Category Archives: Spiritual Discipline

New Life

Today’s brief post will be a nod toward C.S. Lewis. What Christian doesn’t love C.S. Lewis? I happened to read today’s portion of C.S. Lewis and, while seemingly basic, it is also profound and something we all need to be reminded of. Therefore I present for your consideration, or reconsideration, whatever the case may be, “New Life”:

“In the long run God is no one but Himself and what He does is like nothing else. You could hardly expect it to be.

What then, is the difference which he has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless ‘spiritual’ life, has been done for us. Humanity is already ‘saved’ in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work – the bit we could not have done for ourselves – has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us. Remember what I said about ‘good infection’. One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from him.

Of course, you can express this in all sorts of different ways. You can say that Christ dies for our sins. You may say that the father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done. You may say that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You may say that Christ has defeated death. They are all true.” (From “Mere Christianity”)

C.S Lewis’ imagery paints a vivid picture. For me, it also brings to mind pop culture’s current obsession with fantasy novels and movies. In the fantasy realm there are many stories that feature a central character struggling to discover and harness the mighty power that he or she knows resides within them. They train with a mentor or guide. They face distraction and struggle to overcome character flaws and lack of focus. Finally, in the midst of the swirling chaos of personal struggle, and usually with an ever encroaching evil enemy bent on their destruction rapidly approaching,They are forced to go deep within themselves, block out their distractions, accept who they are, and accept the magical gift they have been given, thus ripping through the barriers that were preventing them from accessing the power that was their birth right. A variety of stories may come to your mind that follow a similar format. I think one of the reasons I like these types of stories is because they mirror my own constant struggle to stay close to the power of Christ in my own life. Just like you, when you watch a movie or read a book and get frustrated at the character’s inability to see the truth, or see the solution right in front of his or her face, I get similarly frustrated. You can immediately see the parallels. We have a source of strength that truly is magical and wondrous. Yet, how deeply we connect to that source, and to what extent we appropriate it’s power, is up to us.

What do you think?


Reason, Religion, and Politics

Nothing ignites one’s personal passion, fury, excitement, etc, like religion or politics. Everyone knows it. Smart people steer clear of these topics with people they don’t know well, lest they risk a fight; physical or verbal. Recently I had this well-known truth exemplified for me once again at a local political caucus. Normally the local caucus is fairly tame event. This year, due to a number of factors, our local county caucus was imbued with power and importance.

Continue reading

Spiritual Disciplines and the Christian Community

I hate working out.  Sure, I understand all the various benefits of exercise, and I want to experience those benefits in my life: health, energy, big muscles, etc.  My problem, and I’m sure I’m not alone, is that I am not a fan of running, lifting weights, or other such activities that produce health benefits.  When I was younger exercise was never an issue.  I played soccer, tennis, participated in martial arts and other cardio-type activities and exercises all the time.  As I’ve gotten older, and my life has gotten more hectic, I discover that I have a whole backpack full of excuses readily available to help me avoid strenuous cardio-related activity.  Eventually, as I can begin to see my waist-line expand, as my physical self-image begins to deteriorate, and as my clothes begin to reach their comfortable capacity, I force myself to address my less than desirable physical status.  Just like my love-hate relationship with physical activity/exercise, each of us has  our own situational breaking point where the consequences of our personal neglect becomes unbearable, and change becomes mandatory. Continue reading