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My favorite class in junior high was Shop Class. Why? Because they let us play with dangerous tools. I know this is hard to imagine in today’s world, but they turned us loose with table saws, band saws, routers, drills, presses, hammers, and my favorite - the lathe.
A lathe might not strike you as a dangerous contraption… but try attaching your piece of wood incorrectly and see what happens! Our teacher was out of the room one day, and the 24-inch table-leg I was turning flew off. I remember it grazing my right shoulder and spinning its way to the far corner of the room. It hit the wall with a loud crash! Oops!! I retrieved and reset it before our teacher came back. Shop Class was fun… we were messing around with real stuff. And the more dangerous the tool - the better we liked it.
Our upcoming ThinkNEXT, October 10-12 - in Midland TX, is designed to turn you loose with powerful and dangerous tools… tools God uses for spiritual formation. These tools are not the kind used to shape wood or plastic - they’re practices God has historically used to shape souls. You probably already know about some of the tools we’ll introduce - you might even use them occasionally. But do you really know how to use them? Are you seeing them used to their fullest potential?
Our guide will be Jan Johnson. I first met Jan when I was on a 2-week retreat with Dallas Willard as part of my doctoral studies at Fuller. She came and served as a spiritual director. She probably doesn’t remember it, but she used the tool of “spiritual direction” to nail my hide to the wall in a kind way. Like most of you, I don’t really hear or respond well to nuance… I need my medicine straight. I drink it neat. Jan has a way of serving it up straight. And I know you’ll be blessed. Jan has authored 22 books (www.JanJohnson.org). She’s a pastor’s spouse in ministry - she’s raised children - and she’s in pursuit of God.
This ThinkNEXT is all about your own pursuit of God. So bring your spouse and leaders and get introduced to some powerful and dangerous tools that just might reshape your life! We are being hosted by GCR in homes - so please note that we can’t really accommodate last minute RSVPs… we need to know if you're coming as soon as you can let us know!
I realize that my mention of “Shop Class” dates me… it’s likely that most of you never had a shop class. They don’t do that kind of thing much anymore. And frankly, that’s a perfect metaphor for where we are with the ways of spiritual formation … things previous generations simply knew how to do have been largely lost to us. Come learn to play with some dangerous tools!