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Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

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For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 

Romans 8:5

The Daniel Fast is a biblically-based partial fast – meaning that some foods are eaten and others are restricted. The fast is typically 21 consecutive days after the New Year and is similar to a vegan eating plan with more restrictions and only water as a beverage. This is based out of Daniel 10 in which Daniel the Prophet ate no meat, bread or wine for 21 days. The purpose is to have a quiet time with the Lord during this period so your faith and intimacy with him will grow. I was first introduced to the Daniel Fast when I briefly attended New City Church. My current church Hillsong Phoenix is doing a corporate fast as a church to start off 2018. I haven’t decided to what extent I’m going to fast but I feel this will be a good thing for me to do with my church.

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

Nehemiah 9:1-3 (NIV)

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A few years back I got to do the Experiencing God study with a life group that I was a part of. It was life-changing for me. I have been attending a men’s group at Cornerstone Chandler and they are going through an updated version of it with the whole church. I felt this is a good study for me to do to kick off 2017. We are also doing this study in my young professionals group. So I get double accountability while doing this series.

A God-Centered Life 

The Bible is God-centered. The Bible is designed to help you understand the ways of God. Then, when God starts to use your life in the same way He worked in Scripture, you’ll recognize that it’s God who’s at work. Below are the Seven Realities that identify ways God works to involve people in His activity.  (Hebrews 11)

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  1. God is always at work around you.

  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

  5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.

  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

Below is a teaching video from Pastor Linn Winters on vimeo that will guide you each week of the Experiencing God study.

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Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality

Romans 12:13 (ESV)

I love this video. God has been teaching me a lot about hospitality. It’s one of those spiritual gifts that I feel isn’t my strongest. Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday (mostly because of the food). There is something about people coming together over a meal that has always intrigued me. You see it all over the Bible and how it brings people closer together. I was at my connect group tonight and spent the evening chatting with two new people. One guy had a long history of drug abuse until he found Christ. The other guy was a young kid who just loved to talk. I will admit I was hesitant at first to engage in conversation with both of them because of my own judgmental sin nature. But as I got to know them, I really enjoyed hearing their stories of faith. I hope to have a more hospitable attitude this Thanksgiving season. I am planning on having people over for Turkey day and working at a homeless shelter in the morning. I pray that God uses me and works on my heart to be more hospitable and to show love to those that I come in contact with.

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Hillsong

John 14:23-27

Jesus is the destination

Reality checks 

You will not be the first human in history that trys to skip the God process

Breakdown before breakthrough – there is a process

When you skip the process, you rob yourself

It may seem you might get away with it now, but you will pay for it tomorrow

Proof you are making progress – it will be evident by how much grace you give others while they make progress

Matthew 18:21-35

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Be careful you don’t get caught putting a “process clock” on people that God is not aware of…

Our job is to show up and obey

On the process journey, God may not just be working on them. He might be working on you

Hope is to help somebody

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We must live spirit led so we can SHOW LOVE like nobody else can

Matthew 5:13-16

Be present in the process

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The Bible Project

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In Bonhoeffer, a four-session video-based small group Bible study, New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas will help you discover the major themes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writing and speaking and how he not only helped transform an entire faith community in Germany during World War II, but how his beliefs continue to impact the Christian faith of people throughout the world today. Pulling themes from all Bonhoeffer’s major books, Metaxas helps you understand why these spiritual truths meant so much to Bonhoeffer and how they can be an inspiration and challenge to your faith. – The Hub

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Tonight I had to have that tough talk with my son about death. As a father you always look for opportunities to connect with your child about real life situations. But death is a hard one because you don’t know what goes on in a child’s head when it happens. I know the experience will be beneficial in the long run, but it’s still never fun.

A family from my former church was in a car accident and their 13-year-old was killed on Monday. He was a friend of my son’s and in his discipleship group. The church called me to let me know that night. Tonight his group leader took all the kids out to talk about it and to celebrate his life. I was in student ministries for many years and have led boys in this age group and it is not easy to try to chat with them about this subject. I know for me I try to do less talking and let them ask as many questions as they want.

When I told my son, he sat in silence for a bit. I asked him how he was doing and he said ok. I’ve grown really close to both my kids over the past couple years because of family tragedies. So I’m very thankful to the Lord for these moments to bond. My kids are growing up and will soon be on their own. I didn’t have a father who was there for me during the tough trials of life (I do now..), so it’s important for me to make sure I’m there for them. I pray for this family and I feel for their loss. Being a parent is a wonderful thing and I am so blessed that God gave me two great boys to raise. But this tragedy has made me realize I could lose anyone one of mine at anytime. So I’m going to cherish this moment I had with him to connect over this.

Please pray for the Galaska family who lost their youngest child in that accident. Their oldest child needs your prayers! Visit their CaringBridge page. Blessings!

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