Category Archives: Spiritual Formation

Three Must Read Books

I usually have 2-3 books going at one time. The 3 I’m currently going through are must read books you should dive in to ASAP:

MereChristianity   How To Lead When Not In Charge   TheDayTheRevolutionBegan

Erich’s notes: recently I’ve been drawn to go back and read more of C. S. Lewis. So, I listened to Mere Christianity and read it again. I forgot how amazing that book is and how extremely relevant it still is (do yourself a favor and check it out). I’m currently reading How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins (it’s loaded with some great insights on leadership). I’ve mentioned The Day the Revolution Began by Wright once before as one of the most significant books I’ve ever read. I recently started the 15 hour audio version via Audible (make sure you check it out soon).

Your turn… What have you been reading lately?

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Filed under Books, Church Leadership, Discipleship, Gospel, Spiritual Formation

Three Books that Provide An Overview of the Life & Teachings of Dallas Willard

By now you know that the writings and teachings of Dallas Willard have had a profound impact on my spiritual formation and my understanding of the kingdom of God. You really should read everything he’s ever written. If you’re new to Willard you might want to start with these three and then work back to others such as The Divine Conspiracy (which is the most significant book I’ve ever read outside of the Bible):

EternalLiving        LivingInChrist        DivConCont

  • Overview of Eternal Living (Edited by Gary W. Moon)
    Dallas Willard spent his life making eternal living concrete for his friends. After his unexpected passing in 2013, the kaleidoscope of memories and the diversity of the lives he had touched could not be confined to one or even two memorial services, but three. It is this wide breadth of impact that inspired friends, family, colleagues, students, and leaders of the church to gather their reflections on this celebrated yet humble theologian and philosopher.
  • Overview of Living In Christ’s Presence (with John Ortberg)
    Dallas teamed up with John Ortberg in February 2013 for the Dallas Willard Center’s inaugural conference in Santa Barbara, California. John and Dallas have been ministry partners for decades, which was quite evident as they taught together and shared insights into living more fully in the presence of Christ daily. The primary passion for the conference was to provide an overview of Dallas’s writings and ministry. His most impassioned ideas. The conference was built around the theme “Knowing Christ Today” and as a way to present the golden thread that runs through all of his primary writing: that it is possible to know the Trinity intimately and to step into their glorious kingdom.
  • Overview of The Divine Conspiracy Continued (with Gary Black, Jr.)
    Co-authored by Dallas Willard and Gary Black Jr., this book is the sequel to The Divine Conspiracy and continues Dallas’s series on the Kingdom of God by looking at God’s plan to intervene in human history through His disciples who live out His calling in their life through their professions. To fulfill the Christian calling is not to remove oneself from the outside world and take shelter from its shortcomings, but to step into the world to lead and serve as agents of change. Dallas and Gary provide wise guidance on how to enter into our culture’s leadership positions and transform the world from the inside out. The material in the manuscript began in a course Dallas designed at USC called The Professions and the Public Interest in American Life. Dallas and Gary worked together with the concepts from the course and applied them to many different contemporary contexts for Christian leaders and professionals throughout our society. The manuscript was largely assembled prior to Dallas’s passing in 2013.

Your turn… What impact has Willard’s writing and teachings had on you?

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Filed under Books, Discipleship, Jesus, Spiritual Formation

Three of My Favorite Podcasts

I love to listen to podcasts when I workout in the mornings and as I go through the day (I usually have one going every time I get in the car by myself). Of the more than 3 dozen I subscribe to, here are 3 of my favorites:

RobCast  nwn-logo-1-14-15  bfnp-1

Your turn… What are some of your favorite podcasts to listen to?

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Filed under Podcasts, Spiritual Formation

Three Books That Will Help You Care for Your Soul

Caring for our soul is the most important thing a person should do. Notice the significance Dallas Willard places on the soul:

What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances, or your thoughts, or your intentions, or even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self. It is the life-center of the human being. It regulates whatever is occurring in each of those dimensions and how they interact with each other and respond to surrounding events in the overall governance of your life.

