Hess and Arnold give me hope for this stretched-out life of mine, for ways in which I can perhaps redeem some inedible choices. A holy resolve to create margins of simplicity, rest, play and creativity fosters rejuvenation in our multidimensional life.
We need time to re-create, to rest, to simply be still and savor simple pleasures. In chapter 10, they give examples of how to introduce some of these habits into the lives of our children and grandchildren, both by teaching and by modeling. Chapter 11 focuses on ways to care for this planet, to steward the place where we live in these bodies we live in.
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All creation communicates its Creator, and we should honor His handiwork. We can even admire the toadstools from afar. The natural world that supports and sustains human life is a continuous backdrop to our daily life. It has a role to play in our spiritual formation, just as our bodies do.
Spiritual well-being: an empirical study with yogic perspectives
I conclude that to live healthy can help us live holy, and to live holy can help us live healthy. How about you? Similarly gentle guidance is given concerning exercise, care for the environment, and critiquing the messages which our media sends us about body-image. For those who want to go into more scientific or practical depth in any of these topics, a very good selection of books is listed in an appendix of references.
Self-love comes from wanting to care for the body that God has given you. This gives me encouragement as I think back over my own story of struggling to pursue holy physical health , and as I think about my roles as husband, father, and pastor. There are people I know who I want to read this book because they need to understand that they have a responsibility before Christ to care for the body He redeemed.
On the contrary, the desert fathers and mothers had a much deeper knowledge of the intricate relationship between our bodies and our spiritual lives than modern writers appreciate. For just one example, they were keenly aware that over-eating made one vulnerable to both sexual temptation and anger. That point is absolutely true. The insights in this book are the first steps for putting that truth into practice. I believe that those who are ready to take the next steps in their spiritual formation would seriously profit from reading the ascetics of the early Church and asking what messages their bodies proclaimed about the crucified and risen Christ.
You are commenting using your WordPress. Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare. Baker Books, Perhaps the most balanced and helpful work on the topic, rooted in Scripture and reality, avoiding the extremes. David G. Sacred Companions. The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction.
IVPress, An inviting introduction to the ancient practice of the church of being in accountable spiritual relationships that both encourage and direct. A compelling reminder that it is our surrender to love that allows us to offer it to others in power. Bruce Demarest. NAVPress, A most helpful overview of the disciplines and Spiritual Formation and Direction. Seasons of the Soul: Stages of Spiritual Development.
- "For we are God's workmanship . . ." – Ephesians 2:10!
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Richard J. Celebration of Discipline. This classic by well-known Quaker spiritual director Foster outlines ten classic spiritual disciplines for personal and community growth into Christlikeness. Scott Moreau..
Shaw Publishers, Other missiologists have cited this short book as the best introduction to spiritual warfare on the market. A balanced understanding that is biblically-based, personally relevant, and culturally sensitive. Shaw Books, A valuable series of self-study guides on twelve topics based on inductive Bible study. This is a gem for everybody in mission. Robert Mulholland. A clearly written introduction to the transformative nature of intentionally choosing to start the journey of spiritual growth and formation.
The Life of the Body: Physical Well-Being and Spiritual Formation - Church Health Reader
The Way of the Heart. This beloved devotional author and spiritual director suggests solitude, silence and prayer as the core dynamics of a deeper walk with Jesus. Crossroad, One of the most powerful books deceptively brief on true spirituality, especially relevant for all who are or who aspire to some kind of Christian leadership. I have given away more copies of this book than any other in my life. Tested spiritual counsel by one of the wisest and tested shepherds of the Global North, rightly dissects our penchant for instant spirituality and leadership, and calls us to perseverance and endurance in the life-long journey of faithful discipleship.
Anything by Peterson will be healthy for you! Douglas D. Finding Spiritual Direction.
Dallas Willard. IVPress, , Arguably the most accessible writing of Willard, who dissects the Christian life into its component parts, and then puts them all back together into a riveting guide to personal transformation. Together these two can unleash a transformation in the lives of missionaries, positioning us so that God can mold us into the men and women he has called us to be. Cross-cultural workers need a contagious faith that is fragrant and sustainable in the difficult places of our world.
Contemplative spirituality , on the other hand, focuses on classic spiritual practices and concerns such as:.
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Together they unleash the Holy Spirit inside us in order that we might know experientially the power of an authentic life in Christ—wherever we are living or ministering. It is ultimately the way we see and treat people and the way we look at ourselves. Our relationship with God and our relationship with others are two sides of the same coin. Moreover, it is about seeing God in all of life. Emotional health, on the other hand, concerns itself primarily with loving others well.
It connects us to our interiors, making possible the seeing and treating of each individual as worthy of respect, created in the image of God and not just as objects to use. For this reason, self-awareness, what is going on inside of us, is indispensable to emotional health and loving well. In fact, the extent to which we love and respect ourselves is the extent to which we will be able to love and respect others. Emotional health is not only about ourselves and our relationships. The point is simple: there are powerful spiritual breakthroughs that can take place deep below the surface of our iceberg when the riches of both contemplative spirituality and emotional health are joined together for spiritual formation and development.
Thus the practices of emotional health never lead us to a self-absorbed narcissism. They lead us to Christ. Balanced missionary preparation and mentoring incorporates an understanding of both of these streams which nurture our spiritual formation and growth into intimacy with God our Father. Intentional approaches to facilitating genuine encounters with God and the spiritual disciplines or practices which nurture a growing intimacy with God are critical to missionary preparation.