Archive for the ‘Being A Disciple’ Category



We have seen pockets of spiritual renewal in the midst of the violence and chaos that has been created by the hate, intolerance and racism. Pockets here and there of goodness, compassion and love. But, is it enough? Are occasional pockets of spiritual oneness enough to be called a spiritual awakening? I don’t think so. It’s a start, but we have a long way to go to get to the place where we have a true spiritual awakening in America. It begins with each one of us examining our hearts and making the decision to live a life that glorifies God and letting go of the things that keep us tied to the world. The Church has become an entertainment industry. In our effort to bring people into the Church, we have become more secular and less like Jesus. We think it is okay to take middle school girls to see vampire movies as a youth event. We think it is okay to have viewing parties to watch the Walking Dead in our churches because we want to reach the unchurched. We forget that it is NOT our job to bring people into the church. It IS our job to live as Jesus lived in our daily lives. It IS our job to build relationships with our friends, family and neighbors; relationships built from love and compassion. It IS our job to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of ALL people. As we reach out in love, the Holy Spirit will bring them into the church. We need to get back to putting Jesus #1 in our lives and leave the rest to God. There are 5 things we can do to bring true spiritual awakening to the United States of America:

  1. Pray: We need to be on our knees on a daily basis praying that God will protect this country. We need to pray that God will place His angels to protect the borders of this country from evil. We need to pray that the plans and plots of the evil one will be revealed, so they can be stopped. We need to pray that God will pour out the Holy Spirit in such abundance that Satan will have no choice but to flee. We need to pray for our Mayors, Governors, Senators, Representatives and even our President. We need to pray for our Pastors, our faith-based leaders, each other and ourselves. We can change things. Satan WILL flee, but we need to pray. Every lasting spiritual awakening starts with the crying out of the Saints in prayer. We need to come together as one and storm the heavens with our prayers. It starts with prayer.
  2. Repent and Transform: As we find ourselves on our knees in prayer, we need to pray that God will reveal the darkness in us that causes the violence and pain and that He will transform our hearts. We need to be willing to repent of our sins and trust that God will bring good out of it. We need to be willing to be transparent with each other and trust that our brothers and sisters in Christ will accept us as we are: sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We are all sinners. We have no right to judge each other. We ALL need to look into the deep recesses of our spirits and repent of the sin that lies there. After we repent, we need to leave the sin behind and transform our lives to glorify God. We need to continue to renew our minds daily through prayer and Bible study. We need to transform our lives so the world will see more of Jesus in how we live our lives then they see of us.
  3. Love: We need to love those around us, even when they seem unlovable. We need to pour out love into our communities instead of hate. We need to open our hearts and eyes to where there is pain and step out in love to be Jesus in a broken world. If we don’t, who will?
  4. Serve: When we start to love the people around us God will reveal areas where we can serve. When we start to serve those in need around us, we build relationships with those who need the healing touch of Jesus and the Holy Spirit will open the doors for us to share our Jesus story. Serving others in love and compassion allows others to see Jesus in us and allows the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. Through our obedience in serving, the Holy Spirit will fill our Churches and revival will come.
  5. Disciple: We need to start discipling new believers. One of the biggest things that is missing in the Church is discipleship. I grew up in the Church. I went to Sunday school. I learned my lessons, but I was never discipled in the Church. There was never anyone that came alongside me to disciple me. No one ever taught me how to be a follower of Jesus. No one taught me how to live this life through the ups and downs. Sunday school is great, but we need to be willing to sacrifice some time to come alongside a new believer for a significant amount of time to disciple them. We need to be willing to teach new believers how to stay connected to the Vine: Jesus. I was finally discipled. I was thirsty for more of Jesus and God sent the Holy Spirit to disciple me. Outside of the Church. I was not finding Jesus in the Church. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Church. I do. That’s why I am so passionate about bringing the Church back to where it needs to be. We need to be more proactive in building discipling relationships and not depend so much on our Sunday schools. We need to be more proactive in turning new believers into mature disciples of Christ.

We can bring spiritual awakening to America. There is hope! God still loves us and we can turn things around. One pocket of spiritual renewal here and another pocket there CAN turn into a National revival and Satan will have no choice but to leave. Never give up hope! With God ALL things ARE possible!



