Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spiritual Discipline?

No, this isn't a post about the fact that I'm not disciplined. I think that's been documented quite enough. And if I ever seek another call (which would be years down the road at this point) I figure it's best not to put out more evidence that you can't be the Super Pastor some community wants. As it is, Scripture and the world give us enough evidence without me continually adding fuel to the fire.

Anyway, I was thinking and recently writing and prompted to realize something very interesting. In some, but not all instances, I'm a believer that blogging can actually be, and often for me is becoming, a spiritual discipline. I was spurred on by my friend Lars, who encouraged me to just write. And I've realized over the past couple months that as I write, I've been able to write more. That as I look at the world and reflect on God, I've been more able to do that, more aware of God's movement and more aware of how God is calling me to move within that world. Whether or not I'm being conformed to the image of Christ through blogging is a question best left up to theologians more adept than myself. But I can assure you, there is a spark. Whether it translates into something down the road, like a published book, isn't the point. I've already found fodder for sermons and experienced cathartic moments through this blog. And although comments from the dozen or so friends who stop by now and again are appreciated, I'm learning that I'm not writing for you. I'm writing for me, and I'm writing for God, and I'm hoping that's enough.

Of course I realize that I'm not writing at all, but thanks for mentioning it...


Jeff, Laurie, Cambria & Avery said...

I agree that blogging falls into the spiritual disciplines category. I have seen how writing on my blog provides the opportunity to exercise my creative energy for the Lord. In many ways, this is the as journaling for me but the 'public' nature of blogging adds to the discipline.

Keep blogging Don!

Higgins said...

What is "spiritual discipline"? The so-called "Classical Spiritual Disciplines",have been outlined by Mulholland Jr., as worship, daily office, study, fasting, retreat, prayer and healing. I do not consider this list exhaustive or standard, but a guide to creatively exploring where to begin the "art" of spiritual discipline. Somewhere in this list I can see blogging.

Of course, in the Pentecostal tradition, there is an attitude of expectancy for spontanaity, as if every moment with the Lord comes without our planning, thinking, or determination, but that God shows up as he wishes and we simply grow as his presence 'comes upon us'. There's a passivity to our tradition, I would say. And yet there is also an expectancy to see souls won to Christ, thus a need for 'spiritual warfare' (prayer and fasting) and 'speaking the word' (which requires knowing the word). And so, there is a opposite attitude, more aggressive and active than our attitude about spiritual discipline, when it comes to the issue of evangelism, missions, and revival.

I like your blog, Don, because it has me thinking about some attitudes that are prevelant among my friends in the Pentecostal tradition. Can our our personal growth, as Pentecostals, be as intentional as our determination to see souls won? How can a shift in attitude occur that move us from always expecting a 'spontaneous' encounter with God?

Don said...

Laurie - thanks for the encouragement. The public nature takes some things away, like sharing your deepest fears and struggles, but it adds to it in that it provides accountability and the opportunity for encouragement, which is a great bonus.

Higs - You certainly took this thought and ran with it. I definitely think we could all use a dose of the Pentecostal sensitivity to the Spirit and desire to see God change the lives of others. On the flip side, being reminded that God does the changing is something I believe we can offer. But the idea behind Spiritual Disciplines is simply providing an avenue for God to change us. If we cultivate our lives in such a way and provide time, we believe that God will find fertile soil to grow Christ-like attributes and produce fruit.