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October 9, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter
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Every week, we receive emails and phone calls from many believers who are grieved because of the apostasy they see taking place. They share their stories and often say they cannot find a church that still preaches the Word of God. Many of these who call or write are heartbroken because grown children or their grandchildren have been pulled into deception.

The apostle Paul exhorted the leaders of the church to watch over their flocks that God had given them, warning that savage wolves would come in. May those pastors, elders and leaders of the body of Christ who have turned away from the truth of the Word of God return and start watching over their flocks again, and may those who have remained faithful be comforted and encouraged in Him.

"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I [Paul] know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears." Acts 20:28-31

Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet: Riding the "Tides of Change" on the Heels of Mysticism
 
While many Christians are beginning to see the unbiblical nature of the teachings of certain emerging church leaders, countless churches and church leaders are inadvertently following the emerging church through their participation of Purpose Driven Life. Rick Warren has and continues to show support for even the most avid emergent leaders. In this week's edition of Rick Warren's "Ministry Toolbox" newsletter, he favorably quotes another emergent teacher, just one of the many times such quotes have shown up in the newsletter. This week's quote, by New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet, is from Sweet's 1996 book, The Jesus Prescription for a Healthy Life:
Jesus comes not so that we might have "my so called life," as the hit baby buster television show put it. Nor did Jesus come that we might have a "so-so," bland mediocre life, or an artificial life. Jesus came to show us the way to a healthy, hyper-real, Spirit-filled, life-plus life. The Word made flesh to the full came to make all flesh full of the Word.
While this quote, in and of itself may seem rather innocuous, other factors need to be looked at to understand the implications of Rick Warren quoting Leonard Sweet. In looking at the whole picture, it will be easier to identify the significance of this connection. In 1995, just a year prior to the release of The Jesus Prescription for a Healthy Life, Warren and Sweet did an audio series together called Tides of Change. Ray Yungen in his book, A Time of Departing, discusses the audio series as well as the Warren/Sweet connection:
In the set, Warren and Sweet talk about "new frontiers," "changing times" and a "new spirituality" on the horizon. Later, in Sweet's 2001 book, Soul Tsunami, Warren gives an endorsement that sits on the back as well as on the front cover of the book. Of that book, Warren says:
Leonard Sweet ... suggests practical ways to communicate God's unchanging truth to our changing world. Click here to read the rest of this article.

 

Lifeway Stores Says OK to New Age Sympathizing Authors
 Keating, Sweet, Blanchard and Nouwen "consistent with basic tenets of the Christian faith?"

The infiltration of New Age books in online Christian bookstores is a growing concern for many discerning Christians. American Family Association and LifeWay Stores have two of the more popular online stores for Christians, and both stores contain some of the most offensive-to-the-gospel books in their stores. The following letter was sent to us from Arcangel Ocasio, a concerned believer who wrote to LifeWay Stores. With Mr. Ocasio's permission, we are posting both his letter to LifeWay and LifeWay's reply. For those of you who understand the serious implications of the New Age infiltration into Christendom, you may find LifeWay's response alarming:
Dear LifeWay:
I am a member of the Hispanic Evangelical Missionary Church in Brooklyn, NY. We are currently studying from a series of discipleship books from your ministry. I was on your website and was shocked to see that you carry books from New Age sympathizers such as, Thomas Keating, Ken Blanchard, Leonard Sweet, & Henri Nouwen. I didn't look for others for I think this was enough. It certainly casts a shadow of doubt on your leadership's discernment. There are a few articles on www.LightHouseTrailsResearch.com having to do with these above mentioned authors which I think you'll find interesting and hopefully alarming. Many "Christian" bookstores are selling New Age books without considering the impact it will have on new or ignorant believers. Sadly, very few are willing to pull these books from their shelves. Please do take this seriously for the Lord our God will judge us.

