No, not that kind of 'under the influence' that often accompanies a new year and is followed by a hangover. I am thinking about the best kind way of being under the influence. It is the process of opening your life to the thoughts, teachings, and expereince of people who have insights that will help you to grow. I am interested in growing!
I am not interested in standing still, maintaining, or just passing time. If we are not moving forward we are loosing ground. If we are standing still we are getting stagnate. If we are just holding on we might think about releasing our grip so we can climb higher.
Right now, I am growing under the influence of Henri Nouwen. You see some of his writings listed in my current reading list. He has opened my eyes to some new ways of seeing the world of ministry with some fresh images of God's Word. It is good and I would highly recommend his insights.
I have been working on a short series of sermons that I will offer in the next month. They are "movements of the heart" or ways the spiritual life shifts from dark to light. How growth happens in different categories of our journey together.
I share the topics with you just to keep me honest...accountability is an important ingredient of spiritual growth!
Four Movements of the Heart
1. From Law to Grace
2. From Resentment to Gratitude
3. From Isolation to Community
4. From Fear to Love
Just listing them causes me to reflect on where I am on the continuum of faith. How about you?