What gives you meaning in life? Is it your achievements? Your career? Your family? Or maybe you struggle with that question altogether. Maybe you don't see much point or meaning in life at all.
Previewing his upcoming book, Chase takes us through Samson's story in Judges. Samson was given an identity before he was born. And he spent most of his life, it seems, struggling to understand who he was and his purpose in God's big plan.
So take heart! You're not alone in your quest for meaning in life. And the meaning you're looking for may just be closer than you think.
Chase Replogle is the pastor of Bent Oak Church in Springfield, Missouri. He has a degree in Biblical Studies and an M.A. in New Testament. He hosts the Pastor Writer Podcast, interviewing pastors and authors on the calling and craft of writing. Past guests have included: Pete Scazzero, Dick Foth, Os Guinness, Scott Sauls, and Drew Dyck. The podcast has been featured by The Gospel Coalition.
A native to the Ozark woods, he enjoys being outdoors with his wife and two kids: fly-fishing, playing the mandolin (badly), and quail hunting with his bird dog Millie.
You can find Chase on:
Or check out his websites chasereplogle.com and pastorwriter.com
How to Be a Christian with a Busy Schedule - Chase Replogle - Theology in Progress (Ep 50)
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
The Great Omission by Dallas Willard
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
Chapter 1 - Looking for Meaning in All the Wrong Places
The book of Ecclesiastes opens with David's son, Solomon, declaring, "Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." You've probably felt like saying the same thing about your own life on occasion. Don't worry. We all have. But Christians have a unique advantage in the search for meaning. We know it's not found in us. It's easy to say we need to find meaning in Jesus, but what does that mean practically for how we live our lives today?
Chapter 2 - Finding Your Identity Where You Are Now
"The grass is always greener on the other side." The cliche is definitely overused. At the same time, it's proven true over and over again in the Christian life. You think, "If I could only get the better job, then I could really serve Jesus." What if it were possible to find meaning and fulfillment right now, right where you are? In this chapter, Chase tells a bit of his own story and a few of the lessons he learned from studying Samson's desires to find fulfillment in the greener grass in Philistia.
Chapter 3 - Writing as a Means to Spiritual Growth
If you wrote down a list of spiritual disciplines, writing probably doesn't make the list. But this practice is beneficial for spiritual growth because it allows you to reflect on your thoughts, experiences, and interactions with other people. It's really just another word for journaling. In this chapter, Chase talks about the impact the discipline of writing has had on his own life and spiritual growth as he wrote the Samson story.
Chapter 4 - A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
We often look for mountain top experiences where we can erect a monument and declare, "I grew more today than I ever have before!" This rarely happens in the Christian life. In fact, we most often grow in small, imperceptible ways, and we do so in seasons. And when it comes to spiritual disciplines like writing, journaling, prayer, or Bible reading, little decisions that move us in the right direction over time often produce the most growth. They're what Eugene Peterson called a long obedience in the same direction. In this chapter, Chase tells about his experience cultivating his practice of writing in seasons as a way to become better at his craft.
Chapter 5 - Rest as a Spiritual Discipline
Ask almost anyone, "How's it going?" and you'll get one of two answers. Either they'll say, "I'm good!" or they'll probably (and more honestly) say, "I'm tired!" Why is it that we're always so tired? Isn't the Christian life, the yoke of Jesus, supposed to be light and easy? The answer to these problems is rest. In this chapter, Chase talks about the value of rest as a spiritual discipline and its effect on his busy life.
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