The Journey Church – A Place of Acceptance – An Emerging Church – Westminster, CO

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Ancient Life Practices

Ancient Life Practices

These are sacred practices you can do in your every day life that will bring God’s sacred nature out of the culture in which we live. Scroll down to participate in the ancient life practices of Spirituality and Culture (music, film, creation/environment, and art) and simplicity.

Spirituality and Culture: We believe that the sacred world and the secular world come together under Christ. Any thing or place can be made sacred. We believe that the culture around us, including music, movies, and art are all opportunities to see God at work. Below are some suggested questions to ask when attempting to see the sacred in the world around us.  

MUSIC:
1) What is stirred within me as I listen to this song?
2) Do I see God in this?
3) Does the positive or profane say something about life and my place?
4) What emotions do I feel during and after the song?
5) Are there changes to be made in my life?
6) Do I believe I am supposed to wait for the world to change? Or do I believe I am to be a   catalyst for change in this world?
7) Can I help others through this song?
8) Can I simply appreciate the creativity within the art?
9) Can I sense my soul being nudged in a particular direction?

FILM:
1) What is stirred within me as I watched this movie?
2) Do I see God in this story?
3) Does the positive or profane say something about life and my place?
4) Are there things that made me cringe (specific parts of the story, violence, sexuality, language)? Why?
5) What would God ask of my community in light of this story?
6) Am I being called to actionto participate in God’s world in some way?
7) Can I help others through this song?
8) Can I simply appreciate the creativity within the art?
9) Can I sense my soul being nudged in a particular direction?

CREATION/ENVIRONMENT:
1) How do I define beauty?
2) What in creation brings me joy? Am I doing that?
3) When I see the creation of God, what is my response?
4) When I walk around the world, where do I see God in the natural environment?
5) How am I participating in God’s call to tend and care for the world (Genesis 2:15)
6) What attitude do I have toward my place in this web of life? Do I see myself as one thread in it as a human?
7) In what ways do I see my own actions affecting the environment?
8) Am I caring for the environment or are my actions destroying it?
9) Do I do the simple things like recycle and conserve energy?
10) What do I want the earth to like in 2200

ART (by Matthew Davis): The fine arts in our culture in recent history has been perceived to be adversarial to religion, church, spirituality, and God. For the longest time the two were indistinguishable from one another, throughout the rise of the early church through the middle ages into the renaissance. But at the rise of the protestant reformation, the puritans claimed that the beautiful images and statues and relics in cathedrals were worldly and the treasury of Roman art work from the days of paganism were an insult to God and the church. In America, even into today here and now many good people still hold this view point. But how are we here at the journey who see the world and all things having the fingerprint of God upon them, deal with and see the arts and integral in understanding Spirituality and God? How can we make them a part of our everyday lives?
Let us first see art as communication that represents the complete artist and their inspiration: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Let us take away our preconceptions. Look at the art and try to understand the artist’s state of being at the time of their expression. You don’t have to agree with what was being stated by the artist or necessarily like it, but look at it as you would a person you have never met before. If you open your mind enough and look at the piece how can you relate to your life with the snapshot of the artist’s life and how are you different and similar?
Do the images presented have to be religious in nature to spiritual? The Journey believes spirituality comes in many forms and expressions from depictions of the traditional images of Jesus to the works that are without any preconceived notion of what a religious artwork is. Relating to the dark macabre images that chill us to the core and realizing that we all have pain and need love and hope. Landscapes that remind us of just how throughout of history and humanity we all respond and are awed at the sight of the amazing natural world around us and how it can stir the deepest of emotions in us and that God is a part of it all. Seeing a nude artwork and think of the amazing beauty God has made in us in such a variety of forms. These experiences with the works of artists through out all time and places bring us to a shared experience with the people around us, the world around us and the God around us.

FINE ART QUESTIONS:
1) What is the first emotion I feel when looking at the image or sculpture?
2) This emotion, does it trigger any ideas or memories, positive or negative?
3) Do these ideas/memories and emotions together, place me into a way of thinking or understanding that I previously had not encountered?
4) Are there aspects in the piece that offend me or make me uncomfortable? (violence, nudity, dark iconography?) What is bringing this emotion?
5) Is the imagery literally religious iconography or secular? Does it matter?
6) Does the image bring my thoughts into a spiritual realm thinking about God?
7) How does this piece affects me, what insight can I bring to my being that can affect my way of viewing the world and relationships around me? How can I use this understanding to make a positive affect on the lives around me?

Simplicity: Simplicity can change our view of life:
1) Our Use of Time:
    A) Slow down–we are always in a hurry
    B) Shut off the white noise of life (pop culture; our own minds)
    C) Do what you enjoy more often (I loved to ____________ in the past, but haven’t done it
       in a long time)
       (We live needlessly complicated lives)

2) How We View Money- We see money differently
   Financial benefits of simple living:
    A) Simple living puts money into perspective (giving produces giving)
       (Buy things for a reason. If it is not relatational in some way, then do not buy it)
    B) Simple living allows us to give good gifts (gift cards; frees up money; Kindness Fund)
    C) Simple living protects creation (what we use, how we use it, recycling)
    D) Simple living reminds us that all we have is God’s (money & stuff)
    E) Simple living produces freedom (life is not so complicated and we find real joy)

   Things to Consider in looking at your money:
    1) The Ancient Spiritual Practice of Tithing (not a forced gift to the church, but a way to   
        begin seeing your money as something more  than just about you and what you want.
    2) Put together a budget (simple or complex–check Counseling Contacts for help)
    3) A Simple Plan: 10% Ancient Spiritual Practice of Tithing; 10% Savings; 80% for life
    4) The Journey is going to combat the negativity and destructive cycle that our culture
        offers with a Kingdom view of money

3) Sacred Meals:
   Why don’t we do meals any more:
    A) We don;t have time (complicated lives)
    B) We worry that people will not want to participate in life with us
    C) We don;t have money to pay for it
    D) Our lives are cluttered

   Consider doing some things:
    A) Invite someone over from The Journey you don’t know well
       (try it once-a-month–just pizza and beer or everyone bring something)
    B) Invite friends over for deeper relationships (nothing specia)
    C) Don’t buy something each month to have money to pay for people coming over
       (Here is where simplicity matters–we stop buying & open life up for relationships)
    D) Have celebrations around meals (birthdays, jobs, fun, etc.)
    E) At the very least: Invite someone to lunch, coffee, ice cream, etc. (set money aside)

Come and Visit!

Every Sunday, 9:30 am and 11:00 a.m.
Kid’s Church & Nursery available at both services
Front Range Community College

3645 West 112th Avenue
Westminster, Colorado 80031

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