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”

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?”

5 important steps to help you read the Bible

When you pick up a Bible, you’re not reading a book.  You’re holding in your hand a library of books.  66 books! (Well, 66 writing as a Protestant.  Other Christian traditions include additional books in the Bible.) 66 books, written by about 35-40 different authors, writing over a period of about 1500 years, inspired byContinue reading “5 important steps to help you read the Bible”

Do you feel intimidated by the Bible?

This Sunday we continue our summer sermon series called Spiritual Exercises.  Last week we looked at How to Pray.  This week we are focusing on How to Read the Bible. But the Bible can be very intimidating.  It is huge.  When we talk about reading a novel, we think in terms of weeks.  Days, ifContinue reading “Do you feel intimidated by the Bible?”

Practical suggestions to help you pray

This winter/spring I read an amazing book on prayer I wish I had come across years ago.  It is called Prayer: Conversing with God by a missionary named Rosalind Rinker.  She first published it in 1959, but it is so relevant.  Could have been written yesterday.  Easily one of the best books on prayer I’veContinue reading “Practical suggestions to help you pray”