In Christ, Arcangel

Dear Arcangel,
Thank you for your email of September 27, expressing your concern that we list books by Thomas Keating, Ken Blanchard, Leonard Sweet, and Henri Nouwen on our web site, www.lifewaystores.com. I am pleased to respond. Our vision statement at LifeWay Christian Stores is, "As God works through us, we will help people and churches know Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom by providing biblical solutions that spiritually transform individuals and cultures." We have product standards and will not knowingly carry a book containing unbiblical material. We have not carried many Christian Booksellers Association best-sellers because they contained unsound doctrines. We want our customers to be able to trust every product we list to be biblically-based and theologically sound, so we screen the products that are listed on our web site and exclude ones that do not conform to our standards. As I am sure you are aware, the Internet contains countless sites, full of information on virtually any subject. However, much of the information is opinion. One can find a full range of subjective evaluations of popular Christian authors on various sites. Obviously, they cannot all be accurate because they sometimes contradict each other. We use sites like the one you mentioned in our research, but we do not agree with all their assessments. To address your specific concerns, I will comment on each author you mentioned:
Thomas Keating
--He has written books on contemplative prayer, but this does not make him a New Age sympathizer. Meditation is a biblical concept. See Psalm 19:14, Psalm 104:34, Psalm 1:2, and Psalm 119:15. Should Christians abandon this biblical practice just because New Agers have adopted it?
Ken Blanchard
--He became a Christian late in life after he established a reputation as one of the best authorities on leadership in America. He is now using his writing and speaking opportunities to develop Christian leaders. His critics have used the "guilt by association" charge which, in many cases, is not valid. He has admitted endorsing some books that are clearly inconsistent with Evangelical Christian theology, and he regrets that. However, in our opinion, that does not invalidate his positive work for the cause of Christ including his recent books on Christian leadership.
Leonard Sweet
--He has been associated with the emergent church. Some believe that invalidates his ability to write books acceptable to Evangelical Christians. However, should we exclude books that equip pastors and other Christians [to] learn about trends in theology and culture in order to be equipped to deal with these issues in their churches or other organizations? You mentioned discernment. We do not want to decide for these Christian leaders by excluding books that may be extremely helpful to them and their congregations. We trust their ability to discern how best to use the material they find in these resources.
Henri Nouwen
--He was a deeply spiritual and gifted writer about the Christian faith, but he was not a New Age sympathizer. My pastor has quoted him from the pulpit, and our church is definitely not New Age.

Thank you for visiting our web site, for studying discipleship books provided by our ministry, and for taking the time to write to express your concerns about these vitally important issues. I hope you can see that we work very hard to ensure that the products we list are in harmony with our vision statement and product standards. As such, they are biblically-based and theologically sound. With some 100,000 books in our database, our customers could not expect to agree with every thought in every book, but they should not encounter material that is inconsistent with basic tenets of the Christian faith. I hope this information is helpful and encouraging to you. Blessings,
Jim Shull
LifeWay Christian Stores
615-251-5885
jim.shull@lifeway.com
http://www.lifewaystores.com


LTPC: LifeWay's comments about panentheist and New Age mystic, Thomas Keating, are most disturbing as are their comments about Ken Blanchard, Leonard Sweet and Henri Nouwen. Thomas Keating believes that divinity is within all humanity, and he openly teaches this type of spirituality. LifeWay's remarks about Ken Blanchard, suggesting he is a new believer, are simply untrue. Blanchard, who has been steadily endorsing and promoting Buddhist books for the last twenty years, by his own admission (in his autobiography, We Are the Beloved) became a professing Christian in the mid eighties - not "late in life" as LifeWay is saying. And while it is true that Blanchard made a statement of regret about his continuous endorsements of Buddhist and New Age books throughout that twenty year period, he has continued to endorse New Age books ( see example) after this statement was made, and he is still a board member of the Hoffman Institute (home of the Hoffman Quadrinity Process), with some of the most avid New Agers today. These connections Blanchard maintains show clearly his affinity to New Age spirituality, which is also the affinity of both Leonard Sweet and Henri Nouwen. Nouwen, in his book Sabbatical Journey, said he was uncomfortable with those who say Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and that he felt it was his calling to help people find their own path to God. Once again we ask, when are Christian leaders going to defend the faith and say no to spiritual deception and compromise?

