First Steps – February 18, 2019

“Some people believe that devotion [faith] will slip away from them if they relax a little.  Recreation is good for the soul.  We will be stronger when we return to prayer.  Do not spend all your time in one method of prayer.  You may have found an excellent method of prayer that you really enjoy.  Maybe you need a kind of Sunday.  I mean a time of rest from your spiritual labor.  

You think you would lose something if you stop working at prayer.  My view is that your loss would be gain. Try to imagine yourself in the presence of Christ.  Talk with him.  Delight in him.  There is no need to weary yourself by composing speeches to him.  

There is a time for one thing and a time for another.  The soul can become weary of eating the same food over and over again. There is a great variety of food that is wholesome and nutritious. If your spiritual palate becomes familiar with their various tastes, they will sustain the life of your soul, bringing many benefits.” (Teresa of Avila).

I like this quote for two reasons: First, she rightly describes how the spiritual perfectionist is trapped in what I call a faith formula.  If I do (x) and then do (y) that will equal a holy life. For them, spiritual disciplines are the end and not the means to the end. For them, being holy is checking boxes. Sabbath is a foreign concept because to break from box checking means they haven’t performed or done what is needed to be holy.  Yet, holiness is not something done or checked but stems from living with Christ.  Sure, we might do something but what is done flows out of what one already is. I don’t do something to make me holy, I’m holy because God deems so and I live out of that relationship.

Second, mix up your spiritual disciplines.Try something different. Not because it is another box to check but because it might produce a different experience.  If your main disciplines are study and prayer, then redirect that time in service. Volunteer in a ministry.  Attend different styles of worship. Try fasting. “If your spiritual palate becomes familiar with their various tastes, they will sustain the life of your soul, bringing many benefits.”


This week’s reading:
  • Monday – Revelation 18
  • Tuesday – Revelation 19
  • Wednesday – Revelation 20
  • Thursday – Revelation 21
  • Friday – Revelation 22


Please Pray for:

  • Shane, John and everyone traveling with them on the Israel trip. Safe travels, there and back home.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • The United Methodist Church.
  • ​Our nation and our leaders.
  • Those suffering due to catastrophic natural disasters. 
  • ​Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Completion of New Youth Building and rear parking.


This week’s reading:

  • Monday – Revelation 13
  • Tuesday – Revelation 14
  • Wednesday – Revelation 15
  • Thursday – Revelation 16
  • Friday – Revelation 17
 
 

Please Pray for:

  • Shane and everyone with him traveling on the Israel trip. Safe travels, there and back home.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • The United Methodist Church
  • ​Our nation and our leaders.
  • Those suffering due to catastrophic natural disasters. 
  • ​Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Completion of New Youth Building and rear parking.

First Steps – February 11, 2019

Care for self restores one to a steady heartbeat that is a must for being human.  When one turns inward—self-compassion—one is better equipped to turn outward in love for another.  Healthy self-love creates healthy love for someone else.  We can only give to another that which we already have or possess.

Compassion, to use another word, requires an action.  Cultivating compassion is not an effort that results in warm feelings towards self or another.  It is an action to want to make something better, more whole.  Love creates wholeness.

Our task is to care for self as we care for another.  Remember, you cannot give to another what you don’t already have.  Allow the Spirit of God to love you into wholeness as that same Spirit uses you to love another.


This week’s reading:
  • Monday – Revelation 13
  • Tuesday – Revelation 14
  • Wednesday – Revelation 15
  • Thursday – Revelation 16
  • Friday – Revelation 17
 
 
Please Pray for:
  • Shane and everyone with him traveling on the Israel trip. Safe travels, there and back home.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • The United Methodist Church
  • ​Our nation and our leaders.
  • Those suffering due to catastrophic natural disasters. 
  • ​Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Completion of New Youth Building and rear parking.