Spiritual Practices

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.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Simple But Powerful: Practicing God’s Presence
By |   November 18, 2013 |   in Spiritual Practices

An uncomplicated yet powerful spiritual exercise is to merely practice the presence of God throughout our day:

  • thanking God for a beautiful sunset or the best coffee we’ve ever tasted,
  • asking God to help us with a computer problem or find something,
  • sensing God’s presence as we close our eyes and listen to a favorite song.
Read More Post a comment (1)
In The Pages Of A Magazine…
By |   May 9, 2011 |   in Books, Spiritual Practices

I have always believed that challenged relationships are usually lessons of some kind. I had a little time and picked up my “O” magazine for a little diversion. This particular issue was devoted to “Inspiring the Best in You”. I leisurely turned pages, having prayed and cried out to God for wisdom. I just couldn’t take the stress of the chaos from my colleague. I turned page after page trying to find refuge in the beautiful colors and shiny trinkets being advertised. Then I turned a page that stopped me dead in my page turning tracks. “May We Help You?” the page asked and it’s subtitle “Dear Me”.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Tennis Anyone
By |   April 25, 2011 |   in Spiritual Practices, The Body

It was a colorful day in May. The sky was bright blue, the tennis courts olive green, and John McEnroe’s hair was wiry red.

I was sitting in the stands watching the final match of the NCAA tennis tournament in Athens, Georgia. McEnroe, a freshman playing for Stanford, was giving tennis lessons to his opponent.

Read More Post a comment (1)
Follow Me
By |   April 22, 2011 |   in Spiritual Practices

I’m writing this post just after noon on Good Friday—at the outset of the 3-hour period of silent reflection on Christ’s Passion.

Jesus became a human being to model what being human is.

That includes the cross.

I have no accurate conception of God’s love apart from the cross.

I would not love God if it weren’t for the cross—for, as Scripture says, we love God because God first loved us.

Without the cross, I would have no reference point from which to understand what it means to offer my body as a living sacrifice or to lay down my life for others.  Without the cross, in fact, I would have no life at all.

And now, through the cross, Jesus calls me afresh to live the cruciform life:

“Follow me.”


My Maundy
By |   April 21, 2011 |   in Spiritual Practices

It was a Thursday. A Thursday not unlike this Thursday. A regular day. I did normal things. Woke up. Had a shower. Brushed my teeth. Ate breakfast. I expect that on that anything but regular Thursday, Jesus did, too.

Read More Post a comment (4)
Spy Wednesday
By |   April 20, 2011 |   in Spiritual Practices

As we wait on the cusp of this week, waiting to spill over into that night of betrayal and all that comes after, consider what, by the waiting, God might be moving in your soul.

* * *

A few more resources for this holy, holy week:

A reflection on what “vigil” means by Stephen Smith of The Potter’s Inn.

A Celtic prayer for sleep and a reflection on the kneeling Christ by Mama:Monk.

Resources For Passion Week & Easter
By |   April 19, 2011 |   in Spiritual Practices

While we will be continuing with a few posts on the issue of spirituality and the body this week, we would also like to provide you with a list of resources, online and offline, that will be a support to you in your journey with Jesus this Passion Week. Below are just a few that we’ve found recently. If you have more, please post them in the comments section, or email suggestions to our Senior Editor at tara@conversationsjournal.com.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Spring Cleaning
By |   March 28, 2011 |   in Lent, Spiritual Practices

When I was single I found that the state of my car provided a mirror to my life. When a hectic schedule reigned, the clutter and dust would accumulate, increasingly so as winter wore on. A couple of warm spring days would do wonders for both my car and my soul as the sun beckoned me outside to give them attention. Since I’ve been married, the car has not been mine to claim. We’re a single car couple, which is doable given Holland’s networks of bike paths and public transport, and the mirror has moved inside to my home

Read More Post a comment (0)
Ironic Timing
By |   March 21, 2011 |   in Lent, Spiritual Practices

Have you ever thought how amazingly ironic it is that Jesus’ great prayer of unity and oneness in John 17 comes immediately before his crossing the Kidron Valley to the olive grove where he would be betrayed, denied, arrested, captured by soldiers, and ushered into the multiple miseries that accompany him at the end of his passion week?

Read More Post a comment (1)