Thursday, December 08, 2016

6 Practical Ways You Can Help People In Need


Read: Matthew 25:31-40

Not too long ago I went on an outing to a local wildlife refuge wetlands area to enjoy some bird watching and hiking.


It was a cold late fall day and I was outside for hours. About an hour into my time I realized I was getting cold and even though I'd worn a warm sweatshirt and warm outdoor vest, I'd forgotten a hat and gloves. Needless to say I was feeling it. I pressed on for a couple more hours but then my hands and ears started to feel numb and my hands started to turn reddish. So, I decided that I better get out of the elements and warm up a bit.


On the way back to the car I saw a path I hadn't taken...then after I started down it I stopped myself and turned back to my car because I was starting a shiver because of my poor planning. Yes...I needed to get out of the cold.


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Advent Week 2 - A Prayer of Joy


Read:  Isaiah 35:10, Luke 2:7-15, Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Peter 1:7-9

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter this second week of advent we consider joy in You. 


I thank You and praise you for the great and true joy that comes from knowing You!


As we sing songs of this wonderful season just as "Joy to The World", we remember that Jesus is our true source of joy. 


Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Prayer of Jabez: Praying In Faith and Cutting Out Superstition


Read: 1 Chronicles 4:10, 1 John 5:14-15, Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22, Hebrews 4:16 

The prayer of Jabez is a simple but very poignant prayer full of faith, however, to be very honest, it's not one that we should be superstition about thinking that just by speaking this amazing prayer or any prayer that God will do exactly what we ask. 

It should however expand our prayer life and faith in God's provision and goodness!

What I find is that we can often over-spiritualize or become superstitious about things like prayer thinking if we say or do certain things that that's the ticket to blessing or to release God's "bank account" upon us. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent Week 1 - A Prayer of Hope


Read: Luke 1:26-38, Romans 15:12-13, Romans 5:1-5     

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter into this Christmas season, I praise you and thank you for sending Your one and  Only Son Jesus as He's our only hope. 

I praise You that Jesus is the hope of all mankind! 

I pray that we hold onto and never lose the true hope we have in You! May we carry it all year through and proclaim your goodness all year through. 

May You help us proclaim the truth that Christmas represents as captured in Your Word.

Help us not to put hope in anything or anyone that is temporal, rather, completely place our hope in You the never changing one! 

Help us to remember that You will never let us down!

Friday, November 25, 2016

You need to check out this Guide to Celebrating Advent!

Hello!

Advent begins this Sunday! 

Advent can be a fantastic way for us to: 
#1 Remember the significance of Christmas and 
#2 Help focus our hearts, worship, celebration on the birth of Christ - the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas in the first place!

I created a Celebrating Advent guide that is written from a non-denominational Christian perspective and is meant to be a simple tool/guide - a starting point - to guide you in your observance. 

This resource is perfect to use as an individual, with family and friends or for your local church body as well to celebrate together!

As you'll see, there is practical information about Advent, instructions to guide you each week of Advent including suggested Scriptures and Prayers you can use or you can obviously do your own prayers. This resource was created with a lot of love!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thinking about Thanksgiving...in the day-to-day


Read: Colossians 3:15-17, Colossians 4:2, Psalm 7:17, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 57:9, Psalm 69:30, Psalm 118:29, Romans 14:6, 1 Corinthians 15:57

Everyday, we have so much to be thankful for and we need to pause and reflect more on this fact.


First and foremost as believers we are thankful to God our Father in Heaven. We should be thankful for His great love in which He sent His Son to die on our behalf providing the way of salvation! 

With this, we are thankful for Jesus Christ and for His Spirit - the Holy Spirit actively working in our lives. We can be thankful for even the gift of life itself. 

Every breath that you and I take is truly a gift from God. There are so many seemingly mundane things we could thank Him for. So many things that we could make an infinite list in thanksgiving to God about, if we put ourselves to the task of making such a list. 

It really comes down to the attitude of our hearts and whether or not we choose to thank God and see His hand in every "little" and "big" aspect of our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Peace


Read: Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 14:33a, Matthew 5:9, John 14:27, John 16:33, Isaiah 26:3, Romans 5:1, 1 Peter 3:10-11, 1 Peter 3:10-11, Romans 12:18, Colossians 3:15, Isaiah 48:18, 1 Peter 5:7  

Peace. It's something everyone deep down wants. Why wouldn't we?! Who really likes conflict, turmoil or anything else that is the opposite of peace?! 

