Meditation

Mindfulness, Part 2

"The reason I say that mindfulness meditations teaches that thoughts are autonomous (not intentional) is because of their analogy of watching your thoughts go by like you would watch cars go by. They do not acknowledge that when you observe those 'cars', your actually driving each and every one of them. They imply that the thoughts are driving themselves." - Matt Postiff

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Where Must Faith Always Look

Where Must Faith Always Look? I’m sure we all know that the answer is Christ – at least we ought to! I know, but I’m afraid I don’t always live it. I need constant reminders. So this isn’t me sermonizing (I’m unqualified); it’s a confession of my failing, and a passing on of a message from someone else…

That someone else is Ian Hamilton. The message comes from his little book The Faith Shaped Life. In the Chapter Where Faith Always Looks, Hamilton tells us that he has never been in the habit of making New Year resolutions. But he then recounts why he broke the habit of not making a resolution.

The reason he broke his habit was that he’d been reading through the Letter to the Hebrews. Hamilton noted that it was a “fascinating,” “sobering,” “and richly encouraging read.” The Hebrew Christians had come under the influence of false teaching and were pressured to “give up on Christ and return to Judaism.”

Hamilton writes that, “They had become ‘dull of hearing’ (Heb. 5:11).” They had slowly become spiritually deaf. They allowed the (significant) pressures of life to “de-centre Jesus in their lives” and “he was no longer the chief object of their faith and the first call upon their love.” The writer admonishes them to consider Christ (Heb 3:1, 12:2-3)!

This is a human condition I must contend with on a daily basis. It’s a daily struggle for me. And I bet I’m not alone.

Hamilton notes:

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Solitude Improved: understanding the spiritual discipline of meditation

"Meditation stands between the two ordinances of reading and praying, as the grand improver of the former, and the high quickener of the latter, to furnish the mind with choice materials for prayer, and to fill the heart with holy fervency in it." - Ben Ciavolella looks at Nathanael Ranew (d. 1677)

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From the Archives: Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #1 – Worship

Bitterness often begins as a normal—maybe even healthy—response to the losses, disappointments, failures, and unfairnesses of life. In that sense, the term “bitterness” is pretty much synonymous with mental, spiritual, emotional (and often also physical) pain.

But the Bible reveals that when indulged and nurtured, bitterness becomes an infection of the inner man that taints—and has the potential to corrupt—all our activities and relationships. I’ve written about the forms and harms of bitterness previously (see Bitterness Happens, and Six Ways Bitterness Can Poison Our Lives).

The good news is that both Scripture and experience (as application of biblical principles) point us toward some practical strategies for overcoming bitterness in our lives before, or even after, it becomes a chronic problem.

Feed the Attitudes of Worship

Worship is not an “experience.” In Scripture, worship is a set of attitudes and beliefs finding some form of expression. Acceptable worship is the right attitudes and beliefs finding a right expression, in the context of a right relationship. That’s a lot of things to get right. But it all begins with the attitudes.

Much has been written about the attitudes of worship, but for now we can simplify: at their core, these attitudes are humble, submissive, repentant, thankful, and joyful.

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Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #1 – Worship

Bitterness often begins as a normal—maybe even healthy—response to the losses, disappointments, failures, and unfairnesses of life. In that sense, the term “bitterness” is pretty much synonymous with mental, spiritual, emotional (and often also physical) pain.

But the Bible reveals that when indulged and nurtured, bitterness becomes an infection of the inner man that taints—and has the potential to corrupt—all our activities and relationships. I’ve written about the forms and harms of bitterness previously (see Bitterness Happens, and Six Ways Bitterness Can Poison Our Lives).

The good news is that both Scripture and experience (as application of biblical principles) point us toward some practical strategies for overcoming bitterness in our lives before, or even after, it becomes a chronic problem.

1833 reads