Step 1: Reflect.

Step 2: Watch video.

Step 3: Engage practice.

[Week 5]


Day 29:


Practice
| Overcoming Barriers to Growth

Reflect on the 4 most common barriers to growth (see below).
2 Choose one that you desire to start to overcome.

            • How will you engage this exercise? (be specific)
            • When will you practice it? (what day of the week and time)
            • Who will you practice it with?
            • What plans do you need to arrange in order to accomplish it?

Practice | Silence & Daily Examen

1 Take 10 minutes to sit in silence. As your mind wanders, gently draw it back toward God.
2 Then, reflect on all the things that happened today. Jot down a few notes.

            • Where did you recognize God at work today?
            • What happened today you would consider blessings?
            • What do you want to be different about tomorrow?

BARRIER - Instant Gratification | REMEDY - Fasting

There are many types of fast but the idea is to abstain from something you enjoy. In it’s place, set your heart and mind on God and try to occupy that time with connectivity to God.

Various Food fasts should be considered carefully and your health should be taken into account. Some options are: one meal a day, a full day of no eating, only drinking juice, or no sugars/sweets.

Another fast that is well worth exploring is a media fast. For a day or even the whole week, make a point to turn off your phone, computer, and/or television. We are bombarded with technology and media these days and fasting from those things teaches us to be attentive to God’s presence. For many people media and the distraction that comes from it is a habit if not an addiction.

Choose which type of fast you intend to practice, determine how often and when you will practice it. The more specific you are, the higher your chance of success will be.

BARRIER - Advil Christianity/Humanity | REMEDY - Silence & Solitude

Silence and Solitude are understood as common and essential Christian practices. In this exercise, you will need to identify at least 4 – 8 hours and a location where you can be undisturbed. Sometimes I like to find parks, a friend’s house while they are at work, a local zoo, botanical garden, library, or other location where I can sit and be by myself. There are a variety of methods for engaging silence and solitude but for this exercise, we want to push ourselves into a space of discomfort. For 4-8 hours, what ever you pre-determine, take a journal and pen, and water and maybe a snack, with the intent of staying in the exact same place the entire time. By not moving, finding distractions will be much harder, although our minds are very capable of producing many distractions. During this time, prayerfully talk with God about all the things going on in your life and the lives of those around you. Think about the difficult things that bring you sadness and simply sit with God in the midst of those. Think about the things that bring you joy, and celebrate with God in those. Jot down notes as you wonder.

Cultivating Christ-like compassion requires time and courage to embrace the deep sadness and joy of the world in and around us. Then, simply asking Jesus what He would think about these things. This discipline is very difficult.

BARRIER - Digital Relationships | REMEDY - Hospitality

We live in a quick paced, surface relational world. When you first meet someone, we often ask, so what do you do? As though a person’s occupation is the most significant thing about who they are. To break this habit of digital or surface level relationships, engage in the practice of hospitality. Prayerfully consider who you would like to get to know more. Ask them to join you for a meal and that you’d like to get to know them more. Hospitality is best done from your own home. If you are able, inviting people into your own home for a meal is a very intimate experience. Think about it. This is the very place you live and dwell. It’s why we clean so well before company comes over. Consider carefully who you invite. This should be a person, or persons, who you know a bit, but could get to know better. Random strangers off the street is probably not the way to go here. And people who you already know well, will most likely not engage the same level of hospitality.

Sharing a meal is also very important. Christ broke bread with people frequently. Food is at the core of humanity and it’s a tremendous way to show care for others. During your meal, ask questions. Listen. One of my favorite ways to hear more about a person is to say, “tell me more about that”. people generally love to talk about what they are passionate about.

If you are not inclined toward hospitality, like me, you can ask a friend who is great at hospitality to help you out. You can make this a group affair if you would like.

The goal is to have real conversation with real people. This kind of dialog is an art that is not practiced nearly enough. Playing games can also be a great way to ‘break the ice’ and get some conversation going.

 

BARRIER - Hurry Sickness | REMEDY - Slowing Down

This one is fairly straight forward. We are hurried, busy, and exhausted people. We perpetuate this habit by running from one thing to the next. Our thoughts and attention are generally so overwhelmed that we simply run from one task to the next. This practice is simply and very challenging. Slow down. In a variety of facets of life, we need to practice moving slowly. Some practical ideas for this include driving the speed limit. Getting in the longest grocery line. Showing up 10 minutes early to our next appointment. Getting up thirty minutes early. Walking slowly throughout the day. Taking deep breathes every time you cross the threshold of a door. Cooking your meals at home instead of purchasing pre-made meals. Take 5-minute mental rest breaks while at work instead of dashing from meeting to meeting, or project to project. Turn on some music that you find truly beautiful and moving, and do nothing but listen to it. Try only asking “how are you today?” if you are willing to stay to hear the full answer.

In these spaces of slow life, ask God to teach you how to be attentive to His presence and aware of His creation. It is truly amazing what you will notice when you slow down enough to see it, smell it, and feel it.

Day 30-36:

Practice Silence & Daily Examen every day this week (Repeat Day 29 steps).

For more resources on the character of God revealed through Christ – Check out the book Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith.

