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Growing Through Adversity

In the last series of posts I wrote, one person commented about a distinction between God using our negative circumstances and God causing them. The latter was hard for them to embrace. I originally planned to respond to the comment in my post the following week in May 2015, and then, life took a serious change. As I approached the end of May, I started […]

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Discern God’s Will – Reason

Before we consider the role of reason in spiritual discernment, I want to mention I comment I received on yesterday’s post. A concern was raised regarding God’s involvement in our experiences. Specifically, that God does not cause bad things to happen in our lives so that we will learn a lesson. This is a very important point! Rather than simply make a passing comment on […]

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Discern God’s Will – Experience

Swiss theologian Karl Barth once said we should do theology with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” While newspapers are no longer the dominant media source, his point is still quite valid. We need our experiences to properly discern God’s will. Yes, as we already established, we need the truth of Scripture and the solid foundation of Tradition, but we understand […]

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Discern God’s Will – Tradition

Every time I think about tradition, I cannot help but think of Tevye boldly singing, “Tradition!” in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Throughout the performance, he is faced with challenges to his traditions as he desperately tries to hold on to them. Slowly, he begins to accept that some of those traditions need to change. It might seem that, if traditions are flexible in […]

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Discern God’s Will – Scripture

Living the Christian life requires a constant effort to discern God’s will and to put that direction into action. Discovering God’s will for our lives, our families, our faith communities, and the world is not always easy. Situations are often complicated and the right course of action is not always clear. How do we discern God’s direction? What tools are there to help us in […]

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5 Steps for Breaking Free (Gravity Pt. 3)

Identifying the sources of negative spiritual gravity in our lives is the first step to breaking free. When we see what is holding us back, those things begin to lose some power in the light of that exposure, but knowing gravity exists will not give us the power to overcome its pull. We need to take active steps to move upward. Here are five steps […]

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7 Sources of Negative Spiritual Gravity

Yesterday, we considered the challenge of overcoming negative sources of spiritual gravity holding us back from living an adventurous life with Jesus. In order to break free from the pull of these strongholds, we must first identify them. While the list could be quite long, here are seven common sources of negative spiritual gravity: 1. Familiarity This is the one, as a pastor, I encounter […]

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Slow Down

Busyness is not a sign of success, effectiveness, or importance, yet many live their lives as if it is. Busyness is a sign that our schedules are too full, and we are missing the opportunity to be fully present in the moment, focused on our true priorities. Of course, there are times, maybe even seasons, where circumstances require us to live with heavy agendas, but […]

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Go Deeper

Last week was our denomination’s Annual Conference. It is always great to see friends, experience great teaching and worship, and do the business of the church. In preparation for the event, each of us receives a journal with all of the necessary information, including all of the action items for our time of business, details of the budget, and general information about our time together. […]

Victory Over Fear

Capturing God’s vision for our lives is the first step, then comes the challenging part – translating that vision into action in our lives. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the fear that accompanies walking the path God calls us to travel on. Fear is a daunting adversary. It can be debilitating at times, numbing us to the truth and eroding our confidence. One […]