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Continuing on with our study of biblical doctrines:

21. Man did not evolve, he was created- Acts 17:26, Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 45:12, Mark 10:6, Genesis 2:7

22. Adam and Eve were real people- Genesis 4:1, Genesis 3:20, 1 Timothy 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:45, Genesis 2:7

23. Death entered the world because of Adam’s sin- Romans 5:12-15, 1 Corinthians 15:21

24. Sin separates us from God- Isaiah 59:2, Ezekiel 14:5, Romans 11:22, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23

25. Jesus died for ALL our sins- Romans 4:25, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:6

26. Jesus’s death was a substitution for us- 1 Peter 2:23-25, Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21

27. Jesus rose from the dead in His physical body- Luke 24:38-39, John 20:19-20, Luke 24:41-43, John 20:27, John 2:19-21

28. Those that reject Jesus go to Hell forever- Matthew 25:46, Revelation 20:11-15, Matthew 13:41-43, Revelation 21:8, Matthew 13:49-50

29. Hell is a place of fiery punishment- Matthew 13:50, Mark 9:48, Revelation 14:10, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:15

30. You are saved by faith through grace, not by works- Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:4-5

31. Salvation is a free gift of God- Romans 6:23, John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, John 4:10, Romans 3:24

32. You must be born again- John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17

33. The saved will be raised from the dead at the rapture- 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

34. Jesus will visibly return to earth- Matthew 24:26-27, Matthew 24:30-31, Acts 1:11, Mark 13:26, Revelation 1:7

35. Jesus’ Second Coming will be to judge the nations- Matthew 25:32, Psalm 98:9, Isaiah 2:4, Revelation 19:11-16, Revelation 19:15-16

36. There will be a final judgment for all people- Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 4:5, 2 Peter 3:7, Acts 10:42

37. The damned will be thrown into a lake of fire- Revelation 20:15

38. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire- Revelation 20:10

39.  There will be a new heaven and a new earth- 2 Peter 3:12-13, Revelation 21:1, Isaiah 66:22, Isaiah 65:17

40. The Bible is the true word of God- Proverbs 30:5, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 33:4, Psalm 18:30, Isaiah 40:8


These are the basic doctrines of the christian faith. Numbers 20-39, I found in Terry Goodwin’s book called, “The Disciple-Makers Handbook.” Number 40, I added on my own. As in part one, I tried to find 5 scriptures for every doctrine. This proved to be difficult in some cases. Again, I challenge you to do your own research and ask God to speak to your heart. If you study His word with an open heart, you will find the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

If you would like to order Terry’s book on disciple-making, click here.

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There are basic Biblical doctrines that every christian needs to understand and BELIEVE in order to build a solid foundation to live out your christian life on. Without understanding these doctrines, you won’t know what christianity is all about. You won’t have that solid foundation that everything else you do as a christian is built on. You may practice christian disciplines, but without understanding the basic doctrines, you won’t know WHY you are practicing the disciplines. The basic Biblical doctrines give you the WHY and when you fully understand and BELIEVE the doctrines, then everything else you do as a christian makes sense. Below I have listed the basic doctrines we need to understand and BELIEVE to build a solid foundation as a christian:

  1. There is only ONE God- 1 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Samuel 7:22, 1 Kings 8:60, Isaiah 43:10-11, James 2:19
  2. The Trinity- John 10:30, Colossians 2:9, 1 John 5:7, John 1:1, John 1:14
  3. God IS love and loves ALL people- 1 John 4:16, John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:1
  4. God knows ALL things- 1 John 3:20, Psalm 139:4, Psalm 44:21, Hebrews 4:13, Job 37:16
  5. God is all-powerful- Psalm 147:5, Jeremiah 32:17, Ephesians 1:19, Acts 26:8, Isaiah 43:13
  6. God is everywhere- Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:9, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 23:23-24
  7. God is sovereign- Psalm 135:6, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 29:10, Deuteronomy 10:14, Revelation 4:11
  8. God is a spirit- John 4:24, Colossians 1:15, Genesis 1:2, Psalm 139:7, Job 33:4
  9. God created ALL things- Isaiah 44:24, Colossians 1:16, John 1:3, Isaiah 42:5, Genesis 1:1
  10. God has ALWAYS been God- Genesis 21:33, Psalms 90:2, Revelation 1:8, Deuteronomy 33:27, 1 Timothy 1:17
  11. Jesus is God- John 1:1,2 & 14, Colossians 2:9, Isaiah 9:6, John 10:30, John 8:58
  12. Jesus became a man and was sinless- 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 1:19
  13. Jesus has two natures: divine and human- John 1:1,2 & 14, Colossians 2:9, John 20:28, Mark 15:39, John 10:28
  14. Jesus was born of a virgin- Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:34, Luke 1:27, Matthew 1:18
  15. Jesus is the ONLY way to God the Father- John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 10:9, John 3:36
  16. The Holy Spirit is God- Matthew 28:19, Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 14:26, Acts 13:2
  17. The Holy Spirit is not a force; He is a person- John 16:12-14, Acts 13:2, John 14:26, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:26
  18. The church is the body of Christ- Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:24, Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 5:29-30
  19. The church is called to make disciples- Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 4:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8
  20. All people have sinned- Romans 3:23, 1 Kings 8:46, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:9, Psalm 53:3


