Saturday, February 09, 2008


Its that time againt - Lent a time of preparation for celebrating Easter. For me this year there are disciplines of abstinence and engagement that are needed! So what exactly is a spiritual discipline? I like the Renovare definition:

A Spiritual Discipline is an intentionally directed action by which we do what we can do in order to receive from God the ability (or power) to do what we cannot do by direct effort.

This year I am trying something different. I am going to focus activity in the following 6 areas based on the Renovare approach. In terms of specific abstinence I am going to arrange my life so as to lose 10kg - the importance of this for me in terms of the disciplines, is not to lose 10kg per se but to deepen my engagement with God instead of food, as I seek to know that all is right with my world. I'm expecting it to be very hard.

Contemplative: The Prayer-filled life - By God's grace, I will set aside time regularly for prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading and will seek to practice the presence of God.
Questions of Examen:In what ways has God made his presence known to you since our last meeting? What experiences of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading has God given you? What difficulties or frustrations have you encountered? What joys and delights?

Holiness: The Virtuous Life - By God's grace, I will strive mightily against sin and will do deeds of love and mercy.
Questions of Examen:What temptations have you faced since our last meeting? How did you respond? Which spiritual disciplines has God used to lead you further into holiness of heart and life?

Charismatic: The Spirit-Empowered Life - By God's grace, I will welcome the Holy Spirit, exercising the gifts and nurturing the fruit while living in the joy and power of the Spirit.
Questions of Examen:Have you sensed any influence or work of the Holy Spirit since our last meeting? What spiritual gifts has the Spirit enabled you to exercise? What was the outcome? What fruit of the Spirit would you like to see increase in your life? What disciplines might be useful in this effort?

Social Justice: The Compassionate Life - By God's grace, I will endeavor to serve others everywhere I can and will work for justice in all human relationships and social structures.
Questions of Examen:What opportunities has God given you to serve others since our last meeting? How did you respond? Have you encountered any injustice to or oppression of others? Have you been able to work for justice and shalom?

Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life - By God's grace, I will share my faith with others as God leads and study the Scriptures regularly.
Questions of Examen:Has God provided an opportunity for you to share your faith with someone since our last meeting? How did you respond? In what ways have you encountered Christ in your reading of the Scriptures? How has the Bible shaped the way you think and live?

Incarnational: The Sacramental Life - By God's grace, I will joyfully seek to show forth the presence of God in all that I say, in all that I do, in all that I am.
Questions of Examen:In what ways have you been able to manifest the presence of God through your daily work since our last meeting? How has God fed and strengthened you through the ministry of word and sacrament?


sara jean said...

Hey BJ...yes I'm a blogger, guilty as charged:) I enjoyed the intensity of this post and the thought provoking ways to seek God's grace continually, while deepening relationship with Him.

sara jean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glen O'Brien said...

Lo did I search "Keeping Up With Myself" in vain for any reflections on the South Pacific Convention.

BJ said...

And here I was thinking Peter's blog on this issue was the definitive post. I'm afraid I was too bemused by the whole thing to really be able to construct any real thoughts on it all!

KarenH said...

Brett --

So, how's it going, Lent-wise?