Practicing Christ-Centered Reading
An Excerpt from Fire of the Word: Meeting God On Holy Ground

The Bible

How… might we begin to develop our ability to read the Bible more Christocentrically—that is, as a book that speaks everywhere to us of Christ?

First, it is essential that we develop the skills of attentiveness outlined in chapter ten and have some experience of using those skills in our reading of the Gospels. Until we have learned, at a deep level, to discern and respond to the presence of Christ in the Gospel narratives (where he is most conspicuously present), we will always struggle to identify how, say, Leviticus or Job might be revealing Christ.

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Come To Me…

What do you hear from God when you practice lectio with the past year of your life?”

That’s the question Conversations Journal’s editor invited me to ponder. My initial reaction was to think: “This is going to call for a good bit of time and effort!” After all, my answer to most “what did you hear from God?” questions has typically required my heart and mind to patiently wait for hours. However, this time it was different. Almost immediately, what I heard from God while prayerfully reading and contemplating the story of my life this past year was both an invitation and a command. It is contained in these three words:


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Addicted to Prayer

Somewhere along my path through undergrad and grad school in psychology, I came to really love B.F. Skinner. I know that there are questionable ethics and perhaps an eschewed moral compass in his history, but his contributions to the science are inescapable in their influence on modern psychological thought.

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Reading Beyond the Headlines

Writing a blog for Conversations Journal is intimidating. Though I know it is illusion, I have this image of a typical reader to be someone who lives in holy rhythms all day long, a communal lunch perfectly placed between lauds and vespers, silence and service.  My rhythms look a bit more like ventricular fibrillation.  I am also a reluctant blogger. So this should prove a good discipline for me, making a blog offering each month, as topics are assigned.

This month’s topic? Do a Lectio Divina of my life in this past year.

Wow. Starting easy, huh?

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Will You Let Me Care For You?

I am a journal keeper.

I’m so grateful that our editor at Conversations invited us to use lectio and listen for God regarding our past year. Frankly, I had never considered the idea.

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Fear Not

In one word, a primary theme for me in 2011 was fear and overcoming mine. Perhaps there are some for whom fear is not much of an issue. I don’t seem to know too many of them. And I’m not one myself. Fear has always been a deep struggle for me. It’s probably good, as someone has counted, that the word to “fear not” occurs 365 times in the Bible. I need at least that many reminders.

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Confessions of a Flip-Flopper: 2011 In Retrospect

As I reflect on this last year, I notice a pattern emerge that makes me sort of uncomfortable. It looks an awful lot like flip-flopping. I’ve changed my mind, gone back and forth, discovered and re-discovered what I believe to be God’s path forward for me—particularly as it relates to starting Sustainable Faith Indy (SFI), an educational retreat center. Yet, as I reflect on how God is speaking to me through this year in retrospect, I see that this circuitous path is helping me discover God’s will.

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God’s Sorrowing Vigil

Six years ago I walked away from a 20-year spiritual discipline: reading through the Bible every year.

I needed the break.

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Is 40 Good or Bad?

This past year, Alice and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with all of the appropriate dinners, family times and weekend get-a-ways. It was wonderful to affirm God’s faithfulness to us and our faithfulness to each other. We were grateful for reaching this milestone.

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The Definition of Insanity

The assignment was to reflect on what I had heard God saying to me in the past year as I practiced lectio divina, or spiritual reading, throughout the year. I must confess that 2011 was NOT a meditative year, and so 2012 must be.

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