• Rhythms

    The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – March 2017

One of the most difficult and yet beautiful steps in our maturity as disciples of Christ is the embracing of our disabilities. The scriptures are incredibly clear that it’s in our weakness that His strength is displayed and yet we continue to act as if this journey is about our strength instead of His.

He calls us to embrace our weakness. He calls us to live in light of our disabilities.

The following book is designed to help us address two of the most destructive of our disabilities; our forgetfulness and our blindness.

Our forgetfulness robs us of living in light of His grace, His provision, His love, and His presence. We have the capacity to walk out of an incredible experience with Him and in a moment to believe the lie that He is distant. We need to develop rhythms in our lives and day that call us to remember the reality that we live and move and breathe in Him.

Rhythms also help us address our blindness because they draw us into a conversation with Him that does not cease. Rather than simply speaking to him once a day or once a week, we intentionally schedule times throughout our day to reignite our conversation with Him if by chance it has ceased. We seek to live our lives listening. We seek to live our lives attune to the voice that awakens us to the truth of God. We seek to pray without ceasing as we engage Him throughout our day rather than wasting our conversation by talking to ourselves.

Throughout history those who have known God well, those who have walked with Him, have lived lives with rhythms that called them back frequently to the one they loved most. We seek to do the same. We hope you’ll join us.



Each month we choose one passage on which to meditate for the month. We read this passage every day at a scheduled time and ask God to help us understand it better by allowing it to sift through the lives we lead. Our return to it over and over keeps the truth fresh in our minds as we experience the world around us and allows it to come alive. We seek to listen as the Spirit uses it to enlighten our experience of the journey with Christ.

Throughout this month we will be meditating on:

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 

For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 

For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 

But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. 

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 

Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 

Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 

Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 

Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 

Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 

Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. 

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.  Psalms 51:1–17



Each month as we meditate on truth, we come to God with a question for Him to speak into during our month. We can learn truth intellectually, but we need the Spirit to speak truth into our hearts for us to awaken to it. Bring the following question to God. Wait for Him to answer throughout your month. Allow the Spirit to do what only He can do.

Where am I accepting sin in my life?

Where am I hardening my heart against you?

If I confess my sins will you be faithful to forgive me?



In memorizing God’s word we allow the Spirit to bring truth into our lives at any moment as He calls us back to a passage at just the right time in just the right situation.

This month our memory verse is:

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 

Psalm 51:1



In God’s pursuit of us He has given us an incredible gift of the Scriptures. The Scriptures are given to allow us to know Him. They introduce us to Him. They allow us to see His heart, purpose, and plan. Each year we read through the New Testament together as a family to pursue the one who has pursued us. To subscribe to our reading plan simply visit the site below where you can sign up to receive the daily reading every weekday morning in your inbox.

Bible Reading Plan



God calls us to fight for people in prayer. The power of prayer is far beyond our understanding, and in faith we bring before God those we fight for. In order to fight well, we’ve designated certain days to certain prayer requests. This allows us to be intentional and obedient in prayer.

Monday – Friends who don’t know Christ
Tuesday – Family
Wednesday – Church
Thursday – Dinner Group
Friday – City and nation
Saturday – World
Sunday – Co-workers



One of the great gifts that God has given us is the ability to learn from others who are on this journey with us. As we are on our way we often have the opportunity to do just that through reading or audio books. Each month we tackle one book that ties into our contemplative passage.

Monthly Book:  “What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Philip Yancey


Developing healthy rhythms in your life is about finding a schedule that works for you. It’s about figuring out how to incorporate all that we’ve talked about into your daily, weekly, and monthly experience. It’s about prioritizing and consistently pursuing the one who loves you most. Many of us follow the daily rhythm below, but feel free to adjust it based on your daily flow and expectations.

Morning:

  • Bible Reading Plan
  • Personal Prayer

Commute:

  • Monthly Book

Lunch:

  • Meditation Passage
  • Meditation Question

Before Bed:

  • Memorization
  • Intercessory Prayer Schedule


The Lord’s Supper is another rhythm of remembrance and a rhythm we can experience in community. Each month in your dinner group you’ll walk through our monthly communion practice that ties into our meditation passage for that month as well as our memory verse. The leader will walk you through the following questions.

As you begin communion this month read through our meditation passage together. (See above)

Leader: “What has God brought to light in your life that you’ve had to confess to Him this week?”

Leader: Now read “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  1 John 1:8–9”

 

“Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Tonight we remember that sacrifice that covers over what we’ve shared.

Hand out the bread and cup.

Leader: As we take the bread, remember that He took the punishment we deserved. – Take the bread.

Leader: As we take the cup, remember the blood that was shed to for our forgiveness. – Take the Cup.

Have someone thank God for His willingness to forgive and faithfulness in doing so!



Fasting is a practice that allows us to contain the appetites of our flesh while feeding our appetite for the one who loves us most. In denying the appetite for food, we learn that we are stronger than our flesh while at the same time feeding our appetite for Christ, reminding ourselves of where the desires of our heart are actually found.

This month we will be fasting on Thursday March 16th.

We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.

As you move through the day, when you experience hunger remember that it was through the suffering of Jesus Christ that we were forgiven. Remember the punishment that He took that you deserved.

Allow your hunger to awaken you to the pain of sin in our lives. Allow it to motivate you to leave behind the things that are holding you back!



It’s in silence and solitude that we create space for God to speak to our soul. Those who pursued God often did so in the wilderness. This quarter, we invite you to take a day and find a space you can enjoy in solitude and silence. Try to spend at least four hours walking through this rhythm.

As you move into your time of solitude return to the contemplative question. Ask God to reveal your heart. Ask God to reveal the things that you can’t see for yourself. Don’t just move on, wait on Him. Allow silence to open your eyes to what the busyness has blinded you to.

Now move into confession. Repent of the things He’s revealed. Be as specific as possible and completely honest.

Now accept the forgiveness of your Father. Don’t continue in guilt. Awaken to the overwhelming power of your forgiveness. Celebrate your forgiveness and thank Him for it, even if you don’t feel forgiven. Act in faith based on what He has told you. He is faithful to forgive!

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