In Touch – March 23, 2012
Posted on March 23, 2012 by under Touché,

A Nun, A Preacher and A Male Masseuse Walk into a Bar…

Well, we never walked into a bar, but seven years ago I walked into Linwood Spiritual Center as I began my sabbatical.  I met my spiritual director, Sister Maureen, a nun from the order of Saint Ursula. I ended the retreat time with a massage by a guy named Esak (he changed his name after a significant spiritual experience.)  That first retreat opened me up to a different spirituality and an appreciation for spiritual guidance.

It is fitting that the Monday, after I preach on the discipline of guidance, I will have some time with Sister Maureen.  I will also meet with a Preacher’s Group that started about seven years ago; a group that brings great guidance to my life and to my ministry.

“Who speaks truth into your life?”  That will be the question I will ask of you on Sunday.  It is the question of the discipline of guidance.  In a world of every woman for herself, every man for himself, the discipline of guidance invites us to willingly submit to the counsel and correction of those who love us.

Jesus says that we are prone to judge others while not seeing the log that is in our own eye.  The only way toward spiritual growth is to be able to honestly look at ourselves and address the spiritual log jams in our own life before we are able to live the fullness of the kingdom or to aide others on their journey.

I believe that Hopewell is at a crossroads of discipleship.  We are developing a model of mentoring that will serve as guidance for all followers of Christ here.  With this latest new members group, I stated last week that our hope for them at Hopewell is that each will have a spiritual mentor that they can identify and that each of them will be a spiritual mentor to someone else.

Ginny Young, who has been trained as a spiritual director at Linwood, will share with us some of her insights regarding spiritual direction.  This is an invitation to a deeper walk that is modeled at Linwood, but has been a strange model for most Protestants.

We will also commission two Stephen Ministry leaders, Carol Bean and Karen Nussle.  Stephen Ministry is another ministry of guidance of people who are willing to walk beside others in times of trial.

Who speaks truth into your life?  I would invite you to think about it, and more than that, develop people and places in your life where the discipline of guidance is allowed to be practiced.

Yours in Christ, Taylor