is on theological formation, Scripture, orthodoxy. Evangelical seminaries and a few denominations and conferences focus here. “Revival” leadership. The emphasis is on growing a heart with passion for Jesus. Awesome worship gatherings, power encounter conferences, and growing hearts on fire for Jesus are prized. Much of my charismatic, prophetic formation occurred here. Contemplative leadership. The emphasis here is on developing a contemplative, prayerful life that is rooted in Scripture and results in loving union with God in Christ. Out of this we are. Read more.
Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10) At our staff meeting yesterday, I introduced “Centering Prayer.” I shared from the notes below and answered a few questions. Then we took ten minutes of silence together before the Lord. Their overwhelming positive response truly surprised me! While my life has been significantly impacted over the last four and half months by this, I was unsure of what to expect. The following notes are quotes and insights from my Sabbatical journal. They come from the following three books: Thomas Keating’s, Open Mind, Open Heart, Cindy Bourgeault’s Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, and Basil Pennington’s Centered Living. Introduction: There are 2 primary ways of praying in the church:kataphatic – prayer that uses words, images, e.g. Scripture, icons, song, worship and; apophatic – prayer that is beyond words, thoughts and images. There are many ways of prayer. Centering prayer is only one form, a form. Read more.
“There is a mysterious attraction to interior silence in the depth of our beings. The attraction is like amagnet that draws us to silence.” Thomas Keating. The high point for Geri and I during our Sabbatical was a 10 day Post Intensive Prayer Retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. We had dinner with a group of 23 people, introduced ourselves, and then entered the Grand Silence, one that would last the next 9 days. No talking. No eye contact. Geri and I had just spent a week in the desert of Colorado but this total immersion began to break something up in me that I am still not sure I can describe. It remains a bit inexplicable. Jesus told Peter: “When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you. Read more.