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Showing posts from January, 2015

IMMOVABLY CHILDLIKE

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Did you ever have a childhood? Do you remember? Were you cognizant of being deeply loved or was that missing from your awareness? Do you remember when you thought your upbringing was normal? Can you describe a time that you remember feeling loved, being held or praised by your parent(s)?


When a child is loved, held and taught by a good parent there is a certain kind of mutuality that bonds the parent and child together.
The loved child is able to take correction and wants to please the loved parent. Even an imperfect, demanding parent may be loved by the child. There is a need in a child’s heart to please the parent.
Imperfect and demanding children still need to be loved by the parent.They are committed to seeing the child learn to act in loving ways.
The story of Mary and Martha reminds me of two kinds of childlike response. Can you see yourself in one or the other?

Luke 10:38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home…

DRINKING TO SEE CLEARLY

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Sometimes people think that drugs and alcohol will help them to find courage, be open to creativity and to see things more clearly. Unfortunately, they only experience a disappointing delusion. They are none the wiser, more bound than free and less alive in the aftermath. 



Drunkenness and intoxication take a person further away from what’s real. This is true of all our sinful desires.
James wrote to the church about their conflicting loyalties. On one hand they followed Jesus and at the same time were following the patterns of the world that took them away from Jesus.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

We may have more in common with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well than…

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE?

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Discipleship means different things to different people.





·A systematic and academic pursuit of spiritual practices. ·Learning obedience to God.·Daily habits that improve your connection to God ·Living as a ‘missional’ person, focused on doing the Great Commission.
Maybe you have another idea on what it means. Each of these ideas can be part of discipleship and they can also miss the point of being a disciple.
If you approach spiritual formation as a ‘to do list’ you will miss the point and grow discouraged. Discipleship is not:
·A self-help plan to make you a better Christian·A way to measure yourself by God’s standards·A way to improve your standing with God·An elite activity for extraordinary spiritual giants
When you pray, worship, read Scripture, etc., you will likely find yourself in a process that reveals new layers of your weakness and vulnerability. You need to be okay with seeing yourself soberly and exposing your inner reality to God’s love.
Perhaps the best understanding of dis…

TAKING HOLD AND LETTING GO

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We have limited ourselves to 12 spiritual disciplines as a focus for the year. Each month we will present opportunities and challenges to engage in the theme of the month. Before we look at the January challenge, let’s get an overview of the 12.

Dallas Willard, in The Spirit of the Disciplines, and Richard Foster, in Celebration of Discipline, have compiled a list of spiritual disciplines and practices they believe were modeled in the life of Christ. These disciplines are typically organized into two categories: the disciplines of abstinence (or “letting go”) and the disciplines of activity.[1]
We will use Nathan Foster’s list of 12 as our focus when viewed through these 2 categories. It would be a good idea to buy a notebook or journal on your phone or computer as we go through the year.

Activity (Taking Hold)Abstinence (Letting Go)

January – worship
February – prayer

March - fastingApril – submission
May – confession