To any of you reading this who live outside the 469, a few words of explanation are necessary. “42 Days” is a 6-week men’s study we do once or twice a year at North Point. During this time, I’ll be posting weekly questions, quotes, and instructions for guys here on my blog.
Feel free to follow along with us.
Here’s the plan for our third week of 42 Days.
42 Days Week Three
The Book. If you are reading Celebration of Discipline, make sure you read through chapters 6 and 7 this week. We will be considering simplicity and solitude in our study and discussion next week.
Fasting. What did you learn from fasting last week? Would you consider fasting again this week? Pick something different to fast from and try to dedicate even more time to your spiritual journey.
Bible Study. Your chapter for the week is Philippians 4. Make it your goal to read it at least twice each day. Try reading it in different versions like The Message or the Good News Bible. Take notes while you read. What do words and statements mean? What actions should you be taking? What questions do you have and how are you going to pursue answers?
23rd Psalm. The line of the week is “He guides me along the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Try to memorize it. Write it down and post in places you’ll see it…on the bathroom mirror or your computer screen or your dashboard. Meditate on it. Contemplate what it means and ways you can put it into practice. Use your notebook again, to write down your responses to this amazing sentence.
Quotes from Celebration of Discipline.
“Simplicity is freedom. Duplicity is bondage. Simplicity brings joy and balance. Duplicity brings anxiety and fear.”
“Nothing must come before the kingdom of God, including the desire for a simple life-style.”
“One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out.”
“The most difficult problem is not finding time but convincing myself that this is important enough to set aside the time.”
“Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification.”
“Meditation sends us into our ordinary world with greater perspective and balance.”
“Thomas Merton says, “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!”
“One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless. We are so accustomed to relying upon words to manage and control others. If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control, but we will never let him take control until we trust him. Silence is intimately related to trust.”
Psychiatrist Carl Jung once remarked, “Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil.”
“Where simplicity abounds, words can be taken at face value: there is no hidden agenda.”
Questions for Reflection.
- Am I pretending to be an expert where I am only an amateur?
- Do I fast-talk as a curtain to hide my true intentions?
- Do I give the impression of being something I’m not?
- Do I try to impress people with my accomplishments?
- Am I content with my level of income?
- Do I act my age?
- Am I a compulsive shopper?
- Am I overly infatuated with technology (or even addicted)?
- Do I buy things I can’t afford?
- Do I neglect my responsibility to the poor and less fortunate?
- Can I allow unfair criticism or gossip about me, without defending myself?
- Do I stretch the truth to make myself look better?
- Do I make excuses for my behavior?
- Do I am for excellence in my work without regard for what people may say or think?
- Can I accept compliments without expressing false modesty?
- Am I the same person in secret that I am in front of people?