October 29th, 2013 | No Comments »

Haven’t  you ever felt like spirituality is mostly trick with very little treat? Does it ever seem like spiritual formation is for some special breed of super-Christians someplace and you’re not one of them.

I know I have and often still do.

To put a re-fill the churches spiritual formation deficit, I’m putting together a small effort called “Wi-Fi Spirituality.” The goal of Wi-Fi Spirituality is helping people connect to God in a high-speed and fast-paced world. But “Wi-Fi Spirituality” will only be for subscribers to the page; individuals and families interested in engaging spiritual practices through means that makes sense in the 21st Century.

If you’re interested, I urge you to visit the Wi-Fi Spirituality home page and sign-up for the Insider’s List. The “Insider’s List” is the only avenue to connect with this life-transforming content.

Here’s a brief excerpt from an upcoming release on beginning a walk with God: “Confessions of A Spiritual Novice“:

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For starters, few of us have any idea what spirituality, spiritual formation, or spiritual disciplines are. Sure there are books and articles and hosts of other resources that can be bought and examined for our benefit.  And we can always turn to those folks around us that seem to have some kind of mystical lasso and appear to have roped spirituality and somehow tied it down for help.  You know those people. They pray—or at least talk about their prayer life—all the time.  Or they study—or at least talk about studying—their Bible all the time, and on and on the lists and stories go. Some even spend hours upon hours in silence.  Silence!  Did you hear that? Silence!

You Must Be Kidding!

Are there really people like that? People that actually look and sound believable when they talk of “praying without ceasing” or “praying for their enemies?  Don’t those folks have deadlines to meet or have to cart their kids to some activity or have people in their lives that so annoy and bother them that they don’t want to be praying and thinking of that person at the same time?

And what about fasting?  Are their actually people who gain some spiritual depth through prolonged not eating? You’re supposed to draw near to God, pray, and realize your dependence on the Lord when you get hungry during a fast, but aren’t most folks really thinking about when they get to eat next?  What they will eat? Who they will eat with? Are there really people who think about more during their fast than when they will break their fast?  It’s like there is a colony someplace that produces super Christians and every church is given a few, maybe just one or two. They’re kind of like the Texas Rangers that way.  One riot, one ranger.” 

Let’s Get Real

If we were honest, we would admit that there is something about the spiritual life that we just don’t get.  That’s why we find refuge in talking and studying about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the church rather than engaging our hearts, emotions, experiences, and dreams.  It is a lot simpler and much less messy to participate in God’s story in the theoretical sense rather than the spiritual sense.  We love “the theoretical sense.”  Plus, that confounded Holy Spirit just blows wherever it pleases.

So we buy the latest book, share the newest ideas, ruminate on the most thoughtful literature and then go on with only our minds engaged—and even then not fully.  Because at root we know that there’s no such thing as the separations we’ve created between heart and head and spirit and soul.  None of us ever makes decisions just one portion of ourselves.  Our souls are one whole: We think what we feel; we feel what we think.  These separations between heart and head leave us partly engaged and the parts of the spiritual life—those parts we naively thought were just heart or souls or spirit parts—the parts that we didn’t get before we read what we read or studied what we studied are still drifting out there unacknowledged, unengaged.

We knew all along that we couldn’t just think our way to being more like Jesus, but that seemed like the safe, more predictable way to live. 

 

October 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »

Recent posts have been dedicated to the spiritual discipline of physical fitness. No series of post have generate as many personal e-mail and conversations. I’m glad so many are rethinking their stewardship of their bodies.

Last week I sat down with Luke Norsworthy and recorded an interview for his podcast, “Newsworthy with Norsworthy.” In it we discuss my fitness journey, the point of physical fitness, and its intersection with spiritual disciplines. In particular we discussed Gnosticism and why Christians should reject “spirit-only” thinking as heretical.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think in the comments section.

Posted in leadership
October 17th, 2013 | 10 Comments »

Two weeks ago I spent an hour talking to an old friend. She was lamenting the state of the world. She was upset about the ills of the world.  And I was too. I wasn’t upset the same way she was. She wasn’t talking about ending poverty, war, genocide, or abolishing nuclear weapons. She was disturbed by the onslaught of technology and screen time invading her life – and the lives of her children. “I’m not a Luddite,” she protested, “but it’s just too much.” Taking her stand, she had  recently challenged her son’s high school’s mandate that students do homework, write essays, take tests, and turn in assignments electronically.  Her son had to produce a paper entirely researched on the computer and she did not like it.

My friend is partial to the way she was educated – libraries, notecards, essay tests.

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Posted in Bible, leadership
October 7th, 2013 | 6 Comments »

I wrote this piece after last year’s Presidential election. At the time I was raked over the coals by some, but the current climate in Washington and the absolutely pitiful, hateful, unloving, disrespectful, and quite frankly ill-informed political opinions (on all sides) have demonstrated that I was on to something. In short, Christians have traded their birthright of the Kingdom for a bowl of political porridge.
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You’ve heard, “Actions speak louder than words.” I’m sure the old axiom is true. We are defined by what we do more than by what we say.  That said, our words and language have the pesky ability to reveal our hearts in ways little else does.

Jesus said, “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” He meant that what is in us will come out of us. The human heart has an exhaust pipe – our mouths.

That’s why I have been so disconcerted this past week by the way my Christian friends have expressed their disappointment in the outcome of the Presidential election. Our heart-revealing language has found us both sinful and idolatrous.

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Posted in Bible, church
October 3rd, 2013 | 1 Comment »

For several years I did this talk using Batman Begins as a key to the believer’s journey with God. This past summer, I retired this teaching. Here it is, in case you wanna see/hear it again.

[tentblogger-vimeo 44907065]

 

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