Child of God – Readings and Resources

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This winter, we invite you to continue (or begin) personal spiritual practices by spending fifteen minutes a day with God in scripture, prayer, and solitude. Use this guide for your daily reading and enrich your time with recommended music and books.

SPENDING TIME ALONE WITH GOD

  1. Listen to a song from the playlist.
  2. Read a scripture passage from this week’s selections
  3. Spend 3-5 minutes in silence
  4. Write down something that you sense God would want you to believe in or do today.

Child of God Playlist

As we begin a new year and a new message series- these gentle melodies and profound lyrics remind us of who God is- our good Father, who lovingly reconciled us to himself through the Son and lives and breathes in us through the Holy Spirit. And we remember who we are- dearly beloved children of God, fearfully and wonderfully made, precious in his sight.

Good Good Father – Housefires
Who You Say I Am (Live/Acoustic) – Hillsong Worship
I Am Loved – Mack Brock
No Longer Slaves – I AM THEY
How He Loves – David Crowder Band
Dear God – Cory Asbury
We Dance (Live) – Bethel, Steffany Gretzinger
Canvas and Clay (Live) – Pat Barrett
I Am Loved – Maverick City Music, Naomi Raine
You Are For Me – Kari Jobe
Run to the Father – Cody Carnes
Dancing on the Waves (Live) – We the Kingdom
Lean Back – Capital City Music, Dion Davis
Out of Hiding (Father’s Song) – Steffany Gretzinger
Control (Acoustic) – Tenth Avenue North
Open Space – Housefires
My Soul Sings – Maverick City Music, Dante Bowe

Book Recommendations

Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson
The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart
The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard
The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri J.M. Nouwen
Here and Now, Henri J.M. Nouwen
Life of the Beloved, Henri J.M. Nouwen
More, Greg L. Hawkins
The Gift of Being Yourself, David Benner
Surrender to Love, David Benner
Desiring God’s Will, David Benner
Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli
Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman
Open Mind, Open Heart, Thomas Keating
In Search of Guidance, Dallas Willard
Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning
The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen
The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning
Mere Christianity, CS Lewis
Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible, Howard G Hendricks & William D Hendricks
Draw the Circle: The 40 day prayer challenge, Mark Batterson
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, Ruth Haley Barton
Soul Keeping: Caring for The Most Important Part of You, John Ortberg
Living Christ’s Presence, Dallas Willard

Series Artwork

Art: The Baptism of Jesus

Artist: Mike Moyers (USA)

Painted in 2017

Notes from the Artist:
As I thought about how to portray the story of Jesus’ baptism in Mark’s Gospel, I felt compelled to paint what happened next—AFTER the baptism of Jesus.

What happened next seems rather anti-climatic compared to a ripping sky, a spirit dove and a voice from heaven. After Jesus’ baptism, there were no celebrations, no baptismal certificates, no luncheons with family and friends. After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit lead him into the wilderness—for 40 days of solitude and fasting. “Immediately,” records Mark, without so much as a hug or a pat-on-the-back from John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit takes Jesus into the wilderness, (or as my pastor so eloquently puts it, “into the wild.”) Without change of clothes or even a towel, Jesus walks away soaking wet.

This painting depicts that moment when Jesus steps out of the water, and embarks on a spirit-lead wilderness journey. If we really think about our life after baptism, Jesus’ experience doesn’t seem all that uncommon. After baptism, there is a lifetime full of struggle, suffering, journeying, temptation, and uncertainty. After we are baptized, we live “real-life,” which at times can be a wilderness full of confusion, disappointment, pain, and loneliness. God’s grace does not spare us from hard times, but it does help us deal with it. Though we feel so alone at times, we can take comfort that we are not alone. Like Jesus after his baptism, we have the Holy Spirit as our companion and guide. We have the assistance of angels, from simple smiles and random acts of kindness to loving and nurturing communities of faith. If we listen, we can still hear the echo of God’s baptismal claim skipping across the water in the distance, “Your are my child, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.”

About 3 quarters of this painting is water & reflection. In the rippling water you can see a distorted image of Jesus and a hint of the spirit dove leading him away. It is not unlike how we might see Jesus today— through ancient stories, fragments, and parables. We also see reflections of Jesus in other people’s acts of charity, love, and sacrifice. The church has always struggled to capture a definitive, crystal-clear understanding of Jesus. There is plenty about Jesus that simply remains a mystery. But we should not be discouraged about this uncertainty. Mystery deepens our faith and demands that we look harder to find the Gospel in the reflections. It inspires us to keep us looking for more glimpses of the living Christ in the here-and-now.

Life is full of wilderness moments. And sometimes God’s spirit leads us straight to it in order to serve — soaking wet with gratitude and grace from our baptisms. As followers of Christ, we live as reflections of Christ, and take the wilderness head-on. And it doesn’t stop there. Like Mark’s Gospel account, the spirit can transport us anywhere—to our workplaces, our schools, our marketplaces, and our homes.

God calls us to walk “wet” every day of our lives, and be reflections of the Gospel everywhere to everyone. For it is with the waters of grace, dripping off of God’s children, that God washes the world.

 

Website: www.mikemoyersfineart.com

Art: Nathaniel Under the Fig Tree

Artist: James Tissot (France)

Painted between 1886-1894

Art: The Shores of Galilee

Artist: Miki De Goodaboom (Spain)

Painted in 2011

Website: https://miki-fonvielle.pixels.com/


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