This list of Biblical doctrines is the first twenty of forty found in a book written by Terry Goodwin called, “The Disciple-Makers Handbook.” Although, I could have come up with the list myself, it would have taken even longer than this did. I decided not to reinvent the wheel. I did however, decide to list 5 scriptures for every doctrine, instead of just one or two, as found in the book. This is not an exhaustive list of scriptures. For every doctrine listed, you can find many more verses than what I have listed. I encourage you to do your own research and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

I wanted to mention that Dr. Terry Goodwin is the founder of Sun Ministries in Hyde Park, St. Louis, Missouri. There are approximately 8 missionaries with Sun Ministries who have started cottage industries to train those who face obstacles to employment. They also do so many other things for Hyde Park and I will write an in depth blog post at a later date. For now, to order the book on disciple-making, click here.

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peace 1



In this world of chaos and turmoil, it is hard to find that peace that Jesus talks about. I am struggling to find peace myself. I thought with this post, I would let the words of the Bible speak for themselves and add some peaceful images to help you soak in the peace of Jesus before you go on with your life.

peace 2                           peace 3


John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

peace 4                               peace 5


John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


peace 6                        peace 7


Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

peace 8                               peace 9


Numbers 6:25-26

25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

peace 10                                   peace 11


Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

peace 12                             peace 13



peace 14                          peace 15


My prayer for each of you is that you will find the peace that sometimes alludes us. Focus on the Peacemaker, Jesus. The world is a place of trouble and tragedy, but Jesus came so that we may have peace and have it abundantly.

Go in peace, my friend!

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Mark 1:35

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Luke 5:16

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 6:12

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Matthew 14:13

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.

John 6:15

Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

There are many times when I know that I should seek solitude, but the busyness of my daily life gets in the way of my spending alone time with God. When I don’t make the time to seek God’s face, I feel disconnected from Him and nothing seems to go right. I end up feeling miserable. Our heavenly Father wants to spend alone time with us. We need to make this a priority.

Below, I have given 5 scenarios in which we need to seek alone time with God:

1. To deal with the demands of daily life– In the rush of getting things done, don’t forget to take time out for God. Set aside a time to feel the Father’s presence and make sure you stay connected to the Vine (Jesus, John 15:5).

2. To seek God’s purpose for your life– If you are unsure of what your God-given life purpose is, spend time alone with God. If you seek God’s will for you through prayer and Bible study, He will guide you.

3. To make difficult decisions– Before Jesus chose the 12 disciples, He withdrew to a solitary place to seek God’s will (Luke 6:12-13). We, also need to seek God’s will before we make any decisions. What we want or think is best, may not be what God wants or thinks is best. We need to seek His will when it comes to decisions that we need to make.

4. When feeling the weight of the world– There are times in our lives when the enemy will use the stress, anxiety and worry of life to keep us from feeling the peace of God. It is in those times when we need to get alone with God and really let Him minister to our weary souls. Take time to feel the peace of His presence.

5. To stay connected to The Vine– I have already said that Jesus is the Vine. When we spend alone time with God, we are also, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Just take time to sit and feel the love, comfort and peace of Jesus. Sit in silent worship and praise of the Holy One. Play some soft worship music. I love the Gregorian chants. Simply sit, with your eyes closed…listen to the soft music and focus on the presence of Jesus.

If Jesus took time to seek solitude and alone time with God, then it must be pretty important. Set a time when you can be alone with God to study the Bible, pray, and simply sit in His presence. We will never be able to deal with all that life throws at us on our own. We need to seek the face of God and keep as close to Him as we possibly can.

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Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

There are times when obeying God can be the most difficult thing we have ever done. God often asks us to sacrifice in order to obey Him. He may ask us to do things that we think are silly, or are out of our comfort zone. The one guarantee is that obeying God will most likely be a challenge in some way or another.

When Jesus commanded Simon Peter to let down his nets for a catch, Simon Peter must have thought, “this is crazy! We’ve been at this all night!” He even voices his concern to Jesus, but knowing who Jesus was, Simon Peter obeyed and they caught so many fish that both boats began to sink under the weight of them all. James, John, and Simon Peter then left their boats and followed Jesus. They never looked back. They left their families, source of income, friends and homes to follow Jesus.

It seems like such a simple thing, but it isn’t. There are so many obstacles to our obedience that we often miss the blessings that God has for us. I have listed 5 obstacles below:

1. Fear– Fear is a huge obstacle! Fear of rejection or ridicule. Fear of stepping out of our comfort zones. Fear of failure. Fear is Satan’s way of keeping us from doing God’s will. Satan knows that if he can keep up locked up in a prison of fear that we will NEVER step out in faith and obedience to God. Do you want Satan to win? I don’t.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Hang on to God and face your fear head on. Courage comes from facing your fear. Defeat the Devil and walk in obedience to God.

2. Pride– Do you refuse to obey because others might think you are silly, or think less of you? Do you think that you have accomplished so much on your own that you are now to good to obey God? That’s pride, my friend.

Psalm 10:4

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Take a good look into your heart and realize that God gives and He takes away. It is so much better to live in obedience to God. It is so much better to live with gratitude for the blessings God gives us. You are NOT God and you have not gotten where you are on your own. God is in this whether you like it or not. Live in obedience and see what God does in your life. It might just amaze you!

3. Our Own Agenda– Many times we struggle to obey something that is not on our agenda. We may dream about going to Africa to serve as a missionary, but God is calling us to Ireland instead. So, we argue and plead. We stand in disobedience until at some point God gets through to us that He knows whats best for us and the people we are to serve.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I can tell you right now that arguing with God will do you no good. Even if you get your way, you will be miserable! Don’t let your disobedience separate you from God. God CREATED us to do good works. He has already prepared the way, just go with it and enjoy the life God wants you to live.

4. Unbelief– Sometimes, it is hard to believe that God can use us to do His will. I doubt my own abilities: I’m don’t have enough education, I don’t know the Bible backward and forward, or I’m simply not a good enough Christian to be used by God. Sometimes, we struggle to believe that God can do what He says He will do. If God is telling you to give up a full-time job to become a missionary, do you doubt that He will provide for ALL of your needs?

Mark 9:23, 24

” ‘If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boys father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

God CAN do what He says He can do. God CAN use us just as we are. We just need to be willing to obey and trust Him. We need to believe.

5. Busyness–  Busyness can keep us from doing God’s will. We have to-do lists as long as our arm and we are dog tired when we get done with it all. Where does obeying God fit into all of this busyness?

Ephesians 5:15-17

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize! Some things on our to-do lists must get done: bills must be paid, laundry and housework must be done, but when God tells you to do something, that takes precedence over everything else. Nothing else is as important as obeying God. We must be flexible in our daily plans and leave wiggle room for God to break into our day. We have plan B. God has plan A.

Are you willing to obey God, no matter what He asks you to do? Are you willing to trust Him for the outcome? I am. The alternative of being miserable in disobedience is to painful to even consider. To live separated from God because I choose to live in disobedience is something I don’t even want to consider. I want to please God. I want to obey God, no matter what. Do you?

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Luke 9:1-6

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. (Italics mine)

Jesus made it clear to the disciples that He wanted them to live simply, focusing on the ONE important thing in their lives, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. I have heard people say that God has chosen certain people to be rich. I don’t buy it. That just doesn’t sound like the God of justice and equality that I know and love. Why would God choose some to be filthy rich and others to be homeless and hungry? Nope, doesn’t sound like the loving God that I worship.

