Besides Scripture, where do you turn for spiritual nourishment?
Community with God's children leads to knowledge
The Rev. Darrell Brazell, pastor, New Hope Fellowship, 1449 Kasold Drive:
I find spiritual nourishment in many places: a song, a good book, a quiet moment in the glory of his creation.
Yet the place where God has blessed me most is in my relationships with his other children.
C.S. Lewis once said, "You have never sat next to an ordinary human ..."
In the past year and a half, since starting a small but intimate community of believers, I have discovered real power behind that statement.
As we have journeyed together, as we have rejoiced over triumphs, laughed over mistakes and wept over the deep brokenness in each of our lives, I have learned so much of God.
My time with my spiritual family has fed me in ways that no amount of Bible study or education ever could.
I see in their lives tangible evidence of the power and the spirit of God at work here, today, right now. I see their glory. I see their depravity. But most importantly, I see God at work redeeming their depravity and revealing their glory.
Lewis goes on to say, " ... remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship."
I see this process of transformation taking place.
I see weak, broken people becoming strong. I see God releasing his image from within fallen men and women as he transforms them into who he created them to be. I see that beneath the mess, every individual has something of the glory of God that he or she reflects in ways that I will never see anywhere else.
God in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is a God of community.
It only makes sense that community with his children leads us to a deeper knowledge of him and feeds the deep hunger of our souls.
Send e-mail to the Rev. Darrell Brazell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Mere Christianity' helps me see faith, satisfy heart
Doug Heacock, contemporary worship leader, Lawrence Free Methodist Church, 31st and Lawrence Avenue:
I'm grateful to my parents and teachers, who helped me acquire the skill of reading, and a genuine love for it, at an early age.
And although I do practice the disciplines of daily prayer and Bible reading and profit greatly from them, I'm also extremely grateful for the writings of brilliant and thoughtful Christ followers of past and present who continue to challenge me to think more carefully, and who show me how to be more Christ-like in the way I live.
C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" helped me see how the faith that satisfies my heart is also satisfying to my intellect and reason, and his spiritual autobiography, "Surprised by Joy," articulated and validated feelings I had experienced, but had never been able to describe well.
Many others of Lewis' works have been very helpful, including "The Screwtape Letters," and "Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer."
In recent years I have been challenged and blessed by another brilliant thinker, writer and Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, through his radio program, "Let My People Think," which can be heard on various Christian radio stations in the area.
There is information available online about his radio program, books and speaking engagements at www.rzim.org.
I also have profited greatly from the teaching and writing of Louie Giglio, the leader of the Passion movement (www.268generation.com), which has spawned an amazing body of contemporary worship music.
Several years ago I happened to read "The Divine Conspiracy," by Dallas Willard, a book that re-introduced me to Jesus' teachings in ways that, to put it mildly, resonated with me.
Since then I've read it again, twice, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is open to a "fresh hearing for Jesus."
Send e-mail to Doug Heacock at email@example.com.