Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dallas Willard- Training to Reign

The church at large lost a giant
 in the world of teaching about spiritual disciplines.
 Dallas Willard died May 8, 2013
 at the age of 77 from a short battle with cancer.

Dallas Willard- 1935- May 8, 2013

 The following quote gives an insight to his Resurrection thoughts
 that must bring comfort to his family at this time:

[Willard's] books all call out, in one way or another: Come on over. It's going to be okay to die first. You have to do it, and you can do it. Not even Jesus got a resurrection without a death, and he'll be at your side when you surrender your old life. Trust me on this. If you die with Jesus Christ, God will walk you out of your tomb into a life of incomparable joy and purpose inside his boundless and competent love.

I stumbled on the writings of Dallas Willard
 about 5 years ago in my research on Spiritual Formation.
 Nothing had as much of an impact as his writings. 
 I was blessed to hear him speak at the
 Renovare Conference in San Antonio in 2006
 and he came to a local church a few years back
 and I heard him speak there also....
 The phrase that still sticks in my mind --
sometimes out of the blue on a hard day-
"We are training to reign."  

We are to bring God Glory Here
 and this is all "training to reign " with Him in heaven.
Not as equal in majesty, but esteemed,
 dearly loved creatures of our Heavenly Father.

His book Renovation of the Heart Renovation
 and the work with Jan Johnson in Daily Practice brought 
clarity to a new understanding of the practices of spiritual disciplines. 
 I taught a Bible class using these materials
 and walked a journey of exploration
 with a group of women on Wednesday mornings.

We are blessed to have his clear thinking in writing.
 As I sat listening to him speak in a packed room,
 I could not help but think-
" this is what it must have been like to listen to C.S. Lewis."
 For no doubt, the writings of Dallas Willard will be words
 that shape critical thinking in the world of philosophy and faith life
 for decades to come.

His last words echo my heart thoughts today too- " Thank you."

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