Inspirational

You CAN be super at spiritual disciplines

Prayer. Bible reading. Scripture memorization. Fasting. Worship. These are a few of the spiritual disciplines we hear about the most. We know they are valuable. We understand how they should have a regular place in our lives. When pastor preaches it, we “amen” him all day long. But it still seems so hard.

If you are waiting for spiritual disciplines to become easy, you’ll wait for a long time. No fresh recruit goes straight into S.E.A.L. training. No one who sees a video of that training thinks they can jump off their couch and jump right in.

Spiritual disciplines are essential to spiritual living because of the spiritual battle we face all day, every day. Yet they rarely come naturally. They take work. We face challenges as we attempt to integrate them into our daily lives.  But they don’t have to be as hard as they sound, and we don’t have to master them overnight. Despite the difficulty, we can learn to be “super” at them.

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Inspirational

If your personal harvest is coming … are you ready for it?

Autumn is a time when leaves change and crisp air moves in for those of us in North America. School is in full swing and Thanksgiving holidays are planned. Living in Canada as an American, I get to celebrate one in October and another in November.

Harvest and Thanksgiving fit together easily, and a message of personal or congregational harvest follows the theme. “Your harvest is coming.” “God has promised us a harvest, and we’ll be blessed as we receive it.”

According to Scripture, there is one important qualifier to the personal harvest headed our way. If you believe God’s harvest for you is about land in your life, you should buckle your seat belt and remind yourself of this truth. You might be in for more than you’re prepared for.

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Inspirational

Your today deserves as much attention as your dreams for tomorrow

The call to be more than we currently are is everywhere. No matter your talent or skill, you have the ability to market and monetize yourself so you can fulfill your dream and get out of your mediocre life.

From television infomercials to the Christian Living section at the local bookstore, the message is clear: Your currently life can be shed for one that is much better. Of course, don’t forget to buy the latest technological tool or five-step outline to fame and fortune while you’re here.

Who doesn’t want to quit their 9-to-5 and strike it rich doing the one thing they love? I would much rather write all day than take calls from strangers in a call center. Everyone has a dream job they would jump into if they could.

But we can’t. Most of us have to work jobs we don’t like so we can pay bills, have a place to live, and bring home food to eat. Is that wrong? Are failing ourselves by living like that? Or has the call to “leave it all behind” and “be all you can be” taken a turn into dangerous territory?

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Inspirational

Learning to See Our Community through Heaven’s Prescription

Today is April 1, and we still have a few feet of snow in our yard. March brought storm after storm, and Spring is late in our part of the world. We might think it’s bad, but our exchange student from South America feels much worse.

He arrived on the 14th, just after one storm and in time for another the following day. We try to convince him this is not normal, and it will all be different, hopefully soon. It’s a challenge trying to describe to him what our community will look when all of the snow has melted.

We can all create a mental picture of the communities we live, work, and worship in. People, places, monuments, attractions. Our picture tends to include what we enjoy and are proud of. But what about those elements of our community we choose to keep out of our picture? Do we know what they are? Is our attitude toward them the same as Heaven’s?

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Bible, Inspirational

10 Broken Pieces God Used to Make Us Whole Again

Just four months ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether it is the right day of the year or how it is misused, Christmas is a time of celebration and joy.

Good Friday is different. Those who know Easter is coming recognize the darkness of today will turn to eternal light on Sunday. Grief will turn to wonder. Jesus’ victory overshadows Satan’s temporary victory. We tend to treat Good Friday as a hiccup. It appears and then it’s gone, a blip on the radar.

Maybe it’s because Good Friday reminds us how broken our world is. Sure, we see the news and pray for nations and people hit by tragedy. Brokenness seems obvious. Yet today’s message of brokenness is about sin, judgment, and justice. But the good news of the Gospel is how God sent Jesus to redeem our brokenness and make us whole and new again.

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