Uncategorized | The Practical Disciple - Part 53

Posts in Category: uncategorized

Core Routines of Faith–Getting started on the Word

Hey readers–I am back from a brief blogging hiatus. I followed my own advice and made some margin in my life last week when I was beset by life. Part of that margin meant not blogging for a bit. That season of hurry has past, so here I am again.

Last week someone asked me what spiritual disciplines I felt were important. The core routines that have helped me most in my walk of faith have been: worship, scripture reading, scripture study, devotional reading, intentional acts of kindness and service, tithing, and keeping a sabbath. If you read that list closely you might note a couple of routines that sound repetitive, but are intentionally different. Specifically, scripture reading vs. scripture study and worship vs. maintaining a sabbath. Though used “vs.” these

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Jesus and Keeping a Rhythm

P.D. Novice commented on how we find images of Jesus in the Gospels withdrawing from the crowds to be in prayer. Coincidentally, or God-incidentally as I like to call it, my wife’s bible study class was examining Mark chapter 6 today and noted how Jesus withdrew from the crowds but then they would come to him and he would “look on them with pity” or some translations say “felt compassion” and he would reengage and respond to them. A really wonderful example of this is Mark 6:30-34 which reads as follows…

“The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a

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More on learning how to say "no"

Everything that I shared in my previous post about saying no is helpful but needs to be given with a disclaimer. Before sharing the disclaimer let me share a brief story. Once I was talking to a pastor friend who was bemoaning how overworked he was. He was singing the ever popular chorus, “I need to learn to say no.” I replied, “No, you don’t. You are really good at saying no. You have said no to your health, your family, sleeping, eating well, excercising. You are really good at saying no. You need to learn to say yes to the right things.

Here comes the “no” disclaimer–Even when you learn to say no to things that are invading your life you

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Tips on Restoring Margin

In response to my post, “Living in the Rhythm–First Steps”, blog reader, P.D. Novice, commented “I was wondering what are some practical ways to restore margin? For starters, I was thinking saying “no” more often and also scheduling bigger chunks of time for each endeavor.” Well, P.D. Novice your instincts are dead on and I want offer some suggestions.

Regarding saying no– “I need to learn to say no, more” is the perennial anthem of rhythm lackers. But seldom are we taught much about saying no. I have a couple thoughts to help you.

First, why do you so often say yes. A typical yes saying scenario for me is…I get a request. I want to be helpful. I don’t have a direct conflict and

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Living in the Rhythm–First Steps

As I seek to restore a more natural and healthy rhythm to my life, I am starting by exploring two issues. First, what are the culprits that actively promote an unhealthy pace of go, go, go and go more? Second, how can I restore margin in my life?

So what do I mean by margin? While once working serving as a President of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate, I was stretched to my limits when we took on building a house in one week. I had probably twenty phone calls that needed to be made. I gave every single phone call out in a board meeting. At first it seemed a bit unfair, but as I told the board, “I know that even as I give you these calls, others are

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Living in the Rhythm

In prior posts, I spoke about a growing struggle among people in their ability to focus in prayer. In part, this seems to be a combination of fatigue and a general decline in our ability to concentrate on a single task rather than multi-tasking. We are constantly interruptible by cell phone calls, text messaging, or instant messages. Rapidly flowing commercial breaks, pop-up windows, and a stream of 1 to 3 minute youtube videos only exacerbates our ever-expanding restless attention spans. Yet even these factors are symptomatic of a malady far more fundamental.

Many of us are failing to observe any rhythm to life. There is a constant rush to fill each minute with either work or entertainment. Even each minute is intended to be

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