"[T]he whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." I John 5:19- 20 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

The Spirituality of Thomas Keating
 
Thomas Keating, a Catholic monk, has been a significant influence in bringing contemplative spirituality to mainstream Christendom. It's no secret that he is a promoter of Eastern mysticism, yet his books are found in countless Christian bookstores. Lifeway Stores says that Keating falls within the parameters of their policy on which books to sell. They say:
"[W]e work very hard to ensure that the products we list are in harmony with our vision statement and product standards. As such, they are biblically-based and theologically sound. With some 100,000 books in our database, our customers could not expect to agree with every thought in every book, but they should not encounter material that is inconsistent with basic tenets of the Christian faith.
But is Thomas Keating's spirituality consistent "with basic tenets of the Christian faith"? We believe the answer to that is a wholehearted NO. Listen to Keating's own words in his book, The Heart of the Word: A Spiritual Catechism: An Introduction to Contemplative Christianity :
I have had the rare opportunity to absorb the contemplative tradition of Christianity within the context of monastic practice and experience. My own exposure to Eastern methods of meditation began in the 1960s. It awakened in me a deep appreciation of these values. These Eastern methods have expanded my understanding of the mystery of Christ and the message of the Gospel. Moreover, they mirror aspects of Christian mysticism overlooked in recent centuries. The contemplative dimension of life, present in all the great religions, is the common heart of the world. There the human family is already one" (Prologue). "This book is also for Christians who have turned East for spiritual experience and who now would like to integrate that experience into their Christian background" (p. 3).
And from Keating and Basil Pennington's book, Finding Grace at the Center:
We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and "capture" it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible. Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences.(pp. 5-6)
Keating's spiritual affinity does not line up with the "basic tenets of the Christian faith," and we hope that LifeWay Stores (Southern Baptist Convention) will make a public statement to set the record straight. If someone looking for spiritual truth happens to come across LifeWay Stores selection of books and buys a book by Keating, what they will read will not lead them into salvation through Jesus Christ but will lead them into the arms of interspirituality, mysticism and pantheism. Thus LifeWay Stores could be responsible for keeping people from finding truth. For more research on Keating, click here.

Thomas Crum on Meditation
 
In our article, "Lifeway Stores Says OK to New Age Sympathizing Authors," we stated that Ken Blanchard has recently endorsed a book called Three Deep Breaths. The book is written by Tom Crumb. Of the book and Crum, Blanchard states:
I have known Tom Crum for over twenty years. He is one of the finest human beings I have ever met. Three Deep Breaths contains the essence of his life's work. Read this book and let Tom help change your life.
To understand Tom Crum's spirituality, his article, "The Art of Meditation" will help. Here is an excerpt from that article, or you may click the title and read the entire thing:
In all of these disciplines, the practice is not to force yourself into a state of peace, it is simply to acknowledge the mind's thinking nature and to relax into center so that you can settle down into deeper levels of thought, to the source of thought where the vibration level [alpha] is most powerful. It is achieving a place of deep connection and tranquility, where you are accessing a field of intelligence that is far greater than that derived from the ego or intellect.... Whether you sit in a chair or on the floor, you should begin by getting into a centered state with the spine straight and comfortable, in a position that allows you to easily be with the vehicle being used: the breath, the mantra, etc.
Can LifeWay Stores Really Change Direction?
 
LifeWay Stores, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, is selling numerous books that would come under the classification of New Age sympathizing. Some of these titles are written by professing Christians who are proponents of New Age teachings, thus the term New Age sympathizing. As discussed in Tuesday's report, Lifeway Stores Says OK to New Age Sympathizing Authors , LifeWay Stores believes that many of these titles are OK and fall within the "basic tenets of the Christian faith."

