Dallas Willard has had an enormous impact on my life via his books and teachings (if you haven’t read The Divine Conspiracy or Renovation of the Heart yet, stop whatever it is you’re doing and start reading them today — then proceed to read everything else he has written).
One of his greatest contributions to the area of transformation is what he calls The Reliable Pattern for Change (he unpacks this in chapter 5 of Renovation of the Heart and in this article, Living a Transformed Life Adequate to Our Calling. Willard reminds us that transformation is possible but it’s not likely unless the path you’re on includes these 3 elements (he refers to them as the VIM pattern):
- VISION: is the clear picture of the goal you are striving to reach.
- INTENTION: you have to intend to do it (transformation doesn’t happen by accident).
- MEANS: this includes the resources available to you to help bring about the change you are pursuing.
If you are missing any of these 3 elements, transformation simply will not happen. However, if all 3 are present and properly put in place then lasting transformation is possible.
Note: What I love about this pattern is that you can apply it to any type of change or transformation you are pursuing (losing weight, learning a new language or skill, growing as a follower of Jesus). In Willard’s writings you’ll see that he primarily uses the reliable pattern of change in the context of spiritual transformation (you’ll see a clear example of this fleshed out in the article I mentioned above — it’s well worth taking a few minutes to read today).
Your turn…How have you seen or experienced this reliable pattern for change in your life?
PS: this was originally posted last year under a different title.
I’m a “Recovering Perfectionist”. I’ve struggled with perfectionism and the fear that “I’m not enough” and the fear of “I don’t measure up” for most of my life. I’m a 1 on the Enneagram (The Perfectionist) and I also grade high as a 3 (The Performer). That’s a volatile combination and makes me a difficult person to live with (and I’m just talking about me living with me — you have no idea of the ongoing conversations I have running in my head most of the time, ha!).
So, when I discovered the works of Brené Brown via her TED Talks a few years ago it was like a breath of fresh air that my soul needed to continue to recover daily from the toll of being a perfectionist who is also a high achiever.
Here is how she defines perfectionism:
“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
If you’re not familiar with Brené here is how she describes herself:
“The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. I’m the author of four books: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness.
The bottom line: I believe that vulnerability – the willingness to be “all in” even when you know it can mean failing and hurting – is brave. I do NOT believe that cussing and praying are mutually exclusive. And, I absolutely believe that the passing lane is for passing only.”
Check out these 3 must-read books by Brené Brown:
Your turn… How have these resources impacted your life?
PS: Her most recent book, Braving the Wilderness, released last week (I started it last night and read half of it in one sitting; so good and relevant… Get your copy today!)
Here are 3 Churches that help make me better. One of the ways they do this is by the free resources they generously provide. I think you’ll enjoy spending some time on their sites and benefit from the resources too:
LifeChurch.tv wants to make a lasting difference in your life, in our community, and in the world. How do we go about that? By leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. That’s the driving purpose behind everything we do. Here are a few links that will take you directly to some resources they provide (make sure you explore all the different areas on each page):
- Weekend Messages
- Talk It Over Archive (includes video messages and discussion guides for each lesson/series)
- Resources for Your Personal Growth
- Resources for Churches (includes lots of great resources churches can use at no cost)
- Featured Resources (this page has some of the ones above and more all in one place / make sure you spend some time here)
NewSpring Church exists to reach people far from God and teach them to follow Jesus step by step. We believe that growing people change, that we can’t do life alone, that saved people serve people, that we can’t outgive God and that found people find people. You can learn more about their VISION here. Here are a few links to resources they provide:
- Weekend Messages
- Resources for Your Personal Growth (their Next Steps page is helpful too)
- Resources for Churches (Make sure you click on each tab | Series | Students | Kids | Groups | Volunteers | for lots of great resources)
So that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ. That was the vision of Elevation Church when it began in 2006 with a group of eight families led by Pastor Steven Furtick. Over the past seven years, that vision has remained the same as our church has grown to seven locations in the Charlotte, NC area with multiple extension sites around the U.S. and Canada. You can learn more about Elevation Church here. Here are some links to some of their resources:
- Weekend Messages Go to the Sermons To Go Page for a variety of ways to watch messages.
- Resources for Your Personal Growth (fyi: this link goes to Steven Furtick’s blog where you’ll find resources to help you grow)
- Resources for Churches
- Worship Resources
Your turn… What are some churches you know of that share great resources.
Is the rhythm of your life sustainable? Can you keep your current pace up? Is it healthy? Most of us live hurried lives and hurry can keep us from living well.
For most of my life I lived by the philosophy that says I am what I do, I am how well I do it, I am how much I do it. And because I lived by that philosophy for so long I nearly crashed and burned about a decade ago… Since then, I’ve been trying to live my life with the kind of rhythm God created us to live with. I’ve learned that God simply loves ME, NOT what I do or how well I do it or how much I do it but He simply loves ME. My identity is NOT tied to what I do but who’s I am! With that in mind here are 3 resources I think you’ll find helpful as you strive to live life at a more sustainable pace and with a load that’s not so heavy:
Margin is the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience. It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap; the place we go to heal, to relate, to reflect, to recharge our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most. Margin offers seventy-five practical prescriptions for restoring margin in the essential areas of emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances. Margin restores what culture has taken away: time to listen, strength to care, space to love.
Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it? Spiritual disciplines open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” that allows for regular space for the practice of the spiritual disciplines, Sacred Rhythms (InterVarsity Press, 2006) takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life. Each chapter includes exercises to help you begin the practices—individually or in a group context. The final chapter puts in all together in a way that will help you arrange your life for spiritual transformation.
These 4 messages will help you find room to breath (you can watch or listen to this series in your quiet time or with a group of friends — each message contains some discussion questions to guide your time of reflection or conversations). Our lives are busy and fast-paced. The lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers. It can distract us from the most important things in our lives . . . and our relationships suffer. It can even affect our relationship with God because there’s a connection between our willingness to create margin and our faith. Life is better with breathing room.
Your turn… What are some resources or practices that help you deal with the stresses of an overloaded life? Keep this in mind as you go throughout the day: Your life moves to a better place when you move at a sustainable pace.