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 

Podcast

A Glorious Interruption (Podcast)

Part 2. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angel could have made the announcement to anyone in Bethlehem. Yet God sent him to interrupt the otherwise ordinary evening of some dirty, smelly Shepherds out in the fields. What made them so worthy of the message and the glory of Heaven?

We should find ourselves constantly amazed at the glory of God, but our lives don’t tend to allow us to see it. God interrupts our lives to get our attention. The interruption of the angel was the result of one simple truth in the lives of the Shepherds. Without it, few would have marked the birth of the Messiah.

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/chrismackinnon/a-glorious-interruption

(If you do not see the audio player, CLICK HERE to view the full post.)

Christian Living

Don’t Stop Going to Church because of Stupid People

Yeah, I said it. You read that word correctly. I said “stupid”. Let’s face it folks, there are a lot of stupid people out there. They’re on our highways, in our workplaces, and they even find their way into our churches.

Merriam-Webster has a definition of “stupid” to help us understand what we’re talking about here. Their online dictionary describes “stupid” as “slow of mind … given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner.”

Have you bumped into careless, slow thinking people at church? While every pastor is quick to say yes, most churchgoers can probably think of one or two or a dozen people fitting stupid’s description. So can a lot of former churchgoers. Most of those former worshipers can probably tell you a story of how stupid got between them and the church, and ultimately between them and God.

Aside from a lack of interest in living God’s way, stupid people are a big reason people walk out the door never to return. Please, don’t do that. Don’t listen to the lie telling you stupid people aren’t worth sitting in the room with. To walk away because of them is unbiblical, and will actually do more harm than good.

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