You Pick-Two


There’s a popular trend in fast-casual dining called Pick-Two. You get to select two items off the menu and bundle them as one.  The benefit is you get more options.  Now we’re bringing that option to you.

Depending on your schedule last weekend, please read the appropriate section below:

If you were NOT able to join us last Sunday (Jan 8th), you missed our conversation about “Shaping Your Interior Life.”  You can listen to the entire message here, or you can read my summary.

  1. What’s inside your life shapes everything else that’s outside your life.
  2. Therefore, it’s worth investing in the shape of your interior life.
  3. There are two key strategies to accomplish this. First, pick a spiritual practice (see chart below), and then pick a spiritual pathway (see list below).

In other words, “Pick-Two” and put them in your life this week.

If you WERE with us last Sunday, let me challenge you again to Pick-Two.

You’ve had a few days to think about which spiritual practice would be best for your current life situation.  And you probably identified your spiritual pathway while we talked about them on Sunday.  So what can you do this week to begin walking in that pathway?  I know for me I’ve taken steps to make sure I’m pursuing down two key pathways this week (worship and creation).

Take a minute right now, review the material below, and Pick-Two.  Then it’s a great idea to tell someone about it.  A family member, friend, small group leader, etc.  Someone who can encourage you to stick with your two picks as the year unfolds.

Spiritual Practices (from Sacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley Barton)

Select a challenge area from the first column, then a practice or two from the matching list on the right.

Sins and Negative Patterns Corresponding Practices/Disciplines
Gossip/sins of speech Silence, self-examination
Anxiety and worry Breath prayer, Scripture reflection
Envy and competitiveness Solitude, self-examination
Discontent Attending to desire
Self-reliance Silence, prayer, community
Avoidance patterns Community, spiritual friendship
Over-busyness Solitude, discernment, Sabbath, rule of life
Anger and bitterness Silence, self-examination, confession
Feelings of inadequacy Examen of consciousness, self-knowledge and celebration
Guilt, shame Solitude, confession, forgiveness
Lust Attending to desire in God’s presence
Restlessness and stress Solitude, silence, breath prayer ‘
Lethargy and/or laziness Caring for the body, exercise
Lack of faith Prayer, Scripture
Feelings of isolation Examen of consciousness, community
Selfishness and self-centeredness Prayer and worship in community
Lack of direction Discernment, listening to the body

(for more details on these practices, please check out the podcast)

Spiritual Pathways (from Sacred Pathways, by Gary Thomas)

Identify which one or two pathways most fit your experience and preference.

  1. Intellectual

You look forward to the teaching part of a gathering like this.  You may be inclined to research and learn about issues.  Your heart is stirred when you mind is engaged.  You’re driven by ideas, not emotions.  You feel connected to God when theological truth is clearly explained.  You often read books or articles to help deal with a problem.

  1. Relational

You’re wired for people.  You’ve never met a small group you didn’t like.  You answer telemarketers and ask them how their day is going.  You discover that God speaks to you through other people.  Spending too much time alone drains you of energy

  1. Serving

You get distracted when details haven’t been taken care of.  You enjoy working behind the scenes.  You have strength to care for others even if you’re tired.  You may have trouble just sitting still.  You experience God most when you’re extending his love to others in some way.

  1. Worship

You look forward to worship gathering.  You may secretly wonder why the preacher thinks that what he has to say is so important that you can’t just worship longer.  Problems seem to fade away during worship.  God opens your heart and mind during times of worship.

  1. Activist

You come alive to a challenge.  When you hear, “that can’t be done,” your first thought is, “Nothing is impossible with God!!”  The needs around you awaken an unstoppable desire to move heaven and earth to meet those needs.  You may get frustrated with those who don’t seem to care about injustice.  And you experience God’s presence as you pour yourself into a worthy cause.

  1. Contemplative

You crave extended times of being alone.  Others may think you’re a hermit, and you may wonder how they can expect to hear God’s voice amid all the noise of life!  You may feel guilty for getting so much joy out of solitude.  You find deep joy and connection with God when you can get free of distractions.  You may have a great capacity for prayer.

  1. Creation

You prefer to go for a long walk when faced with a difficult decision.  You get a spiritual buzz out of a beautiful sunset.  Your five senses often point your heart toward God.  And your connection to God is very real when you observe his creation.

Whew! That’s a lot to read. But it’s a gold mine for your life. Feel free to add your comments and experiences in the space below.

-Pastor Mark

P.S. A very important message from Heather Nicholson, our Middle School Director.  Check out her comments here.

Posted on January 13, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well, i think i’m going to have to ask a close friend about which one i should practice.. there are too many that apply to me at this time. 😦

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