The question many may be asking right now is, "Now that this has been brought to LifeWay's attention, can they and will they once and for all stop calling the books in question "Christian" when they actually promote Eastern mysticism, panentheism and other New Age spiritualities?" While we believe that LifeWay may indeed remove some of the titles, as they did recently with 14 titles on Yoga and Buddhism, it will take more than removing books to break the ties with contemplative and the emerging church (both of which have New Age premises). What most people may not realize is that LifeWay Christian Resources (connected to LifeWay Stores) is an Alliance Partner with Leadership Network. This partnership is not something hundreds of ministries partake in - no, there are just nine organizations, and LifeWay is one of them. According to Leadership Network "Lifeway is excited about the message of Halftime and its impact on the church. Lifeway and Halftime are working together to create new products that will carry the 'Success to Significance' message."

Halftime is the book title of Leadership Network founder, Bob Buford. In the mid nineties, Leadership Network hired emerging church leader and yoga proponent Doug Pagitt, and later brought on Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren and Tony Jones, thus the emergent movement was launched. The emerging church movement was not started by a bunch of disgruntled young people as many people think but was actually started by leaders like Buford, Rick Warren and Peter Drucker who have been instrumental in bringing about the success of the movement.

Leadership Network is a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality. If LifeWay is "excited about the message of Halftime" and is an alliance partner with Leadership Network, will they be able to or even want to make a clean break from contemplative and emerging? We fear the answer to this may be a resounding "No" and they, along with the Southern Baptist Convention, will continue taking the plunge into deception, pulling countless people with them.

For more information:

Leadership Network Started the Emergent Church
 

Ancient Wisdom for Babies
 
In our recent article, Jesus Camp, Film Reveals the Mystical and the Militant, Not Biblical Christianity, it was clear to see that children have become victims to contemplative spirituality and the New Age. As we mentioned in the article, kids are being led into dangerous meditative trances. Another example of this is an upcoming conference called The Baby Summit: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science. According to an Arizona Republic article, speakers for the conference will "provide the latest scientific information along with ancient traditions from Arizona's indigenous and tribal ceremonies." Wendy McCord, organizer for the event, told the Arizona Republic that "Ancient people have always thought of children as spiritual beings with spiritual paths ... This conference will bring together the ancient traditions and combine them with solid scientific background." Presenters at the conference include Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Spiritual Invitation and the Breakthrough of Consciousness: The Bond of Power and Lewis Mehl Madrona (on tribal healings).

This isn't the first time Lighthouse Trails has reported on children and meditation. Unfortunately, our other reports have also had to do with children in Christian settings. For instance, a June 2006 story, Sad News for Preschool Children: MOPS Heads Contemplative, shows how MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is becoming more and more entrenched in contemplative spirituality and New Age influences:

MOPS is promoting (and selling) books that are pro-contemplative. The book that stands out among the others is Breathe. The author, Keri Wyatt Kent, is a writer for Willow Creek Community Church and often speaks on spiritual formation. Her upcoming book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life, teaches readers to "listen" to God through "spiritual practices," including the practice of silence. The author quotes extensively throughout the book both contemplatives and New Agers, including Henri Nouwen, M. Scott Peck, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Rick Warren, Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Peterson... For those who might be saying right now, "OK, so MOPS likes one of Kent's books, Breathe - it isn't this one that is so blatantly contemplative and filled with New Age meditation concepts and quotes. But on the back cover of Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life sits an endorsement by Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS, which reads: "Keri offers insightful and practical help for all of us who are "hearing impaired" in our spirits. Ah ... what a relief!"
A July 2005 article revealed how NavPress is now teaching children to practice contemplative prayer! And in a May 2006 article, several examples were given of Christian children and contemplative spirituality, including Awanas. Recent films such as Indigo Children and Bee Season are indicators that secular society is beginning to accept the idea that children can be involved with deep meditation practices. Jesus Camp and these other things we have mentioned today show that Christendom is heading in the same direction.
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea." Mark 9:42 
New Age/Contemplative Books on Popular Christian Websites
 AFA and LifeWay Stores Promote Contemplative By Selling the Books

Below is a list of some of the strongest proponents of New Age and/or contemplative affinities today. All of these authors are being represented and sold on the American Family Association (AFA)website:

Ken Blanchard "Buddha points to the path and invites us to begin our journey to enlightenment. I ... invite you to begin your journey to enlightened work." (Blanchard) foreword What Would Buddha Do At Work?

