Remember this: we create our habits, and then our habits create us.
Habits and repeated patterns create our interior life and shape how we relate to the world. This was the closing thought to the end of our series "It's (Not) Personal)." Two of the habits you were encouraged to cultivate where consistent solitude and reflective living. Withdrawing from the volume of the world for five or ten minute each day allows us to hear God's voice more clearly. In doing that we will have greater awareness of what we do and why we do it.
This Sunday we start a new series called "Outsourced." Outsourcing is the business practice of having someone else do for you what you once did for yourself. It is great for lawn care and taxes. It is terrible for faith. When we outsource our faith- to the church, to the pastor, to the government or grandma- we miss the big life God has for us.
To bridge the gap between last week's call to new habits and the launch of a new series, I wanted to share some resources for you to put into practice. Below you will find some accessible books and links that will allow you grow the habits of solitude and reflection while preparing you to take charge of your personal faith. I encourage you to use these tools to develop a few more habits of the heart.
The Life You've Always Wanted - John Ortberg. A creative and humorous writer, Ortberg outlines simple pathways to God's presence each day. I have referenced this book many times in my messages. If you do not like to read, you will still love this book.
Celebration of Discipline- Richard Foster. Consistently listed as one of the most important books of faith in the 20th century, The Celebration of Discipline is both an easy read and a strong challenge. Foster uses 13 chapters to layout the why and how of 12 different habits that Christians have always practiced to draw closer to God. If you love good writing and challenging teaching, this is the book for you.
The Circles Maker- Mark Batterson. Batterson founded a church in Washington DC that is overflowing with young adults. This book is an invitation to bold prayers and dependence on God like few I have read. If you have ever wondered "How big and bold should I pray" this book is for you.
Day One Journal- This is a smartphone app available in Apple and Android, the simple format allows you to write, file, and tag your thought and prayers. I find myself opening this a few times each day to write the most random observations that I later see as God-sightings throughout my daily life.
These are just a few tools for you to utilize as you take ownership of your faith, your habits and your future as we set aside time as a church to look into the risks and realities of Outsourcing our faith. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:30 or 11. Invite someone in your life to join you at worship this week! You never know how much it will impact them.
Have a great week!