What’s in Your Toolbox?

20130717-075344.jpgI think one of the most significant challenges of our life in Christ is believing that it’s not just a one time event, but a journey. A journey in which we are invited to grow continually. There are many ways in which we walk through this journey. And it often looks and feels a little different for every person. Christians grow in our life in Christ through something called “Spiritual Practices” or “Spiritual Disciplines” or “Contemplative Practices”.

Think of things like intentional times of quiet prayer or yoga or walking a prayer labyrinth or meditation or the liturgy of the hours. These are just a few of possibilities. Check out the Merton Institute or the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society for more examples.

As part of our experience at the Re:Fresh retreat this week, we are practicing and studying many of these disciplines. We are boldly asking each other the question “What’s in your spiritual toolbox?”

One of our teachers, Joe Stabile, offered this as a definition for a Spiritual Discipline. He said, “A Spiritual Discipline is any act habitually entered into with your whole heart as a way of awakening, deepening, and sustaining a contemplative experience of the inherent holiness of the present moment.”

In other words, a Spiritual Discipline is something that we actively enter regularly and through the rhythm of this practice we become more fully aware of God’s holiness and presence in every aspect of our life. Joe explained it is way, “So often we think we need to try and work our way toward some sort of unity with God, when in reality we are already in union with God.”

Spiritual Disciplines don’t require you to set aside several hours each day. And your salvation is not dependent upon whether or not you utilize these tools of faith or are any good at practicing them. But I believe deeply that they help you and me walk through every hour of our day experiencing just how incredible this relationship with God is.

So…what tools are in your Spiritual Toolbox?

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About Pastor Craig Schweitzer

I like to think of myself as a pretty easy going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in my life and in the world in which I live and serve. I am a husband, father, brother, son, friend, pastor, and maybe most significantly – a child of God! My beautiful spouse Wendy and I live in Bismarck, ND with our twin daughters, Ilia and Taegan and our crazy dogs Henri & Sadie. I’ve serve on the staff of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND since July 2001. I was first called to serve as Music & Worship Minister, in 2010 was called to serve as Pastor of Worship and Youth Education, and in January 2014 was called to serve as Senior Pastor. My professional background is a diverse collection of musical and educational experiences that ranges from live concert production and promotion to recording studios, and live performance to music education. Prior to joining Good Shepherd, I was an Instructor of Music at Bismarck State College and owned and operated a successful teaching studio called 6x6 Guitar Studio. I am a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA and was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in September 2010. Outside of Good Shepherd, I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, reading, listening or playing any and all music, a relaxing round of golf, or spending some quiet time with God. View all posts by Pastor Craig Schweitzer

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