The Nine Temperaments of Sacred Pathways, Exercise

Welcome back for round two of Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas and the Nine Temperaments.  You can find more information about the nine temperaments in this post.  Today what I wanted us to do is have a little exercise to explore each type.  

I also wanted to emphasize the value of finding what temperament you are to begin using this in your daily time with the Lord.  I equate it with knowing what food works for your body.  I could tell you all the benefits of eating eggs for breakfast with a cup of coffee, or how for lunch I eat a broccoli salad with raisins (by the way, you won't be seeing me purposefully eat raisins).  Meanwhile, you know broccoli and your gut do not agree.  Or maybe your skin flares up when you eat eggs, so you avoid them.  

We have different dietary needs, so we shouldn't assume our spiritual dietary needs should look the same.  For me, I have a blend of Sensate, Caregiver, Enthusiast & Intellectual.  If it's early morning and I'm sitting with God, I need a quiet environment and allow for me to connect with God on an intellectual level.  I also love music, like crazy love, and when I pull out my guitar and sing with sheer abandon I find my Jesus in the most intimate ways.  

If you were to ask Ben, he would tell you he's a mixture of the Naturalist, Aesthetic, and Intellectual.  He has been known to spend a whole weekend at a monastery in silence and prayer.  Books like The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster speak to him.  He also connects with God by engaging his mind and listening to seminary lectures.  

Here are some tips before you get started:

  • First, make spending time with God a priority.
  • Choose places where you won't be distracted (hard when you have young children)
  • Choose the right time of day.
  • Mix it up:
    • take walks
    • read devotional books
    • listen to music
    • have exuberant worship times
    • sit quietly/meditate/reflection/solitude
    • fast
    • go outside
    • pray through the Psalms
    • read a Psalm before prayer
    • pray out loud
    • write poetry/psalm/journal
    • shout out praises
    • dance with God

I personally love the Psalms, and feel they speak to the human experience.  I will provide different exercises using Psalm 62 for each of the types.  You can use your own translation for it (and future try a different Psalm).  

1. The Naturalist: Go to a place outside, either by the water, or in the country, mountains.  Read the Psalm out loud.  Reflect on the psalm and the scenery together.  Now, write down how they relate--see what it speaks to you or if it does.  How does it speak to you?

2. The Sensate: Go to a quiet place, light a candle, burn incense, or diffuse some oils.  Have a snack, or a hot cup of tea or coffee.  Read the psalm out loud, then draw a picture of what God seems to be speaking about through the psalm and your senses.  Through your picture, you will be relaying what God is telling you in the psalm.

3. The Traditionalist: Divide the psalm into portions.  Read one part out loud, then pause and pray.  You could also mix it up with reading from the Book of Common Prayer.  Then meditate on the scripture, maybe memorized parts of it.  

4. The Aesthetic: Read the psalm to yourself, not out loud.  Go to a quiet place and meditate on it.  Kneel, be silent and still before God.  See what God is speaking to you through your silence and meditation on Him.

5. The Activist: Read psalm out loud and see how the psalm would speak to the church of today, or the nation on a political issue.  You can write a letter to church about recent news, #blacklivesmatter or planned parenthood.  Then intercede.

6. The Caregiver: Read psalm aloud.  Then reflect on and pray for a person you are moved with compassion.  See how the Lord is speaking to you to minister to that person through the reading of the psalm.  Then write a letter to that person, or email or text.

7. The Enthusiast: Read aloud (with passion) the psalm.  Listen to music while reading.  Spend the rest of the time PRAISING HIM for all He's done for you.  Shout it out and dance.

8. The Contemplative: Read silently. Write a letter to God, a love letter of response to the psalm.  Tell him of your adoration.

9. The Intellectual: Read aloud, do an inductive bible study of the psalm.  Find out the exegesis of Psalm 62, and the origins.  Why was this written?  What was happening in Israel for this to play a significant role in lament?  What types of Psalms are there? Create further questions you would have for a future discussion.


These are very simplistic ways of playing out the nine temperaments with Psalm 62 being the common denominator.  As you might guess, some of these are easier to pan out in a corporate setting while others are not.  You might be a contemplative traditionalist, which will help you know what you need in a corporate setting and at home.  I often find I intertwine the Aesthetic and Caregiver when I cook.  I will pray while cutting the vegetables and stirring the stew.  I find God here.  I am finding more of the naturalist in me when gardening, something I never knew until I found the right setting.  

I would love to hear what you've discovered about yourself in experimenting with the nine pathways.  


Kamille Scellick

Kamille Scellick passionately believes that gathering around the table is where the body, mind & soul will be nourished. It's around the table where you're sure to find her on any given day...eating, talking, listening & sharing life with her husband, Ben & three girls.

Sacred Pathways, an Introduction

One of my favorite podcasts is Sorta Awesome, hosted by Megan Tietz, where she has three regular; but, different co-hosts each week (Kelly Gordon, Rebekah Hoffer and Laura Tremaine). In the recent installment, episode 19, of Sorta Awesome, Megan talks about the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas when talking about various personalities relate with God.  

One thing I have in common with Megan is our deep seeded desire to talk about Myers-Briggs all the days, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise that I did a bible study in college on the nine temperaments Thomas discusses in Sacred Pathways.  

Gary Thomas happened to be an alum of the campus ministry I was apart of and attended the same church, so it would seem his name and books were common knowledge.  Although his book Sacred Marriage depressed me and his most popular, it would be Sacred Pathways where I found my heart strings resonating.  "What! An opportunity to know thyself and help others to know thyself! Sign me up."  

Although there are hints of personality types echoing throughout the book, I found it was more about how we connect with God.  It opened a new gateway to seeing how the body of Christ is large and wide, and yet how we relate with Him looks differently.  

As one of the co leaders of a small group of young women, we explored these nine pathways.   There was great response from the ladies saying things like, "This is so helpful in knowing it's okay that I don't always enjoy the music in a service," or another saying, "That makes sense why I always tend toward being outside."  What I found was it gave room for us to see the other and not feel guilty for being different.  It also gave room for us to not make it all about us in our worship.  We could say, "although I'm not particularly fond of connecting with God through activism/social justice, I can see why it's needed and why my sister or brother does it."

Here are the Nine Temperaments found in Sacred Pathways:

1. The Naturalist: This person loves God by being outdoors.

2. The Sensate: This person loves God through the senses; overwhelmed with smell, sight, touch, hearing, tasting.

3. The Traditionalist: This person loves God through rituals, symbols, sacraments, and disciplined lives of faith.

4. The Aesthetic: This person loves God through solitude, simplicity, and meditation.  This person enjoys being off by themselves.

5. The Activist: This person loves God through confrontation, fighting against the forces of evil--battle. They also tend to be against apathy.

6. The Caregiver: This person loves God by loving others or through interaction with others.

7. The Enthusiast: This person loves God with mystery and celebration.  They love to praise and worship God and feel God's power.  If they don't experience the power of God, they can become frustrated.

8. The Contemplative: This person loves God through contemplation.  This person is deeply in love with God.  They have a huge adoration for the Lord.

9. The Intellectual: This person loves God with their mind.  They are interested in studying theology and deep issues.  They see faith as something to learn and are into doctrinal statements that are founded on biblical truths.  


This is merely an introduction to the Pathways.  You might find that more than one resonates with you, which is very typical.  You might also find in different seasons of your life you sway toward one you normally didn't before.  Like most areas of our lives, we can leave room for fluidity in who we are and who we are becoming.  I will post an activity for you on the nine types, so be sure to join in.

What type stands out to you? 

Kamille Scellick

Kamille Scellick passionately believes that gathering around the table is where the body, mind & soul will be nourished. It's around the table where you're sure to find her on any given day...eating, talking, listening & sharing life with her husband, Ben & three girls.

Summer Medley of Sliced Fennel, Beets, Radishes, & Carrots with Orange Vinaigrette

Last summer our family of five traveled to Arizona along the I-5 corridor making a surprise stop in Disneyland.  I still remember the thrill in our daughter's eyes when we woke up in a hotel to reveal our surprise of entering Disneyland that day.  After an "let's cram it all in" sort of day, we hit our pillows hard to welcome a day of relaxation in southern California.  

As an Arizona native, I always felt a duel citizenship with California as we traveled to San Diego every Christmas and various holidays to spend with our extended family.  Since my dad was born and raised, it was only natural a part of me grew up there with the stories I heard and the sights I had experienced.  I still remember the curvature of I-8 when leaving El Cajon and burgeoning San Diego appeared.  The highway signs boasting "Beaches" always foreign, and forever magical to me.  


In my freshman year of high school I moved with dad and brothers to one of the adjoining cities in Orange County called Fountain Valley.  The temperature always pleasant, and if you were hot you could literally go upstairs to Willy's room to stand in front of the open window to feel the breeze waft in from the ocean (and we were still 15 minutes away).  With San Diego beaches forever on my mind, I would come to love and appreciate Huntington Beach.  

Our family would bring hot dogs to roast, and my dad's obligatory 'Pork & Beans,' with the lid opened and cooked right over the flames.  I hadn't returned to this little spot in ages.  So, as we traveled to La Lima where our townhouse resided I texted Willy & Andrew a picture asking if they recognized the place.  They both knew.  I showed Ben and the girls my high school, the 711 where I stood aimlessly as Willy played the new Mortal Combat game, and of course, Huntington Beach.  

