Hi All...Welcome to the launch of the 3-week "shake-down cruise" for The VINE... what I've been billing as a Community of Practice. What that means is that we'll place more emphasis and energy on the formation of our souls, through the mechanisms of routine, habit and practice, than on the mere transfer of information.
I am so excited to have all of you on board for this exercise and value your feedback as to what works for you and what doesn't as we move through three course modules: 1.WHO AM I IN CHRIST 2. WHO AM I IN THE BODY (CHURCH) 3. WHO AM I IN THE WORLD.
This first week's practice ties directly to the reality of our union with Christ, something we routinely celebrate when taking communion, sharing the Eucharist. It draws upon the concept of "Eucharisteo", which Ann Voskamp explores in depth in her book, One Thousand Gifts, I've got copies of her book to distribute to you this coming Sunday (9/17). We'll employ it as one of our "textbooks".
But in the meantime, let's get rolling on the key concept she lays out... and one that I"ve personally found to be life changing with regards to finding, seeing and enjoying the presence of Jesus in my everyday activities. It's THANKFULNESS...expressed as a practice.
In the case of "practicing thankfulness" here are a couple fundamentals that we can start with that will get more in-depth development as we digest Voskamp's writings. 1. Being more aware and observant of the truth, beauty and goodness that surrounds our daily, earthly existence..."the whole earth being full of His glory". 2. Making a quick written, OR photographic "note to self" of what it is right there in front of our eyes (and ears) that we've not seen with appreciation and insight before. The sense of discovery and wonder can become "addictive"... something that I can attest to. Seeing God's creation with the "eyes of your heart enlightened" IS seeing with God, and it brings that experience of fellowship with and enjoyment of the Lord .
Let me give you an example. So, I'm on my routine morning walk at Magnuson Park, thinking and praying about what I want to share with you all, the prototype team. And suddenly, I "see"... there it is...I'm literally stepping right on it! The word "LAUNCH" (See the photo attached of that moment). But the payoff for me was what the Lord showed me, and taught me about the aggregation and binding of the tens of thousands of tiny, little stones that go into the making a smoothly paved roadway... that's something we all appreciate, right?... a smooth road to drive on... yes, a "small thing", but a thing of beauty non-the-less!
So here's what your first assignment of "WHO I AM IN CHRIST" is: Starting today... jot down 3 thankfulness notes to yourself each day (or snap 3 pics if you're not so inclined to write stuff down). We'll share our "discoveries" when we're together this coming Sunday at 12:45 in the Skyline Room. Looking forward to being with you!