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Monday, October 30, 2006

Drury, K. (1991) Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Wesley Press 

Drury, K. (1991) Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Wesley Press

1 jo 2:6

2 jo 6

Condemnation and Conviction

Condemnation – depression,discouragement and a felling of hopelessness
Conviction – expectation and hope

Pp 19


Grudges don’t work
Grows like cancer
Generate guilt
Handcuffs you to the past
Energy leak
Usurps gods rightful role

Cover it up
Forget it
Excuse it

2 Corinthians 10:5
Psalms 119:9-11
2 Timothy 2:22
Hebrews 3:1
1 Timothy 5:2
Colossians 3:2-7
Galatians 5:24-25
Philippians 4:7
Psalms 13:2
Psalms 19:13-14
Proverbs 5:1-23
Proverbs 6:24-29
james 1: 14-15
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
1 Timothy 4:12
Proverbs 2:12-19
1 Corinthians 10: 13
Proverbs 7:1-27-


7. ~Pride makes us 'Practical atheists." Perhaps this is why God reserves special wrath for pride. In pride, we discard gratitude to God and assume that we ourselves have accomplished our success. We become our own creators and sustainers of life - becoming guilty of the master sin: self-worship. Who needs God? We can do it ourselves! We've already done it ourself. Is atheism far behind? Is this not what C. S. Lewis calls "practical atheism?" No wonder God urges us to put off pride! Pp100


McGrath, A. (1999) The Unknown God: Searching for Spiritual Fulfilment. Lion 

McGrath, A. (1999) The Unknown God: Searching for Spiritual Fulfilment. Lion

My light, you see my conscience, because, 'Lord, before you is all my desire', and if my soul wills any good, you gave it to me. Lord, if what you inspire is good, or rather because it is good, that 1 should want to love you, give me what you have made me want: grant that 1 may attain to love you as much as you command Perfect what you have begun, and grant me what you have made me long for, not according to my deserts but out of your kindness that came first to me.


1 do not try, Lord, to attain your lofty heights, because my understanding is in no way equal to it. But 1 do desire to understand your truth a little, that truth that my heart believes and loves. For 1 do not seek to understand so that 1 may believe; but 1 believe so that 1 may understand. For 1 believe this also, that 'unless 1 believe, 1 shall not understand'. ANSELM OF CANTERBURY

one of the greatest themes of the Christian gospel is that of eternal life. This is often misunderstood to mean something like 'an infinite extension of things'. The real meaning of the term, however, is much more profound. It means 'a new quality of life, which is begun now and will Iconsummated in the future, which nothing - not even death - can destroy'. 'Eternal life' is all about entering into a new quality of life here and now, in full assurance that this new life will develop and grow.


Hughes G, W. (2003) God in all things 

From this it follows that an element of agnosticism or acknowledgment that the nature of God cannot be comprehended is in fact a mark of holiness. Complete religious certainty about God without any* shadow of doubt is a sign of atheism. The God we think we know all about cannot be the true God, because God is always greater than our powers of comprehension. 22

If the Church is to be faithful to the transcendent God, it must never be rigidly dogmatic, resting in its own certainties and abandoning the search for truth. Openness to truth, suppleness of mind, love of learning and the confidence to question are among the marks of holiness in the Church and in its individual members. 23

Isa 58:5-7 pp

1 he greatest danger to ing the human race is the world-view that sees human life in terms of a power struggle. We are convinced that in order to survive we must compete rather than co-operate. This is like a lethal virus infecting the human race. When the Church forgets the real meaning of holiness, that virus is just as likely to flourish within the Church as outside of it. 38

The teaching is unmistakably clear. Our relationship to God is manifested primarily in the way we relate to other human beings and their needs rather than in the frequency, fidelity or fervour with which we perform our formal' religious duties. But in the lives of so many clergy their primary concern is with the upkeep and development of church plant and real estate; with points of doctrine and church order; with the form of religious worship. Clergy who preach sermons expressing concern about the social/ political structures that cause hunger, homelessness and poverty are frequently denounced by those in public office for contaminating true spirituality with humanist ideas. 40

This question - 'for whose kingdom?' can be devastating in revealing to us our own narrowness and meanness, our own conceit and vanity, and our childish selfcentredness.

