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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reed, A. (2011) Quest for spiritual community: reclaiming spiritual guidance for contemporary congregations 

Begin to reflect on your whole life as a play comprised of several acts. Be attentive to the natural transitions of your life which signal the begining of a new act, such as early childhood, teen years, college, employment, major moves or family transitions. Create a timeline of your life that identifies each act jot down key features of those periods. As you look at the dramatic movement of your life, pay attention to God's presence and activity. How would you describe your awareness of God in each act? 42

Imagine yourself on stage. As you look around, you see that you're not alone. There are others playing supporting roles who have been an inegral part of your life story and your spiritual development. As you look over your life, note any congregations that have been a part of your story. What has been your experience of the church? Are there specific individuals who were important in helping you recognise God? What did that person or persons say or do? How would you describe the spiritual guidance you have received? Do not hesitate to acknowledge painful experiences and relationships. These also impact our experience and understandiong of GOd. 80

Imagine yourself on stage. As you look around, you see that you're not alone. There are others who have been integral to your life story and yoru spiritual development. Make a not e of familty members  who have palyed important supporting roles. Some may have been genuine spiritual guides to you, caring for you supporting you in your relationshiop with God. Take note of them. Some may have led you away from God. Their presence in yoru life may have engendered false ideas about God. Remember that some family influences are disruptive to teh flow of the drama. As family members come to mind, ask God to help you see them as God sees them. 109

Five important findings emerge taht speak to what becoming a spiritual guide means for pastors and their congregations.
1) Concern for self-care and ongoing personal spiritual formation
2) A pryaerful presence in all tasks of ministry
3) an ear for God's presence and activity in people and projects
4) a language for experiences of God
5) reconstructed standards of success 52

Pastors work not to point to what we want to do or even what we should do, but what we feel called to do. 64

5 key features of spiritual direction

1) an increased awareness of God's presence in everyday life
2)bringing God out of the box
3) a sense of belonging in the congregation
4) discerning calls to ministry and service
5) nurturing action through prayer and reflection 69

Features of Paul the spiritual guide in Thessalonians
1) He is not teh true spiritual guide: The HS is
2) Paul commited  to prayer and discernment
3) Attention to God's presence in everyday life
4) ministry rooted in Christian imitation

To become am imago christi is to be transfigured into the self-giving love of GOd. With this transfiguration human beings attaion their messianic destiny; they glorify God the father with the Son and Holy Spirit, and become tehmsleves the glory of God' 142

Essential building blocks for practical approaches to spiritual guidance.
1) The heart of Christian spirituality is relationship - Christian spirituality and spiritual formation develops in an through participation in divine and human relationship. 153
2)Individual persons are invited on a spiritual journey with God - the Spirit offers a restorative relationship to each one of us through inward experiences of God and outward recognition of God's presence in the world. 154
3) Journey of spiritual formation requires a community characterised by nuture and accountability  - formation in community is more than acts of love and compassion, it also incorporates education and imitation 155
4) The spiritual journey connects us to the heart of God where we hear trhe call to serve the world - as we continue on the inward journey, we may gain glimpses of God's heart for teh world and grow increasingly aware of the brokenness around us, we are also formed through concrete acts of servic that meet teh needs of others. Here we turn our attention from ourselves  and on to others. 157

The question pastors most commonly as is teh what question - what porgrammes should we invest ourselves, what are teh truths we are teaching?
 When we probe a little deeper, we ask 'how' - how do we best communicate.
 On occassion we may look at our callings at a deeper level , asking 'why'
The one question pastors seldom ask is 'who' who is teh self that ministers - What does God have to say about who I am? - Pastors may lose sight of their true selves and operate out of a false self that they believe ministry requires. 171


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meyer, K. (2010) Whole Life Transformation:Becoming the change your church needs. IVP 

Meyer, K. (2010) Whole Life Transformation:Becoming the change your church needs. IVP

Rauschenbusch called the church to become more than just the purveyor of personal morality and spirituality. He challenged the church to deal with social ills such as racism and poverty, war and robber baron capitalism. Using the Hebrew prophets' call for justice, Hesus' sermon on the mount, the early church's experience, and reason, Rauschenbusch argued that human flourishing was intensely spiritual and Christian. 49

One of most persistent mistakes of Christian men has been to postpone social regeneration to a future era to be inaugurated by the return of Christ 49

John Climacus - The ladder of Divine Ascent.

Rauschenbusch - when a church forgets its social obligation, it soon forgets its call to transformation, becoming a ghost ship of souls waiting to be transported to a heaven that lies somewhere out there. In the meantime, it makes occasional forays into the world to try to win more souls. 95

Susan Phillips - Candlelight: the art of spiritual direction 99

George MacDonald 115

Thomas Traherne 116

Galatians 4:19 (formed)

Romans 8:29 (Conformed)

2 Corin 3:18 (transformed)

Dear Jesus,

help us to sprewad Your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of Yours
Shine throuugh us, and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our souls.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but onbly Jesus!
Stay with usd, and then we shall shine as you shine;so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus will be all from you, none of it will be ours; it will be You shining on others through us .
Let us preach You without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of ewhat we do, the evident fullness of the love ouyr hearts bear to you
Amen. 136


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