Archives For spiritual growth

Brene Brown is a researcher that focuses on shame and what she calls “full hearted living.” If you’ve seen her TED talk (below), it’s hard to imagine that such academic work could not also have spiritual implications. Come to find out, her research took her back to church. As a research scientist Jesus makes sense to her.

Here’s the TED talk that introduced Brene to the world.

You Did Something Today

Chris —  July 25, 2013

Time Clock

A short contract job working for an advertising agency changed how I think about every day. We billed our clients hourly and tracked our own work. This made sure that we were staying balanced individually and billing accurately.

I’m going through what a friend jokingly referred to as “wedding withdraw”. I recently completed my graduate degree, I’m helping start a new church community and hunting for a job. It’s a strange season where my days are unstructured and my goals are self-directed. This has left me with a constant sense of fear/guilt about not accomplishing anything.  Continue Reading…

Recently, my life got off track. Multiple things that had defined my life ended at once. I took a long overdue vacation, traveling, playing video games, reading comic books and staying up all night.

Alas, I knew this lifestyle couldn’t last. Not only would I eventually run out of money, but I needed to get back to chasing after my vocation.

These five steps are helping me get my life back on track.

train tracks


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Some practices or habits we engage in are thin, like exercising or brushing our teeth. We do these habits toward a particular end, to be in shape and have clean teeth. Thin practices don’t touch on our identity. “It would be an odd thing, for instance, for me to think of myself first and foremost as a ‘tooth brusher.’ These practices or habits don’t touch our love or fundamental desire.”

Thick practices or (liturgies) are rituals of ultimate concern, rituals that are identity-forming and telos-laden, that embed particular visions of the good life, and do so in a way that seeks to trump other ritual formations.

So what kind of liturgies do the people in the congregation you serve in embody? How do they increase people’s honesty and love for God? How do they help shape people for God’s purposes in the world?

JR Woodward, Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World

Habits that Change the World

5 Books to Help You Grow Up

Chris —  April 18, 2013

A few months after I graduated from college, I learned how utterly unequipped for adulthood I was. My roommate called me up, and tried to be nice as he informed me he was throwing away all the food in our refrigerator. The electricity bill was in my name, and I hadn’t paid for it.

High School and College had provided a clear framework of how life was supposed to work. I just had to show up for class, do my work, and not do anything too stupid. But now I was in the real world. I had to find a job and pay my bills and find my place in community.

Unfortunately, there are no printed guidelines telling us how the game of life works. We have to figure it out, more or less on our own. Scriptures, and most plainly, the Sermon on the Mount, provide an ethical framework of how Christians interact in the world. But how do do you deal with disappointments, find a job, talk to people and get stuff done?

Andy Stanley says that it’s not experience that’s the best teacher, but other people’s experience. Here are five of my favorite resources from other people who have already figured out what it means to act like an adult.

The Road Less TraveledThe Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck

M.S. Peck’s classic will help you grow up by admitting that life is tough, love is hard, and then getting over it.  Peck was not a Christian at the time he wrote it, and it is fascinating to see his thinking on psycho-spiritual issues taking shape.  I think of this book everytime I run into a difficulty, or have to fix my car.

Life is Difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly see that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

You can read my full review here.
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