The Awakening Practicing God’s Presence in Our Midst
This is a publication from the desk of Pastor Gene Yotka depicting his and other people’s observations of God’s Presence in and around our Epworth UMC community and beyond.
Hi Everyone, I pray blessings upon you, that you are experiencing the presence of God in every moment of your days. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak in your heart.
Exploring Our Spiritual Dispositions Part 2
This week we continue to consider spiritual dispositions1 as outlined in last week’s Awakening Letter, as we take a look at what I refer to as dispositions of attitude. Attitude is the habitual way we think or feel about someone or something, which is typically reflected in behavior. Thus our attitudinal dispositions are based on thoughts (that which we think about, ponder, or ruminate) which become manifest as reflexive habitual non-thinking actions. We find our attitudinal dispositions on display in such things as our worldview and politics. These dispositions create our reflexive viewpoint, outlook, inclination or position on a myriad of life topics and events. All good spiritual dispositions are a gift of grace from a grace-full God. The good dispositions of attitude, however, are dispositions that we can develop by thinking about them and meditating on them. Failure to consider these dispositions leaves us at the mercy of the world around us, which will impose it’s dispositions upon us. If we fail to think deeply about these most basic of all God given dispositions we will be left to develop dispositions based on the soundbite culture all around us, which will form all kinds of dispositions based on scant information. Worldly dispositions such as impatience, greed, self-centeredness, and racism are all based on shallow thinking, often on a word from someone else posing as an authority. Good attitudinal spiritual dispositions flow from deep meditation on eternal perennial wisdom which God has provided for all people. These dispositions are available to all people as part of the image of God in which we are all created, thus they come to us in a prevenient manner within the development of our relationship with God. When we meditate with our mind and heart on these good dispositions we become open to their manifestation in our lives, which then leads us from the temporal to the eternal. This first begins with a willingness to ponder and think about these God given dispositions. It is important to realize that it is naïve to try to obtain these dispositions, as to do so would be tantamount to trying to obtain something we already have. The dispositions we seek to display in our lives are not something we find as much as a gift of which we simply become aware, which is already implanted deeply in our souls. After we become aware of these God given dispositions we then learn to practice and develop them until they become habitual. The dispositions of attitude that we will address include: patience/longsuffering, kindness, generosity, gentleness, compassion/mercy and self- control/sober minded. We will prepare in the following manner as we encounter each of these in six meditative readings. 1. Sit quietly and comfortably. 2. Feel yourself breathing. 3. Take three deep rhythmic breathes. 4. Settle into the space around you. 5. Close your eyes and listen to, (or read and listen if you are doing this alone) the reading. What stands out or strikes you as particularly important to your life situation right now? Meditate on this for a few moments. 6. Speak out loud the word, verse, phrase or concept that has been placed on your heart. 7. In as little as one word or, at the most, a sentence or two, write down what you have heard in your heart as prompted by the questions provided. 8. Take three minutes of silence 9. Answer the questions provided.
Meditations on Dispositions of Attitude
Follow the process previously outlined for each of the following six meditations. Patience (longsuffering)
Meditate on 2 Peter 3:8-15a 1. How does this Scripture speak to you with regard to patience? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe your level of patience?
Kindness Meditate on Ephesians 2:1-10 1. How does this Scripture speak to you with regard to kindness? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe your level of kindness?
Generosity Meditate on 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 1. How does this Scripture speak to you with regard to generosity? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe your level of generosity?
Gentleness Meditate on Isaiah 40:10-11 1. How does this Scripture speak to you with regard to gentleness? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe your level of gentleness?
Meditate on Titus 2:1-8 1. How does this Scripture speak to you with regard to self-control? 2. What action, if any, has this reading stirred up in you? 3. Based on this meditation, write a sentence or two depicting how you would describe your level of self- control
1 The Awakening Institute offers a five week course on the development of spiritual dispositions. For details please email you request to firstname.lastname@example.org Please feel free to submit stories, observations and perceptions of God’s love, peace, teaching, conviction, reproof, and/or correction in your life. Basically anything that may lead us to a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The testimonies, observations and edifications of God’s people are the things that assure us of the Lord’s promise to be with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).