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Devotion: A Sacred and Signature Affection!

In Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Habits by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Devotion: A Sacred and Signature Affection! “The material creation is not just some detour from our heavenly existence. It is the very good abode created by our heavenly Father. Creation is not some icky, regrettable mistake on God’s part. It is the product of his love.” James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love.

It sounds strange to claim that delight begins with devotion.  When we think of delight, or things we enjoy, we intuitively assume that devotion is the last thing required.  Who needs devotion to enjoy things like …
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Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 5: Vision Precedes Victory

In Christian Leadership, Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 5: Vision Precedes Victory

The past few weeks, temps have swelled above 90 degrees with humidity over 70% and a heat index that often makes it feel well over 100 degrees down here in South Florida.

Yet, throughout the South Florida region, football teams are running two-hour+ practices to get ready for the upcoming season.

Why expend so much effort during the most unbearable part of the year?

Vision, that’s why.…
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Football, Formation, and Faith: What’s Practice Got to Do with Pentecost? Pt. 2

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Football, Formation, and Faith: What’s Practice Got to Do with Pentecost? Pt. 2

Community is experienced with one another only as devotion is practiced by one another.  This is clearly seen in team sports.  The practice of devotion is a lost art.

That’s too bad.

And though it’s lost, it’s easily regained.  Particularly by people of faith.

It’s easily regained because it (devotion) is the fullest and most notable sign and wonder of Pentecost.

It’s also the sign and wonder that we are invited to experience by way of repetition …
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Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 3: It’s Always More than Friday Night!

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Vero Beach Fighting Indians by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Pt. 3: How Well We Perform Does Matter, But’s It’s Always More than Friday Night

Every high school football player knows that the goal is to win on Friday night.  That’s why they practice.  They repeat plays and schemes over and over and over again so that, come Friday night, they behave on and act from the habits they’ve developed in practice.

I’ve watched as the Defensive Coordinator and his staff, have run a particular defensive scheme over and over again.  At times, it seems, they’ve focused on one or …
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The Ten Things I’ve Learned about Formation While Watching My Son’s High School Football Team

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation, Vero Beach Fighting Indians by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Pt. 2: Formation (Development) takes time and is not easily measured in the short-run.  

Joe Erhmann, former NFL player and volunteer Defensive Coordinator for Gilman High in Baltimore, Maryland, has spent his life helping boys become men.

His story, beautifully captured by Jefferey Marx, in his bestselling, Season of Life: A Football Star, A Boy, A Journey to Manhood, reminds me that growth and development are best measured in years, rather than days – or even seasons.

In a particularly moving portion of the book, a mother asks the coach …
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You Are What You Love!

In Christian Leadership, Community, Discipleship, Fully Awake, Habits, Love by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

For many, discipleship is more about what you know than it is about what you love.  James K.A. Smith, in his excellent book, You Are What You Love, challenges the assumption that drives this cognition-as-belief model of discipleship.

Smith suggests that “Discipleship is a way to curate your heart, to be attentive to and intentional about what you love.”

He argues, quite persuasively, that discipleship is an issue of what we love more than it is one of what we know.…
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Practicing the Ancient Art of Reading Well!

In Christian Leadership, Contemplation, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

We are not born readers.  If we were, then focusing on how we read would be unnecessary.

The art of reading well is one that has to be developed over time.  It’s not native, or instinctive, by a longshot.

Reading is a learned art or skill.

If you doubt what I am saying, then you’ve never raised a child.…
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What is A Contemplative Bible Study? Pt. 2: Mountains, Metaphor, and Meditation

In Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Habits, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

What is A Contemplative Bible Study? Pt. 2: Mountains, Metaphor, and Meditation

Last week I retreated with a group of fellow believers at a Franciscan Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  This retreat is the final in a series of retreats facilitated by the Apprentice Institute and James Bryan Smith†.  Though it was our final retreat together, it was my first visit to Colorado – ever.

Having heard much about Colorado’s beautiful landscape, I was anticipating some wonderful views filled with moments of majesty and awe.

 

And, though what I …
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What is a “Contemplative” Bible Study?

In Christian Leadership, Contemplation, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Our culture is, perhaps, the most distracted and disengaged culture in human history.

New York Times Journalist, Tony Schwartz, recently noticed how distracted he’s become when trying to read a book – something an award-winning Journalist and author ought to be able to do with ease.   Upon reflection, he realized that unread books were piling up in his home: mocking him, rebuking him, as they lay silently – untouched – on the bedside table.  In an insightful article, he writes:

“Instead of reading them, I was spending too many hours …
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