RSVP with God: Outcome-Driven Quiet Times

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RSVP stands for the four steps I have been using to help my spirit align with God’s purposes for my life:

  • Rejoice: Meditate on yesterday’s emotional highs and lows until you find a way to rejoice in them
  • Shalom: Repeat until you can rest in God’s peace. Over time your “set point” of how much peace you expect will increase.
  • Vision: From that place of Peace, ask God what to focus on today. As part of this, I like to read a short devotional, look up relevant Bible verses, and God for a single “theme” word for the day to prime my thinking.
  • Praise: Finish by affirming God’s sovereignty over everything that is going to happen, and thanking Him for showing up.

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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 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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Psalm 151: A psalm of Ernie

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Psalm 151A psalm of Ernie, while waiting for funding

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Exalt His holy name.

For the LORD is good at being God, and deserves the highest praise.

The evil one laid many snares for me

Wicked and immature men plotted against me

But the Lord delivered me from them all.

Death, where is thy victory?

Shame, where is thy sting?

Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him. 

Even if my body should be burned, and all my possessions sold to the poor, yet I shall be rich in Him.

His rod of justice and staff of correction, they comfort me in my light and momentary afflictions, for they are achieving an eternal weight of glory. 

Rejoice, you who call on the name of the Lord. Remember all His mercies towards us. His kindness never fails. His love never ends. 

Bless the Lord, all Ye children of Zion. Praise Him with harmonica and ukulele, with GarageBand and six-string guitar.

All those who surrender to Him will never be put to shame.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. 

Alleluia. Amen. 

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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