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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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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Christian Living

Encouragement When God Feels Far Away

Christmas is a special time of year. There are all of the “regular” things we do at Christmas. We bake cookies, decorate trees and homes, visit with family, and have huge dinners. Alongside those are the “churchy” things we use to celebrate the season. We sing Carols, light candles, put on Christmas pageants and plan Christmas Eve services. Chances are there are still more dinners to attend.

We take this season to celebrate, not all of the things, but Jesus. It’s one of two big days every year we make an extra effort to put Jesus at the forefront of everything. And we even have a measure of permission to do it.

Most of us are used to celebrating Christmas in one form or another every year. We expect it to come. Many of us are also familiar with the Scriptures detailing the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. It would be hard to forget for some. But when Christ came, God’s people were in the middle of wondering if God would ever speak to them again.

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