“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I discovered the Jesus Prayer at a time in my life when I desperately needed something to deepen my life in Christ.
After reading about the various major world religions, I rediscovered Jesus Christ while reading the Revised Standard Bible that my dear Methodist grandmother had given me for the confirmation I did not receive. I had wandered away from Christianity into rock ’n’ roll, but had come back after seeing firsthand that most of the stars who had everything I thought I wanted were really still very empty and unhappy. This led me to the Jesus at the height of the Jesus Movement. Eventually I ended up recording Jesus music with Sparrow Records, a company that has since become the largest Christian recording company in the world.Read More Post a comment (1)
Christian spiritual formation with children is the process by which a child learns to live their life with God. That’s right; the kid who last left his gum on your kitchen table is invited into the same life with God you are. The one who pretends to be a dog during the entire second grade, the one who sings show tunes from dawn to dusk, that one is also capable of a life walking with the God of the universe.Read More Post a comment (0)
When the editors set out to curate potential artwork for the cover of this issue, we were tasked with a bigger project than we knew. As with any issue of Conversations, we aim to connect the image on the cover to the theme of spiritual formation about which we’re asking writers to dialogue within the issue. In the case of Issue 11.1, there are galleries full of art that depict the element of water. Christocentric works. Historical paintings. Images of baptisms in rivers, or streams flowing through the Garden. We weren’t short on imagery for the topic “Streams of Living Water.” But the subtitle of this issue, that little phrase after the colon, “Celebrating the Great Traditions of the Christian Faith,” presented a bit of a conundrum in our search. That is, until we came across “Celebrant” by Tim Lowly.Read More Post a comment (0)
I first encountered Richard Foster’s description of the six streams in my coursework in Christian Formation at Wheaton College Graduate School. As a Roman Catholic studying among evangelicals, the streams concept resonated with me. In fact, the Six Streams allowed me to articulate for the first time what was happening to me at Wheaton: my studies in a stream very different to my own not only were bringing me closer to evangelicals to appreciate and incorporate their faith perspective, but were also helping me to grow as a Catholic. Here is my story.
STARTING WITH THE STREAMSRead More Post a comment (0)
A call came at an early hour on a frigid autumn morning.
“Ryan, Ted is dead. They found him in an alley in the middle of the night.”
My silent response spoke my stunned state of disbelief. Ted was a 46-year-old Native American who, together with his four-legged friend, Lucille, had survived our Denver streets for the past 15 years. In our world, he was an icon, one of those cornerstone individuals within our beloved community of the chronically homeless. The news was a punch in the gut that left me, and several others, gasping.Read More Post a comment (0)
When I began my job at Spring Arbor University, I was charged with the task of developing a masters program in the area of theological studies. I quickly dismissed the idea of starting a new seminary since there are already scores of good ones out there. However, I mused over the question, What didn’t I get while in seminary? My mind gravitated toward spiritual formation.Read More Post a comment (0)
I’ve Got Rhythm
The Irish summer sun was still just a pale rumor on the horizon when I began hearing activity in the house below us. We were on holiday visiting my wife’s sister and family, and the first morning I began learning what it meant for my brother-in-law to work as a baker. Every day the rhythm of the morning was the same: baking scones as the sun rose; deliveries in the battered white van; then out to the store to begin baking a more substantial quantity of bread and cakes. Afternoons were filled with construction work since he was building a house for his family beside the bakery. In the evenings, we were often joined by other members of the small Amish community to which they belong. Each day the rhythm ticked along with the precision of clockwork.Read More Post a comment (0)
I have a mixed history regarding the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Methodist church I was raised in certainly didn’t talk about him (at least, not that I remember). Well, that is until a youth pastor invited a young evangelist from Calvary Chapel to come to our youth group. That meeting caused such a stir that the youth pastor decided to leave the Methodist church and work with Chuck Smith in Costa Mesa, California.Read More Post a comment (0)
Whatever would we have to talk about? That’s what I thought one evening when I was going out to dinner with my then boss, a board of directors’ member, and her husband. Tim, my former boss, is a Presbyterian minister. Katie is a convert to Catholicism, Jack’s a cradle Catholic, and I’m a cradle Quaker. We composed a rather eclectic group gathering at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Despite the fact that about the only things we had in common were our link to the Indianapolis Center for Congregations and that each of us is a person of faith, things went better than well. From the time we climbed into the car until we reentered the hotel, the conversation was lively.Read More Post a comment (0)
Editors Note: In June of 2012, Dallas Willard presented two hours of teaching on the Book of Acts to the Renovaré Board and Ministry team at a retreat center in Colorado. Given the theme of this issue of Conversations, “Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith,” and the “incarnational” focus of Dallas Willard’s presentation, we thought you might want to listen in on part of that talk. What follows, after a brief introduction from Gary W. Moon, is an edited version of portions of that talk.
I encountered a teaching on the uniting themes of Scripture that I’ve never been able to forget. It was posited that if you step inside the Bible, anywhere between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21, you would not have to turn many pages before bumping into four retreated themes: 1) God loves people and has prepared a suitable dwelling place both as an inheritance and a place of being together; 2) God desires to be with His people in loving relationship; 3) Humanity continues to reject both the inheritance and the offer of presence and relationship; 4) God does not give up on His offer to be with the ones He loves.Read More Post a comment (0)