Resurrection Lutheran Church of Dublin
7557 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 925.828.1580
A Word from Our Pastor
We talk a lot about walking with God but if truth be told most of us just go our own way and hope that God approves. There is a better way but like most things worthwhile it takes discipline. When you think if endeavors like gymnastics or music the phrase practice makes perfect is not just good advice, it is a hard reality that you must come to grips with or resign yourself to a level of mediocrity. The other thing that you need to realize is that you need help if you are going to improve. For musicians, especially a singer you need to realize that you cannot hear yourself and get a teacher to listen and help you improve. Even the greatest and most successful singers have a voice coach.
Spiritually you could say that God’s Spirit is your coach but unfortunately most of us have a tendency to hear what we want to hear and kind of end up going in circles. Spiritual direction of some kind truly does help.
There are however some things that can help you to walk deeper into the mysteries of God. To be truthful though these practices are just ways of listening to teachers, many of whom are long dead that have written about their spiritual disciplines. The one thing they cannot do that a living guide can do is to help you stay honest with yourself.
One such guide is Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish nobleman who became a priest and founded the Jesuit order. He created a set of Spiritual Exercises which were designed to help people to live lives in which they were more aware of God’s presence. What I am presenting to you here is a simplified version of what is called the Prayer of Examen. For someone serious about this you would take time for this prayer twice a day, once around noon and again in the evening.
There are five steps;
We start by looking at ourselves, both who we see ourselves to be and how God sees us, these are almost always different. It is by constantly realigning our path with God’s path that we grow in faith and love. The true key to this is to remember that God is with us, we are the children of God and that God wants us to succeed just as much as we want to see our children run and jump when they take their first step. Remember, this is an exercise in joy not an examination of our failures. Jesus himself told us that he has come so our joy might be complete. As Paul said: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Pastor Jim Bliss