Renovare National Conference

November 9-11, 1989
Renovare - Wichita, KS

Dallas often spoke at Renovare Conferences. The very first Renovare National Conference was held in Wichita, KS, November 1989. Dallas had the privilege of giving three talks:

  1. The Virtuous Life: The Substance of Holiness
  2. Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 1 
  3. Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 2

Resources

1: The Virtuous Life: The Substance of Holiness

With a gentle yet profound approach, Dallas guides listeners through the essence of leading a life aligned with the Kingdom of God, addressing common misconceptions and exploring how genuine holiness impacts daily living. He invites the audience to embrace a life that truly works, rooted deeply in the Kingdom, making this talk a beacon for anyone yearning for spiritual depth and a more effective, virtuous life.

2: Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 1

Living a holy life through the practice of spiritual disciplines is the subject of this talk. Dallas sheds light on the transformative power of integrating these practices into daily life, drawing from the teachings of Jesus. His talk provides both theoretical frameworks and practical advice, aiming to equip the audience with the tools needed to pursue a life lived in harmony with the Kingdom of God.

3: Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 2

Dallas discusses the real-life challenges and solutions that come with pursuing holiness through structured spiritual practices. He offers a compelling invitation to understand and integrate these disciplines more profoundly into everyday life, ensuring they serve as pathways rather than obstacles to genuine spiritual growth.

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The Virtuous Life: The Substance of Holiness

Highlights:

  • Early Inspirations: Dallas reflects on the enriching experience of gathering with others who are equally eager to delve into spiritual truths, highlighting how shared anticipation for spiritual growth can set a transformative atmosphere.
  • Call to Inner Transformation: He emphasizes the need for personal transformation through spiritual renewal, advocating for the shedding of old behaviors and the adoption of a new, holiness-oriented mindset as outlined in the scriptures.
  • Redefining Holiness: Dallas challenges traditional views on holiness, urging listeners to separate it from legalistic and perfectionist connotations, and to see it instead as functional effectiveness in living God's way.
  • Power of Scriptural Engagement: Dallas discusses the vital role of scripture in sustaining spiritual growth and how meditating on God’s word can profoundly shape one’s life to reflect true holiness and responsiveness to God's will.
  • Practicality of Holiness: Using biblical examples like Joseph and Daniel, Dallas illustrates how true holiness manifests as practical wisdom and righteousness in everyday challenges, not as abstract or unreachable ideals.
  • Beyond Superficial Righteousness: He critiques the superficial righteousness of the Pharisees, advocating for a righteousness that exceeds mere external observance and penetrates the heart's deep intentions and attitudes.
  • Role of Discipline and Trials: Dallas explores how spiritual disciplines and life’s trials function as pathways to deeper faith and maturity, emphasizing that embracing life's challenges can lead to substantial spiritual growth.
  • Vision for Community Transformation: He envisions a community where individuals openly acknowledge their imperfections and support each other in spiritual recovery, emphasizing the church’s role as a healing and empowering space for all believers.

Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 1

Highlights:

  • Opening Prayer: Dallas begins with a heartfelt prayer, asking for God's guidance and light to permeate the session, ensuring the teachings not only resonate but become a natural part of the attendees' inner being, seamlessly guiding their actions and thoughts towards righteousness.
  • Easy Yoke of Christ: Dallas discusses the concept of the 'easy yoke' from Matthew 11:28-30, explaining how this represents the grace-filled life under Christ's guidance as opposed to the burdensome ways of the world. This metaphor underscores a life of learning and ease in Christ, which, paradoxically, comes from accepting His way as the path of least resistance against sin.
  • Role of Spiritual Disciplines: He emphasizes the importance of spiritual disciplines as demonstrated by Jesus himself, pointing out that these practices are not just historical artifacts but essential tools for modern Christians aiming to lead a life of spiritual depth and authenticity.
  • Human Nature and Sin: Dallas reflects on the Apostle Paul's insights from Romans 7, discussing the internal struggle against sin that every believer experiences. This highlights the duality within human beings and the ongoing need for divine grace to overcome inherent sinful tendencies.
  • Faith and the Physical Body: He links the spiritual and the corporeal by asserting that spiritual growth and expression are inseparable from the physical body. Dallas explains that God's gift of our bodies is central to exercising dominion and action, which are key aspects of being made in God's image.
  • Practical Spiritual Exercises: Dallas outlines specific spiritual disciplines such as solitude, silence, fasting, and study. He describes these practices as ways to realign our bodies and minds with God's will, moving beyond mere knowledge to a transformative way of living.
  • Grace, Growth, and Intention: Dallas challenges the audience to commit to growth in grace, stressing that such growth should be intentional and reflective, similar to physical or intellectual development. This involves an active decision to embrace and practice the teachings of Christ consistently.

Disciplines for a Holy Life – Part 2

Highlights:

  • Challenge of Overwork: Dallas identifies "overwork" as a significant barrier to spiritual discipline. He emphasizes that our era's pace leaves little room for the reflective, restful practices essential to a deep spiritual life. He advocates for understanding the demands of modern life and adjusting our spiritual practices accordingly.
  • Rest as a Foundation: Dallas stresses the importance of rest in the pursuit of spiritual disciplines. He argues that rest is not passive but a necessary preparation for engaging deeply in practices like solitude and silence, which are more demanding than they appear.
  • Pride and Fear in Overwork: Dallas discusses how overwork often stems from pride and fear rather than necessity. He suggests that spiritual disciplines, particularly worship and reflection on God's actions, can help reorient our perspectives and reduce the urge to overwork.
  • Role of Teaching in Spiritual Growth: Dallas highlights the necessity of robust spiritual teaching within the church community. He criticizes superficial retreats and calls for a deeper engagement with the teachings that foster spiritual maturity.
  • Spiritual Disciplines in Relationships: Dallas delves into the interplay between spiritual disciplines and personal relationships, particularly marriage. He explores how practices like shared prayer can deepen bonds and how individual spiritual growth impacts relationships.
  • Understanding the Gospel and Technology: Dallas discusses the impact of technological advancements on spiritual practices. He calls for a renewed understanding of the gospel that addresses the unique challenges and distractions of the modern age.
  • Confession and Community: Dallas emphasizes the importance of confession within a community setting as a means of healing and spiritual growth. He advocates for a responsible and effective approach to confession that fosters true spiritual help and community support.
  • Frugality and Simplicity: Dallas discusses the spiritual discipline of frugality, contrasting it with sacrifice. He explains that frugality involves avoiding luxury to focus on what is truly necessary, reflecting a life of simplicity that resists the temptations to impress others with material wealth.