We want peace in our home lives and work lives. 

We want peace during war time and peace in the world overall. 

We want peace within ourselves as we face much turmoil in this life. 

We want peace in every circumstance, however, the peace society has bought into isn't true peace because it's based on shifting standards.

So, what is peace and what is the Spiritual fruit of peace? How can we experience it? Do we have a responsibility to pursue it or can we go on "auto pilot" and let the Holy Spirit do it all?

Friday, November 04, 2016

Are You Listening to What God Says About You?


Read: Matthew 6:25-29, Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 5:8-10

Have you found yourself struggling to forge a path or find yourself struggling with self worth issues? 

Let me ask you - when was the last time you cracked open or dusted off your Bible, God's Word and read all He has to say about you and your relationship with Him? To read about His everlasting and unconditional love for you? 

In the pages of scripture you will see more about who you are as well as see that God loves you, He sent His son to prove it and in turn Jesus sent His helper, The Holy Spirit to help you navigate life! You need to know who you are and be confident in you're worth. There's no need to continue to follow the crowd wandering through life trying to find out who you are. 

For instance...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Joy


Read: Galatians 5:22-24, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Romans 12:12, Romans 16:25, Nehemiah 8:10, Acts 2:46, 13:52, 1 Peter 1:8, Luke 2:10, Luke 1:47, Luke 1:44, John 15:11

When it comes to joy, there will be times when you are filled with joy and hope and then there will be times when you’re not. It's pretty much a guarantee in life that we'll experience both ends of the "joy spectrum". 


As you crack open God’s Word we see that He says a lot about Joy! 


In fact, depending on the specific translation, it refers to the words Joy or Rejoice (where we get our word for Joy) over 300 different times!


God’s Word teaches us a lot about joy in part because He created us to live in a joyful relationship with Him and He wants us to experience the true joy that is found in Him!


You may be asking, What's the difference between Joy and Happiness? 

Let's take a brief look at the difference as well as some of the things that can increase or decrease joy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Relationship Fuel


For study and encouragement Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, Proverbs 18:24, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 12:26, Job 29:4-6, Job 16:20-21, John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 15:12-15, Galatians 6:2


God didn't create us to go through life alone. He created us to be relational. He created us to do life together. 

We can all recognize that depending on how we're wired, we may need varying levels and quantities of relationship interaction. 

For instance, if you're an introverted person then you'll typically need less than an extroverted person but the same truth remains that we were create for relationship beginning with a growing relationship with God as well as with others. 

We're meant to pour into one another. Build one another up and in a sense - be fuel for one another. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Love


Read: Galatians 5:22-23, John 3:16, Mark 12:30–31, John 15:13, 1 John 3:11, Romans 5:8, Luke 6:35, 1 John 5:3, John 13:35.

For the believer, when it comes to The Fruit of The Spirit, Love is one of the hardest fruits to bear as it doesn’t come naturally to us.

In the landscape of culture, background, upbringing and more, it can mean many things to each person.

To add to the confusion, it also doesn't help that what is called "love" is also skewed by what we often see represented in multiple venues such as movies, TV, books and even people around you that you may know. 

It may also be personally hard for you accept, receive and give to others because of how you were raised, the horrible ways you've been treated as well as the false examples of love you've experienced. 

If your/our idea of love falls into any of the before mentioned examples that we see in the culture, or the negative ones you've experienced first hand, we need to work hard to reject these ideas in order to see true love, the perfect love that God replaces the worlds love with. 

Because of how prevalent the culture and our sinful nature is, we need to rethink and re-calibrate what love really is. 

God's Love including the Love that comes through the Fruit of The Spirit, are completely different than the love we can experience and that we see exhibited in the world.  

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rest


Rest. 

Rest is healthy and it's Biblical. 

There are many examples of instructions in God's Word where He wants us to enter into rest. He makes special emphasis about the importance of rest.

Whether it's through a specific day such as sabbath (Exodus 20:8-10) that we set aside for Him, ultimate rest found in Him (Matthew 11:28-30) or practical and regular times to rest - we need time to rest! 

This includes times of vacation!

Take time to actively rest in Him as it will help rejuvenate your morale, your heart, mind and soul! 

Even Jesus took time to rest! You aren't designed to keep going 110 miles an hour as you need to unplug and rest regularly! 

Blessings in Christ, 

rlk 

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