Blessings and inspiration

Every year we are able to attend the Midwinter pastors’ conference we find ourselves blessed and inspired and this year was exception.  The blessings come from in many ways including: the rich worship experiences, new songs, conversations about life and ministry with dear friends, gifts of current books.

We are inspired in different ways by the speakers.  I appreciated John and Nancy Ortberg who brought the morning studies.  They talked about the personal spiritual life.  Several of their comments spoke to me:

Paul in Col 1: 28 says, “we proclaim Christ…so that we may present everyone perfect or mature in Christ.”  Well, what does it mean to be perfect or mature?  How about considering the list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galations as a yardstick.  Then we should ask ourselves:  “how are we (us or our churches) doing at producing people with these characteristics?”  Great question.

We might also ask, how do we discern if we are growing in our spiritual life?  Nancy pointed out that keeping track of whether we had devotions 5 or 7 days last week, or 15 or 20 or 30 min/day or…pick your standard, does not guarantee spiritual growth.  What if we reflected on and responded to this kind of question about how we are doing spiritually: “Am I growing more or less easily ________ these days?”  I like that.

Some other comments from Nancy:

  • Start a mistake journal and write down 3 mistakes every day/period.  The most powerful place to experience the love of God is in our brokenness.
  • We need conflict and loss and surrender in our lives.  We have to be able to move through these pain issues to restore and renew and be alive.
  • Time: we cannot hurry the mature life in Christ.  We should strive to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from our lives.
  • Comparison is one of the deadliest obstacles to our faith in Christ, to growth.

I want to highlight those in my journal and review them often as I fall into those traps too frequently.  For that there is grace.

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