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Spiritual Practices

Spiritual disciplines and spiritual practices open us to God and to be with God. During this season when we are seeking to be the church in new and creative ways, why not join us in trying a spiritual practice every day.
Spiritual disciplines and practices, though often done alone, can be a gift to the community. They strengthen our relationship with the living Christ and through Him up our relationship to one another and invite us on a journey. They are not a quick fix. But build us up in our spiritual life.
Some will connect well with you, others may feel foreign and not comfortable.
I suggest you offer 10-15 minutes every day to “practice”…a spiritual practice. Some can be longer as you wish. As you begin each day, offer the Lord a prayer…something like, “Here I am Lord…ready to be with you. Open my heart.”
Each day the practice may be a little different. Some will ask you to respond to some questions, to read Scripture, to write something, to “do” something and some will simply ask you to be still in new ways with Jesus.
John Calvin, the great theologian wrote in The Institutes, “Without knowledge of ourselves, there is no knowledge of God” and vice verse. Spiritual disciplines and practices help you to know yourself and God in a deeper way.
I am indebted to the works and authors, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Trevor Hudson, Gary Moon, Adele Calhoun, Henri Nouwen and Macrina Wiedeker, and saints of old, who have helped me learn and written so much about the practices shared here. And others who have shown me the fruits of their practices by how they live and love. Jesus of course, is an exemplar of spiritual practices Himself!
– Rev. Dr. Care Crawford

Rule of Life | Practice #8

How do you feel about rules? When I was young, I didn’t necessarily like them, but I was a rule follower (mostly). Maybe you hear the word “rule” as something restrictive and hard. This spiritual practice invites us to consider a different rule, a rule of life or what some call a rule…

Rest | Practice #7

The practice we will consider next may surprise you. It follows very well on the heels of sabbath keeping though. You might think, I am at home all the time and all I do is hang around and rest. But I know for myself and hear from so many others,…

Scripture | Practice #5

Hoping these spiritual practices are offering you a new ‘lens’ into being with God. This is what these practices are intended to do, they aid us in our being with God. We certainly have a ‘with God’ promise in Scripture. “I will never leave you or forsake you…I am with you always.”…

Sabbath | Practice #6

How did memory work go? Were you able to take on that spiritual practice and have a Scripture IN you that you haven’t before. I hope so. Just as a reminder, practices take time. We don’t get their benefit over night. But in time, God can use them to help…

Confession | Practice #4

The great reformer and theologian Martin Luther once said, “There is no better mirror in which to see your need than the 10 Commandments. “ We hear the phrase ‘confession is good for the soul’, but sometimes that is hard to do or we resist it. Confession is part of…

Solitude | Practice #3

These are interesting days. For some of us who live alone, solitude is something we may be more familiar with than others. And yet even being alone, we find distractions to true solitude. As we are in this season of Lent even now, we remember that Jesus began His ministry…

Breath Prayer | Practice #2

We all take breath every day. I often am known to say, “breathe deep the breath of God.” There are many different prayer practices. Breath prayer, sometimes also known as “prayer of the heart” has been practiced in the Church for centuries. The Apostle Paul says to pray without ceasing.…

Gratitude | Practice #1

“To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to live with a grateful heart, aware of God’s work in my life…” Scriptures: Psalm 136:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:6 Gratitude is our thankful response toward God – for His presence in and with us and the world. Blessings can lead…
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