SEND International Member Orientation Program July 6-18, 2014 Spiritual Formation. Chris and Leanne Harrington. Chris and Daniella Jones. Ed and Marlu Vencio. Randy and Andrea Van Meter. Ryan & Bethany Reedy. Genna & Armie Friesen. Nathan & Maryah Woerner. Fawn Upright.
Chris and Daniella
Ed and Marlu
Randy and Andrea
Ryan & Bethany
Genna & Armie
Nathan & Maryah
“We abstain to some degree and for some time from the satisfaction of what we generally regard as normal and legitimate desires.”
Solitude – We purposefully abstain from interaction with other human beings, denying ourselves companionship and all that comes from our conscious interaction with others.
Silence – We close ourselves off from “sounds,” whether those sounds be noise, music or words.”
Fasting – We abstain in some significant way from food and possibly drink as well.
Frugality – We abstain from using money or goods at our disposal in ways that merely gratify our desires or our hunger for status, glamour, or luxury.
Chastity– We purposefully turn away from dwelling upon or engaging in the sexual dimension of our relationships to others – even our husbands or wives.
Secrecy– We abstain from causing our good deeds or qualities to be known.
Sacrifice– We abstain from the possession or enjoyment of what is necessary for our living – not, as in frugality . . . the discipline of sacrifice is one in which we forsake the security of meeting our needs with what is in our hands. It is total abandonment to God, a stepping into the darkened abyss in the faith and hope that God will bear us up.
“These disciplines of action provide the power for growth and development in the spiritual life.”
Study – We engage ourselves in the written word of God. This includes reading, hearing, inquiring and meditating on what comes before us. We withdraw into silence where we prayerfully and steadily focus upon it.
Worship – We engage ourselves with, dwell upon, and express the greatness, beauty, and goodness of God though thought and the use of words, rituals, and symbols. We do this alone as well as in union with God’s people.
Celebration– We enjoy ourselves, our life, our world, in conjunction with our faith and confidence in God’s greatness, beauty, and goodness. We concentrate on our life and world as God’s work and as God’s gift to us.
Service– We engage our goods and strength in the active promotion of the food of others and the causes of God in our world. It is to serve another with the purpose of training myself away from arrogance, possessiveness, envy, resentment, or covetousness. In that case my service is undertaken as a discipline for the spiritual life.
Prayer– When we pray we talk to God, aloud or within our thoughts.
Fellowship– We engage in common activities of worship, study, prayer, celebration, and service with other disciples.
Confession – We let trusted others know our deepest weaknesses and failures.
Submission – We engage the experience of those in our fellowship who are qualified to direct our efforts in growth and who then add the weight of their wise authority on the side of our willing spirit to help us do the things we would like to do and refrain from the things we don’t want to do.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
Paul’s “everything”:If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
What’s your “everything”?
Growing Intimacy with God
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Luke 10:17, 20
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
(Jesus replied) . . . do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Dr. Wesley L. Deuwel
Dr. Wesley L. Deuwel
Dr. Wesley L. Deuwel
Dr. Wesley L. Deuwel
Dr. Wesley L. Deuwel
I am not depreciating the instruments we have developed for the evaluation of our candidates, nor the splendid seminar materials which we keep developing. I am not opposed to them. It is just so easy to become totally out of balance; the priority emphasis in the New Testament is upon the spiritual life and the developing of the spiritual life.
Divine – Human Cooperative
Process of becoming holy
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
For centuries, people have felt that contemplation is superior to action. Since at least the time of Eusebius (c. 263 – c. 339), the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 has been interpreted in a way that denigrates workplace spirituality. Mary, who listens quietly to Jesus does the “right thing,” while Martha, who works in the kitchen, is seen as being “unspiritual.” Eusebius taught that Christ allows us two ways of life: the “perfect life,” which is dedicated to contemplation and is available to such spiritual elites as priests and monastics, while the “permitted life” is for the rest of us in the ordinary world. Eusebius believed in a spiritual hierarchy.
In the story of Mary and Martha, however, Jesus does not imply that prayer is superior to work; rather, he is pointing out the needy state of Martha’s heart. He does not tell Martha, “Get out of the kitchen!” Rather, he encourages her to focus on God. She had become too obsessed with the meal. Eusebius’ interpretation was simply wrong.
Eusebius’ false dichotomy between prayer and work explains why Protestant missionaries often react negatively to contemplative spirituality. Missionaries are often task-orientated people. We tend to be psychologically wired for action more than contemplation. I have often heard comments such as, “Contemplative praying is impractical. I don’t have the time to pray like that.”
Actually, contemplative spirituality is more a matter of love than of time. There is something very valuable to it, if we properly understand it. Instead of worrying about the quantity of our prayers, we should focus on the quality of our relationship with God. When we approach our spirituality like this, it affirms our “work in the kitchen” because we know we will also “sit at Jesus’ feet” when we need.
Action-orientated leaders need a spirituality that works for them. We find it, not by feeling guilty because we do not pray in a retreat center all day. We find it by keeping our hearts fresh with God. If our work begins to affect our relationship with God, then we know we need to seek personal renewal. But if our hearts are right with God, then our work itself will naturally become a form of prayer. This is what St. Benedict meant when he taught, “To work is to pray.” And this, too, is the central idea behind a workplace spirituality.
Teague, David (2012-04-24). Godly Servants: Discipleship and Spiritual Formation for Missionaries (pp. 48-50). Mission Imprints. Kindle Edition.
Dear Savior at whose feet I now sit,
When you knock on the door to my heart, what is it you are looking for? What is it you want? Is it not to come in to dine with me ? Is it not for fellowship ?
And yet, so often, where do you find me? At your feet? No. In the kitchen. How many times have I become distracted and left you there. . .sitting. . .waiting. . .longing?
What is so important about my kitchenful of preparations that draws me away from you? How can they seem so trivial now and yet so urgent when I'm caught up in them?
Forgive me for being so much distracted by my preparations and so little attracted by your presence. For being so diligent in my duties and so negligent in my devotion. For being so quick to my feet and so slow to yours.
Help me to understand that it is an intimate moment you seek from me, not an elaborate meal.
Guard my heart this day from the many distractions that vie for my attention. And help me to fix my eyes on you. Not on my rank in the kingdom, as did the disciples. Not on the finer points of theology, as did the scribes. Not on the sins of others, as did the Pharisees. Not on a place of worship, as did the woman at the well. Not on the budget, as did Judas. But on you.
Bring me out of the kitchen, Lord. Bid me come to your feet. And there may I thrill to sit and adore you. ...