My name is Daniel Harris, and I hope that in the pages of this blog you’ll find things that are enjoyable and helpful to you in learning to live life to the full. I believe that the way to this kind of life is a process called Christian Spiritual Formation, which Dallas Willard describes simply as “the process by which those who love and trust Jesus Christ effectively take on his character.”
In other words, I’ve taken a good look at Jesus’ life, I really like what I see there, and I want it to continually characterize more and more how I live too.
Some posts to get you started
Here are ten posts from the archives that will help you get a good feel for the blog, in no particular order:
- The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given (and how it is different from the stuff we normally hear)
- New Year’s Resolution 2011: Quit Sinning
- If You Really Knew Me, You Would Know My Father as Well
- Why You Should STOP Trying to Support Your Ministries with Prayer
- Bigger Christians, Not Bigger Churches
- It Bothers You More than it Bothers God
- A Parable of Churchville
- There’s a Better Solution than Telling Your Kids You Love Them
- Is Leadership Overrated?
- Get the Hell Out of… Us.
And I’ve got a few things that I’ve been posting in series:
- Posts on the life of my Dad
- Posts on the life of Chester Tyra
- Posts on the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey
- Prayers for the Christian Year
- Scripture Plaques You Won’t Find at the Christian Bookstore
These blog posts try to reach that goal from different angles, which are the categories you see listed across the menu at the top of each page:
- Church Leadership: Our churches must become more focused on Spiritual Formation so that they can be more effective at helping people grow in their love for God and for other people. Posts in this category focus on both the personal Spiritual Formation of leaders as well as how they influence the Spiritual Formation of the congregation. (I also like to write about two of my favorite tools for church leaders to use: James Bryan Smith’s Apprentice Series and The REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey.)
- Fatherhood: Two relationships that have taught me the most about living SalvationLife are being a son and being a father. These posts are from the times that I have noticed things in those relationships that help me learn to live more in the way of Jesus. Some of them also focus on telling pieces of the story of my Dad’s life.
- Living SalvationLife: Dallas Willard says, “Salvation is a life,” pointing out that our lives now are the focus of God’s work in the world, at least as much as what our existence will be like for the rest of eternity. These posts deal with almost anything in life, since any area of life is an area where God works.
- Resources: These posts highlight or review resources available for Christian Spiritual Formation. There’s some great stuff out there, and we benefit greatly by putting it into our minds as much as possible. (Click here to see my Spiritual Formation Recommended Reading List.)
- Scripture and the Christian Year: I believe that the Scriptures are the best guides available to us in how to think and live. I also believe that many of us (including me!) can use a lot of help in digging into them, otherwise we end up claiming to believe things about the Bible that we don’t really believe at all. I have benefitted tremendously from reading the Scriptures within the context of the Christian Year (following the Revised Common Lectionary), so many posts here are applicable to that cycle of readings.
- Wesley and Methodism: One of the most reliable guides that has shown up in Christian history for training in how to live Jesus’ way came through John Wesley and the early Methodists, and much of what they taught and practiced is still very reliable guidance for us today. These posts focus on the meaning of Methodism and rediscovering the valuable guidance left to us by Wesley and his early followers.
Enjoy! And feel free to email me directly.
For anyone who is interested, a little more of the personal info:
- Answering the question, “So what do you do?” is quite a bit more difficult for me than it used to be, due to some big changes in my work roles. But I’m thankful to be at a point in life where I really enjoy all of the things I do! Here’s the quick list: I manage a farm and ranch business; lead retreats, teach classes, and do some technology projects for our church; and I’m trying to write things, such as on this blog and in a book I’m working on.
- My favorite roles in life are being a husband and a daddy. Seriously, if I could figure out how make a living by playing with my kids, I’d be all over it.
- I love to read and learn, so here’s some of the educational info:
- B.A. in Christian Ministries from Asbury University
- M.A. in Spiritual Formation from Northwest Nazarene University
- Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation by the Northwest Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
- Certificate in Spiritual Transformation from The Transforming Center