Welcome to our Life-Giving Habits page!
Life-Giving Habits are things that we are seeking to build into our lives because we believe they will help us to become more like Jesus.
On this page you will find information about the Life-Giving Habit we are currently focussing on as a church, as well as ideas for applying it in your own life, in your household and your small group. You will also find talks and resources for our previous habits on the right hand side.
The habit we are practicing this month is:
Listen to the talk on this habit by Mal Calladine:
Over these coming weeks we are embracing the season of Lent to look at the habit of Pilgrimage. A season set apart for a journey or process that gives us a different perspective. Embracing this season it might be good to refresh your thinking by re-visiting Fasting & Generosity as previous habits, looking afresh at the Resources & talks there that inform the process of a pilgrimage season. This year, we want to frame that thinking of what we might ‘Give Up’ & ‘Take On’ through the filter of pilgrimage…
So the challenge is to think about your 3 P’s of Pilgrimage - the pilgrimage places, people & processes you are supposed to engage in, or get sorted, during this time.
A number of the ideas below could be used in the other sections, as well as the one in which they appear. There is a bible study guide in the ‘Small Group Ideas’ section to unpack further the scriptures mentioned in the talk, along with some Lent Preparation ideas & group discussion suggestions. Its a ‘devotional’ season so there’s lots of ideas there for reflection & action including the movie shown on the sunday reflecting on Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.
‘we are taking Psalm 84.5 as our key verse for this season; that we find strength in God by setting our hearts to the journey - looking for the highways he is calling us to travel.
P1) ’40’ watch the movie of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert shown at the end of the service. 40 images that unpack Mark 1: 12-13 Take this to prayer - what impacts you about the process Jesus’ went through… If you want to dig deeper into this you could order the 40 book http://www.proost.co.uk/40-book-pdf which has a devotional for each picture…
P2) Considering Connection Get some prayer time & ask the Lord to help you identify any areas that are “resistors in the circuit” of aiding your connection with the Lord.
P3) Social Media Challenge Consider… Is their any challenge you see someone else doing - that you want to accept the challenge: a ‘dry’ month; a sugar free month; sleeping out for the homeless, a road trip, or personal challenge?
Who could you ask to support you & be accountable to in the idea?
P4) Reading Time? Consider taking on a reading plan for this season. There are a number of great daily devotionals to embrace the Lent season, from those by Tom Wright & Henri Nouwen to the current list you can subscribe to on the Bible App or other apps listed in the ‘Bible Feeding’ resource idea pages…
H1) Discussion & Plan: 3 P’s of Pilgrimage
As a household, discuss what comes to mind when you think of:
Places you want to visit that are refreshing places in your relationship with God, either in nature or big events with his people. Have you planned to book a visit?
People you want to visit who inspire you - VIPs - ‘Very Inspiring People’. They may be people you know & want the influence of; or they could even be those from the past who have inspired you. You could join the Local History pilgrimage on March 7, looking at some of the Spiritual Heroes of the past who have most influenced our region inc George Muller & John Wesley.
Processes you want to invest in during Lent that help you embrace the harder, disappointing & most challenging things in life. You might want to look at Psalm 84.6 & discuss what it means to go through the Valley of Tears (Baka), & what it means to dig wells in those desert places to reach spring water.
H2) Sign Up to www.40acts.org.uk 40 Acts is a brilliant movement, with a superb & functional website with daily ideas for ‘doing Lent generously’. Join 106,000 other people in receiving each day an email with a daily theme, challenge & thought with suggested action easily applicable as a household . Those actions are suggested at 3 different levels from taking a minute or 2; to taking a significant amount of time in the day. The ideas, daily reflection & video resources are all excellent & come highly recommended from doing it in previous years.
H3) Supporting others? Over a meal time, discuss who you’d like to support who are on a journey or pilgrimage at the moment. They may be a doing a challenge to raise money for others (like Rachel & Paul Goodchild www.justgiving.com/fundraising/goodieswalk) or others you know in a season where they are away getting a different perspective; either with an organisation (like Leah Simmons with YWAM), on their own, or are doing a social media challenge.
H4) Starting the Season? Consider how you as a household can celebrate this transition season; from eating up all the extras on Pancake Tuesday; to marking Ash Wednesday, being ‘ashed’ & thinking about where you need to change - more details in the Small Group section on ‘lent preparation ideas’ inc what do you each want to give up or take on? & how can you encourage or be sensitive to each other to do that well?
SG1 Bible Study Ideas A list of the bible references mentioned in the talk (& a few extras!) with some suggested discussion and reflection ideas. Download the document here.
SG2 Lent Preparation Ideas with more detailed ideas for Pancake Tuesday, Ash Wednesday & ideas for sharing & supporting each other in our Pilgrimage Challenges & Lent Disciplines - in the ëGiving Up & Taking On. Download the document here.
SG3 Shared Pilgrimage? Is there anything you could do as a group as a shared journey, fast or discipline? Some groups have fasted each week in Lent for the day before they met, breaking their fast together over a meal or sharing the Lord’s Supper.
Others have agreed a shared reading or activity challenge, some even agreeing a challenge of forfeits if any group member didn't do the agreed challenge - including not moving on each week, but having to re-read the last weeks & discuss again until all read it!
So can you identify a shared area that you’d all like to give up or take on as a shared activity for this season? Doing it together normally really helps - reinforcing the African proverb:
“If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together”
SG4 Commit to memory! As a group you could agree a Memory Verse (that you challenge each other to all learn) that speaks into the areas you are most identifying God is getting your attention or challenging you about Pilgrimage.
The obvious verse is Psalm 84 v 5, but you might agree another that speaks particularly to your situation, or might be another that got your attention from the Study Guide in SG1?
Previous Habits & Resources:
Listen to the introduction to Life-Giving Habits by Owen Lynch:
Listen to the talk on Thanksgiving by Mal Calladine:
Download the resources for Thanksgiving here.
Listen to the talk on Reflection by Mal Calladine:
Download the resources for Reflection here.
Listen to the talk on Generosity by Dan Green:
Our ideas for practicing generosity were based on the resource 40 Acts.
Listen to the talk on Celebration by Mal Calladine:
Download the resources for Celebration here.
Listen to the talk on Secrecy by Rachel Roberts:
NB. You can download the slides that accompany the talk here
Download the resources for Secrecy here.
Listen to the talk on Rest by Mal Calladine:
Download the resources for Rest here.
Listen to the talk on Service by Owen Lynch:
Download the resources for Service here.
Listen to the talk on Fasting by Mal Calladine:
2 group studies are available to download:
SG1 Bible Study session designed to give an overview of fasting, in a ‘journey through scripture’. SG2 Personal Application Guide with a suggested process of how you might want to engage individually & corporately.
Listen to the two talks on Vulnerability by Mal Calladine:
Brené Browne’s TED talk which you can access here:
Our 11th Life-Giving Habit was Challenge. There are currently no resources available for this habit.
Listen to the talk on Bible Feeding by Mal Calladine:
Listen to the two talks on Worship by Mal Calladine:
Listen to the talk on Sacrifice by Mal Calladine: