Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Running as a spiritual Practice

Here my reflection about a spiritual practice that has been relevant for me lately:

I have always tried to keep a serious training program, some years ago I started to wake up earlier to walk, I couldn’t run because I at that time, I were too heavy to do it, by these times I got two friends who were willing to go walk with me every Saturday so we did it for a year. When came the idea to participate on a race, we did our best to accomplish the 5 km of the course, but better than finishing the race, it was such an amazing experience, we were among 8000 people enjoying a beautiful morning to run, walk and to exercise, the view prior to the launch line was so nice with all those people running those blue skirts with some other colors. Everybody on a good mood, some people so better prepared for running, but also some people very like me at that time: running a little, walking some time and running again, but everybody happy and in a good will, besides feeling so happy on being there, I was happy I could finish all course prior to 40 minutes and I was willing to repeat this kind of experience more times in this year.

So I started a deeper contact with a friend of mine who offered himself to prepare some weekly training spreadsheets to better my physical conditions and to get better performance. We started a kind of discipleship where he listed what kind of activities I should do (running, muscle exercises) and I would return to him my performance, doubts and some consequences, it is ironic how I started to have a good taste of discipleship here. It was good to learn how to run, the effects of food, exercises, heart controlling etc. Our friendship got so better so it is good to learn as it is good to teach too, so both of us are having fun with these experiences, we have not only time of sharing knowledge but also sharing victories as long as I have increased my performance through the races I have participated. Because of these new kinds of concerns, I started to be careful about the quality and quantity of what I eat, how much I should rest and how to run and then, I started to lose weight, to sleep better, and now I am able to even more.

It is interesting to think how many friends I started to make when I started these kind of activities, besides the folks who are running with me, there’s so many people willing to treat their selves better and as it is certified that this is a very good way to do so, when people note that you are losing weight without needing to get drugs, they want to know more how I did it, so we start to share our lives more frequently.

Thinking in all these matters, I realize how spiritual all those things are as long as when you see your body working better, and also your heart and even your brain started to work better when you move, you think that your whole body is now working as it is supposed to be. You think your body is not supposed to stay seated all your life between a cubicle and after office in a couch, your body is supposed to move and to challenge you to even more adventure. That is why you see so many people happy and with a good mood to share smiles, water and to cheer you up in those 5 or 10 km of race. I use to tell that I participate in these races instead of competing in them, when I am in a race, I belong to a people willing to live more as to live better, I can feel it in all course. I also feel as participating in my city, as I can run in some streets where prior I could run just by car. When I see so many good people thinking they are closer to God when they exercise and they feel so healthy and see their bodies responding so well, I think how am I needed there to participate also in their victories and also to help them to complete this journey to God with Jesus Christ.

Please find more spiritual practices at Christine Sine blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is a spiritual practice?

I have grown up in a Presbiterian tradition, what I mean here in Brazil is that I am supposed to have a very good biblical knowledge background and also very good leadership and administrative skills, though when I started to research about emerging churches phenomenon, I started to think how I lacked spiritual practices in my formation, that is why I have been learning a lot with a group of people in their missional blogs, specially from Mustard Seed Associates who have repeteadly make very good challenges to our faith.
Latelly Christine Sine started an amazing series with reflections from a wide variety of people telling about what they mean about Spiritual Practices. As I told you I lack a lot in this area so I have been learning a lot on this, but Christine also asked me regarding this issue, as challenging as it got to be, I chose to tell about how my running activities are meant by spiritual for me.
I hope to post it tomorrow.
I have seen such amazing reflections about seeing many activities as spiritual practies, so you will have and updated list in this post, and I recomend you to follow on.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My good news day

Since Easter, JR Woodward has made an excelent job on gathering so good people to post daily on good news for their city, since then we have been had very good articles with very good insights from different perspectives.
Today is my Good News day (besides my birthday also), so you can read it and comment.
These series will bring more people to post until Pentecost.

Friday, May 01, 2009

No panic nor ignorance

As a father, I have got very concern about this swine flu and tried to read everything I could about this virus propagation and its coming to Brazil, I could read two very interesting posts, the first from Tall Skinny Kiwi "Swine flu and a calm, reasonable, rational Church" and the second from Eugene Cho "our church’s response to the H1N1 - swine flu", though I am very sorry for all that are mourning for their loved ones died or are so concerned by their sons with flu, it seems there are a panic that spread in a higher pace than the virus.

Thinking about panic, I remembered a very wierd day here in Sao Paulo it happened last year, in an earlier day, a mob organization attacked some police stations in our city and around, I remember that we started this day shocked by the news, but listening that this organization would do even more at this day, so at my office we started to receive some news from friends that mobsters attacked train stations and shot buses, so we started to think that things got out of control and we heard that police advised to get home early and not to stay out after eight at night, with those spreading news we got very concerned with friends out at office to, my company dismissed all employes to go home early, I could return home at 2:00PM with a 6 o'clock traffic. at 7PM, downtown was empty.

Nothing happened! I thought it was the weirdest situation I experienced at my city, a one of the biggest cities of the world was emptied because of panic, and I could see how panic is powerfull to change behaviour of a hole population!

And that is what I could reflect on these two posts, as long as all media is spreading information about H1N1, people get concern and searches for more information for H1N1, in the middle of all moviment, we should have voices of reason to makes people think about what is really happening and to make the best behavior to stay healthy.

No panic with no irresponsability.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best witness for a post-christian world

I have just readed "Peppermint-Filled Piñatas: Breaking Through Tolerance and Embracing Love" from Eric Bryant.
I liked the book very much, Eric did a very good job on discussing this very sensitive issue about "Love Apologetics", he shared so nice stories on his life and ministry with great honesty and good humour, what I could sense after his stories is that church has been so confident in programs and strategies to reach the unchurched that we underestimated the best that Jesus gave to us that is His love and acceptance to others.
There is some issues such as racism and polarity between democrat and republic parties that is not so problematic here in Brazil, but our church also need a lot to know what means to be community, churches multiply a lot here because we also have many splits due to desagreement or ego fights.
It was so good to read such experiences that I could simpathyze so much with him, he writes very simply and his purposes are reachable to everyone, I recommend this book as a good moment to think about how we as church have done things and how we could best spread this gospel loving and being really present to others as Jesus did.