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Eight Life-Enriching Practices of United…

Eight Life-Enriching Practices of United Methodists (United Methodist…

by Henry H. Knight, III

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I spent the first quarter of 2010 reading, studying and teaching the practices found in this book. Dr. Knight reminded me and many of my contemporary Methodists of the practical, everyday faith habits that lead to living, abiding and perfecting love for God and love for others.

We start with our new life, where we hunger for God and grow in grace, which leads to personal devotion, where we practice prayer and study scripture. We worship together, hearing the Word, eating at the Table, renewing our faith and commitment and being healed in mind, body, spirit and relationships with God and others. This allows us to let go and share our struggles and triumphs together, holding each other accountable, speaking the truth in love. This enables us to live simply, to encourage tithing and fasting, so that our hearts and lives manifest God's love to the world. And at the apex, the crux of our quest, to reach out and serve our neighbors, to care for the Earth (created by God and entrusted to us) and to share our faith, the Good News, our own story of the difference Jesus has made in our lives.

Near the end of this book, I attended a lay speaking seminar with the intention of taking a course on interpreting scripture. That course proved to be overbooked and held in a claustrophobic room, so I switched to the course on theology. Consequently, I'm steeped deeply this Lent in Wesley's theology of love and hope to reflect what he described as the Character of a Methodist*.

1 John 4

I recommend this book as a small group study or even a whole church study for a season (like Lent or late Pentecost). I recommend this to those seeking a full, enriched life, living the purpose God intended for you.

* Interesting side note: Wesley despised the term 'Methodist' as his contemporaries and peers used it as a derogatory term to describe the revival and renewal he was credited with founding. Paragraph 17 of The Character of a Methodits brought tears to my eyes, especially this sentence:

If any man say, "Why, these are only the common fundamental principles of Christianity!" thou hast said; so I mean; this is the very truth; I know they are no other; and I would to God both thou and all men knew, that I, and all who follow my judgment, do vehemently refuse to be distinguished from other men, by any but the common principles of Christianity, -- the plain, old Christianity that I teach, renouncing and detesting all other marks of distinction.

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  mossjon | Mar 31, 2013 |
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