Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spiritual Learning, Part 1: Head/Heart

Some weeks ago now, my church small group split into two (as small groups that grow should!). We still catch up with each other from time to time, see how each group is growing and changing.

Last time we did a combined dinner, one of the leaders did a short talk/study on the spiritual discipline of teachability. Wiktionary defines teachable as "Capable of being taught; apt to learn; Willing to receive instruction or to learn."

What does it mean to learn in a spiritual sense, though? People often talk about "head knowledge" vs. "heart knowledge"; knowing something is different from "knowing" it. It's not enough to simply know and declare something to be true; the real proof that you understand something is in how you demonstrate it through your actions.

Unfortunately, all of us tend to favour one over the other: we place more importance on one aspect of our learning than the other, to our detriment. Some worry too much about understanding and doctrine, but then don't live it out. Others think that our walk and experience are more important than the deeper details of what we believe to be true, without realising that how and what we think affects the way we act.

Personally, I fall into the first category far too often: I say I care about the Truth, but do I actually let it change the way I live?

What about you: to which extreme do you tend? And how do you combat it in your life? Love to hear from you…

Creative Commons: mathieustruck on flickr

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If only…

…the gaps in exams could be completed this way:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Free music from Re:Sound

Sick of Christian music that sounds, well, the same? Loved a song's musical style, but cringed at the lyrics? Re:Sound is here to help. An idea born from The Resurgence (itself spawned from Mars Hill Church in Seattle), Re:Sound promises music that is "Theologically Unified, Stylistically Diverse, Musically Excellent." And as a taster before their official launch on June 11, they've got an 8-track sampler for free download! I for one look forward to seeing what they come up with…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

AoM Better Man Challenge: Day 1

The first activity in Art of Manliness' Better Man Challenge is to outline one's 5 Core Values: the principles/things that you hold as valuable above all others. But it's not enough to simply state them, one must clearly define them as well. So here we go, in order:

Over and above anything else, the thing that defines who I am is my faith. I'm a deeply committed Christian; I aim to know what I believe and why I believe it. If it weren't for the saving death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ, I would have no strength for today, no hope for the future, and no security and purpose in who I am and what I'm here for.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a people person. I love spending time with others: interacting, learning, growing together. I love my family, with all our quirks [quirks, Andrew? Surely not!] – I see little pieces of all of them in my character and makeup, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Same goes for my friends – my closest friends are like family to me: brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts. Particularly my brothers in arms: strong Christian guys who fight the same battles, decry the same lies, share the same dreams. I love you guys.

The Bible says, "Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom."

I like Princeton WordNet's definition of wisdom: "the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight."

Knowledge (see below) and experience aren't much use if you don't deliberately try and learn and grow from them. One can be extremely intelligent, or extremely successful, and still be a complete fool. One can also be poorly educated, have never been anywhere much, and still be incredibly wise.

I want to be known as someone "who understood the times and knew what [to] do." (another Bible reference)

I'm an inquisitive person by nature; a true generalist (sometimes to a fault), I find most things fascinating, and strive to constantly learn new things. Sometimes this means that I'm not as focused as I should be, but I'd rather be "jack of all trades" (and "master of none") than someone who knows everything about very little.

Finally, I believe life is an adventure waiting to be lived. There is interest to be found even in the seemingly inane, and fascination in the humdrum; the trick is to look for it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Art of Manliness Better Man challenge

The Art of Manliness have announced their "30 Days to a Better Man" project. It looks interesting, and I'm going to try and follow along with it as it goes. I'm not promising to post everything (or anything, for that matter) but I'll be doing my darndest to keep up with them, uni/life timetable notwithstanding.