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Posts Tagged ‘The Cross Centered Life’

Well, I have rather failed in my spiritual discipline of blogging The Cross Centered Life this Lent. I’m about half way through reading though and am going to go and snuggle in front of the fire and finish it just now.

Despite not blogging, I have been chewing over what I’ve learnt from the book. I think I’ve been encouraged to direct my thoughts to the cross more – to the suffering of Jesus and the sovereignty of God. This has really helped me as I’ve thought about people I love who are in difficult situations. I always feel that I should be able to do something, but I know I need to trust more in God’s power and control.

Cross

If you are wanting to think more about C J Mahaney’s book, the Vicar has put all his course materials up on his blog.

Happy Easter to all my readers. I’m praying that I will be more cross centred in my life this coming year. And you too.

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Chapter 1 – Restating the Obvious

So the first week of Lent is nearly up, and I’ve read the first chapter of C J Mahaney’s book. It was a great reminder to me of where my life, especially my thought life, should be focussed.

The Vicar's Wife's Lent Book

The Vicar's Wife's Lent Book

In this chapter he sets out his aims for the book.
He wants his readers to know that:

The key to joy, to growth, to passion isn’t hiding from you. It’s right before your eyes.

It’s the gospel

Mahaney begins his book by imagining Timothy first reading Paul’s second letter to him. As Paul faces death, his final word to Timothy is to guard the gospel, the one truth, the one message.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel                                         2 Timothy 2v8

Mahaney reminds his readers that

Jesus Christ died so that sinners would be reconciled to God and forgiven by God.

He calls this the ‘foundational reality’ of the message that Paul taught and the ‘only essential message in all of history’. If our lives are not centred on this message we can find that

  1. We often lack joy
  2. We don’t consistently grow in spiritual maturity
  3. Our love for God lacks passion
  4. We are always looking for some new technique, some ‘new truth’ or new experience that will pull all the pieces of our faith together.

I don’t know about you, but I can relate to all these symptoms. I’m not a very emotional person, so I think I can dismiss my lack of joy and passion ‘because I’m just not like that’. I also have excuses for my failure to grow in maturity, pretending that I’m already mature – I’m a Vicar’s wife after all. And a new quiet time book will always be the solution to my failures.

So I’m very much looking forward to reading more and getting back to the cross this Lent. Chapter 2 is really short, so keep on reading!

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has one, so why not me, eh? I’m such an Anglican!

Actually, the Curate has chosen a book to read be read by members of our new church over Lent. And I’m going to read along too, although I probably won’t be able to make the evening meetings when they discuss the book and go deeper, as I’ll be babysitting at the Vicarage.

The book he’s chosen is one we looked at last year at our current church during Lent. It’s called ‘The Cross Centered Life’ by C J Mahaney, an American pastor (hence the -er spelling of centre).

The Cross Centered Life

The book has the great advantage of being very short (only seven chapters and about 70 pages) and is a very easy read. I’m going to dig out my copy now, and shall be reading a chapter or so a week over Lent. Lent begins the day after Pancake Day, Tuesday 24th February.

Why not get a copy yourself and join me in the Vicarage kitchen as I drink a mug of tea, eat some flapjack and think through what I’ve been reading? I’ll be blogging my progress.

Amazon are currently supplying it for £5.59. A bargain for some great encouragement to keep focused on the central truth of Christian faith. Better order it now, as Amazon say that it can take 1-3 weeks to deliver.

There’s also a terrific cd from Sovereign Grace music which goes with the book.

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