May 29, 2024
Spiritual Formation, Book Reviews, Spiritual Disciplines

The Power of Presence in a World of Distraction

“Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You” by Adam Ramsey is a compelling call to Christians. The book urges them to embody a life of presence in a world that is constantly distracted and disconnected. The book challenges believers to live out their faith with intentionality, focusing on being truly present with God, with others, and in their personal calling. It combines theological insight with practical wisdom. Ramsey’s work is a clarion call to rediscover the power and beauty of presence in an age of absence. As a 43-year old missionary woman who has dedicated her life to serving others, I find “Faithfully Present” to be particularly resonant. The demands of ministry come with a set of worries and responsibilities. They often leave me feeling stretched thin and disconnected from the very people and purposes I am called to serve. Ramsey’s book serves as a… Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines

Solitude

Solitude is one of those spiritual disciplines that is quite challenging for me. But more and more, I am convinced of its significant value in my life. What I commonly experience is a flood of thoughts and distractions the very moment I pursue quiet and solitude before the Lord. I am like the disciples, attempting to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. Tiredness can also wash over me as I seek to slow my mind and body and listen to the Lord’s voice. Jesus’ example of solitude When reading the Gospels, you can’t miss the fact that Jesus spent time in solitary places.1 See Matthew 14:13, 23; 17:1; Mark 1:35, 45; 6:31-32, 45-46 and Luke 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:10. Often times, these “escapes” into solitude were early in the morning or withdrawing from the crowds of people vying for His time and attention. What this shows me is… Read the whole post
Book Reviews, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines

Set times of prayer – a discipline of preparation and love

I have recently finished listening to Tyler Staton’s book on prayer – Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools: An Invitation to the Wonder and Mystery of Prayer. I listened to Tyler Staton preach on the topic of the Lord’s Prayer at a leadership retreat a few months ago. Both his passion for and his experience in prayer impressed me.1 You can listen to these same sermons on the Bridgetown Church’s website. I did not expect this in such a young pastor. In his book, I was further intrigued by his emphasis on the importance of daily set times of prayer. He pointed out that both Jesus and the early church practiced regular times of prayer each day. Jesus and his prayer life Over the years, I have noticed that the Gospels (and particularly Luke) often note that Jesus gave himself to prayer. At this baptism, before he begins a busy… Read the whole post
Stress Management, Spiritual Disciplines

Staying on top of things

A few years ago, I was planning for an upcoming “boot camp” for new field leaders. Our boot camps are two full days of training but hardly “a place or undertaking that resembles a military boot camp especially by requiring one to endure intensive training or initiation”.1 Merriam Webster definition #3 for “boot camp. But then maybe we should ask the participants, not the trainer! In preparation, I asked these new field leaders and their directors what topics they would want us to cover. I gave them a list of topics we had covered in previous years. Someone suggested “how to stay on top of things”, something not on my list. In subsequent years, participants have almost always selected this topic as something they want to address at boot camp. The difficulty of staying on top of things This suggestion initially surprised me, but it immediately made sense. New field… Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Stress Management, Prayer, Self-Feeding, Spiritual Disciplines

Feeding your soul in a time of crisis

In my last post, I reflected on our new status as refugees from Ukraine. I talked about some of the ways that God had prepared me for this crisis and was helping me process this new reality. The processing continues. We have not given up on the hope that we may be able to return to Ukraine and resume our ministry there. But we are seeking to deal with the possibility that we may not. Today, I want to reflect on what has sustained me through this time of crisis, even when the future is so uncertain, and answers to my questions seem so far away. How do I feed my soul when God does not seem to answer our prayers? A personal crisis Without a doubt, what all of us see depicted on the news is far more catastrophic than my personal crisis. Yet the possibility that our cross-cultural… Read the whole post
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