In fact, scripture tells us just the opposite:

1 Timothy 6:9

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Luke 18:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

James 5:1-6

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

I am not judging the rich in our society, but it comes down to what you do with those riches: will you horde them and selfishly keep them to yourself or will you share out of your abundance in obedience to God? Will you live in a million dollar mansion on a hill isolated from others or live simply, sharing with those in need in your community? The same questions also apply to those pastors and leaders of mega churches: are you going to waste millions of dollars on a huge church, perfectly manicured gardens and dozens of programs to entertain your congregants or are you going to maintain a simple building and give the millions to those in need in your community? Are you going to move your church to the fancy neighborhood in the ‘burbs or are you going to stay in the ghetto where your presence may actually do more good than you could ever imagine?

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Luke 12:33

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Being rich is not a sin in itself. It is what you do with what God has blessed you with. Live simply and share your riches with those who are in need. Taking a look back at what Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9:1-6 we learn that we are to simplify our lives in three ways:

1. Material possessions

2. Time

3. Money

He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.

The disciples were told to take NOTHING for the journey! Jesus knew that material possessions and money would distract them from their purpose: proclaiming the good news and healing people. God provided what they needed, when they needed it. They lived simply. Their time was spent building relationships and proclaiming the good news. Period.

What does living simply mean to you? Take a look at the three things listed above and pray for God to guide you in ways to simplify your life, so that you can focus on our ONE true purpose: proclaiming the good news, building relationships and loving people to Jesus. List three ways under each category (material possessions, time and money) in which you can simplify your life. Give yourself a certain amount of time to accomplish those goals. How do you feel? Now, list three more ways to simplify for each category.

Don’t get discouraged. Simplifying sometimes means sacrifice. Is God worth the effort? I think He is. If you need encouragement along the way, I am here for you. Don’t give up! You can do this! One baby step at a time. Your reward will be treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

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 1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show

mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to

another prophecy,to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Ephesians 4:11-12

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may

be built up.

There was a period of 6 years that my kids and I lived with my ex-husband and his wife. It was financially easier this way and provided a more stable environment for the kids. As a family, we would do what we could to help the homeless. We took in transients (rail riders) on two occasions. We offered a homeless man an afternoon of warmth and a hot meal. My ex-husband has taken meals to those who were struggling to feed themselves and their families. Cree, my 18 year old daughter has found the joy of serving in a local mission for men and families. My daughter Cherokee and I have bought gift cards to fast food restaurants and given them to the homeless we see on the streets. If someone is in need, we have tried to meet that need as a family. We don’t have a lot. We live pay check to pay check, but we give of what we have. If we know someone needs something and we can meet that need, then we do.

God has given each one of us a gift/gifts that he expects us to use in serving others. It doesn’t have to be difficult. If you can’t volunteer in a local ministry, then ask God to open up opportunities in your daily life to give you the chance to use your gifts. If you can volunteer in a local ministry, then find a way to use those God given gifts there. I am an introvert. Being around a lot of people and social situations causes me anxiety and exhausts me, but I love to connect with people through the internet, so I use this blog and Facebook to encourage others and connect people to Jesus. God has opened up an avenue for me to use my gifts and natural tendencies to glorify His name. My 5 spiritual gifts are: Exhortation, Mercy, Pastor/Shepherd, Faith, and Intercession.

A Challenge:

I am challenging you to take a spiritual gifts test. Click here to take the one I took. Once you take the test, I challenge you to look for ways in your every day life to use those gifts to serve others. Pray for God to reveal to you how He wants you to use those gifts. God WILL open up opportunities, He is simply waiting for you to ask. Open your heart to the needs of others. Look around to those who are in need (those we would normally ignore in our hurry through life).

I would love to hear from you. Let me know how God has used you to serve others. God bless you, my friend!



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Acts 2:44-46

All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

In the last few years, there have been many intentional communities springing up all over the United States. Neighborhoods, where residents form a community to support and encourage the residents in that community. When I first heard of these communities, I thought it was a strange idea. As I researched some of these communities around the U.S. I realized that these Christians are living a modern day version of the Church of Acts. These contemporary communities are simply newer versions of monasticism and religious orders that have been around for many many centuries.