feelings 84

sheep dog 93

Returning to the shepherd and sheepdog diagram on page 93, the sheepdog must fix its attention on the shepherd and act on the commands of the shepherd. If the dog allows its concentration to move away from the shepherd, it may start pursuing individual sheep and forget the rest of the flock. As Christians, we can become so preoccupied with the 'sheep', in the form of our own particular defects, that we turn our attention away from the love and goodness of God, the 'shepherd', and become totally absorbed in ourselves. If we do this we may end up plunged into the depths of despair at our lamentable failure to live up to our Christian ideals. We may alternatively find ourselves preoccupied with different 'sheep' in the form of our own good qualities - in which case we may find ourselves glowing with our own selfrighteousness, like the Pharisee. 99

The obituary exercise in Chapter 5 can be helpful here. We looked at the qualities for which we would like to be remembered: compassion, honesty, justice, etc. In the depths of my being, would 1 like to live without love, without compassion, truth, justice, etc? If the answer is 'No', then the core of my being cannot be turned away from God. 106

Destructive thoughts = refusal to forgive and lingering guilt. 109

Karl Rahner

Any spirituality that fails to develop an appreciation of the unity of all things and of all peoples, and that leaves us without any hunger or thirst for social justice, must inevitably prove to be a false spirituality. It will not be drawing us closer to the living God who hungers and thirsts after justice, as we read in the Hebrew prophets. It is a sign of the split in our spirituality that in too many churches, people who are active in justice/peace issues feel themselves to be on the margins.
If 1 am finding it impossible to forgive, then 1 need to become still, and in the stillness to ask myself. 'In the depth of my heart, do 1 really want to do permanent harm to this person? Is that how I would like to be remembered - as a person who never forgave an injury? In spite of the anger I feel, can 1 find a depth in my heart at which I do not want ultimate harm to be done to this person?
Can 1 even pray for their ultimate good? Pp209

The Paralysing Power of Fear

Our fears, if not confronted, sap our emotional as well as our physical energy, imprisoning us within the narrow confines of our own concerns, diminishing us and those around us.

Fear can contribute to our divided state as Christians, for we can come to consider people of other Christian denominations, or of other faiths, to be threats to our own security in the faith we hold. Such security cannot be of God, because the security of God would make us want to break down the walls that divide us and lead us to rejoice in our differences. Fear of insecurity can blind us to the prison we build for ourselves. Dorothy Rowe, a psychologist, in her book Depression, claims that at the root of depression is an unwillingness of the victim to face some fear, of which we may not be conscious at first. On a national scale, lurking beneath our nuclear deterrence policy, is the fear of radical change in our lives. We are so enamoured of what we call our national security that for its sake we are willing to risk not only the lives of our enemies, the majority of whom will be innocent civilians, but our own lives too, and possibly all human life on the planet.

Fear of rejection… constant concern to please pp221



THESE ARE JUST A few passages to get you started. You can then find your own texts!)

On God's Love for Us

Psalms 8, 23, 91, 130, 136, 139, 145
Isaiah 43:1-7, 46:3-4, 49:14-16, 54:4-10, 55:1-11
Wisdom 11:21-12:2
Hosea 11: 1-9
Luke 1:46-55,67-79, 11:1-13, 12:22-32, 15:1-32
John 14:18-23, 15:1-15
Ephesians L3-14, 2:1-10, 3:14-21
Romans 5:1-11, 8:31-9
2 Corinthians 4:7-16, 5:16-21

On Desire

Psalms 27, 42, 43, 63
Romans 8:36-9
John 1:35-9
Mark 10:17-27

Gods Desire to Forgive US

Matthew 9:10-13 Luke 7:36-50, 15:11-32, 18:9-14, 19:1-10 John 8:1-11

On God's Healing

Mark 1:40-5, 5:1-20,25-34, 7:31-7, 10:46-52 Luke 5:12-16, 7:36-50

On Forgiving Others

Matthew 5:20-6, 5:43-8, 6:7-16, 7:1-5 Luke 6:20-45 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

On Trust

Matthew 6:24-34, 14:22-33 Mark 4:35-41 Luke 1:26-38, 12:22-32 Philippians 4:8-13 Romans 8:31-9

On Compassion

Luke 10:25-37, 15:11-24, 16:19-31 Luke 5:36-8, 23:33-43



Chalke , S. (2006) Intelligent Church. Zondervan 

As Stjohn of the Cross said: 'Mission is putting love where love is not.

