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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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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Faith

Does Repentance Have a Regular Place in Your Prayer Time?

Repentance is a word church folks prefer to avoid. While it’s true we want to be reminded of grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, spiritual cleansing, and wholeness, we tend to rush toward the words that feel good and forget about the difficult, but necessary word which opens the door to the rest.

The act of repentance is most often discussed when we are inviting people to believe in Jesus Christ. He will forgive every fault, wipe away every failure, and wash away the stains of our selfish living. All we have to do is repent and believe.

We need to be reminded how repentance is not meant only for our initial salvation, the day we drew near to God and believed in His Son, Jesus. Repentance is God’s call for us, every single day.

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Ministry

Six Tips to Remember Before You Speak the Hard Truth

Life isn’t perfect and rosy. It’d be nice, but it’s alright to be honest. Stuff happens. Sometimes there are a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together, or to scrap in favor of something new.

But fixing troubles isn’t easy, either. It gets worse depending upon the number of people involved in the situation, and how long the trouble has gone on. Eventually someone has to step up and tell the hard truth, to tell it like it is so the group can move on to what is possible.

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Faith

What Would You Ask For This Christmas?

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”80%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]My good friend, Kevin Senapatiratne, travels around North America encouraging Christians in prayer through his ministry Christ Connection and books like Enjoying Prayer and his revised edition of Charles Finney’s Lectures on Revival. I shared this guest post on his blog this week. [/dropshadowbox]

 

Christmas is a season filled with every kind of emotion. It contains some of the greatest highlights of the year, while there are those who find it bothersome, a lot of work, and even discouraging.

Jesus came to share God’s gifts of love, joy, hope, peace, and good news. We celebrate and have incredibly happy moments with family and friends. But there are times when all we feel are the burdens, worries, and stresses of the season.

One of the craziest elements about Christmas is presents. Gift giving can be extreme stressful, even though it is often born out of love. “What will we get them? How much should we spend? Which style should I wrap it in? Will they even like?” I wonder how much the Wise Men worried over the gifts they brought to the newborn King.

It can also be hard to receive gifts. To make things easier, we prefer to ask for certain things. It’s better to nudge towards something we’d really enjoy than be ungrateful for the gift from a friend or loved one. What if we took the time to ask God for gifts in our lives?

Continue reading at www.ChristConnection.com