The Intention of this blog series is for our staff to share the things are helping us grow in grace and truth. These are often the types of things that won’t show up in a sermon or as the topic of a small group. Here are some things that are shaping me.
Spiritual Practice of Fasting
Lately, I’ve re-discovered the beauty of (at least in my life) this lesser-practiced spiritual discipline. This has not been a recurring theme throughout my entire walk with Jesus. However, in light of the vitriol associated with 2016 politics, and watching the perpetual reactions to reactions, I found great solace in a few specific seasons of fasting, particularly from social media. I do not say this in a spirit of self-righteousness. In the days and months before and immediately after the election, we saw the worst in one another (today, I’m convinced we’re not much better). I heard about grandparents and grandkids un-friending one another. I witnessed people I respect deeply “mic drop” things they’d never say to anyone’s face in the name of “telling it like it is”. Many times (and this is still the case), I felt like looking online was only going to fuel outrage or disappointment. I realized that adding anything to the conversation, many times, would only be adding to the noise.
The Foundry, and myself, have been involved in finding ways to minister to refugees for several years. For us, this is a gospel issue, and not a partisan one. While the call to care for the sojourner is clear from scripture; there are, of course, challenges (and undoubtedly disagreement) in the best application. What I respect about both of these organizations, which are involved both internationally and domestically, is that both have committed to equipping the church to understand the complexity of this issue in non-partisan ways. They have been important resources to me in trying to understand what is happening, how the church can help, and how the American Church can activate the global church in places like Syria, Iraq, and beyond.
Daily Prayer. While I don’t use it daily, I find this app helpful in creating a rhythm of prayer throughout the day. It’s not a new app, by any means, but it is helping one if you’re trying to build some routine in your prayer life.
This is the article I’ve shared most frequently, as of late. It is indicative of a tension I frequently see in the American Church.