Step 1: Reflect.

Step 2: Watch video.

Step 3: Engage practice.

[Week 5]


Day 29:


Practice
| Overcoming Barriers to Growth

Reflect on the 4 most common barriers to growth (see below).
2 Choose one that you desire to start to overcome.

            • How will you engage this exercise? (be specific)
            • When will you practice it? (what day of the week and time)
            • Who will you practice it with?
            • What plans do you need to arrange in order to accomplish it?

Practice | Silence & Daily Examen

1 Take 10 minutes to sit in silence. As your mind wanders, gently draw it back toward God.
2 Then, reflect on all the things that happened today. Jot down a few notes.

            • Where did you recognize God at work today?
            • What happened today you would consider blessings?
            • What do you want to be different about tomorrow?

BARRIER - Instant Gratification | REMEDY - Fasting

There are many types of fast but the idea is to abstain from something you enjoy. In it’s place, set your heart and mind on God and try to occupy that time with connectivity to God.

Various Food fasts should be considered carefully and your health should be taken into account. Some options are: one meal a day, a full day of no eating, only drinking juice, or no sugars/sweets.

Another fast that is well worth exploring is a media fast. For a day or even the whole week, make a point to turn off your phone, computer, and/or television. We are bombarded with technology and media these days and fasting from those things teaches us to be attentive to God’s presence. For many people media and the distraction that comes from it is a habit if not an addiction.

Choose which type of fast you intend to practice, determine how often and when you will practice it. The more specific you are, the higher your chance of success will be.

BARRIER - Advil Christianity/Humanity | REMEDY - Silence & Solitude

Silence and Solitude are understood as common and essential Christian practices. In this exercise, you will need to identify at least 4 – 8 hours and a location where you can be undisturbed. Sometimes I like to find parks, a friend’s house while they are at work, a local zoo, botanical garden, library, or other location where I can sit and be by myself. There are a variety of methods for engaging silence and solitude but for this exercise, we want to push ourselves into a space of discomfort. For 4-8 hours, what ever you pre-determine, take a journal and pen, and water and maybe a snack, with the intent of staying in the exact same place the entire time. By not moving, finding distractions will be much harder, although our minds are very capable of producing many distractions. During this time, prayerfully talk with God about all the things going on in your life and the lives of those around you. Think about the difficult things that bring you sadness and simply sit with God in the midst of those. Think about the things that bring you joy, and celebrate with God in those. Jot down notes as you wonder.

Cultivating Christ-like compassion requires time and courage to embrace the deep sadness and joy of the world in and around us. Then, simply asking Jesus what He would think about these things. This discipline is very difficult.

BARRIER - Digital Relationships | REMEDY - Hospitality

We live in a quick paced, surface relational world. When you first meet someone, we often ask, so what do you do? As though a person’s occupation is the most significant thing about who they are. To break this habit of digital or surface level relationships, engage in the practice of hospitality. Prayerfully consider who you would like to get to know more. Ask them to join you for a meal and that you’d like to get to know them more. Hospitality is best done from your own home. If you are able, inviting people into your own home for a meal is a very intimate experience. Think about it. This is the very place you live and dwell. It’s why we clean so well before company comes over. Consider carefully who you invite. This should be a person, or persons, who you know a bit, but could get to know better. Random strangers off the street is probably not the way to go here. And people who you already know well, will most likely not engage the same level of hospitality.

Sharing a meal is also very important. Christ broke bread with people frequently. Food is at the core of humanity and it’s a tremendous way to show care for others. During your meal, ask questions. Listen. One of my favorite ways to hear more about a person is to say, “tell me more about that”. people generally love to talk about what they are passionate about.

If you are not inclined toward hospitality, like me, you can ask a friend who is great at hospitality to help you out. You can make this a group affair if you would like.

The goal is to have real conversation with real people. This kind of dialog is an art that is not practiced nearly enough. Playing games can also be a great way to ‘break the ice’ and get some conversation going.

 

BARRIER - Hurry Sickness | REMEDY - Slowing Down

This one is fairly straight forward. We are hurried, busy, and exhausted people. We perpetuate this habit by running from one thing to the next. Our thoughts and attention are generally so overwhelmed that we simply run from one task to the next. This practice is simply and very challenging. Slow down. In a variety of facets of life, we need to practice moving slowly. Some practical ideas for this include driving the speed limit. Getting in the longest grocery line. Showing up 10 minutes early to our next appointment. Getting up thirty minutes early. Walking slowly throughout the day. Taking deep breathes every time you cross the threshold of a door. Cooking your meals at home instead of purchasing pre-made meals. Take 5-minute mental rest breaks while at work instead of dashing from meeting to meeting, or project to project. Turn on some music that you find truly beautiful and moving, and do nothing but listen to it. Try only asking “how are you today?” if you are willing to stay to hear the full answer.

In these spaces of slow life, ask God to teach you how to be attentive to His presence and aware of His creation. It is truly amazing what you will notice when you slow down enough to see it, smell it, and feel it.

Day 30-36:

Practice Silence & Daily Examen every day this week (Repeat Day 29 steps).

For more resources on the character of God revealed through Christ – Check out the book Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith.