Posted by: Anne | March 23, 2019

What If?

What If
By Blanca

What if You’re holding me up?
What if Your love is enough?
What if the power in Your name
Can do anything?
And what if You’re making me strong?
What if You were here all along?
What if I’m right where You want me?

Hear the whole song: What If (Official Audio Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbVYIZ4nkX8

Get the story behind the song:
https://www.powerofworship.net/music/blanca-what-if-song-story/

Posted by: Anne | March 16, 2019

the object of my attention

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
~ Romans 12:2, NIV

Everyone recognizes our diets directly affect the health and working of our bodies. And while we may not eat right 100% of the time, most of us try to do what’s best for our bodies overall. Unfortunately, sometimes we aren’t as careful with what we feed our minds… And it shows in our spiritual health. However, the Bible shows a direct correlation between what we put into our minds and our outward actions.

My mind is the place of my intellect, reasoning, and intentions; my behavior begins in my mind, and my mind is where spiritual transformation happens (Romans 12:2). The object of my regular thinking will determine how my days, years, and ultimately my life plays out. Everything starts in the mind.

Read the full articles at the sources:
https://www.kathyhoward.org/feeding-your-mind/

https://unlockingthebible.org/2016/05/five-steps-to-renewing-your-mind/

Posted by: Anne | March 9, 2019

when “have to” becomes “want to”

“In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God.”
~ Galatians 3:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Rules. No one likes that word. It’s daunting, ponderous. It goes in the same box as ‘terms and conditions’ or ‘wait time: three hours’.

Christianity is distinguished by its lack of rules, which is great because rules were never very cool to begin with. It’s all about relationship.

Relationship: now there’s a word we can get behind. It’s deep and meaningful, and does away with the intimidating factor intrinsic to rules.

But if it’s true that Christianity is all relationship, then… why are there all these dos and don’ts?

Rules and values: the two are almost identical. A rule can be a value, and a value can be a rule. But if rules are things you follow, values are things you possess. A rule belongs to someone else; a value belongs to you.

For instance, going to church is a rule if you do it because ‘Christians go to church’. It can also be a rule if it’s because ‘God wants you to go to church’. The latter is like me going to work because my boss said to. It has rules written all over it.

But the act of going to church can start to become a value (and not a rule) when we begin to answer the question, ‘Why do I care what God wants me to do?’ In other words, ‘What is the purpose for following this or that rule?’

I had to learn the rules, and follow them, before they could transform into values, and it’s no fun when the rules are long and tedious; it’s less fun living by them. But, sometimes, when you give it a good go, the rules begin to feel a little less rule-y. You begin to appreciate them because you realise why they exist.

Read the full article at the source
https://www.studentlife.org.nz/2015/02/rules-vs-relationship/

See also: Is Christianity Just a Bunch of Rules for How to Live?
https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-christianity-just-a-bunch-of-rules-for-how-to-live

Posted by: Anne | March 2, 2019

actively practicing discipline

“So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed!”
~ Hebrews 12:12-13 The Passion Translation (TPT)

What are the spiritual disciplines?
When Christians speak of “spiritual disciplines” they usually mean regular practices that benefit our lives and produce fruit. Much like the discipline of daily exercise or reading will produce benefits in our lives.

The Bible has no comprehensive “spiritual disciplines list” we should practice, but it does give us commands to do certain things on a regular basis. And when we do, they produce fruit in our lives.

… But before you feel overwhelmed: the key is to start small and try to make them habits.

Spiritual Discipline #1: Meditate on God’s Word. Apart from the Bible, we CAN’T know what God is like.

Spiritual Discipline #2: Giving Thanks. We can thank God in all circumstances because he is sovereign over all things, he is infinitely wise and infinitely loving.

Spiritual Discipline #3: Prayer. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this spiritual discipline for the Christian life. Prayer is simply asking God for help or strength or provision.

Read the full list at the source article:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/mark-altrogge/5-spiritual-disciplines-that-will-change-your-life-the-first-is-key.html

 

Posted by: Anne | February 23, 2019

actively carefully wise

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
~ Ephesians 5:15-16

In this careful walking, Paul said that we should make the most of the time we are given. Literally, we are to redeem the time; we are to “buy it back.” That’s what redemption is. In the case of our common, human interaction, our time has been stolen by our supposed busyness. It’s been stolen by our inflated sense of self-importance. It’s been inflated by our use and misuse of people for our own ends. This is what needs to be bought back.

When you redeem something, you trade it in for something better. And because of what Jesus has done on the cross, these everyday interactions that come our way as we walk through life can be redeemed.

The carefulness with which we walk, then, is not born out of fear that we might be inadvertently involved in some kind of sin, but anticipation. We walk through life with our heads on a swivel, armed by the knowledge of what Jesus has done for us in the gospel and the confidence in the presence and work of God. We are constantly looking this way and that, believing that every interaction is significant. And we are committed to make the most of each one.

~ Michael Kelley, Boring: Finding and Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life

Read the full article at the source:
http://michaelkelley.co/2014/08/walk-carefully-christian-but-not-in-the-way-you-might-think/

See also: What does it mean that the days are evil?
https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ephesians/5-16.htm

Posted by: Anne | February 16, 2019

actively real

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
~ Romans 12:9-10

Seen at:
https://twitter.com/LysaTerKeurst

Posted by: Anne | February 9, 2019

love is (choosing to be) kind

What does the Bible mean that “love is kind“?

Paul begins to paint a picture of love’s qualities, and one of the first strokes of his brush reveals that love is kind.

Kindness is noted as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Love is also in the list, revealing the close connection between love and kindness. Living a life of love marked by kindness is one aspect of living in a way that pleases God.

Kindness is characterized by benevolence and tenderness. A kind person is disposed to help others and to do so with sympathy and consideration. Godly love will make a person kinder. No one can be loving and unkind at the same time.

Read more at the source:
https://www.gotquestions.org/love-is-kind.html

See also:
Why Is It So Hard for Love to Be Kind?
https://hopejoyinchrist.com/hard-love-kind/

https://rainshine.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/what-does-it-mean-that-love-is-patient/

Posted by: Anne | February 2, 2019

actively loving and keeping

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
~ Deuteronomy 7:9

Read more Bible verses about God’s love:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-gods-love/ 

Posted by: Anne | January 26, 2019

actively proclaiming

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
~ Ephesians 4:15 New International Version (NIV)

God loves you.

You are not alone.

Healing is possible.

Truth. Even if we don’t feel it, we can proclaim it until our hearts catch up. Lord, give us relief from our unbelief.

~ Lysa Terkeurst
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLysa/

Posted by: Anne | January 19, 2019

actively waiting

“God, the one and only–
I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul,
an impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.”
~Psalm 62:1-2 (The Message)

It’s kind of funny that the word wait is a verb. It doesn’t feel like a verb when we are… waiting. But so often we find ourselves doing the action of waiting…

I don’t like to wait. I don’t like waiting on that slow person in front of me when I’m in a hurry, and I sure don’t like waiting on God to answer my prayers sometimes. But you see, God sees our whole story, the whole book. We see a page. While we’re waiting, we can exercise (action) our faith. Seek God…

Read the full article at the source:
https://finds.life.church/is-waiting-on-god-just-a-christian-way-to-be-lazy/

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