This summer, weâ€™re sharing prayers for and by Christian scholars in our network. We hope this is a chance for readers to connect with each other and with God, to be encouraged, and to pray together. May thisÂ seriesÂ remind us of how the church is connected across time and space in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Todayâ€™s prayer is by Johnny Wei-Bing Lin, a member of the Emerging Scholars Network andÂ a Senior Lecturer of Computing and Software Systems (CSS) at U. of Washington Bothell.
As we anticipate summer rhythms, ESN wants to offer book suggestions from our readers. Our hope is that this will provide great conversation starters for ESN members as you engage with each other online and at events like the upcoming InterVarsity faculty retreats and the American Scientific Affiliation conference. We also hope you find some great summer reading. The format is simple: Give us the title, a quotation from the book if desired (150 words or less), and a paragraph on why this book is worth reading (for Christian scholars in general or for you individually). The book can be related to your academic work and life, or related to theology and living the Christian life, or recreational reading that helps you rest and enjoy the summer. ESN blog editor Hannah Eagleson offers her summer reading suggestion below. PleaseÂ send us your suggestions in a similar format.Â [Read more…] about Summer Book Suggestion: Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,Â from whomÂ every familyÂ in heaven and on earth is named,Â that according toÂ the riches of his gloryÂ he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his SpiritÂ in your inner being,Â so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faithâ€”that you, beingÂ rooted andÂ grounded in love,Â may have strength toÂ comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length andÂ height and depth,Â and to know the love of ChristÂ that surpasses knowledge, thatÂ you may be filled with allÂ the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:14-19
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
-Â Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)Â
Take a look at how you spend an average week. Who gets the best of you? Iâ€™m not asking who gets the most of youâ€”the most time, the most attention. Your family and work likely get that. But who gets the best of you?
– Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul
As you may remember, last week I shared Joyful Lips in Higher Education.
Over the weekend, I spent a significant time reflecting upon The Village and Andrew Wyeth.
Is it no surprise that on Monday, a friend from the academy shared with me Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul (Mark Buchanan. Zondervan. 2010)?Â I encourage you to take a few minutes to consider what Buchanan shares in the audio interview posted at christianbook.com.
The first part of the interview focuses upon the spiritual season of winter, which Buchanan experienced as a result of losing a close friend, leading him to wrestle with his spiritual season and inspiring him to a write a book to bless others as they seek to find their spiritual rhythm (in contrast to spiritual balance).Â Buchanan comments in another place:
I distinguish between rhythm and balance. Balance is what most people seek, but I think itâ€™s is a myth. Balance in life is something that, even if we can attain it, is not worth the effort. Itâ€™s like standing a kayak: itâ€™s fragile, inert, and a misuse of the kayak.
Rhythm is what we seek when we paddle the kayak. Balance flows out of rhythm as a natural by-product of it. Balance is not the point of life any more than itâ€™s the point of kayaking, but itâ€™s what happens without our even having to think about it when we get our rhythm right.
In a spiritual sense, rhythm is comprised of our pace of life and our ways of engagement in any given season. A good rhythm is what serves us best that season. In winter, we move at a different pace than, say, in spring. We engage life and God differently. That difference is defined by rhythm. — Mark Buchanan interview 1 of 2: On Spiritual Rhythm (EngagingChurch: A Zondervan Church & Ministry blog. Andrew Rogers. 8/13/2010).
As we celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare to enter Advent, in what spiritual season do you find yourself?Â My friend is in winter*.Â I rejoice that we do not live in a reality where it is always Winter and never Spring.
If you’re interested in taking some more time with Buchanan’s consideration of winter, check out the preview available viaÂ Google Books.
Note:Â A few of Buchanan’s serious musings on winter in relationship to pastoral care and preaching for the flock: [Read more…] about What is Your Spiritual Season?