Many of our Life Groups take a break for summer, a wonderful practice of renewal. Each of us needs “fallow” time, time to rest and renew, so we can be ready to re-engage. Jesus modeled this practice for us as he withdrew from the craziness of the world from time to time in order to be more fully present with His Father. If your group is taking some time off this summer, congratulations! As you withdraw from the world in order to spend more time with God, it can be helpful to introduce a Spiritual Discipline into your life, if you are not already practicing one.
Spiritual Disciplines can sound so intimidating! In reality, they are simply practices designed to make us more mindful of our Creator, and help us engage more meaningfully with our Redeemer. Spiritual disciplines lead us into freedom – freedom to be the person God created us to be.
Here are two books you might want to read this summer. Both offer inspiring and practical advice for renewal and going deeper with God.
Wilderness Time: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat by Emilie Griffin. This book offers an overview of the Inward Disciplines (meditation, prayer, fasting and study); the Outward Disciplines (simplicity, solitude, submission and service); and Corporate Disciplines (confession, worship, guidance and celebration). This book includes suggestions for short (one to three day) retreats, where you can take a break from the world around you and simply “be” with God.
A Travelogue of the Interior: Finding your Voice and God’s Heart in the Psalms by Karen Dabaghian invites you on a journey – an interior journey of ascent and descent, hitting bottom and learning to foresee by faith the advent of Jesus our Messiah. Give yourself permission to spend the summer reading and re-reading the Psalms. Like the author, you may find a deeper and more honest relationship with God.
May God bless you this summer. May His face shine upon you and give you peace!