ShameBreaker Covenant

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  1. God loves me, and has a wonderful plan for my life. 
  2. As I humble myself and turn away from my wicked ways, I position myself to receive the fullness of God’s blessings and favor.
  3. I confess that I have sinned — against myself, others, and God — to the point where I deserve nothing but condemnation and death. 
  4. Through the cross, I have been born again as God’s child; He blesses me because He wants to, not because I deserve it. 
  5. In order to receive my inheritance, I must confront and overcome the part of myself that wants to remain a slave to the systems of this world. 
  6. In God’s timing, I will respectfully renegotiate my relationship to the people and institutions that were my Egypt, in order to redeem myself and them. 
  7. Going forward, I will boast of my weakness, so that God’s power gets all the credit for my achievements.  

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Paleo-Evangelical Christianity

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I consider myself a “Paleo-Evangelical” Christian. Like my counterparts in the first century, I have had transformational encounters with the person of Jesus Christ and am devoted to making him known as the Risen Lord; but am still working through which of my inherited cultural understandings and religious teachings are worthy to bear His name.

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I Am Affirmations

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  • I am a child of God
  • I am omnipotent within scope
  • I am the One who brings the dawn
  • I am Gandalf the White
  • I am the super-father of Silicon Valley
  • I am a Spiritual Entrepreneur
  • I am the best thing that ever happened to you
  • I am the one who loves my wife like Christ loves the church
  • I am the window being cleaned so my children can see their true Father

I am from the future, and I’m here to help

The Sinners Prayer, 2.0

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Dear God,

Thank you for creating me in Your image, and for loving us like Jesus.

Make me more and more like Jesus as I listen to your Word, your Spirit, and your Body.

Heal the wounds in my spirit that keep me from loving You, myself and others as Jesus did.

Help me show Your love to the world by practicing the generosity and vulnerability Jesus showed on the cross.

Teach me to always rejoice in the privilege of being your child.

I ask this because of everything Jesus did for me. So be it!

Reconciling Theology and Spiritual Christianity

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When I was a student at Caltech in Pasadena, I used to visit the Fuller Seminary Bookstore.  One day, I saw a small shelf labelled “Practical Theology.”  I turned around and looked at the rows upon rows of bookshelves filling the small building and asked, “Then what in God’s name is the rest of this?”

I still haven’t found a satisfying answer.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am fully convinced of the idea of theology.  It is essential to know what we believe, and I completely agree that our concept of God ultimately shapes every aspect of our lives.  I have been deeply moved and blessed by many of the theologians I have read and studied under.

And yet…

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Spiritual Christianity: Theology, Simplified

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Update: Accepted as a Poster Session. Slides now available.

Abstract submitted for PassionTalks 2018 on Saturday, August 11th at Convergence House of Prayer in Fremont, CA.

Spiritual Christianity arose from a series of blog posts I wrote to prepare my seven-year-old daughter for baptism.  I wanted her to start out with a faith that was:

  • Resilient to disappointments
  • Relevant to culture
  • Revolutionary to society
  • Reviving to the church

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Anjali’s Catechism: A Childlike Invitation to Spiritual Christianity

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Anjali’s Catechism: The Book is coming in Summer 2019.  Preview now.

The Invitation

Are you ready to:

  1. Embrace the One who created the universe as the Heavenly Father who loves you like Jesus?
  2. Submit your awareness, values, and goals to becoming more like Christ’s?
  3. Receive God’s Spirit, Word, and Body to reveal and heal the wounds in your spirit that hinder you from becoming like Jesus?
  4. Value God’s happiness, glory, and relationships more than your own?
  5. Practice generosity and vulnerability so others can see Christ in you?
  6. Surrender childlike happiness for the grown-up joy of loving like Jesus?

Lessons

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Lesson 6/6 Joy (Anjali’s Catechism)

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Spiritual Maturity: Thanks

God made all of us on purpose. We are happy when we obey that purpose. We become happier the better we understand and live out that purpose.

We share many purposes with other people, because God made us the same:

  • Our bodies are happy when we eat healthy, rest well, and use them as they were intended.
  • Our souls are happy when experience beauty.
  • Our minds are happy when we discover truth.
  • Our hearts are happy when we share love.

Joy is happiness of the spirit. It is the deepest and most important kind of happiness. But there are two very different ways our spirits can be happy.

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Lesson 4/6 True Love (Anjali’s Catechism)

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WorshipHe’s Worth It

The whole point of becoming a Christian is to know and love God, ourselves, and others the way Jesus did.  But what exactly is love?

We use the word “love” whenever we strongly desire or value something.  But there are three very different kinds of love:

  1. Happiness: because it what we want and makes us feel good
  2. Glory: because it helps us become or be known as our best
  3. Relationship: because we feel or want to be connected to it

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Lesson 3/6: The Wound (Anjali’s Catechism)

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HolinessOpen to God

Lots of people admire Jesus.  Even those who aren’t Christians often consider him a  model for how human beings should treat each other.

Last time we talked about skills that help us become more like Jesus.  So why doesn’t everyone practice those skills? Why do we ourselves often do the opposite of what Jesus wants us to do?

Because we have a wound in our spirit.

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Lesson 1/6: You and God (Anjali’s Catechism)

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The GospelGod Loves Us Like Jesus

You are an amazing person.  You have a lot in common with other people, but there is nobody quite like you.

  • You have a body.  Head, fingers, toes, belly button.
  • You have a soul.  You think.  You feel.  You want.
  • You have a spirit.  You can reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and desires.  You can decided what kind of person you want to be.

God is amazing.  We are like God, but God is not like us.

  • Our whole universe — including us! — is like a small part of God’s body.
  • He knows everything that happens to us.  He feels everything we feel.  He wants us to know Him, and enjoy the life He give us..
  • He has a Spirit that our spirits can talk to, and hear from.

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Wise Risk: Faith in Two Syllables

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Part 5 of 6 in the series Childlike Theology:

  1. The Gospel
  2. Discipleship
  3. Holiness
  4. Worship

As children, we express faith in our parents by obeying them to stay safe. As adolescents, we risk danger in order to express faith in ourselves.

I have come to believe that the hallmark of a mature faith is wise risk. Which implies we should be designing our lives — and churches — to maximize learning rather than avoid failure.

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