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I am pleased to welcome another Renaissance Woman to the blog this week. Rebecca Friedlander is a writer, poet, photographer, film maker, musician, singer, and I’m sure there are many other talents I don’t yet know about. Rebecca is a beautiful sister in Christ and I am honored to be getting to know her.

My first experience with Rebecca Friedlander’s work was watching her film “Finding Beautiful”. I then watched her “Thin Places” film which is a history of the Celtic Church from the 5th Century to the 1900s. I am especially grateful for this film because if I hadn’t watched it I would never have purchased “Listening For the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality” at a thrift store and would never have heard about Pelagius and the fight between his views and those of Augustine. Rebecca has been a guide for me in ways she is not aware (until now!)

Rebecca has published a new book: The Divine Adventure: Spiritual Practices for a Modern-day Disciple. I have ordered it but am waiting for it to arrive. I look forward to reading it. If her bible study modules on her YouTube channel are any indication, the book will be a wonderful resource. Enjoy her post!

Beyond Normal

When I was in Sunday school as a twelve-year-old child, the teacher asked my restless, wiggling class, “How do you get close to God?”

The pat, easy answer was, “Read your Bible and pray.”

None of us knew how to do those things very well. We just knew it was the right thing to say, and it was the most spiritually profound thing we could think of.

I will be the first one to say that reading your Bible and praying are vital to life, but I will also acknowledge that they are keys toward opening an incredible vault of treasures God has prepared for you . . . if you know how to use them. As a young woman, I found myself searching for a deeper walk with Christ that built upon the simple Sunday school formula. Writing a list of prayers and reading the Bible every day were easy, but my heart hungered for a more life-giving, revolutionary journey with Jesus. Envying the early disciples of the first century who walked with Jesus, I longed to follow him with their same connection and abandon.

Faith became to me

a programmed routine . . .

An outward demonstration

of Christianity

That failed to

engage my heart.

Simply put: there was more to the Christian life, and I wanted it—but I wasn’t sure how to walk with Christ in a deep, fulfilling way.

Discovering Jesus, Discovering Discipleship

When I read the Gospels, I discovered a description of Jesus that defied my early Sunday school perceptions. A thoughtful teacher and compelling communicator, he was a far cry from the pasty, stoically posed portraits my mind had painted of him. Instead, the Scriptures offer the fascinating glimpse of a hero who spoke truth, demonstrated love, and set the world on fire with his compelling message. In a time before social media or networking platforms, Jesus set an entire nation ablaze with his earth-shattering words—and he did it all in three and a half years. Christ’s life was like lighting the fuse on a battery of fireworks: revolutionary principles exploding with riveting, world-changing beauty.

Becoming a Modern-Day Disciple

Since the word disciple means “learner,” the term disciplines could be defined as “ways to learn.” These ideas help us practice being a disciple of Jesus in our modern world. Far more than a list of rules or a textbook of prayers, they give us tools to practice discipleship in intentional ways, stirring our passion for Christ and helping us live it out. Like finding a trail of footprints left by Christ and his followers, we can set our feet on the same weathered path and discover the Way they walked.

Spiritual disciplines

help us break from our busy lives,

shift our hearts toward heaven,

give our souls space to breathe.

They create space to partner

our hearts with God’s.

They unleash passion

to us,

in us,

through us.

My new book, The Divine Adventure: Spiritual Practices for a Modern-day Disciple is all about practical ways to pursue our faith and cultivate an intimate walk with Christ. These 12 spiritual practices will help you put feet to your faith and go deep in some of the practices of early saints who walked closely to Christ. More at: www.RebeccaFriedlander.com