Friday, August 22, 2008

Stirring and Robbing


What helps us focus on God? It's easy to boil down spirituality to reading your Bible and praying, but I think it goes way beyond that. Because of the monks, people have traditionally taught that to be "spiritual" you need large amounts of time by yourself. I think that time has a lot of value, but there's more to it.

I was reading Matt Chandler's blog (dwelldeep.net) and he wrote about things that stir his affections for Christ, as well as habits that rob his spirituality. It made me think about a list of my own. I think we all have our own list: things that really inspire us and make us feel alive, as well as things that make us feel stale spiritually. Here's mine.

Things that stir my affections for God:

1. The writings of C.S. Lewis.
2. A hot shower, followed by a good cup of coffee while journaling a prayer on a cold morning (especially in Russia).
3. Teaching young Christians about living for Christ.
4. Meaningful conversations with older Christians.
5. Listening to heartfelt, genuine sermons.
6. Spending time with the homeless and knowing I'm doing what Jesus did.

Things that rob my affections for God:

1. Spending too much time watching TV, movies, or video games.
2. Being lazy and undisciplined in general.
3. Being around unfocused Christians.
4. Spending money only on myself.
5. Knowing the Bible without it changing my attitude in life.
6. Too much sarcasm.

What's your list?

12 comments:

TREY MORGAN said...

Awesome lists! Great stuff.

Terry said...

I just came across your blog after seeing your comments on Matthew Morine's blog. You have a good one!

alisha dawn said...

Good reminder for us.
I could probably think of more things that stir my affection with God then things that build it up.
For now I want to put my mind on things that can help...like in Phil. 4:8! Those things build me closer with God.

Brandon said...

Things that stir my heart for God:

-Teaching
-Discipling young Christian men
-The last two albums of Plus One
-AIMers
-My wife

preacherman said...

Wonderful list.
Thanks for sharing this great post with us.
I hope to be reading your blog on a regular basis.
God bless.
Have a great weekend!

Joshua Tucker said...

Trey - Thanks bro.

Terry - I appreciate you reading. I hope to be reading your blog as well.

Alisha - Thanks dear. I constantly am trying to be focused on things that matter like that Scripture says to.

Brandon - Thanks for sharing. I like your list, and I see how it inspires you personally. Though, I'm not sure what Plus One is? lol.

Preacherman - I've been reading your blog for a while. Thanks for commenting.

Thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

I think the thing that is getting me the most currently is the fact that I have no time to myself.

We are living in with my parents... and space is limited.

The tv is always on in the house...

I'm working 40 hours...

I've now another person that I live each waking moment with...

I don't want these things to be excuses...it just seems that I'm left with no time or space to feed on God's Word...in a still and quiet place.

And then when I do have the time... all I want is something that's meaningless. Something where I don't have to concentrate.

And I don't like it.

Thanks for this post... I really like your list... I am going to work on a list of my own... maybe I can reshape this thinking of mine and get back to a healthy spot.

-Amanda

toby said...

Stirrers:

1. Studying my Bible, not just reading it.
2. Spending time with people who's faith I admire.
3. Thinking about my friends throughout the world.
4. Hot tea and great music.
5. Writing.

Robbers:

1. The internet, tv, and some books.
2. When I justify my actions.
3. Impatience with my team.
4. Bitterness.
5. When I don't get sleep.

Joshua Tucker said...

Amanda - Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I miss you a lot, and I really hope God can provide some spiritual food for you. I know it must be so difficult trying to grind it out working and still pursuing your life with God. I'm glad you read this blog, and I'm glad it's somewhat of an encouragement to you. You have been a great encouragement to me many times. I love you, sister.

Toby - Thanks for your list! I like the hot tea and writing, those are some of mine as well. And dude, lack of sleep is one for me too! If I don't feel rested, it's almost impossible for me to be inspired. I love you brother, and I'm so proud of you.

David Creek said...

1. Feasting on the Word of God

2. Prayer

3. Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (in the room, while walking, driving...wherever).

4. Fellowshipping with fellow Christians (just as you said - especially many of our older brethren).

5. Writing.

6. Listening to sermons (im developing quite a good library of sermons as old as the 1950's (Marshall Keeble!) to last week).

7. Reading spiritual books (topical, commentary, etc.).

Downers:
1. TV, TV, and TV. There's healthy things that can be good to watch, but the overwhelming majority is obscene, grotesque, sensual, and it curses our Savior to our faces. I personally feel like...why have a tv? By not having one, the time spent in spiritual thought and doing is so much more valuable.

2. Too much time on internet, which has some pretty bad things as well if we aren't careful and accountable.

3. Lots of other things. Got to run!

brettincasie said...

Stirrers:

1. Being outside on a nice day.
2. Creating something I can be proud of.
3. Reading the Bible and reflecting on what I read, most especially sharing it with others.
4. Singing and laughing, when I really mean it.
5. Quality time with people who inspire me, or quality prayer time. Being reminded that these people and God love me.

Robbers:

1. Being alone too much and letting my thoughts go unhealthy (bitterness, self-pity, pride, etc.).
2. Being unhealthy physically.
3. Being online too much (but a little is really great to keep in touch with people).
4. Guilt and dishonesty.
5. Shopping at malls.

TREY MORGAN said...

Man, I like this post and everyones lists. I think we all seem to struggle with the same things.