Posts tagged transformation
Episode 15: Patterns of Spiritual Development

Every faith journey is different, but are there discernible patterns that are common among us?
Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in Jesus.

There often will come a point where you have to get off the paved path. Often times it’s suffering or some sort of inner conflict, or a product of the Christian culture that we're living in today.

“If you ask anybody, ‘What’s the activity that you had that made you who you are?’ no one says, ‘You know I had a really great vacation in Hawaii.’ No one says that. They say, ‘I had a period of struggle. I lost a loved one. I was in the Army. And that period of struggle or that period of toughness made me who I am.’”

This idea of the dark night, some period where your faith seems inadequate or your suffering makes you ask, “Where is God?” is one of the key characteristics in the pattern of spiritual development

Every journey is different, but are there discernible patterns to the spiritual journey?
This can help us normalize our journey! We are not alone.
“It hurts to become real”
-The Velveteen Rabbit

SCRIPTURE
This development is actually normalized in Scripture
We are all being changed (2 Corinthians 3:18) What matters is becoming new creation

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Law-NT
Paul: law is a baby-sitter (Galatians 3:24)

Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in God
Development in the nation of Israel
Jesus: Kingdom of Heaven: Mustard seed
NT Wright: every generation must wrestle with…
“We must stop giving 16th century answers…”

PSYCHOLOGY
James Fowler Stage of Faith

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled
http://www.whale.to/b/peck1.html
-Stage I Chaotic, Antisocial
Antisocial in that it’s all “me” (perhaps Hedonistic)

-Stage II Formal, Institutional, Fundamental
Boundaries good
Dark side: very either-or, all-or-nothing. Have difficulty explaining, or comforting when experiencing suffering.

-Stage III
Skeptic, Individual, Questioner
Life is more gray than previously acknowledged

-Stage IV
Mystic, Communal
Open to God

Notice, Every pattern or theory of development we’re going to talk about today ends in some sort of “union”

It's possible, or probable to be in more than one at once. Not linear.
We may be in both or all at different times.

Exercise: In the midst of a painful thought, relationship or memory, asking God: "How can you be so good?"

Episode 13: Jesus & the Relationship of Salvation

Continued conversations about Salvation, Jesus, and the Gospels.  This arc begins in episode 9.  Culture, and how we do not have a good conception for concepts of Kingship and Lordship--submission to a leader is not a quality that American culture values.  We've divided the concepts of "Follow Me" that Jesus introduced to His disciples into conversion and discipleship.  They're not two different things. 
How do we understand salvation and what it means to be saved?  Salvation is a relationship. 
Reviewing the Hebrew definition of Knowing tied more to Intimacy than to Knowing "about" or observing like our concepts of knowing. Knowing in Hebrew is more about experience or encountering.  We need both types of knowing to engage in full relationship with Jesus.   We tend to think of Heaven as a place, instead of a relationship-- a place you go when you die, instead of abiding in a relationship with an God who saves.
Jesus, in Matthew 7, not intended to evoke fear, but to point to what saves us is relationship, not a faux relationship, or a certificate.  Jesus invites us into a relationship that transforms us, and leads us to caring for the poor and marginalized.  Heaven, in this sense, is being in the place where God's presence is. 

Susette's method of using this concept of God's presence as a form of prayer & relationship: 
1. Remember first that the Kingdom of Heaven is God's presence here on earth, 
2. Then I picture God's presence being here next to me. 
3. Picturing Jesus sitting next to me. 
4. Talk to Him.

John 1; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, or "tabernacle'd" among us. 

Described the tabernacle and what that means from a historical & biblical context.  The temple points to holiness & being set apart.   The book of Hebrews is a good place to start in learning about the Tabernacle, and Rikk Watts:
https://www.regentaudio.com/collections/rikk-watts

John 1:51  Jesus is referring to Jacob naming the place Bethel in Genesis 28:10-22, where he saw the presence of God. 

Episode 1: Therapy & Transformation

How are we transformed? How do we experience healing, peace, or freedom? How does our relationship with Jesus change as we stop doing what we've always been told, and begin to see Jesus in relationship above all else?
Susette talks Therapy 101: Unconditional Positive Regard (or unconditional love), intimacy, feeling understood, confidentiality, trust in therapy space. Each host tells stories from their childhood church experiences, they talk similarities about 90's Christian culture.
God's unconditional acceptance of us (love & grace that He's given us first) is what transforms us.
The more you practice empathy, the more natural it becomes.
This conversation will continue in Ep 2.

Resources:
Brene Brown Video:
http://www.susettemagana.com/single-post/2016/11/16/Practicing-Empathy

Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands

Brandon's eBook: The False Promise of Discipleship http://thebonhoefferproject.com/Websites/tbp/files/Content/5277284/false_promise_of_discipleship.pdf