Sunday, January 29, 2012

Re-Monking Re-Monk

Friends.

After beginning the re-monk journey last May, i can honestly say that my life has radically changed.  The Lord Jesus has lifted me out of the doldrums of life, healed many broken places in my soul, administered discipline, showered his tender mercies upon my family and me, and has placed a vision in my heart for ministry that i believe He had planned for me all along.  Even this day, he is calling me deeper into His burning heart and putting his divine finger of love on the places in my heart that he wants to be sanctified.

Beloved, the point i'm trying to make is that God CHANGED me in less than a year's time, radically!  Not simply because i followed the pattern outlined on the re-monkurself page, but because He loves me, even when i felt unworthy, bored, disconnected, dark and ugly.  He came after me.  But i'm not going to sugar coat this past year with some ethereal message about God bringing a bored Christian into the intimacies of Christ and suggest that the change came about by living the same way i was living and hoping for supernatural intervention.  In other words, i didn't sit around and wait for change to happen!  I went after it!!!  And HE met me.

In the book of James 4:8 Holy Scripture says, " Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."  We are the door to God's power for transformation on the earth.  We must invite Him to act upon our actions.  John Wesley said,  "God does nothing except in answer to believing prayer."  If we want to be changed, if want want to walk radically and humbly and generously before our God, we must extend the invitation!  He doesn't need us, but He wants to walk with us.  He desires mature partnership!

Often times we come to a place in our Christian walk, where we don't know how to break out; we feel lost or in the dark, or in the doldrums of our faith.  It is precisely in these times, when the Lord is calling us to exercise maturity; to stretch and discipline ourselves in order to connect with Christ! We must do this no matter the cost lest our hearts grow dim and we forfeit the eternal rewards that await those who live uprightly and faithful before their God.  If we keep getting what we are getting by doing what we are doing, then something has got to change for Christ's Sake!

It is at this point of frustration, that we propel ourselves in the grace of the Holy Spirit to go after God regardless of the cost.  Our pet doctrines, our fears, and our comforts may need to be slain again on the altar of sacrifice.  Pain may be necessary.  Fortitude must be cultivated!  There is no way around it if you want to appear before God on that great and terrible day and hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant." 

We created the re-monk path as a practical way to begin this walk back towards God for those who have once felt the fire, but now have only smoldering embers to show.  It is not THE method, rather just one way to help stoke the fire through small acts of sacrifice and commitment to incremental growth. 

With that said, we will be adjusting the format of re-monk in the coming weeks and months to include shorter and more timely messages to encourage you in your journey toward a "re-monked" life.  The posts will still maintain the style and heart of previous longer messages but will be contained in smaller easier to digest packages.  We also hope to change the design in some small ways to make it easier to participate in the re-monking process and more astetically pleasing in an ancient-future sort of way.   This year's focus will be on trying to engage our visitors to participate in radical lifestyle changes for the glory and love of Christ Jesus. 
i am excited also about the number of page hits we have gotten for a seemingly obscure topic such as new-monasticism.  It appears that the interest in the ancient future worshipping community and the desire to reconnect to our historical roots in a postmodern reality is beginning to slowly catch fire around the globe.  we are currently receiving visitors every day from all over the globe and hope to extend our reach even further in the coming year.  We are seeing a surge in the amount of Ukrainian and Russian visitors to our sites as well as those  from India, Germany, China, Brazil, the Philippines, the Netherlands and many more!  i humbly ask for your prayers as we launch out into deeper waters this coming year.  Love and grace be your in the Holy Spirit!

In the Lion, in the Lamb,

mark

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