24 Jul 2006

Healthy Practices for Lovers

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Contemporary Ethics, Discipleship, Kingdom, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines

(relating to our walk with our Abba)

The following list grows out of a series of lessons I presented at Southside on Learning to Live God’s Love. I have found the following practices to be healthy for my relationship with God and his People.

I encourage you to print these suggestions out and pray about them. Pick a few to incorporate into your life. The “healthy practices” are divided into things we do each day, each week, monthly and yearly.

Healthy Daily Practices

* Arise each day with the thought, “Thank you God for a new chance to glorify you.”
* Spend time in meditation on Christ as you walk, jog or drink your coffee
* Spend thirty minutes each morning reading the Bible and in prayer
* Say the “Jesus Prayer” every time you look at your watch: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me”
* Have a brief, ten minute reading in the Gospels after eating lunch.
* Pray the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6.9-13)
* Reflect on the day with God in prayer before bed

None of these healthy practices will disrupt the “normal” flow of our day. In fact we might find unexpected strength and energy flowing from them.

Healthy Weekly Practices

* Gather for worship with my family at Southside
* Participate in our mid-week care groups
* Serve breakfast/visit at the homeless shelter/rescue mission
* Spend one day resting in God’s presence. Learn to “enjoy” family and God and the blessing of life

Healthy Monthly Practices

* Dedicate a day alone with God as a spiritual mini-retreat. This can be a walk by the lake, the woods, even a hotel.

Healthy Yearly Practices

* Spend one weekend with a group in retreat.
* Spend several days dedicated to a service project for the poor
* Spend a weekend alone as a reflection on the year past and the year ahead. Seek to discern the fingerprints of God on your life.

These practices can have a major impact on our life. They are not legalistic burdens. In fact when approached through seeking the Holy Spirit and prayer they are just the opposite. They are times of great refreshment, growth and renewal. What we seek is not the ritual but the Presence of God.

It is my prayer that you will find something among these healthy practices to help you in your love affair with God.

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

17 Responses to “Healthy Practices for Lovers”

  1. Tony Arnold Says:

    Great list for a healthy spiritual life.

    Tony

  2. Velcro Says:

    Bobby,

    Great Post. It’s interesting how many times the excuse is, “I just don’t have time.” When we take much more time to do less important things.

    It’s not that we don’t have time. We make time for things that are important to us. If we’re not making time to spend with God, maybe the factor isn’t time but importance.

    Again, good post.

  3. John Roberts Says:

    Bobby – great thoughts. Sometimes it’s too easy to let religion overtake our spiritual life – especially if it’s our job. Up to our neck in Bible study – all to prepare sermons and lessons, but none of it just to feed the soul. Thanks for the great reminder.

  4. Steve Puckett Says:

    Pass one kidney stone! Praise God!

    Peace.

  5. Josh Yaeger Says:

    Great list. Good ideas for teens…I plan on passing it on.

    Josh

  6. Orange Grover Says:

    Bobby,
    I appreciate this list! Life here in Katrina land is so very hectic and I need all the help I can get to slow down and keep my connection with God healthy!

    I also enjoyed your Fred Gray post and the post about one of my old time favorite rockers. Sammy is the Man–I still remember listening to my daddy sing along to
    “I can’t drive 55”. I do appreciate all of your comments on my writing efforts at Wayfarer’s Trek!
    Your friend and brother,
    Les Ferguson, Jr.

  7. Laymond Says:

    Bobby good practice, good advise.
    I noticed you attend Southside Church of Christ. Hummmm so do I check out our web page link on my blog. so far apart in distance but so close in spirit. May God Bless

  8. cwinwc Says:

    Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions.
    Josh hit the nail on the head – we have the time but it’s filled with less important things than the suggestions you mentioned.

  9. Darin L. Hamm Says:

    Keep on musing brother.

  10. Heather Says:

    Very good post Bobby!
    It has inspired me. =)

  11. DJG Says:

    I realized how much time I spent in my car listening to NASCAR radio…I have started using that time to listen to my Bible CD’s again.

    Thanks for other practiable, do-able suggestions.

  12. hermit jeremy Says:

    ditto on what everyone else has said. i will need to print this off and tape it to my fridge… no wait, that’s where i keep my dental appointments that i always miss…

    anyway, thanks.

  13. Josh Stump Says:

    Great suggestions. They remind me that there is strength in being disciplined in your spiritual life. thank you.

  14. cwinwc Says:

    I’ll add eating Thursday morning breakfast with “the boys.” Our “boys” are the retired men who cut the grass around the church on Thursdays. They meet each Thursday morning at one of our local barbecue restaurants to eat breakfast. One of them is a retired “The Sergeant Major of the Army.” I love talking and mostly listening to these older men who have lived a life of faith.

  15. Stoogelover Says:

    Good thoughts. I needed the reminder.

  16. MommyHAM Says:

    You know another one that I often do?

    Meditate on how and why I fell in love with the Lord – revisit my testimony, and that burning zeal is revived every time. I recently did this at my blog: http://redheaded-step-child.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_redheaded-step-child_archive.html (second one down)

  17. Mitch Mitchell Says:

    Turning 59 soon. Great spiritual disciplines no matter how old. Enjoy Father every day of the journey.

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