On January 4, I will be starting a new series called "Shaping Stories," where I have asked some of my friends to share personal stories of how the Holy Spirit transformed their inner lives as they took the time to practice various spiritual disciplines.
Spiritual practices are not about earning or achieving spirituality, rather, they open us up to seeing and experiencing God’s transformational power within us. I love how Henri Nouwen defines spiritual practices as a way to "create space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on."
I also love how Richard Rohr explains their purpose in his book Everything Belongs:
All spiritual disciplines have one purpose: to get rid of illusions so we can be present. These disciplines exist so that we can see what is, see who we are, and see what is happening.
I typically write about day to day and moment to moment experiences with God and I want to be encouraged through the stories of how God has worked in the lives of others through spiritual practices!
Now, because doing a series with other writers is quite a bit of a switch from my normal weekly writing, I wanted to share with you some of the main reasons why I've decided to do this over the next few months:
First, I want us to learn from others how God has transformed an area of their life through a particular spiritual practice.
Secondly, my hope is that there will be some spiritual practices in this series that will be new or foreign to us. I'm excited to introduce these to you in hopes that you may find one or some that you want to incorporate into your life's rhythm!
Thirdly, I'm preparing you for what's coming. I have brought together 17 amazing artists and we are taking 21 spiritual practices and combining them with beautiful art to create a journal that will be published around Easter time 2021. I'm really excited about this project and look forward to telling you more about it as it comes together!
Lastly, this semester is my last semester in seminary and I will be spending quite a bit of time working on my capstone project. Having this series will help to open up some space for me to dive more fully into that project. I would gratefully appreciate your prayers during this time!
Now, I wanted to share just a taste of what's coming in the Shaping Stories Series. I hope you are encouraged as you read the beautiful ways God has worked through spiritual practices to form and shape his children.
Katie Kibbe: Shaped Through Rhythm
Debra Wallace: Shaped Through Scripture Memorization
Leslie Konhaeuser: Shaped Through Breath Prayer
Terri Prahl: Shaped Through Scripture Reading
Pamela Bond: Shaped Through Centering Prayer
I can't tell you how excited I am to share these stories with you! I hope you are blessed, encouraged, stretched, and strengthened in your resolve to find spaces in your life where you can incorporate spiritual disciplines so that our loving Father can transform you into his likeness and his character so that you can become more of who you were created to be...and that is an image-bearer of Jesus Christ!
*Photo courtesy Quino AI from Unsplash