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Leader to Leader
What are the foundations of your faith? World Vision asked Christian leaders from across the country for their thoughts.

What does getting back to the basics look like in your faith journey? We asked Christian leaders from across the country for their thoughts.

“I have learned the value of a Sabbath…”

Tama Ward Balisky
Artistic Director, Eastside Story Guild, Vancouver

“I find the rhythms of prayer that I have been taught since I was a child are the backbone of maintaining a relational focus on God. These routines (which, yes, can feel routine but are critical none-the-less) include the seemingly old-fashioned practice of going to church each Sunday morning, week in and week out, come what may. As well I persist in seeking time out in the early morning to read Scripture—I favour the gospels—and to be intentionally open to the indwelling of God’s presence. As for loving of neighbours, my family and I work at making hospitality a priority in our lives. This includes a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food, but we find that food shared with strangers and vulnerable people is almost sacramental, a “means of grace” whereby we leave each other’s company feeling relationally strengthened and hopeful for the journey ahead.”

Walter Twiddy
CEO, NeighbourLink Calgary

“I keep my faith current and strong through persistent daily service to those who have fallen into the ditches of life. I do not walk by on the other side of the road; I notice, care, and act to heal their ‘wounds’. NeighbourLink gives me the opportunity to do this about 50 times a day with the help of a great staff team.

“I also have learned the value of a Sabbath—a time to get my own batteries re-charged—weekly staff meetings where we open up a snapshot of the life of Jesus and wrestle with how it applies to our personal faith journey and the mission of NeighbourLink. And I always keep a focus on the words of Jesus: ‘Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto Me’. That’s not busyness, that’s ‘Gospel without words’ opportunities entrusted to me!”

Linda Moorcroft
Executive Director, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, Toronto

“Several years ago I began the practice of observing a Sabbath, setting aside a concentrated time for rest, reflection and being with God. Perhaps it was the fruit of this spiritual discipline that prompted me to take a sabbatical this summer and embark on a pilgrimage through Northern Spain. I spent five weeks walking with God, praying, reflecting and enjoying His presence. Such experiences renew my passion and energy, help me refocus and prioritize, and remind me that I worship a God who longs for my companionship.”

Karen L. Reed
CEO, More Than Gold, Vancouver

“For me, keeping focused on God in the midst of increasing demands doesn’t come from seeking to put God at the top of a list of priorities. The image is more like inviting God into the center of all aspects of life and all that unfolds in a day. It comes more from what I believe—about God and myself—than what I do. Cultivating a vigorous faith is not passive and I have to exercise it daily in my mind, prior to it affecting actions. Before I get out of bed I talk to God and ask Him not to bless my day and agenda but, ‘What are Your plans for me today? To whom can I express your generous love?’ At the end of the day, I reflect on this again. ‘Where did I lose awareness of your Presence?’ Nurturing this practice is difficult to maintain (and busyness exposes our true values), and my commitment to it comes from a belief that God seeks obedience, not results.

Originally published in World Watch, September/October 2009.

Related article:  Getting Back to the Basics

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