Thomas Keating/Basil Pennington "For the centering prayer practitioner, regular practice of "contemplative" prayer sets in motion a dynamism of "divine psychotherapy, organically designed for each of us, to empty out our unconscious ... As this false self is dismantled, we come to see our true Self, the center of which, so say proponents, is God." (Keating) "[I]n centering prayer we go beyond thought and image, beyond the senses and the rational mind, to that center of our being where God is working a wonderful work, just sitting there, doing nothing. Not even thinking some worthwhile thoughts or making some good resolutions-just being." (Pennington)

Richard Foster "Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center" Chapter two -Quote by Thomas Kelly from Richard Foster's book, Streams of Living Water

Tony Jones "Emergent doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?' No, you don't, because it's a non-sensical question." (Jones)

Dan Kimball "We have neglected so many of the disciplines of the historical church [e.g.,Desert Fathers], including weekly fasting, practicing silence, and lectio divina." (Kimball) The Emerging Church

Doug Pagitt "When people discover we are a church with a yoga class ... they sometimes assume that we're simply out to appeal to the cultural creatives and the neo-hippies." (Pagitt) Reimagining Spiritual Formation

Erwin McManus "The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, 'Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient.' That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. (McManus)

Brother Lawrence "It is said of Brother Lawrence that when something had taken his mind away from love's presence he would receive 'a reminder from God' that so moved his soul that he 'cried out, singing and dancing violently like a mad man.' You will note that the reminders came from God and were not his own doing." (quotes by Brother Lawrence, from The Practice of the Presence of God, 1977, Harper Collins )

Leonard Sweet "The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people 'in-phase' with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another." (Sweet)

Rick Warren "Who's the man of peace in any village - or it might be a woman of peace - who has the most respect, they're open and they're influential? They don't have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they're open and they're influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that's going to bring the second Reformation." (Warren)

Mark Yaconelli"1.Choose a sacred word or phrase 2. Consistently use the same word throughout the prayer. 3. Begin silently to repeat your sacred word or phrase." (Yaconelli)

Spencer Burke "I stopped reading from the approved evangelical reading list and began to distance myself from the evangelical agenda. I discovered new authors and new voices at the bookstore-Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and St. Teresa of Avila. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Contemplative spirituality seemed to open up a whole new way for me to understand and experience God. I was deeply moved by works like The Cloud of Unknowing, The Dark Night of the Soul and the Early Writings of the Desert Fathers." (Burke)

Other Authors on AFA:

Mike Yaconelli, Chuck Smith Jr., Jim Collins, Wayne Teasdale, Ken Wilber, Sue Monk Kidd, Liz Babbs, and many, many more...

All of the mentioned names above promote mystical meditation and contemplative spirituality. For citations, quotes and documentation on the quotes we listed, see Lighthouse Trails Research Project. Go to our search engine or Topic Index.

 

Everything is God
 

by Roger Oakland

When we think about the number of people in the world who do not believe in God because they believe in evolution, it is staggering. I am reminded of a statement I once heard by a famous atheist. He said “Darwin has provided a view that removes the need to believe in a Creator for rational thinking people all over the world.” Obviously, this statement is an over exaggeration. There are rational thinking people who see the handiwork of a Creator. But, yes there are billions who don’t. Further, billions of others around the world believe everything is God - because of evolution. These are people who have been brought up according to an Eastern religious perspective – for example, Hindus and Buddhists. For them anything and everything can be God because evolution is God. Evolution is an unseen force that connects everyone with everything. Evolution has directed the journey of life over the eons of time from simple to complex. Some believe the gods are further evolved than man, and that we can become gods - it’s just a matter of elevating human consciousness through the practice of yoga or meditation. Click here to read the rest of this article.
Jesus Camp, Film Reveals the Mystical and the Militant, Not Biblical Christianity
 

