The Practical Disciple | - Part 63

Responding to God-Incidence

Some events occur and the coincidence of it is so unbelievable that it takes greater faith to consider it a coincidence than it does to believe that it is a God incident. I once was trying to find someone’s apartment who had an emergency need. My prayer was to find this person quickly and without a conflict with his father who was drunk and in the home. I had never been to his apartment. When a friend of mine and I went to retrieve our friend who was in trouble, we could not find the apartment number he had given us. I began to feel that perhaps my prayers were unheard. I rapidly decided that we shouldn’t waste time looking for the apartment.

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Daily Check-up

Before I talk about the value of a “daily check-up”, I just want to mention that I will be making podcasts of select sermons available in the next week or so. I have a couple of technical gliches to work out and then I should be good to go. So, stay tuned and check back-in for podcast.

Now regarding daily check-ups–One way to enhance our discipleship progress is by daily evaluating our progress. The key is having a clear criteria for evaluating and allowing a few minutes during a quiet time at the end of the day for reflection. For example, if you are working on being more mindful of God, then reflect daily (preferably journaling briefly) on specifically what that would mean. Such as, how many times can I recall

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Doing the Do.

One time I was standing in what I would call the “spiritual self-help” section of a seminary bookstore looking for yet another ‘how-to prayer’ book. As I browsed the numerous options the thought came to me, ‘If I applied even ten percent of all of the other books I already have on prayer, then I could probably write my own book. I realized in that moment that I was substituting reading about prayer for praying. I immediately set down whatever book was in my hand and headed for the seminary prayer room. I had a phenomena encounter with God. I realized then how easy it is to talk about God, instead of to God, or to read about prayer, instead of praying.

I am addressing this today because I have added

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(Untitled)

In yesterday’s post, I shared two approaches to scripture reading–formational and informational reading. To insure a healthy blend of each consider journaling. I have used the following journal model for many years now and it has yielded a constant forward momentum in my discipleship journey. A sample journal based upon the model following that is in bold and italics may look like this—

Date: 6/2/08 Passage: Mark 12:1-12

First Obervation/keywords: vinyard, Son. God goes to any length to care for us, but we don’t accept it easily.

Main Idea/meaning: Jesus was explaining to the multitude how great God’s love is and how they have rejected it time and time again. Jesus’ death is foreshadowed.

This passage make me feel: a need to examine my own life to make

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Studying Scripture–Formational and Informational Reading

Most approaches to reading scripture can be broadly categorized into essentially two categories, either,”informational” or “formational” reading. You need a healthy mix of both.

When you read scripture “informationally” you are getting to know the text. You are exploring questions like: “What is the story here? Who are the people involved? When and why was it written? Who was the author and what was his concern? Who was the audience? You may dig into historcial questions like “What is a tabernacle?” “What kind offerings did these people do?” “Where is Phillipi?” “What is a samaritan?” Basically, informational reading involves studying the text to get at the story or content. If you have done a good job of informational

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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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