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10/4/18 A Message From Chris

People who are afraid of spiritual discipline will not produce very good disciples. I don’t know if it the legalistic upbringing of so many or just laziness, but discipline is not a buzz word these days in church.  Spirituality, Community, Authenticity—people are drawn to these words… but not discipline.

However, anyone knows that a lack of spiritual discipline leads to sloppy Christian practice and witness.  It is also evident that any sort of discipline leads to a radical lifestyle.  I recently read an article about Tyler Blevins.  Tyler Blevins is more commonly known by his online alias Ninja and is an American Twitch streamer and Internet personality. As of September 19, 2018, he is the most followed streamer on Twitch with over eleven million followers and an average of over 43,000 viewers per stream.  He plays video games online for 10-12 hours a day, six days a week.

Discipline is all around us.

  • My 8th grader is dropped off at school at 7:00 a.m. each day so she can run her 2-3 miles for Cross Country practice.
  • I had a professor once who read one book a week
  • Dave Ramsey has helped thousands of people by helping them become disciplined with money and living in a budget.

Discipline is all around us.

Without discipline, it leads to sloppy Christian practice and witness.  In Mark, chapter 10, Jesus has set his face to Jerusalem and is resolute in his calling that will lead to the cross.  During this journey, Jesus will speak of the radical discipline that is necessary in being one of his followers.  Jesus will proclaim that there is a new way of living in marriage, in finances, in service, a new way of seeing things in life.  Over the next four Sundays, we will explore this Mark, chapter 10.  Dorthy Day wrote: “We have to create an environment where it is easier to be good”, and if we realized that discipline can cultivate such an environment, I wonder if it might become a buzzword in the church once again.

 

 Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson- Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, Nashville: Zondervan, 2010, 462.

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9/27/18 A Message From Chris

Renovate:  The word comes from a  16th century Latin word which means “made new again”.  Webster defines renovate this way: to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding) to restore to life, vigor, or activity

 

            In the early 20th century, the word lost its luster; it was rarely used.  However, the twenty-first century has fallen in love with the word once again.  Whether it is Chip and Joanna’s Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, or Flip or Flop, HGTV has single handedly made “Renovate” the in thing to do.

            The Currans moved to San Angelo… and what home did we buy—a 1970’s ranch style home that had totally been renovated.  Not too long ago, we had someone over to do some work and amazingly it was the home that he was raised in during the 1980’s.  He looked at us and said, “It is not even the same home”—it has come to life, it has been made for a new way of living.

 

            Dallas Willard once wrote a book, “Renovation of the Heart”.  In it, he wrote these words:  “God saves us by realistic restoration of our heart to God and then by dwelling there with his Father through the distinctively divine Spirit. The heart thus renovated and inhabited is the only real hope of humanity on earth.”  My home had been neglected for way too long of a time, and it needed a major overhaul.  However, I might encourage us to look at our heart—when was the last time we spent time renovating, repairing, restoring, or rebuilding our soul.  I imagine if we did, someone might look at us and say, “It is not even the same person”… he (she) has come to life and has been made for a new way of living.

 

            This Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. in the MPB, we will discuss possible renovations for the church (I hope you will be there)… but may I suggest, a renovation of the heart might be what is most needed in our lives today.

 

Grace and Peace,

 

Chris

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