“Intrusive Spiritual Discipline”

Hello again. Cheers for your comments and emails (I’m trying to be cool like my roommate from New Zealand: “cheers!”); I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them. Earlier I said I wanted spiritual discipline in my life that was “intrusive.” The first step Jasie and I have taken towards that adjective is inductive Bible study. This is not new to me, but it is helpful to be doing it with someone else. Working on a book of the Bible with another person helps me get out of my psycho all-or-nothing mentality: because I don’t expect Jasie to be perfect, it’s much less of a temptation to be so hard on myself. (Wow! Next week I promise not to write about my perfectionism. My other flaws are feeling left out.) One aspect of our study that is new to me is that Jasie and I are beginning by writing I Peter BY HAND. Yeah, that’s right; we’re writing it all out by hand… no computers, no photocopies, mere pen and paper. In my previous experience I found inductive study easiest when the text was typed out like a normal letter (without chapters, verses, or headings) only double-spaced because then there’s plenty of room to circle words, draw symbols, and make arrows. However, I like writing things out by hand because it incorporates more of my senses and I learn it better thereby. Usually I mumble phrases under my breath before I write them, so I’m getting all my senses in but smell. 🙂 I chose I Peter for a change of pace because Jasie has done several of the Pauline epistles already. I shied away from Romans because it’s longer than most of the other epistles and a little bit more difficult too, though some of you know how obsessed with it I am sometimes, so who knows how long I’ll let it haunt me before I buck up and tackle it.

I want to give you a little more insight to my weekly schedule: Monday mornings we have a prayer meeting at 8:45 where we are able to pray for one another and for L’Abri. This is done on Mondays at each of the L’Abri satellites all over the world. Wednesday and Friday mornings we have lectures from the staff; so far, there’s a series on “Science and Theology,” “Re-narrating the Imagination,” and “Art (Film) and Theology.” Wednesday night is movie night. It costs two francs and usually the film is something I haven’t seen and is pretty interesting. Thursday is our day off. We have breakfast at nine, a packed lunch, and dinner at seven (all optional, but I always take advantage of each!). I usually go hiking, but this past Thursday I took a little day trip by myself to Sion, a small village in the valley about an hour and a half from here. It was lovely! Sunday we have breakfast at nine and chapel at eleven. Chapel is nice. It’s usually simple exegesis, which of course I love. Sometimes we’ll sing a hymn or two, but usually, it’s just an hour or so of exegesis – a whole hour! Every other week we look at II Corinthians and every other week at Luke. After chapel, we have the afternoon off (and a packed lunch available to us), and I usually… hike. But this weekend was the wine festival, which was tons of fun. I have some great pics of the vineyards we got to walk through, and one fine day (./’./’), I’ll have a chance to upload them for you to see! Sunday after dinner we usually, but not always, do some activity together. This past Sunday was the annual talent show. I wrote a poem about a hike we affectionately call “Death Hill.” It was well received; people seemed to like it and I had fun writing/reading it. (Again, when I’ve a chance to get pics on the web, I’ll post the poem with some photos of one of our hikes up Death Hill.)

And finally, I wanted to keep you all updated on the books I’m reading:
Who’s Afraid of Postmodernity? Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church – James K. A. Smith
Eat This Book: The Art of Spiritual Reading – Eugene Peterson
The Benefit of Christ – Juan de Valdes & Don Benedetto

And for fun:
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Books I’ve just finished:
Faith’s Freedom – Luke T. Johnson
Living the Resurrection – Eugene Peterson (finished this one)

That’s the list so far, so get busy reading and try to keep up! 😉

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