Christian Encouragement

2022 Prayer Calendar

Prayer seems like a simple concept, and the Bible gives us a lot of encouragement to pray. By definition, it sounds like it should be easy- it’s just a conversation, right? So why do we struggle with prayer? There are many reasons, but sometimes we just need a little help in getting organized and staying focused. One way to get started is to use a prayer calendar. What is a prayer calendar and how do they help? Let’s investigate…

prayer calendar- girl with multi colored sweater holding green book; pencil resting on her face, looking pensive

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Christian Encouragement

The Joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord is one of those hard to understand phrases. We’ve heard it and understand joy. I’ve heard it sung in many songs, have you? We can define joy as happiness, pleasure, and delight- is that the same as the joy of the Lord? How do we reconcile the command to “be joyful always”- 1 Thessalonians 5:16- knowing that “in this world we will have trouble?” John 16:33

The Joy of the Lord- woman in white winter coat, jeans, boots, backpack jumping with arms outstretched in fall forest area

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Christian Encouragement

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

I was looking for a gift for my daughter-in-law while on vacation recently. My daughter suggested I look at a local store whose merchandise is completely based on John 3:30- “He must increase, I must decrease.” (NKJV) When the clerk gave me the background of the store’s beginnings, it made me wonder what it would mean for our everyday lives if we truly lived out this incredible verse.

He must increase, I must decrease- mountains with snow reflected perfectly in lake in foreground

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Bible Study

What is Heaven Like?

 

What is Heaven Like?- white puffy clouds at the top with rays of sunlight coming down on a blue sky background

When my mom suddenly passed away, our family was rocked to the core. One day she had planted some perennials in her garden, and the next day she was in Heaven. She was “only” 74, but had always been healthy, vibrant, and strong. We not only missed her everyday presence but grieved over what she would be missing in this world. I became a little obsessed about what her life in heaven was like. I found myself asking many questions about Heaven.

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Christian Encouragement

Start Your Mornings With Jesus

Do you start your mornings with Jesus?  A long time ago my Mom asked me why I read my daily devotional at night instead of the morning.  I answered her by agreeing that the morning was probably a better time.  The truth was that with 4 children at home, I rolled out of bed each morning at the last possible minute to catch every second of sleep I could.  But her question caused me to rethink my strategy of meeting with Jesus when I was exhausted and the day was done.  I wondered if mornings with Jesus might help me have a more peaceful and settled day.

Mornings with Jesus- sunrise over Lake Superior with wooded shoreline

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Bible Study

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!

While doing some research on prayer, I came across the story of the disciples asking Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray!” Jesus had been praying in front of the disciples, and when he finished, they asked him for help in their prayer life. I was intrigued!  What was it about Jesus’ prayers that caused the disciples to ask Jesus to teach them to pray?

Lord teach us to pray- busy city street

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Bible Study

What Does the Lord Require of You?

 

Micah 6:8- teal background with black branches with leaves

I read the newspaper. Every single day.  I’m not naive enough to believe everything I read, but there is certainly a lot of disturbing news in the world.  Sometimes I just want to fold up the paper and move on with my day.  It’s caused me to do a lot of thinking this week about Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

It’s a popular, inspiring verse, I’ve heard it many times. I wondered if there was more to it than what I think of it on the surface. Really- who doesn’t want to see justice done? Or receive a little mercy when we have done something wrong? Of course, we want to walk humbly with God! What does this verse mean for my Christian walk?
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Bible Study

Encountering God

Encountering God

I recently experienced a guided tour of a life-size Old Testament tabernacle set up at our church.  It coincided with a sermon series about encountering God.  The Tabernacle Experience transports you back in time into Old Testament life and explains the history, building, and rituals performed within the Tabernacle.  Walking through the courtyard, offering a stick of wood onto a burning altar, smelling the incense, walking into the Holy of Holies, and seeing the Ark of the Covenant, gave me a whole new outlook.  There were many perspectives that jumped out at me through the experience. But I’ll start with this: Continue reading “Encountering God”