Our soul is like an inner stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other element of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream. — Renovation of the Heart

With that in mind, here are 3 books (including the one referenced above) that will help you better care for your soul:

reno     SoulKeeping         StirBookCover

Erich’s notes about these 3 books…

  • You absolutely must read every thing Willard has written. In this book, Dallas outlines the  general pattern of changes in the six key aspects of a person’s life (thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul). You can find more great resources by Dallas here: Dallas Willard Ministries
  • Outside of the Bible, Soul Keeping by John Ortberg is the second most significant book I’ve read to date (The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard is number 1). You can connect with John and his resources here: John Ortberg
  • I had the chance to meet Mindy Caliguire at a recent Groups Conference. Her 2 classes focused on the importance of Soul Care. You can connect with Mindy and her resources here: SoulCare

Your turn… What are some other resources you’ve found helpful on this topic?

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Filed under Books, Soul Care, Spiritual Formation

Three Forces That Shape Character by @MichaelHyatt

This will be my last post for a few weeks (I plan to resume after the Holidays but probably not until early February as I’ll be tied up with planning a big Men’s Conference with Donald Miller and Bob Goff). So, as I close out this year I thought you would be blessed with some thoughts from a recent Leadership Podcast by Michael Hyatt. This episode focuses on the 3 forces that shape character. I’ll mention them here and encourage you to go and check out the complete episode (by the way, if you don’t already follow Michael Hyatt; do yourself a favor and start today — he consistently provides great resources focusing on Intentional Leadership).

There are three forces that shape who we are at the core of our being:

  1. The input we consume.
  2. The relationships we pursue.
  3. The habits we acquire.

Your turn… You can listen to, watch, or read the transcript from this podcast here. What resonates with you from this podcast?

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Filed under Leadership, Personal Development, Podcasts, Spiritual Formation

Three Principles from Rob Bell’s eCourse | Lesson 6, Part 2

Here is another post in a series focusing on this eCourse, Rob Bell’s Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life:

Here are 3 more powerful principles from lesson 6, Becoming More Alive Than Ever:

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Your turn… Spend some time reflecting on these thoughts as you go through this day. What resonates with you the most?

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Filed under Personal Development, Spiritual Formation

Three Principles from Rob Bell’s eCourse | Lesson 6, Part 1

Here is another post in a series focusing on this eCourse, Rob Bell’s Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life:

Here are 3 powerful principles from lesson 6, Becoming More Alive Than Ever:

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Your turn… Spend some time reflecting on these thoughts as you go through this day. What resonates with you the most?

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Filed under Personal Development, Spiritual Formation

Three Principles from Rob Bell’s eCourse | Lesson 5, Part 2

Here is another post in a series focusing on this eCourse, Rob Bell’s Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life:

Here are 3 more powerful principles from lesson 5, It Is Better to Give AND Receive:

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Your turn… Spend some time reflecting on these thoughts as you go through this day. What resonates with you the most?

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Filed under Personal Development, Spiritual Formation

Three Principles from Rob Bell’s eCourse | Lesson 5, Part 1

Here is another post in a series focusing on this eCourse, Rob Bell’s Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life:

Here are 3 powerful principles from lesson 5, It Is Better to Give AND Receive:

qcards_lssn5_1_480x480qcards_lssn5_2_480x480qcards_lssn5_3_480x480

Your turn… Spend some time reflecting on these thoughts as you go through this day. What resonates with you the most?

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Filed under Personal Development, Spiritual Formation

Three Principles from Rob Bell’s eCourse | Lesson 4, Part 2

Here is another post in a series focusing on this eCourse, Rob Bell’s Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life:

Here are 3 more powerful principles from lesson 4, Overcoming FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out):

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Your turn… Spend some time reflecting on these thoughts as you go through this day. What resonates with you the most?

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Filed under Personal Development, Spiritual Formation