Where Did it Come From?

Today, pay attention to everything you buy or consume.  Do research on just five of those items and go as deep as you can to trace where it comes from.  For instance, if you buy a shirt and you see it is made by Gap in Vietnam, find out as much as possible about the garment industry in Vietnam.  Hold whatever it is you bought and pray for those who made it.  Pray for forgiveness for the injustices that came in bringing that product to you.  And most importantly, find a way to either not change th … [Read more...]

Don a Habit

So much of our life is complicated and it is often made so because of our attempts to manipulate others.  A habit--a standard way of dressing in a simple way is a way beyond all of this.  For a week or two find a couple of standard, versatile outfits and wear them over and over.  Keep the outfits simple and find ways to adapt them to the weather.  The key is to make your clothes a non-issue so that you can open yourself to engaging others without the barrier of the manipulation that can often be … [Read more...]

Rest Day

We sometimes need rest, even from the work of spiritual disciplines.  Athletes know that to get stronger and faster we have to have a balance of effort and rest, but does not the same happen for the spiritual life?  Today, don't try to do anything to achieve Christlikeness.  Don't read your bible, spend special time in prayer, or do any meditation.  Instead, simply rest in God and let God to the work of recovering you to the self God intended. … [Read more...]

Dress to (Not) Impress

Power ties, expensive purses--we have many ways to dress to impress.  In doing so we are making an effort at a certain kind of coercion.  We are demanding that others look at us, that people see us in a certain way.  This of course can take many forms.  For some, dressing like someone straight from Goodwill has the same desire and effect.  Instead, dress in a way that doesn't draw attention of any kind.  Wear clothes that are plain, but not noticeably so.  See if you can interact with people in a … [Read more...]

Have Two, Give One

Mark Scandretti, in his wonderful book, Practicing the Way of Jesus introduces an exercise called Have2Give1.  This exercise follows the teaching of Jesus in Luke 3:11 that for those who have two of something, they should share with the one who has none.  Look through your belongings and find the things you have two of, then seek someplace to give away one of the two.  It could be an individual or an organization like goodwill.  Make it a constant practice to give away anything that you unn … [Read more...]

Clear Away

The clutter of our stuff often reflects the clutter of our souls.  Clear your stuff away to create space for God.  Begin with one shelf, one desk, one cabinet or closet. … [Read more...]

Farming as a Spiritual Discipline

We need practices that help us embody the kinds of virtues to which Christ calls us.  Farming is one hands-on practice through which we can gain these virtues because farming calls us to recognize our limits and our most basic dependence on God.Today, be a farmer.  You don't have to have fifty acres or even one.  Instead, commit to growing one plant for food and nurturing it until it flourishes and fruits.  Pumpkins and winter squash are an excellent choice for most parts of the country at th … [Read more...]

Statio

Monastics have a practice called statio that they use as a tool to be mindful and attentive in everything they do.  Statio is simply stopping one thing before beginning another.  In its negative formulation, this means no multitasking.  Each task, each conversation, each dish washed is completed as a singular event.  One key to practicing statio is to pause for a moment after each task.  For instance, if you are checking Facebook, pause for a moment after you've finished and then go to the next t … [Read more...]


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