Daily Riches: How We Change – What Works, What Doesn’t (Dallas Willard)

“There was a new thing at work in me. And I had learned something about how we do change – and how we do not. In particular, I had learned that intensity is crucial for any progress in spiritual perception and understanding. To dribble a few verses or chapters of scripture on oneself through the week, in church or out, will not reorder one’s mind and spirit – just as one drop of water every five minutes will not get you a shower, no matter how long you keep it up. You need a lot of water at once and for a sufficiently long time. Similarly for the written Word.

“A year or so later I learned a related lesson with regard to prayer. In the tradition in which I was brought up, scripture reading and prayer were the two main religious things one might do, in addition to attending services of the church. But I was not given to understand that these had to be practiced in a certain way if they were to make a real difference in one’s life. In particular I did not understand the intensity with which they must be done, nor that the appropriate intensity required that they be engaged in for lengthy periods of undistracted time on a single occasion. Moreover, one’s life as a whole had to be arranged in such a way that this would be possible. One must not be agitated, hurried, or exhausted when the time of prayer and study came. Hence one cannot tack an effective, life-transforming practice of prayer and study onto ‘life as usual’. Life as usual must go. It will be replaced by something far better.” Dallas Willard

“Imitate me in exactly the way I imitate Christ.” Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you concluded that “life as usual must go?” If so, what has changed?
  • Are you spending enough “undistracted time” in prayer and study for those practices to be “life-transforming?”
  • Have you “arranged [your life] in such a way that this untypical approach to life would be possible?” If so, how so?

Abba, help me, in the midst of this confused, distracted world, to renounce the practice of life as usual. Lead me into truly life-transforming practices for my good – and the good of others.

For More: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Crucible of Interruptions (Mark Buchanan)

“Jesus … lived life with the clearest and highest purpose. Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan in hand other than his single, overarching one: Get to Jerusalem and die. Otherwise, his days, as far as we can figure, were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off-the-cuff plans, spur-of-the-moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of storytelling. …Purposefulness requires paying attention, and paying attention means … that we make room for surprise. We become hospitable to interruption. I doubt we can notice for long without this hospitality. And to sustain it we need … a conviction in our bones that God is Lord of our days and years, and that his purposes and his presence often come disguised as detours, messes, defeats. ‘I came to you naked,’ Jesus says. ‘I came to you thirsty.’ ‘When, Lord?’ we ask, startled. When He wore the disguise of an interruption. Think a moment of all the events and encounters that have shaped you most deeply and lastingly. How many did you see coming? How many did you engineer, manufacture, chase down? And how many were interruptions? The span between life as we intend it and life as we receive it is vast. Our true purpose is worked out in that gap. It is fashioned in the crucible of interruptions.” Mark Buchanan

“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro … and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness … and he looked, and behold, [a] bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.'” Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • What if Moses hadn’t “turned aside?”
  • Imagine yourself living as Jesus did, with “zigzags and detours …” etc. How would that feel?
  • Can you become more hospitable to what happens in “the [vast] span between life as you intend it and life as you receive it?”

Abba, “Grant us, we pray you, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care or so darkened by passion that we pass heedless and unseeeing when even the thornbush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.” Walter Rauschenbusch

For More: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”