"Quiet Times"

If you attended a Christian Union (or equivalent) as a schoolchild or student, you will already be familiar with the concept – if not always the practice – of “Quiet Times”. What is it? For those who aren’t familiar, the “Quiet Time” is a (ideally) daily exercise of taking some time out, and spending it intentionally with God. It usually involves elements such as worship, bible reading, prayer, journalling, meditation, and so on. Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer (or compline) are very structured way of doing this, required of all Church of England clergy as a part of […]

"Confession"

“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9 At Spring Harvest 2014 I was struck by something the speaker (Ness Wilson) said in the context of the above verse at the main Bible reading. She said that at her church they use this verse as a sort of general confession, but that there was a danger here that we would never confess specific sins, and therefore not really confess them at all. In her words (as I remember them), you can’t disown something […]

"Journalling"

Journalling is, I think, one of the more misunderstood spiritual disciplines. There’s a sense that you have to be super spiritual to keep one, or write 5 sides of A4 a day. Certainly if you were to read the journals of spiritual “heavyweights”, it could be quite a daunting and demoralising experience. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece though, and the simple act of writing down your thoughts, and occasionally going back to reflect on them is extremely valuable, as well as being an interesting and enjoyable exercise. The first rule is to ditch the guilt. It doesn’t matter […]

"Awareness Examen"

Some years ago, I read a book called “Contemplative Youth Ministry”, by Mark Yaconelli. This was while I was a youth group leader, and it is a book that has changed my life and my spirituality. I mentioned it already in the context of Lectio Divino. It’s a book about understanding God’s role, and our role. About moving away from anxiety driven ministry to Spirit lead (and equipped) ministry. It’s about saying “actually, these young people have a deep relationship with God, and maybe I’m here because God wants me to learn from them, and not the other way around. […]

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