Sharpen Your Spiritual Edge

I recently heard a story about a lumber jack who challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest.  The challenger worked with all his might, stopping only for a brief lunch break.  The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks throughout the day.  At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and somewhat annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially  more wood than he had.  “I don’t get it,” he said.  “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.  How did you do it.”  “Didn’t you notice,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”
This story raises an obvious question for you and me, have we been taking time to stop and sharpen our ax?  You might say, oh yes, I just took a nice little vacation and I feel renewed.  Or, yes the place where I work just sent me to a two day training workshop to sharpen my skills.  I can even remember going on a four day tour of central Nebraska and Western Kansas in order to learn a few tips in running a more efficient feedlot.
It seems like we are quite willing to take advantage of those recreational and career “sharpening” opportunities, but what about our spiritual lives?  Would you consider spending a few days with the Lord in order to sharpen your spiritual edge?  Maybe you could consider one of these options that I’ve experienced.
The first is Cursillo.  Cursillo is a Spanish word for “short course in Christian living.”  At first I was a bit apprehensive about Cursillo because I couldn’t imagine spending three days sitting around talking about God, which by the way, was one of the first things I had to deal with.  Why did I lack passion in my relationship with God?
The Cursillo weekend is really designed to help a person discover a greater understanding of God’s love and grace.  The result of my Cursillo weekend totally changed my perception of God and therefore totally changed the way I approach life as a follower of Jesus.  Before Cursillo, I thought being a Christian was kind of boring.  Christianity for me used to be my insurance policy so that I wouldn’t end up in hell when I died.  After Cursillo, I discovered that the abundant life that Jesus came to bring can only best be experienced through a fully surrendered life.
There are a couple of Cursillo weekends coming up in February; one at Inspiration Hills in NW Iowa and the other in Spicer, MN.  For more information, let me invite you to visit with Mike and Cheryl Fey or Vicki and myself.
A second opportunity to sharpen your prayer life would be at a Dunamis Project retreat.  Dunamis is the Greek word for power.  Dunamis retreats are workshops that teach on the Holy Spirit from a Reformed perspective.  The focus of the upcoming workshop on March 15-18 will be on the Power of Prayer.  This is one of those sharpening opportunities that will help narrow the gap between what we say we believe and how we actually live it out.  Feel free to visit with Vicki or me about this great equipping and empowering opportunity.
“If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened more strength is needed but skill will bring success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10).  May you and I always find ourselves effective in God’s kingdom because you are spiritually sharp.
Under His Mercy,

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