I have been blessed to work in the Mother house of the Sisters of Providence and in the 3 1/2 years I have worked there, I have learned much from these women about community. They are united by their charism of love, mercy and justice. They work and live together to better the communities in which they live. Do they always get along? No. Sometimes they disagree, but they accept that they each have their own opinions and personalities and love each other anyway.

Jesus and His disciples formed a community. The Israelites formed a community as they wandered the desert. The early Christians formed a community. The early religious formed communities, as they formed monasteries and convents. Saint Francis formed a community and there are still many Franciscan communities alive today in honor of him. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin left her home in France, made a new home in Indiana and started a community of women who live and work to better the communities in which they live.

For most of us, building community starts with the church. This can be difficult in some churches, where everyone comes together for a couple of hours of Sunday and forget each other the rest of the week. Many churches are trying to build community by starting small groups of like minded individuals. These groups meet once a week and usually stay connected enough to bond and help support and encourage each other. Catholic churches are known for having daily masses so that Christians can meet together daily in the Temple courts as the early Christians did.

Another way to build community is in the neighborhood that you live in. Start a neighborhood Bible study and invite your neighbors. I have written a blog post on community transformation. To read that post, click here.

We see community all throughout the Bible. It is so important for us to have those people in our lives that share life with us. We need people that will go through the ups and downs of life with us. God never intended for us to go through life alone. He made us to desire that contact with one another.

I know sometimes it is hard to push ourselves out there and let our guard down long enough to build relationships. What if we get hurt? I get that. Believe me, I get that. I’m the one with an avoidant personality. Even I know that God made us to do life together and as hard as it is for me to push myself out there, I have to, because God did not mean for us to do life alone. If He had, He never would have made Eve as a companion for Adam. He wouldn’t have had to. Adam would have been fine on his own.

My challenge to you:

Go out, get involved and build a community. Don’t let fear keep you from connecting with other people. Trust God and start building relationships that may last you the rest of your life. You’ll be glad you did!


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1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray continually, 

Prayer is our line of communication with God. This verse tells us to pray continually, telling us to be in constant communication with God. God wants to have an open line of communication with us at every moment of our day. It doesn’t matter what we are dealing with, God is ALWAYS with us and wants us to share EVERYTHING with Him.

Jesus gave us the main components to prayer, when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Click here to read my blog post on the Lord’s Prayer. According to the Lord’s Prayer there are 5 main components to prayer:

1. Praise

2. Praying God’s will

3. Supplication

4. Confession (Asking forgiveness for our sins and forgiving others for sins done to us)

5. Praying for protection from evil and temptation

Below are a few other suggestions that might help in your prayer life:

  • Centering Prayer– Centering prayer is a way to empty your mind of every day distractions and really focus on God. Centering prayer helps us LISTEN to what God is saying to us.
  • The Daily Examen– The Daily Examen is an Ignatian exercise and is used to examine our daily activities and see where God is speaking to us. Is there any way we could have been a better example of Jesus? Were we impatient when we needed to be kind? The Daily Examen is a way for God to mold our character, as we pray for Him to reveal what we need to change.
  • Prayer Journaling– We can use prayer journaling with the Lord’s Prayer model and as a way to keep track of requests and answers to prayer. Writing out prayers can be helpful in emptying our hearts of worries and anxieties. Often, when I am done writing out everything on my heart, I feel at peace. I know that God is working in the situations involved.
  • Every Hour– Every hour, on the hour, say a prayer about a person, event, or situation that you have promised to pray about. You can also, take the opportunity to praise God and thank God for all that He has done in your life. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads. This is a great way to make sure we pray continually.

These are just a few ideas. The internet is full of different ways to enhance our prayer lives. I like to try different methods of prayer to enhance my communication with God. I have found that some things work and some don’t. I try to keep it simple. I don’t want to get to legalistic about my prayer life.

There are times when I can’t pray at all. There are times when words fail me and I can only whisper, “Don’t let me go, Jesus.” You will have times like this too. Don’t worry, God knows your heart and has sent the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I’m not an expert on prayer, but I do know that I could not live without that open communication with my Creator. I know that at any moment of the day, that I can praise Him or cry out to Him and He will hear me. I encourage you to go to God in prayer. He is waiting for you. If you have any suggestions or prayer methods that work for you, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

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