The Journey: Expressive Practices


In our journey of self-examination we have been looking at our spiritual practices with an eye to having an overflow of spiritual relationship with Christ so that we will have something to share with others. So far, we have been looking at the classical practices of prayer, Bible study and so forth, but today we begin a look at the expressive practices.  In my case, I was somewhat surprised when I realized that I have been doing more of this than I had been aware of. Expressive spiritual practices can be many things. Traditionally, things like music, art, sculpture and writing have been long recognized as an expression of our relationship with Christ that deepen that relationship.  As we continue, I hope to suggest a few that aren’t always mentioned by the scholars…929 112-LR

I’m neither an artist nor a musician, but I have been known to take a stab at writing things. In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to write books; the idea of being a writer has been attractive to me ever since I was a boy, but I never really thought it would happen… and it hasn’t!  I have written technical things in the past, and some of it has been used by other people under their own names for various purposes, but I’ve never just sat down and written anything on my own that wasn’t concerned with a job in another field.  Even now, I just cannot imagine writing anything that would ever sell.  It has been my project this year to research and put together a work on Biblical covenant, and the series of posts on the subject is the result so far.  When that is completed, the text in those posts can easily be woven into a book or pamphlet (in the old sense) that could be available to download and use to teach the subject as a Bible study, but I am under no illusions that anyone would publish it; it would probably just be given away to anybody who wanted as a sort of ministry.

As you can see, this needs a lot more thought on my part.

Yet as I have been considering this whole subject, it has occurred to me that I write and “publish” all the time!  Yes, that’s right, even though none of it would ever sell, this blog is writing… of a sort, anyway.

While it is my fervent hope that there might be something here that has or will someday bless someone who reads it, all of this has been a huge blessing for me, for in these posts, I have, without trying, made a record of my walk with Jesus Christ.  In doing so, I have come to see and understand things that I didn’t see or fully comprehend in the past, which is to say that my spiritual cup is much fuller now than two years ago when I began. In fact, writing these posts has helped me to navigate some rough and turbulent waters in my own life.

Now that I have said this, let’s take a second to consider.  This is a blog post.  It will be posted shortly on WordPress, a blogging site.  The people who could read it are also bloggers.  If blogging has blessed me in my own personal discipleship, than why wouldn’t the same activity also bless others who write their own blogs?

Over the last few months, I’ve made an effort to take blogging much more seriously.  I’ve made it my goal to post a certain number of posts of a certain quality.  Many of you also do this, and many post at a higher quality than I, but many of you also approach blogging the way I used to; as something of a hobby.  When I became much more serious about blogging, the blessing that I received in my walk with Jesus increased seriously.  It’s just a suggestion, you understand, but maybe the same could be true for you.

Next time, let’s talk about photography…

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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17 Responses to The Journey: Expressive Practices

  1. I think of blogging as of a serious job and not only a job of expressing your own thoughts in writing, but a job of reaching others who can benefit from it.
    When I just first started thinking of staring a blog I hesitated because English is my third language and my words are not always perfect, but then I thought I will do it anyway. There are people out there who are seeking God just as I once did. Reading my blog may be their starting point in the walk with Jesus.

  2. dirofpr says:

    Good suggestion. I am considering what you’ve said. Thanks 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Current relaxation reading: How to be a bad Christian … And a better human being. I can wish I had written something similar. But I thank The Lord someone has – and that He has pointed me to reading it.

    • Don Merritt says:

      I’m not quite sure I’d put it that way, but thanks!

      • paulfg says:

        Sorry Don – “iphone and train home” comment. Will not do that again. So here is what I meant. I have a sense when writing that it is neither a hobby nor a skill. Rather the lord teasing words from me. So the quality/effect is less of an objective (other than avoiding clumsy keyboardng). The doing as sensitvely as possible is my purpose. At the moment I find it easier to hear his small voice in the stillness of him and me and the keyboard. So written books he guides me towards (such as the one above) which illuminate an inisght or cause a questioning, I often wish I could have written for others. I think the same when I read your words. I sometimes think that when I read my words. The joy for me is never knowing, nor wanting to know (despite being curious of the blog stats) the effect on others. That is his work. My own work is to look back at my words and remember why they were important – (like you) my own learning. And my greatest discipline is avoiding enjoying this fellowship so much that I move into the driving seat and lose his voice, see only my words, and become “me” writing. And your words above clarified that in my mind. Thank you.

        • Don Merritt says:

          Thanks Paul. It is a funny thing, writing. Sometimes there’s so much more to the experience than I would have expected, and I’ll be talking about that in a later post about teaching, where the strangest things happen some times; glorious and awesome things that are quite beyond my abilities. With writing, I some times sit down to force myself to write a post without a good idea, and what ends up being written surprises me, and I ask myself where that came from! It sounds nuts (maybe it is!) but I suspect it’s not ‘nuts’ at all…
          (How’s that for a tease?)

  4. Don and Paul, what you both say resonates with me on a deep level. When I write my blog, I begin writing for myself from a thought or experience, yet it seems to morph into something the Spirit wants to say. While I am enriched by it, and brought closer in my relationship to God, I believe the words also reach out, strike a chord, touch a heart. Yet I know they are not my words.

    For the past three years, I have also been writing k-6 Bible curriculum for homeschool families. It is His curriculum, and as I write, I may have a thought or a direction, but it is always the Spirit who takes it away and guides my fingers on the keyboard, or my eyes to Scripture.

    Writing this way is a calling – a task given by the Lord to use the gifts we have been given to build the kingdom. It is a discipline, and we must obey the calling, just as you are doing here.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you Susan, I couldn’t agree more. It starts out being something we do for ourselves, then it becomes an overflowing of the Spirit, which in turn is what we share with others; amazing and wonderful

  5. YRB says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m happy that people are finding other non-traditional approaches through the arts of expressing their relationship with Christ, and thus transcending the “box” a bit more. There’s so much beauty and vision and depth to be expressed and shared this way.

  6. dawnlizjones says:

    Thank you for your insightful commentary on expressive disciplines. The writing/blogging I do is also life-giving to me. I also think of dance, public speaking, story-telling, and such an ever-expanding use of creativity to honor and bring pleasure to our Creator.

  7. Great truths spoken with huge humility. Your posts are a blessing. Please keep the flag flying.

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