Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Small Groups in the Church - One of My Necessities


Someone (again!) asked me, "John, how do I grow spiritually?" I love that question. Here is my answer.

I have been a follower of Jesus for fifty-one years. (!!!)

I have also been in a small group (aka a "home group"; a "cell group") for every one of those years. For fifty-one years!

I see being in a small group that meets weekly or bi-weekly as essential to my Christian growth. Linda and I will never not be part of a small group.

Here is my spiritual growth trajectory.

1. I meet with God, alone, regularly. This is often called "devotional time."

2. Linda and I meet weekly with a small group of Jesus-followers.

3. Linda and I never miss Sunday mornings and other gatherings. We have always taken Hebrews 10:25 literally - Do not neglect meeting together, as some have..."

It looks like this!

How I Begin the Day Focused and Expectant

7:30 AM. I begin this day slow.

I read Scripture. This morning I am reading from Romans 4. I don't read fast. I stop a lot. I pause, and ponder. I listen to God's voice.

Then, from Proverbs. I'm re-meditating on Proverbs. I've done Proverbs many times. This morning, I'm starting over. Because, I need wisdom. Not from earthbound people. But from God. Transcending wisdom.

Within these sayings will be found 
the revelation of wisdom 
and the impartation of spiritual understanding. 
Use them as keys 
to unlock the treasures of true knowledge.

Proverbs 1:2 (Passion Translation)

I study Scripture, and I meditate on Scripture. I have spent fifty-one
 years doing this. This discipline deepens the spiritual streams that are carved in my heart.

How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom? 
We cross the threshold of true knowledge 
when we live in obedient devotion to God.

Proverbs 1:7

Now I am going to watch, for (at least) the tenth time, the Eugene Peterson video (above). It focuses me.

After that, I'll add a dash of Dallas Willard. The Holy Spirit will enter into these things and focus me on what my life is really about. I'll begin another day clear-eyed, filled with expectation of all God is going to show me, and lead me to do.

My three books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)

I'm currently writing:

Deconstructing Progressive Christianity

Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart

Then, Linda and I then intend to write our book on Relationships.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

"Breaking the Chains of Shame" - Sermon 7/25/21

Here's my sermon "Breaking the Chains of Shame"

July 25, 2021

Redeemer Fellowship Church

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Spiritual Formation Posts 2010-2015

Payne Theological Seminary

Here are posts I made from 2010 - 2015 on the broad theme of Christian Spirituality. Which means things like: spiritual formation, spiritual renewal, spiritual transformation, spiritual restoration (all these terms are different!), corporate spirituality, discernment, cultural discernment, spirituality and the church, and some others.

Live Unveiled Before God