Four practical ways to count your blessings – Acts 12, Part 4

In this series of posts on Acts 12, we have been trying answer the question: “How How do we count our blessings the right way?” I want to suggest some practical ideas that I believe could help you. First, we have to say the right words, flowing from a humble, grateful heart. Not “I didContinue reading “Four practical ways to count your blessings – Acts 12, Part 4”

Dealing with the harsh reality of God’s invisibility

Do you ever wish God would show himself?  Ever feel jealous of the disciples who got to walk and talk with Jesus for three whole years?  I do.  I’m not always certain that God’s idea to be invisible was a good one.  Why not just manifest yourself and prove to everyone you’re alive and well? Continue reading “Dealing with the harsh reality of God’s invisibility”

Jesus doesn’t want believers, he wants…

Jesus doesn’t want believers?  What?  Yes, he does.  Doesn’t he? Yes, he does.  He even said “Believe in me.”  Read the Gospel of John and you’ll hear Jesus say that many times. So a couple of years ago the leader of my denomination, Bishop Bruce Hill, made the statement in the title of this post.  When IContinue reading “Jesus doesn’t want believers, he wants…”

When Jesus was people-watching and taught his disciples how to be generous

I love people-watching.  When I was in college, I took a class in which one of our assignments was to go to a place where lots of people walk by and we had to people-watch. While we were watching them, we were to pray that God would give us a heart for people.  I neverContinue reading “When Jesus was people-watching and taught his disciples how to be generous”

Learning how to say “Yes” and “No” to serving in the church

How should we view serving in the church?  (For that matter, how should we view serving at work, serving at home, serving our neighbors?). Each of us should ask: am I serving like God wants me to?  Are you saying “Yes” enough?  Are you saying “No” enough?  How should we respond to all the opportunitiesContinue reading “Learning how to say “Yes” and “No” to serving in the church”

What depending on God is really like and how to do it

Do you know how to depend on God? I think it is very easy to say, “Oh, sure, I depend on God.” What is much harder is to answer the question: “How do you show that you depend on God?” I would like to submit that you show you depend on God by the choicesContinue reading “What depending on God is really like and how to do it”

Steps to become humble (yes, you can become more humble!)

I learned something surprising this week.  I was studying humility for my summer sermon series on Spiritual Exercises (spiritual disciplines).  What surprised me is that humility is not simply a state of mind or a belief.  It starts there, but it doesn’t stay there.  Humility, Jesus in particular showed us, and the biblical writers tellContinue reading “Steps to become humble (yes, you can become more humble!)”

What kind of worship does God really want?

Years ago I had a summer book club at Faith Church, and one of books we read was Jim & Casper Go To Church.  It is written by a Christian, Jim Henderson, and an atheist, Matt Casper.  Jim invited Matt to travel around the country and attend worship services in churches of all shapes andContinue reading “What kind of worship does God really want?”

Why and how we should practice fasting as regularly as we pray or give

  Is fasting an important teaching of Jesus?  Let’s be honest.  Rarely, exceedingly rarely, in our evangelical world do we hear about fasting. Once scholarly source, Halley’s Handbook says this: “There are special occasions born out of extreme sorrow when fasting is appropriate, but generally speaking it is out of order.” Generally speaking, it isContinue reading “Why and how we should practice fasting as regularly as we pray or give”

A forgotten spiritual discipline?

If you had to take a guess, what would you say is a spiritual discipline that has been incredibly important over the history of the church, and still is very important, but is rarely practiced in our contemporary American church? It is a discipline that stems from our Faith Church Growth Process. Our logo symbolizesContinue reading “A forgotten spiritual discipline?”