Delight: God’s Original and Ultimate Goal

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

Delight, God’s Original and Ultimate Goal

Dallas Willard once defined love as an affection that’s always directed toward what is good for its objects.  From Creation to Restoration, God’s good has always been directed toward us!

God’s goal, the primary agenda of the heavenly Father, has always been and remains – to this day – that we take delight in Him. This goal, or desire, toward us is birthed from His love for us.

God’s love is on full and magnificent display in the Creation account.  In the creation account, …
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Moving from Devotional Life to a Devoted Life!

In Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Moving from “Devotional Life” to a Devoted Life!

Most mornings these days I hear my middle child stirring around 7:00 a.m.  It’s summertime – typically a time of year when Monday morning would call for sleep, well into the day.

Yet Luke rolls out of bed – quite literally – around 7:00 a.m., on his own.

Why?

Because summer workouts are in full – swing.  His injury is slowly healing and he’s working hard to be a vital part of this year’s team.

He knows that the part he may …
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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: Formation Happens Best in the Context of Community.

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

Football, Formation, and Faith: Formation Happens Best in the Context of Community.

“On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” — Bill Belichick

We’ve often heard the saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

And, true while that may be, most communal endeavors – ones that contribute to lasting change – drink from a deeper well.

Team, or teamwork, is like the water that pours from the tap.

The reservoir below the surface is …
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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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Football, Formation, and Faith:10 Things I Am Learning From My Son’s High School Team.

In Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I’ve spent years watching my children compete in various athletic endeavors. I’ve also enjoyed witnessing the development of their other talents, beyond the field-of-play.  Such as their artistic and musical talents, to name only two.

They are, all three of them, extremely talented individuals!

As I reflect on all of these experiences, there is one – more recently at least – that stands out above the others.  It stands out because it relates directly to what I do as a pastor and the vision/mission of the church I serve.

You …
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The Bible is a Living, Breathing Document Designed to Bring Life!

In Contemplation, Formation, Prayer, Psalms, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Bible is a living, breathing document designed to bring life to the heart and soul of its reader!

The writer of Hebrews makes a most powerful proclamation in this regard when he says, in Hebrews 4:12 – 13,

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed…
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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. 4, Mediation that’s Uniquely Christian

In Contemplation, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Meditation that’s Uniquely Christian

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16

The subject of Colossians 3:16 is “the word of Christ.”

While that seems self-evident, it’s important to note a few implications of this fact.  First, the subject is not me or you.  The subject is always Christ.

This is why Paul invites us to surrender.

We often come to the Word …
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