Often when Christians see figures of declining church atten1 dance, we have a tendency to panic and rush around trying to save church from extinction. The truth is that we have spent so much time worrying about how we will save our churches, networks and denominations (our beloved institutions) that we often lose sight of our true task-to serve and save the world.

It's ironic but true that in serving the world more fully, the church, in whatever form it takes, will be rendered immune from extinction. A saved world would certainly result in a saved church. The reverse is not necessarily t rue. If we huddle in our trenches (however well equipped they may be) making occasional forays farther afield to win converts in order to bolster our numbers, we are condemned to watch as the church, and the world along with it, perishes. Pp25

Jesus invites but never compels us to believe. As a result, we'd do well to avoid making snap judgements about whether someone is in or out of the Christian community based on his ability to sign up to this or that established statement of faith. Instead we should learn how to create the opportunities for the unchurched to gradually deepen their faith and relationship with God. Questioning and doubt do not put real faith in jeopardy. Faith isn't certainty It's a risky commitment to a glimpsed possibility in the face of reasonable human hesitation about whether it is really possible. Were so keen for things to be cut and dried, we often fail to see that faith and doubt aren't mutually exclusive. As the German-born theologian Paul Tillich wrote, 'Doubt isn't the opposite of faith. It is an element of faith. 'Where there's absolute certainty, there can be no room for faith. Pp70

Missiologist Lesshe Newbigin sald, 'We do not seek to impose our Christian beliefs upon others, but this is not because (as in the liberal view) we recognise that they may be right and we may be wrong. It is because the Christian faith itself, centred in the message of the incarnation, cross and resurrection, forbids the use of any kind of coercive pressure upon others to conform.' Pp75

The myth of leadership

Agostino d'Antonio, a sculptor of Florence, Italy, worked diligently but unsuccessfully on a large piece of marble for many months. Eventually he gave up; he simply could not do anything with the stone. Other sculptors worked with the piece of marble, but ultimately none could craft it into anything of beauty. The stone was discarded. It lay on' a rubbish heap for forty years. That seemingly worthless piece of rock was to become one of the world's most famous pieces of renaissance art-Michelangelo's wonderful statue David. After its completion Michelangelo was often told how beautiful his work was. His standard reply was both simple and humble. All he had done, he said, was to reveal the beauty that was already hidden deep inside the marble. That is the task of a generous church -revealing the beauty that is already present in the lives of everyone we meet.


mission after Christendom david smith

Throughout his life Jesus demonstrated God's extraordinary love but never cajoled or forced people into following him. He simply offered the simple but direct invitation to all whom he met- 'Follow me. 'The reason, of course, why Christ did not bully or push people into following him is simply this: God is love. Love woos; it does not rape. Love beckons; it does not intimidate. Love does not bully; it cannot bully.


1 realise now that when 1 first became a minister many years ago 1 had a fundamental misunderstanding of my role. I thought part of my job was to get people converted. 1 believed my job was to convince people that they were living empty, meaningless and sinful lives and to get them to pray 'the prayer'. Though 1 tried to manoeuvre people into becoming Christians by convicting them of their sinning, the terrible frustration was that they didn't very often listen to me. And even when they did, all too often they didn't stay in the faith for very long. It was several years later that I realised the mistake 1 was making. 1 was trying to do the Holy Spirit's job, and at the same time neglecting my own. It is God who convicts people, not me. I'm not qualified. My job is simply to love God and love other people and through that commitment reflect his love to them. 166

Our goal is to meet others' needs, regardless of our own. Our evangelistic strategies will always be doomed if we appear to be nothing more than salespeople trying to drag others, kicking and screaming, into the church. Salespeople always have a tough time of it. Why? Because we believe that they will say anything to get our money.

The wonderfully liberating truth is that we don't need to sell God. Imposing Christian faith upon others does not work. It never did work. We don't need to' cajole people or try to persuade them that God is good. All we are called to do is demonstrate it. The command we were given is clear: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.... Love your neighbour as yourself' (Mark 12:30 - 3 1).

Confident faith, secure faith, is relaxed rather than pushy. It is unapologetically passionate about Jesus and his lordship but does not need to, or seek to, take every half opportunity to harangue others about him. Christ will be freely and naturally talked about and seen without having to manipulate or force the subject or the situation. A transforming church is a liberating church for all- Christian and non-Christian alike.



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