Articles

Articles

Sample Chapters from Don’s Books

 

Do You Thirst for God? – A chapter from Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health.

Silence and Solitude. . .”For The Purpose Of Godliness” – A chapter from Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life.

Why Join a Church? – A chapter from Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church.

A Spiritual Mind-Set – A chapter from How Can I Be Sure I’m A Christian?

Rest for Your Souls – A chapter from Vanity and Meaning.

Why I am a Baptist – A chapter from a book by this title.

 

Sample Chapters from Simplify Your Spiritual Life.

 

Simplify Your Spiritual Life
“The time has come to evaluate whether what we are doing in our spiritual lives is taking us where we want to go. There is hope.”

Rest Your Soul in “the Simplicity and Purity of Devotion to Christ”
“Instead of refreshing and ravishing his soul with the love of Christ, his spirituality seems complicated, unfulfilling, and feels like just “one more thing to do” in an overbusy life. And so, if you recognize yourself in this bondage, rest your soul afresh in “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Look to Him to be the satisfaction of what God requires from you.”

Use a Bible Reading Plan
“If we are to live by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” then surely He intends for us to at least read every word.”

Know Why You Simplify
“The ultimate reason for all we do should be Christ. Is He the reason why you want to simplify your spiritual life?”

Cultivate Koinonia
“The presence of the Holy Spirit in each other enables Christian relationships to be enriched with a supernatural dimension and spiritual dynamic that unbelievers cannot experience.”

Fellowship Face to Face Part 1 and Part 2
“As long as we maintain meaningful face-to-face relationships, especially with fellow Christians, then our electronic relationships will remain in a good and healthy place. But if we interact with people primarily through glass or some sort of technological screen—such as a television or computer monitor—we shouldn’t be surprised that our relationships begin to seem distant, shallow, or artificial.”

Discipline Yourself
“If you obediently pursue both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus (see Mark 12:28-31; 28:18-20), as well as “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness,” you won’t grow idle. But even though the personal and congregational spiritual disciplines lead to a full life, they can also simplify it.”

Discipline Yourself . . . Without Legalism
“And the fact of the matter is that these biblical disciplines (such as Bible intake, prayer, worship, fellowship, stewardship and fasting) can all be measured in one way or another. What matters is why we measure them. If it’s to reassure ourselves of our soul’s condition based on our external performance, then we’re acting like Pharisees.”

Remember, It’s About Jesus
“Why pray when it appears that your prayers go unanswered? Why keep on reading the Bible when it seems like you’re getting little from it? Why continue worshiping God privately when you feel no spiritual refreshment?”

Take a Prayer Walk
“Simplify the struggle of staying focused in prayer, and refresh both body and soul with a leisurely walk in conversation with God from His Word.”

Do What You Can
“You don’t have time for all your heart desires to experience in your spiritual life. Nevertheless, do what you can do, even though it’s precious little.”

Read One Page Per Day
“When life gets too complex, one of the first parts of a healthy spiritual life to decline is reading. I talk to well-intentioned Christians almost every week who confess to growing piles of books by their “reading” chair, desk, nightstand, and other places, but who never have time to read.”

Delight in the Lord’s Day
“Imagine living to age seventy and spending every Lord’s Day in the ways I’ve suggested. You’d experience ten years of worshiping the Lord with His people, reading great literature, playing with your children or grandchildren, taking walks, enjoying fellowship, and taking naps. Does this sound like a burden to you?”

Imitate Spiritual Heroes
“All human heroes will lead us into error if we follow them uncritically and without discernment. But to have no heroes for fear of being spiritually polluted is to overreact. The right heroes are right almost all the time.”

Recognize the Spirituality of Work
“God ordained work. Before sin entered the world, “the Lord God took the man [Adam] and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). All kinds of work—paid and unpaid—are necessary in the world for us “to subdue it” according to God’s will (Genesis 1:28).”

