realencounters    asgf2

Many people think of spiritual growth as solitary work that happens outside of everyday life.

But through decades of group work, authors Frank Rose and Bob Maginel have developed a program of spiritual growth that works best in the midst of daily living.
Through a series of exercises (referred to as “tasks”), readers learn how to raise their awareness and their spirits to a higher level, to connect more readily with their Higher Power, and to unlock authentic spiritual joy even at life’s most challenging moments.
For people working in groups, the authors include suggestions for structuring spiritual growth meetings and tools for discussion facilitators.
For individuals using the books on their own, Rose and Maginel provide transcripts of their own group’s discussions, challenges, and “Aha!” moments, so the reader can share in the group experience.
Through the two books, The Joy of Spiritual Growth, and The Joy of Spiritual Living, Rose and Maginel offer gentle wisdom and practical techniques that make their spiritual growth program an enduring success.

A Bit of History

For over twenty years people have been “practicing” the principles put forth in the program. Lives have changed, joy has been experienced, and people have entered into a new, active relationship with God because of it. The two books, The Joy of Spiritual Growth and The Joy of Spiritual Living, by Bob Maginel and Frank Rose began at Sunrise Chapel on the Eastside of Tucson Arizona. They were each the products of the spiritual growth groups.

It is not a difficult small group program. There is no prerequisite or formal training required. It is for everyone wherever you are on your journey. The program is based on the idea that our mind is like a house with several floors in it. We choose where we live in the house of our mind. We can dwell in the upper stories where there is light and love, and where we see the world as God might see it. Or we may spend time in the basement where there is fear, anxiety, sadness, resentment, etc.

Each course, and each small group experience helps us learn to walk up the stairs to the higher part of our mind while dealing with everyday life. This is done through a series of “tasks” given each week. They are simple, clear, and easily applied. Here’s an example:

Observe your critical thoughts of yourself or others for one week. How often do you find a perfectly beautiful moment ruined because of a critical random thought that passes through your mind? Is there a pattern? Is the thought true? Is it kind? Is it loving? If it is not loving, it is not true. Let go of the critical thought.

By taking a spiritual principle and applying it to life, we become aware of how far along we are on our spiritual path and what we can do to make healthy, joy-filled changes.