I have recently come across three resources that I thought fit well with the Christian Life Hacker philosophy that more is not always better and that spiritual practices should fit our personality.
1. d365.org – This is a daily devotional site that is so simple in its approach but at the same time very powerful. First, the devotional text is broken into five sections – Pause, Listen, Think, Pray, Go. Each section is short and light on text. The Listen and Go sections include scriptures while the Think section has a brief devotional. To get to each section, you click on the next button. Just the fact that you cannot scroll through the devotional prevents our scan and click urges and allows your mind to dwell on each section a little bit longer so that it can make more of an impact. The best part is that every time you visit the devotional a musical selection will begin. The selections are pretty and reflective and help the reader awaken their more spiritual side. This resource is great for those who prefer limited reading, music, and more participatory activities.
2. Word For The Year – Dan Britton, executive vice president of ministry programs at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has for years asked God for a word to bring focus and development for each upcoming year. Through much prayer, fasting, and scripture searching, he takes the word that God has given him and lets God show him how to live that word out over the next year. Britton, in an essay on the exercise, gives two big cautions. One, you have to let God choose the word. Two, be careful, “This exercise is not for people who want to pick a nice, comfortable word that will have no significant impact on their lives,” Britton says. “It truly is a discipline for those who want to press in and see God do great things in and through them.”
As you might have guessed, my word for 2012 is “Word”, as I attempt to live out the word that is scripture and the word that is Jesus. I like this exercise because it brings focus and intention to the entire year. I know that 2012 will be a journey through and about the Bible and I look forward to that journey. Hear more about the “One Word” exercise in the video below.
3. Praying in Color – The biggest myth in Christian living is that we all experience God in the same way. Thankfully, God doesn’t abide by this myth as he has demonstrated through scripture that he handles most people individually. This is why Praying in Color is so welcomed. Instead of our prayers being simple words and thoughts that so often hinder us, Praying in Color lets you put your prayers into visual form. Sybil Macbeth explains,
If you are word-weary, stillness-challenged, easily distracted, or just in need of a new way to pray, give “praying in color” a try. Men do it, women do it; teenagers do it; and children do it. All you need: paper, a black pen, colored markers or colored pencils, and Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God.
Individuals commit their prayers to images and drawings that bring life to prayers and allow your spirit to work through the process of praying instead of the highly linear approach to prayer common among so many Christians. If you are more visually oriented and like to make your spirituality a little more participatory, this approach is for you.