First Day: Your Influencers

I thought it might be fun and beneficial to use this July “First Day” posting to ask you to share the people who have influenced, or are influencing, your spiritual formation right now.

I have created the occasional “Connections” post to share similar things from my experience.  But now, I’d like to ask you to share those people who have shaped your formation.  If there any significant books that are related to this, it would be good to share those as well.

Hopefully, this will generate sense of how God has been at work in those of us who are part of the Oboedire readership.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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4 Responses to First Day: Your Influencers

  1. jodie howell says:

    Spiritual formation in my life has occurred through so many people in so many ways. Mentors in the life of prayer have been my mother (unceasing prayer), author/speaker Becky Tirabassi (prayer as relationship), an elderly prayer “giant” at my home church (keeping confidences in prayer) and Dr. Joy Moore (spontaneous, verbalized prayer “in the moment”) during her sojourn at ATS-Wilmore. Eight years of faithful leaders in Bible Study Fellowship grounded me in the primacy of Scripure; Mike Yaconelli and fifteen years in youth ministry planted me in spiritual disciplines, the contemplatives and discipleship; and five years at ATS-Orlando under the guidance of countless spirit-filled men and women in academia convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that “head and heart” can “go hand in hand” (no matter what the detractors of a seminary education may say!) Authors that have formed me are too many to list, but I would certainly be remiss in not mentioning the works of Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, Elisabeth Elliot and Thomas Oden in particular. Finally, I firmly believe, and have often declared, that marriage and parenting are two of the most intense and comprehensive “spiritual formation” courses that exist! I give thanks to God (yes, sometimes through clenched teeth!) for having placed me in both of those “classrooms” for the last forty years.

  2. Gene Maddox says:

    About thirteen years ago, God gave me the gift of Stephen Martyn – an incredible mixture of brother, humility, intellect, compassion, wisdom, leadership, discipler, and love. He has taken me through many of the “Masters,” especially John Cassian. Through Steve, the Holy Spirit has widened and deepened me. Most of all, this great man of God has loved me. In the midst of caring for hundreds of seminarians, his family, other pastors, and sinus infections, he has found a place in his heart for me. I count my relationship with Steve as one of my greatest treasures; one that will last into eternity. Father, I greatly thank You.

  3. Tom Pope says:

    Steve, you are my leading spiritual director today through this blog and your friendship.in addition to you, I have been privileged over the years to be influenced by Bob Mulholland, both through his writing and his personal guidance, the writings of Thomas Merton, the teaching and writing of Susan Muto and Fr. Adrian Van Kamm. The books that started my journey toward spiritual formation, long before attending seminary were “Practicing the Presence of Christ” by Brother Lawrence and the “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a’ Kempis. And, of course, the prayer of St. Francis.

  4. Leslie Foos says:

    Steve, you & Jeannie have been the greatest influence on me spiritually. I look to both of you for guidance, knowledge and support. You don’t force feed “religion”…you are simply grace-filled & you exude that calmness & serenity that seems to come from total and unconditional surrender to God. You both live what you preach & teach! Thank you for giving me an example to follow.

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