Jesus Camp , a new film about Christian camps for kids (released last month September 2006), is already stirring up a lot of controversy. Concerns and criticisms are coming from both secular and evangelical sides. New Age website Spirituality and Practice), while saying the film is important because of what it reveals, calls the movie "scary" and suggests that this accurately represents conservative Christianity. Also upset with the film is CCCA (Christian Camps & Conference Association) that responded with a statement on their website, saying:
The camp philosophy and program depicted in the recently released Jesus Camp film, a documentary by Magnolia Pictures, are not truly representative of those in most Christian camps in the United States.

Unfortunately, both Spirituality & Practice and the CCCA have misunderstood what this film really conveys.

Spirituality & Practice got it wrong when they said this film exposes what conservative Christianity really is. What is taking place in this film is not indicative of biblical Christianity, which holds to the fundamentals of the faith, and is much different than the spirituality being taught to kids at the Kids on Fire camp. What S & P fails to understand, as does much of the secular media, is that there is a large segment of Christendom (Rick Warren falls in this camp) that believes the Church can and will change the entire culture, turning the world into a Christian world before Christ returns. Such beliefs fall within the parameters of Dominionism and Reconstructionism. So in actuality, when S& P says that the film exposes a "campaign to recruit the younger generation to fight for the very soul of America" that may be an accurate assessment. Unfortunately, most leaders who are Dominionists and/or Re constructionists are increasingly being drawn into mysticism and contemplative spirituality as a tool to implement their goals of changing the culture. And this film is further proof of this. Click here to read the rest of this article.


 

 BREATH PRAYERS and Rick Warren
 Are "breath prayers" a method by which we can become best friends with God?

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn

To direct people on a spiritual journey for 40 days, Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. The best selling book has impacted millions of persons. Some of Pastor Warren's purpose involves recommendations for "Becoming Best Friends with God." To become God's friends, the author shares six secrets, one of which is practicing God's presence by being in "constant conversation" with him. After quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ("pray without ceasing"), Warren asks how a Christian can practice unceasing prayer to which he answers, "One way is to use 'breath prayers' throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath." Then after providing ten examples of short biblical phrases that could work as breath prayers, Warren advises "Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart."[1] In this context Warren also cites the book of Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), Practicing the Presence of God, who advocated experiencing God's presence in the most menial of circumstances by praying short conversational prayers throughout the day. The Roman Catholic practice of praying the rosary is akin to breath prayers.

In the course of our waking hours, think of how many times we breathe--hundreds and hundreds, even thousands per day. So to pray "breath prayers" means that like breathing, I am to intermittently say the same short prayer over and over again throughout the day.

Advocates of breath prayers recommend breathing out a short biblical phrase of prayer throughout the day. For example, in the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus portrayed a tax collector who in repentance and humility, cried out, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'" Out of this parable The Desert Fathers, a monastic group in Egypt circa the 5th century, created the "Kyrie Eleison" prayer (i.e., "Lord have mercy.") which became known as the "Jesus Prayer."[2] The prayer became a favorite of these fathers who later expanded it to be, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."[3] This prayer as well as others, they chanted over and over again. Click here to read this entire article.
 
Labyrinths - Coming to a Town Near You
 
LabyrinthsYou may not have one at your church yet, but one thing is for sure - labyrinths are growing in popularity. A google search showed 116,000 web pages on labyrinths in the spring of 2004. A year later that number climbed to over 300,000. Today, that number is over 1,300,000. While this is certainly not a scientific method of research, it does show the tremendous increase in labyrinth use. Click here to read the rest of this story.
 Erwin McManus: "A Core of Mysticism"
 

"The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, 'Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient.' That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way." Erwin McManus, Relevant Magazine

Also see: David Jeremiah Proposes "Major Paradigm Shift" For His Church

 

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