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Discernment and Decision making

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2014-05-24 11.51.13

View lying prostrate before the cross at Kingsfold retreat

The weekend silent directed retreat gave me some startling insight. I went into it with some questions I hoped to pray through, mainly personal life direction and growth questions. Very very quickly, in and after the first guided prayer time that is part of the weekend, those question got set aside and I got a very strong sense of a need to abide with God and let God abide in and with me, and those future things would sort themselves out. Matt 6:25 and following, along with John 15:5 and following became both my answer and my discerned new theme, which I refer to in the shorthand phrase “to abide is to be guided.” The starting questions faded far into the background, and appropriately so. Today I am much more relaxed and comfortable with them resloving well so long as I maintain relationship with God.

But the outcome and experience is not what I wanted to focus on this week for the blog, not the substance of that, anyway, but the change of direction that happened. I firmly believe surprise turns like that are what discernment is all about. Or having space for them in our life. My post for this week is about discernment, what it means in a church leadership setting, and a bit about what it feels like.

Here’s the post: http://wp.me/P3etrg-fd

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Value integrity

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I feel a need to give my creativity and deeper thinking a rest this week. So instead of creating a new posting I’ll share one I wrote and shared on the CRC network a few weeks ago. It has relevance here, but really addresses a broader issue for all churches.

http://network.crcna.org/pastors/expressed-values-lacking-integrity-lived-values

Anxiety in the preservationist church system

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Warning. This is probably the most complex and longest posting to date, one which ties a number of things I have talked about before together. It will take some time to read and digest. Be prepared to invest that.

This posting is very important, particularly for anyone in leadership. In the blog posting I take some small matters related to practices or the way we do things like preaching, worship and Lord’s Supper and attempt to show how I see them as issues that arise because we’ve lost a principled Reformed way of shaping worship and have in fact fallen into simply keeping and maintaining what was done before. All of that to the detriment of making room for God to grow us spiritually, emotionally, and personally in relationship to him and each other. Here is the actual posting: http://wp.me/P3etrg-eb

R before T

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Yes, a bit of a mysterious title, but that’s a way to pique your curiosity and have you feel compelled to follow the link.

I am in a time when I am making many new theological and scriptural connections, and even though I have a gut sense it might be time to slow down in presenting you with new-to-you interpretations and understandings, when God has me in a phase like this when many things are converging into ideas and applications that make sense, I just have to share them!

So here are this weeks thoughts: http://wp.me/P3etrg-5x

Lending substance to my claim to see similarties

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As I mentioned publicly, I have been reading a book co-written by nine young adults who were raised Hutterite and who found the true gospel of freedom in Jesus Christ and left their colonies (and often families) to live in our world.

I also mentioned publicly that I see similarities in the CRC I have known and know now and some of the mistaken cultural and religious beliefs and behaviours of the Hutterites and other similar groups.

The post this link takes you to is a partial demonstration of what I see. I simply had to stop the project of documenting this, because more important work was falling by the wayside.

To go there, click on the underlined words just above, or follow this: http://wp.me/P3etrg-aS

Fair question deserving an honest answer

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I have in the past and recently been asked a question about the Catechism that I think it is worth risking an honest personal answer to, so that is what my blog posting this week is about.

You can read it by clicking here or by following this link: http://wp.me/P3etrg-6t

For a printable version, use this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3c9pf84lhnn3251/Why%20I%20and%20maybe%20others%20no%20longer%20preach%20the%20catechism%20-%20final.pdf

To hear audio of me reading the blog page, click here (it may take a minute to load). This probably works best if you have the words in front of you and follow along.

Plans are in  the works to turn these into videos to make it easier for people to access and understand what I’m trying to say.