’07 is already one week old. What are you doing to keep growing spiritually? If you’re like me (and I know I am), it’s easy to get intimidated by the managerie of disciplines, strategies and 3-point sermons (sans poem). I’ve found a specific organism for spiritual growth that, despite its simplicity, has been very helpful in the upward climb of Christlikeness. This organism has 3 parts (sans poem) – a head, a hand and ears.
1. Bible – logos, word, scripture, nightstand book. Call it what you will, it must be the place where spiritual growth start since it is His primary means of revelation. In it we are reminded of our inviation to participate in God’s story. We think we study scripture but scripture actually studies us! It exposes us for who we are and reminds us of who God is. If we read it with the right glasses, we soon realize that as followers of Jesus we are part of something far greater than ourselves. This book, as popular as it is, will never be fully understood. God’s Word is an endless well of truth, love, justice and grace. I love the scripture because its one of the only books I can read while the author is sitting next to me, offering relevant commentary and the best guidance around. This is the head and is on the top of the list for a reason.
2. Journal – this is pretty much where I write down whatever. Literally. If I have any “system” at play with the journal, it’s to write, draw, doodle whatever comes out. I’m often surprised by what ends up on the page. I tend to journal as I read the scripture. I set mini goals, analyze my life, tell about this and that. It’s not a “diary” per se… more of a fancy memo pad. This year I’m using a moleskin, reporter flip-sytle journal that I got from Waldenbooks. It’s the only time I’ve spent $14.99 on a book that says nothing (besides the Ross Perot book). I’ve used spiral-bound notebooks (because it’s how Jesus would save money) but it’s just not the same. This is where I interact with the scripture, pray, react and respond. This is the hand, where I’m doing something in response to what God is doing in me.
3. iPod. While I do listen to some Christian music, I must admit that most of what’s on my iPod is straight “secular” music that is beautifully laced with truth. Listen to Ben Folds sing “Jesusland” as you’re reading the gospels. Enjoy Muse as they sing “Butterflies and Hurricanes” as you think about Ecclesiastes. Chris Tomlin is today’s hymn-writer. Great Worship. And, of course, the grand colleciton of recorded sermons now available online. Some of my favorites include John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell (sometimes) and James Grier. Every movie has a good sound track. For me, this is the soundtrack of faith. Zephaniah 3:17 says “He will rejoice over you with singing.” Listen to the music. Rejoice back to Him. These are the ears. Listen up!
These are the tools I’m using, at least right now. It also goes without saying that faith without deeds is useless. I use these tools to call me to action, to change my heart and life, to help me be more like Jesus. That way, I can serve the world with integrity and compassion that only comes from Him.
Happy 2007! Keep growing your Faith!
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