Spiritual Formation


Spiritual (Character) Formation

One of my favorite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17, which claims, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT) But what does that mean in relation to who we are as a complete human being? Does it mean that everything about us–our whole spiritual AND moral …Continue reading →

Voice

The literary devices of style (i.e., how something is said), tone (i.e., an attitude towards the subject), and mood (i.e., feelings and emotions created in the reader), which make up the author’s voice is of no minor importance in a narrative. The same goes for the narrative of our life, which the Supreme Author writes. Regarding style, God communicates to …Continue reading →

JESUS/”Blink”

It has taken me a long time to truly understand a very simple thing, something the Bible has prescribed all this time, which is to fix our focus on Jesus! Erroneously, but with well intentions, I thought that the more I focused on maturing myself through sanctification the further I left the elementary principles of the gospel behind me. But …Continue reading →

Plight of an Artist II

Curiosity and distractibility are braided together. Imagination and impulsivity hold hands. Temptation is built in to this intricate web of choosing. Patience–a virtue–is your best friend helping you unravel the knots of tension between beauty and betrayal. Wisdom–another friendly virtue–requires a vocation of untangling flowers from weeds. This, too, is the plight of an artist.

Amen!

Love me. Teach me. Guide me in all Your ways. Help me humble myself before You everyday, and if need be, humble me, so my thoughts may be pure and pleasing to You. May my actions never cease to emulate You releasing a sweet smelling fragrance of salvation’s freedom. More than anything, I seek to please You – the One …Continue reading →

A LOVING GENERAL

The struggles we encounter are not always elicited by self-destruction and self-dilapidation, but by strategic trials that are necessarily entailed by divine circumstances. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. This is not an appointed suffering by a draconian deity. Look at the life of a “blameless and upright” man like Job, who suffered …Continue reading →

Sweetness

Like grape branches that must be lifted up and placed along a cross-like trellis to produce fruit, allow your thoughts and feelings to be lifted up to the Cross of Calvary, so the Gardner can help you cultivate virtuous fruit. If you let Him, He will even lift up your heavy, anxious branches and wrap them around Himself, the Cross, …Continue reading →

Justice, Righteousness, and Shalom: An Interpretive Virtue Ethic of Isaiah 32:16-17 for the Whole Community

When we live the way we are supposed to God is glorified and we are blessed or happy (shalom). The biblical view of happiness is cultivated by living according to biblical virtues, such as justice and righteousness, which are motivated by flourishing (shalom). In this paper, I explore the prophet Isaiah’s prognostication in Isaiah 32:16-17 of not only human flourishing …Continue reading →

Back to Being!

In our fast-paced modern world, pride can disguise itself as busyness or even success. I am not talking about healthy responsibility. I am referring to taking on more and more stress until there is no time for spontaneity, enjoyment, and rest. We shove God off His throne and replace Him as the center of the universe. We think to ourselves …Continue reading →

“Introduction” to BIBLICAL ETHICS: An Exegetical Approach to the Morality of Happiness

IDEAS have consequences. For example, the invention and devastation of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II, started with an idea of atomic fission. Likewise, beliefs have consequences. For example, the Columbine school massacre on April 20, 1999, the 110th anniversary of Adolph Hitler’s birthday, was in part the result of one of the shooter’s …Continue reading →

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