The sermon on Sunday is only a start. We strongly encourage you to take another step or two this week in order to enter into the process of transformation more fully. Here are some ideas:
1) Read chapters 1-3 from The Good and Beautiful God.
2) Engage in one of these soul-training exercises.
SLEEP (read about this exercise in depth on pages 33-36 in the book): Each of us knows what it’s like to be tired. And, we know how exhaustion can easily keep us from doing and being the people we want to be. This soul-training exercise may take some planning, but there’s no question it will be worth it. Smith suggests two options: (a) Literally schedule one day this week where you are going to sleep as long as you need to. No alarm clock. This may take some planning and perhaps the help of family friends. Or…(b) get at least seven hours of sleep at least three times this week. This is the minimum. If you can get 7.5 or 8 a night — go for it! Again, some discipline and planning may be required…but hey…these are soul-training exercises afterall.
SILENCE (read about this exercise in depth on pages 52-53 in the book): To quote Smith: “Our world is noisy and hurried, and few of us stop to be still…[But] to paraphrase the psalmist, we must be “still” to know that God is “good.” So get a cup of something warm and delicious, find a comfortable chair, and just sit quietly. That’s all.”
Find 5 minutes each day to sit in silence. This will be hard at first, so if helpful, keep a notepad and pen nearby so that you can jot down distracting thoughts — saving them for later. If you’re having trouble quieting your mind, spend the first minute or two reading and meditating on a verse or two (Psalm 46:10 is an example).
3) Participate in Community. Whether you join one of the small groups forming around the Branch, or you purposefully meet with a friend or spouse to talk through the material each week, we hope you’ll lock arms with others.