The Wilderness & the Gift of Slowing Down

sunset_in_the_negev_desert_near_yeruham_israel

Today I saw a link to an article by Ed Cyzewksi. The title is “Why We Need the Wilderness.” It struck me because the wilderness is where I’m at and where God has been drawing me for some time now. I was taken up with a few specific words in the article: Continue reading

Advertisements

Books That Compel Us to Return

book1

There are books that you read and, when finished, place back on the shelf to never again pick up.

There are books you read, find great enjoyment in them, and maybe have even sensed the words of impact upon the pages. Even as they sit upon the shelf, a glimpse at their spine reminds you of the lasting significance of those words.

Then there are books that you read, possibly shedding a tear or closing your eyes to soak in the content, sensing the voice of God himself ringing through the pages, but even more……you know you will, you must, dust off these works, returning to them again and again to feed upon the treasure at hand. To not do so would be considered a personal tragedy of the gravest kind.

One such book for me is Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion. It has had such an impact on my life for 12 years now, so much so that I listed it as one of the top 10 books that has impacted my life. I shall never be able to rid myself of this little work. Continue reading

A Fast Teaching on Fasting

Last Sunday, 19 February, in preparation for Lent, I gave a short teaching on the topic of fasting. It was good to be refreshed in the purpose and foundation of a spiritual discipline like fasting.

If interested, you can listen below, or download from our podcast or iTunes.

Here are my notes as well: A Fast Teaching on Fasting – 19 Feb 2012

Piper on Fasting

Yesterday, I posted a reflection on the coming season of Lent. I specifically shared some thoughts on fasting as I had re-read Richard Foster’s brief comments in his book Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. I quoted his quoting of John Wesley on fasting:

Some have exalted religious fasting beyond all Scripture and reason; and others have utterly disregarded it.

I have been browsing over some more thoughts in John Piper’s classic work on fasting, A Hunger for God. Many will be aware of his memorable words in Desiring God: ‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.’ Not many words like them!

But here are a couple of other quotes just to ponder about the purpose of both food and fasting: Continue reading

Lent Is Upon Us

Next Wednesday, 22 February, the season of Lent will begin.

What is Lent?

First off, I think evangelicals have learned a little bit to not overreact against the more ‘traditional’ or ‘liturgical’ church context (though I would argue we all have our traditions and liturgies). And so there is a healthy respect for the church traditions that have been handed down to us through the centuries. One of them is the season of Lent – a time to prayerfully and even sacrificially reflect upon the work of Christ, specifically his death moving into his resurrection. During this time as well, many appreciate fasting of all different types, if not also taking up other spiritual disciplines.

But that is another ‘bad’ word, right? Disciplines. Sounds harsh. Sounds legalistic. Sounds so religious. Continue reading