It's interesting how an image of a place can either be spot on when you return, or completely different.  In this instance it was different with more shops and traffic than I remember.  As we pilled out of the van, the smell of sunscreen and salt filled the air.  Breath in deep and there I was, 14 again.  


We walked into a little restaurant, which promised unique flavors, a splash of hipster and a decent drink menu.  Ben and Cadence ordered the burger on a brioche bun, big slabs of bacon & cheddar cheese.  Veronica ordered a variation of a croque-monsieur.  I wanted to stick with a salad, and the one with sliced root vegetables of beets, radishes, carrots, & fennel, topped with gorgonzola and an orange vinaigrette sounded light, yet refreshing.  Plus, I wanted to order their boozy butterscotch milkshake, so priorities in calories--yes?!

The shake arrived and fulfilled all my expectations of rum, vanilla ice cream and butterscotch drizzled around.  Then, the salad in all it's glory piled high with shaved vegetables, walnuts & gorgonzola promised a taste truly divine.  Upon first bite, it fell flat.  Upon second bite, hoping for something, it was evident this salad although gorgeous suffered from lack luster.  This meant one thing, I was determined to recreate this salad at home bursting with flavor.  

The salad at the restaurant.  Looks good right!

The salad at the restaurant.  Looks good right!

And so, this summer medley of sliced fennel, red & golden beets, radishes, and carrots topped with gouda & macadamia nuts serves up a more well-rounded flavor profile.  The macadamia nuts lend a salty buttery fat and the gouda a creaminess, both needed to strengthen the cleanness of the vegetables.  I needed the vinaigrette to punch up the garden flavors, which comes through in the apple cider vinegar & a splash of orange to brighten it up.  After eating this salad your body will thank you.  

Summer Medley: Raw Sliced Root Vegetables (Fennel, Radish, Carrot, Beet with Macadamia Nuts & Gouda)  PRINTABLE RECIPE

You really need a mandoline to make this salad, in order to get perfectly sliced vegetables.  I have this one. If you would like to make this vegan, simply omit the cheese and sub the honey with agave nectar.  

Salad Ingredients:

1 bunch of Radishes

2- Fennel bulbs

3-4 Yellow beets

3-4 Red beets

4 Carrots, medium size

small handful of chives

1/4 cup of macadamia nuts

1/3-1/2 cup gouda 


1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use raw from Bragg's)

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tb raw honey (you can use non-raw honey)

1 orange, fresh squeezed orange juice 2-4 Tb to taste to likeness


Prepare all your vegetables, by scrubbing them clean.  Peel your carrots & beets.  When peeling your red beets, be sure to put them in a separate spot to avoid staining everything else.  

Using a mandolin, slice all your veggies.  Begin with radishes, then fennel, carrots, yellow beets and lastly the red beets.  You will want a 1/8 to 1/16th inch slice, depending on how small your mandolin goes.  If it doesn't give you measurements, then simply use the smallest setting.  

Get bowls for each sliced veggie to store them while you make the vinaigrette.  

In a measuring cup, add the oil, ACV, salt & honey and whisk together with a fork.  Taste, then add the orange juice tablespoon by tablespoon for taste.  Set aside.

Once you are done with the vinaigrette, fill the bowls with ice cold water.  You will immerse them into the cold water to keep them crisp.   Keep the veggies in the water for about one minute.  

Dump out the ice cold water from each veggie bowl.  Place each veggie in a salad spinner to remove excess water.  Do this in order of light colored veggies to darker ones (fennel, radishes, carrots, yellow beets, red beets).  Put the veggies back in their separate bowls.  Now, add 1 - 1 1/2 Tb of vinaigrette to each bowl of vegetables.  With your hands, lightly coat the vegetables. Allow the vegetables to sit while you cut the gouda into 1/4 inch cubes.

Layer the vegetables in a large shallow bowl beginning with the red beets, then yellow beets, then carrots, then radishes and lastly fennel.  Add the rest of the vinaigrette to the vegetables.  With light hands, gently toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette.  Add the cubed gouda around the salad along with macadamia nuts.  Using kitchen shears, or a chef knife, snip/cut the chives into 1/8 inches and garnish the salad.  

Serve right away, or allow to sit to further absorb the flavor into the vegetables.  This will store just fine in the fridge for a couple days.  The only thing is the red beets will also bleed it's color turning the salad more pink.  

You could prepare this in advance and store in fridge, just keep red beets separately and wait till serving to add nuts, cheese, and chives.