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Showing posts from May, 2017

Holy Invitations

After recommending a book group, I thought I might recommend a book for a spiritually seeking group to use! Jeanette Bakke's book Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction  served as my first in-depth look at spiritual direction. This term is one that was new to me and increased my interest in this ancient practice.  Spiritual direction has been common in older more mystical traditions. Spiritual direction is a way to be more attentive to the Spirit's work in our lives. In spiritual direction the director or just a spiritually minded friend asks questions like, "How have you heard the Spirit this week?" "Have you been convicted this week of something?" or "What in your life are you not content about?" Through these types of questions and much shared prayer the directee is helped to discern what the Spirit is saying to them. Bakke provides some great examples of the dialogue between a director and a directee that are helpful in understan

Three Types of People

There are three kinds of people in the world as described in Psalm 101, here you find… The person that “falls away” - they can’t finish what they start. The person with a “perverse” heart - they can take anything good and turn it bad. The author - he is committed to something better. Sunday I shared how these three types of people line up perfectly with Dr. Henry Cloud’s description of wise people, foolish people, and evil people, look at how well the descriptions fit... The fools are those that fall away and blame everyone else for it. They never learn. If they drive their car into a telephone pole, it was the telephone pole's fault for running out in front of them. The fool makes mistake after mistake and never learns or makes changes. The perverse person is an evil person who is intent on hurting other people. They aren’t accident prone; they aren’t foolish; they are deliberately out to take advantage of others. The author is wise. He is not perfect, but wants to b

Gratitude Guards Your Soul

If I could pick only one character trait to grow in myself or in my children it would be gratitude. The more I live the more I see the importance of gratitude in our spiritual lives and in all of our well being. Amy Morin a psychotherapist sorted through scholarly studies on gratitude and wrote a list of “ 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude .” Her research affirms what scriptures teaches about being grateful. Search through the Bible and you will find many reasons to be grateful, here are three... Gratitude puts God first in our lives.  Being thankful acknowledges God as the source of our blessings. (James 1:17) When you bow your head before a meal and say thanks to God you guard yourself against pride and idolatry.  A heart that lacks gratitude is reoriented around something other than God and it causes the soul to warp. (Romans 1:21) Acknowledging God as the source of all good keeps us from the idolatry of self! This is why God warned the Israelites to remember him when

The Right Bible

Which Bible is the right Bible? There is no shortage of English translations available today! You can pick either the NIV, ESV, KJV, HCSB, NKJV, ASV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, MSG, NLT, or others. Each of these Bibles is available in hard cover, soft cover, leather, or bonded leather. You can add gilded edges and/or the words of Christ in red. You can then decide if you want chain references, devotionals, study notes, an index and maps, or no "extra features." So, with all these choices which is the right Bible? The right Bible is whatever Bible you will read and read daily. All of these Bible contain the inspired words of God, living, active, and useful. (2 Timothy 3:16) What makes a Bible right for you is if you use it! I frequently get asked about which Bible I prefer since many people in the church want to have the same version I do so they can follow along during the sermon. The NRSV is my choice and I prefer it for several reasons. The NRSV is right for me because... It'

A Little Help With Focus

We live in a time and place where we can watch whatever we want, wherever we want, whenever we want, and do it in complete privacy from our computer, TV, or smartphone. Let me call this out, it's too easy to get our minds and eyes on pornography. It's important for us to stay focused and guard our thoughts. Guarding our thoughts starts with guarding our eyes and what we allow into our minds as fodder for free time thinking. If you struggle with pornography you need to get some digital accountability. If you're a parent, you need to know that your kids should not be allowed to have free access to the internet, they need some digital accountability. In my house we have used a program called Qustodio. This program allows me to set filters on my children's internet use, set alerts for certain types of behaviors (i.e. accessing a search engine), to set time limits on their internet use, and to see all of their internet activity. I can install this on their profile on the c