Know the Good News of Christian Spirituality
“Not only have most people on the planet never heard the good news of Christian spirituality, I am doubtful whether even many churchgoers have heard it clearly presented. And some who have heard it thousands of times are tentative when asked about it.”

Learn to Be Content with Christ
“Contentment decreases our dependence upon things and circumstances, and increases a restful dependence upon Christ.”

Simplify Family Worship
“Somehow, though, many men have gotten the idea that family worship is complicated, or that it requires time-consuming preparation. But it need not require any more preparation than your personal worship of God. And the entire experience can be reduced to three simple elements: read, pray, sing.”

Sing the Table Blessing
“No one wants to bore or be bored when giving thanks to God in prayer. But when we thank Him for the same thing (our food) every few hours more than a thousand times a year, year after year, it’s easy to find ourselves praying on autopilot (a practice Jesus condemns as “vain repetitions” in Matthew 6:7). Singing the table blessing can refresh the routine.”

Prepare for Evangelism with a Simple Outline
“Several years ago I developed an outline to hang my thoughts on, along with at least two key verses for each section. I don’t follow it woodenly in every situation, for each evangelistic encounter is unique. And sometimes I condense it a bit. But having a full presentation of the gospel ready on my lips does give me a sense of direction and a feeling of preparedness.”

Take Up Your Cross Daily and Follow Jesus
“As Luther put it, “true theology and recognition of God are in the crucified Christ.”1 So rather than finding God by ascending to Him through our efforts, wisdom, or self-initiated experiences, God has descended to us in Jesus whose glory was in the least-expected of places—the cross—and in a way where He can be found by faith alone.”

Rely on the Authority and Guidance of Scripture
“People also tend to repackage the truth about the nature of God and spirituality. They imagine God as they want Him to be (“Well, my God isn’t like that!”), despite what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible. And people want to relate to God through their own self-determined kind of spirituality. But God has established His Word—the Bible—as the final authority and infallible guide for true and eternal spirituality.”

Read and Meditate
“Have you ever read a few chapters in your Bible, closed it, and then realized, “I don’t remember a thing I’ve read”? When this happens, don’t blame your age, IQ, or education, for they’re not the cause. Nearly all Bible readers frequently experience this forgetfulness. In most cases, however, the problem has more to do with the method of engaging God’s Word than anything else.”

Ask, and You Will Receive Something Good
“One way to simplify your prayer life is simply to ask. Perhaps more often than we realize, we want God to do something for us or to give something to us, and yet we haven’t actually asked Him for it.”

Don’t Always Pray the Same Prayer
“Some people always pray the same prayer, whether they pray it just once a day or repeat it many times. They may use words straight out of Scripture, even praying one of the prayers of the Bible word for word, or they may speak sentences of a merely human origin. Either way, in Heaven their prayers must sound like an unchanging voicemail recording.”

Probe Your Soul with Questions
“Using an established series of soul-probing questions can simplify the ongoing process of obedience to such commands, and make it easier for us to keep short accounts with God.”

Sanctify Your Suffering as Spirituality
“Thinking this way helps to simplify the spiritual life because it simplifies our understanding of the nature of spirituality. Instead of mentally cloistering our spirituality to the strictly religious areas of life (such as devotional habits or church), this approach seeing even our sufferings as spirituality enables us to realize that in some sense everything is spirituality, even our sufferings.”

Build the Wealth of Simplicity with Contentment
“Wealth comes in many forms. In today’s world, one form of wealth is simplicity. The more freedom one has from the frustrations of an increasingly complex world, the wealthier he or she is. And one of the ways of simplifying the spiritual life is to learn contentment.”

Learn to Be Content
“Contentment decreases our dependence upon things and circumstances, and increases a restful dependence upon Christ.”

Practice Spiritual Multi-tasking
Just because we can isolate a discipline (like prayer, Bible intake, worship, or fasting) and examine it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is practiced in isolation from other disciplines.