Posts Tagged 'personal formation'

Prayer Practicum: Formation Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Formation Prayer Sermon Audio Here

Phil. 2:12-13

“The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son. This process of transformation is the sole focus of Formation Prayer.1

God’s Sculpting Of Our Lives Includes

Pursuing and Being Pursued ~ Phil. 2:12-13

  • v12 “work out your salvation” {work to finish}
    carry arm full of wood – “you got it? Yeah, I got it from here”
  • v13 “God works IN you” 1) to WILL {emotionally desire} 2) to ACT {energize; same as “works”}

Picking out Our Part ~ 1 Tim. 4:7-10

  • v7 train yourself – this takes work
  • v8 it’s worth it, both short term and long term
  • v9/10 Hope is important ingredient; reason to keep going

Peering Into The Abyss ~ Gal. 2:19-21

  • v20 live our lives by faith in Jesus
  • v21 depend upon God’s grace

God started the process; we’re supposed to be an ACTIVE part of it too! Faith that Jesus can live our lives WITH us, and make them BETTER (John 10:10b) is what happens when we decided to live by God’s grace instead of only our ability.

“Dear Lord Jesus, in my better moments I want nothing more than to be like you. But there are other moments…. Help me to see how good conformity to your way really is. In my seeking for you may I be found by you. I love you, Lord. Amen.2

1. Richard Foster, Prayer, the Heart’s True Home, pg. 57
2. Ibid., pg. 66

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Body Honor

Shaped By A Savior ~ Body Honor Sermon Audio Here


1 Sam. 3:1-10/1 Cor. 6:12-20
When a young person enlists in the military, they swear an oath. They agree to live by a standard BEFORE they know what that means, and are held accountable to do so.

Our Response To Our Experience Shows Our Allegiance

When God Speaks; who listens?

1 Sam. 3:1-10 How does Samuel respond?

  • v1/4 God calls specifically; Eli didn’t hear
  • v5/7 God calls repeatedly; Eli didn’t catch on right away
  • v8/9 Eli realizes God is calling Samuel; helps boy respond appropriately
  • v10 God calls personally; Samuel connects because of Eli’s instruction

TRANSITION: even though used to help Samuel, Eli is rebuked by God for not controlling his sons’ inappropriate behavior

When our Bodies speak, who’s in control?
1 Cor. 6:12-20 How do we respond to our own flesh?

  • v12/13 Corinthians had idea that all natural urges are fair game;
    While the urges may be real, they do not need to be in control
  • v14/15 We are connected to Christ; live accordingly!
  • v17 “is one spirit”; more than just affinity
  • v18/20 don’t let your flesh override God’s spirit

v19 you can listen to the Holy Spirit in you *over* your own flesh

My Personal Geek Metaphor (from archive)

(DATE: March 26, 2008 )

This is for a class I’m taking right now; the assignment was to write a metaphor which describes my personal formation. I read it to Jami, and she insisted that I post it in my blog, so here you go:

I’m a computer. I’m a complex collection of processing ability, memory, storage, and operating system. The processor I’ve been given is a fairly decent one – it works, and it’s able to handle large amounts of data throughput. However, when it overheats, it works at a much reduced rate of efficiency; it garbles the data, and doesn’t always correctly route the data to its needed recipients. I do have some significant issues:

My memory is faulty. Memory is designed to allow the operating system to function at its best; when sufficient memory is present, programs are able to access the processor at full speed and carry out their instructions. However, there are large gaps in my memory, which probably stem from some trauma early in my operating cycle (sometimes called “childhood”). These memory gaps occur at the most inopportune times, and confound my efforts to process information; sometimes, I simply don’t have sufficient interpretive memory to understand current demands on my processing ability. This would be analogous to an “emotional” state: sometimes I am unable to access needed data to help me carry out programming instructions, specifically input/output issues (“relating to others”).

My storage capacity is low; my physical capacity to store data seems to be decreasing (“my body is running down”), and while programs have been initiated to slow this trend (“I’ve started an exercise regime”), they are but temporary fixes for a permanent problem: my hardware will eventually cease to function. I understand that entropy must occur, but it is still difficult to face one’s own obsolescence.

However, the bright point is my operating system; I’ve had it replaced, and the new system works so much more efficiently than the old one. My old OS was riddled with viruses, malware, and junk programming (“sin”). The new system I’m currently running (“grace”) is virtually virus proof, and malware is much harder to install. The programs available to run with this new OS are all Free and Open; the Author lets me have access to the source code (“Scripture”) for any program I have installed. Also, I have the ability to give away my OS to anyone who is interested in replacing their old software; in fact, I am encouraged to do so, to all who seek freedom from their old operating system.


Pastor Ed Backell

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