Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sacred Pathways Class Week 7: Caregivers

Sorry I missed posting last time! Well, we learned about the importance of showing God's love to others last Sunday. As always, Jesus is our supreme example, and we looked into the scriptures and saw that caring for others is not an option for a Christ-follower. Thank you to Dave Becker for sharing his passion for caring for people. What a great illustration in real life!

So have you taken the challenge this week? It was this: to pray every day "Lord, send me today someone whom I can serve." I would love to hear how God has answered that prayer! Post big and small ways you have been able to show care this week - it will encourage everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sacred Pathways Class Week 5: Enthusiasts!

I want to thank Bruce Bayles for sharing from his life in our class last Sunday. I hope you saw some of the enthusiast passion in him as he shared. We need enthusiasts in the body of Christ. They are our encouragers, our cheerleaders, the ones whose faith and positive attitude persist even in dry times, and they remind us that God is full of mystery and supernatural power.

Well, we are almost at the half-way point of class... already, can you believe it?!? The question I'd like us all to ponder this week is: how has your personal worship life changed since the beginning of class? It's great to sit under some good teaching and learn about new paths of worship... but the important thing is to let what has been revealed penetrate your living and loving God. So, share what practices or ideas you've tried in the last few weeks, and how it has affected your connection with God. Looking forward to hearing!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review for "Mystically Wired" by Ken Wilson

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A refreshing change from the usual fare on prayer for the evangelical Christian! Ken Wilson, in his book "Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer" has introduced his readers to some old practices of prayer explained in a contemporary way. Wilson makes his case for practices of prayer that are refreshing, renewing, even relaxing instead of requiring more effort and a sense of duty. The book uses an enjoyable mix of personal stories, a scientific understanding of how our brains work, Church history, and biblical theology to explain these practices and why they work. Wilson writes with a candor that is sometimes humorous, sometimes blunt, and most often right on target. No need to be afraid of the title - this is not a book on mysticism in the New Age sense - this book is Christian and has a solid biblical and theological foundation. As Wilson wrote, he "likes [his] religious books straight up and not served on the rocks of some other religion."

I have learned to appreciate practices of prayer that were foreign to my evangelical upbringing, things such as breath prayers, contemplative prayers, praying the Office, the Jesus prayer, and Christian meditation. I enjoyed reading this book which described these types of "old" prayers in a refreshing new way. I was intrigued by the scientific explanations of how our brains really are "wired" to pray in certain ways by our Creator! I believe this book will be helpful to many Christians who may struggle with a prayer life that seems dutiful, stuck on lists, and is generally not very "connecting" to God. While I sometimes wished there were more practical "how-tos", the book successfully introduces several methods of prayer with enough detail for the reader to begin, and then certainly delve deeper with other resources if desired. Thank you, Ken, for the courage to write this book and share your experience with connecting to God in prayer!