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Posts Tagged ‘connecting with God’

spritual-practices

 

Spiritual practices, spiritual disciplines, and Christian principles are all different names for the things we do to have a relationship with God and grow in our Christian walk. We each should have those practices that we do alone and then the practices we do as a community of believers. Practices are not meant to be legalistic things that we HAVE to do to be right with God. Some of them are things that God does require, but He wants us to enjoy spending time with Him in worship and prayer. God wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him.

My personal practices are: Prayer, Bible study (just started using the Lectio Divina for this), Fasting (from technology one day a week), giving as God leads, Serving as God leads, disciple-making, worshipping God in my daily life, along with a few others I practice as the Holy Spirit leads.

In a corporate setting, I practice: Worship of God as creator and my Holy Father, prayer, serving, and a few others as the Holy Spirit leads.

The one practice that I learned from this unit was the Lectio Divina. I had heard of this practice, but as with many Catholic practices, I assumed it was some really complicated practice that I would never be able to understand as a non-Catholic. I was amazed at how simple it was to do and what an impact it has had on my christian walk, already. The Associate handbook describes it as the “prayer of the heart.” I wanted to include a simple summary of the steps here, because I have really enjoyed the practice in my private devotional time.

Step 1: Reading: Take a simple passage from your daily reading that really spoke to you. Just a verse or two that you want to delve into further. What is the context of the passages you have chosen? What is going on in these passages?

Step 2: Meditation: Take the time to meditate on the passage. What is God saying to you through the passage? Is God trying to reveal something to you in this passage? Is God telling you to implement a part of the passage into your everyday life? How will you do that?

Step 3: Prayer: Pray about what the passage is saying to you. Talk to God about any emotions you may feel about the passage or what you are feeling led to do. Don’t hold anything back. Tell God everything that is on your heart.

Step 4: Action: What action do you need to take? How is the Holy Spirit leading you to act on the passage you have read?

I encourage you to research the Lectio Divina for yourself and see if it is a practice you want to implement in your life. There are many books and websites on spiritual practices. I challenge you to do some research and see which practices God is leading you to implement in your daily life. Remember: practices are not supposed to be legalistic, but a way to enjoy our relationship with God. If a practice becomes forced, then something is not right and you need to pray for a solution. I have changed my prayer practices many times. I want my prayer life to be a way for me to connect deeply with God. When I feel that something is being forced, I change it.

The two main practices that ALL christians should put into practice are prayer and Bible study. If you are a new Christian then focus on these two practices for now. The main thing is to enjoy your relationship with God. Finding ways to connect on a deeper level to the ONE who created us. If you need guidance or prayer, I am just an email away. Be blessed, my friends!

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church homeless

 

 

I am church homeless. I am a christian. I love Jesus with all of my heart and do my best to obey God in all things. However, I do not go to church. Why? I work most Sundays, so it is really hard to get settled in a church. If I am being completely honest though, it is because I haven’t found that one thing I am looking for, JESUS. I want something MORE! Where can I find a church that is right out of the book of Acts?

I have become disillusioned. I have visited a number of churches, some for many months, even years, but there are some things that are deal breakers for me. I know that churches are full of people and people are NOT perfect. I understand that. I have to follow where the Holy Spirit guides me and if the Holy Spirit is telling me that there is something not right, I have to believe that. Every person has their own deal-breakers as far as when to leave a church. You have to go with your gut and do what you feel God is telling you to do. If for any reason, you find yourself without a church home don’t get discouraged. There are ways to stay connected to the God who loves you:

1. Have A Daily Quiet Time- Find a time to get alone with God. Find a quiet place, turn off anything that will be a distraction, take a deep breath and focus on the one who really matters: God. Use this quiet time to study the Bible, how can you apply what you are reading to your life? Use this time to pray, pouring out your heart to God and listening to what He has to tell you.

2. Get Online– There are tons of church websites with full sermons you can listen to. There are online Bible study tools to help you dig deeper into God’s word. There are also, interactive Bible studies that you can be a part of. Take the time and research, just be careful and make sure that the websites are teaching the Bible.

3. Bible Study– find a local Bible study that may not be attached to any particular church. If there isn’t a Bible study in your area then maybe you should start one. You never know, as you get to know the other participants, you may end up finding a church you do like.

4. Serve– Find ways to serve in your community. There are food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other ministries that need volunteers to keep them going. You will be helping those in need and also getting to work with other Christians.

5. Start A Home Church– Home churches are started every day by Christians who simply want to be a part of a church like the church of Acts. Starting a home church is not hard, but you need to be a mature Christian, a leader and somewhat organized. A house church can go wrong fairly quickly if the leader/leaders are not strong Christians. This is not for the faint of heart.

God can use this time to mold you into a stronger Christian that depends only on Him. Being church homeless does not mean that you do not love God or that you are not a true Christian. God has used this time to draw me closer to Him than I have ever been in my life. You have to be intentional in your relationship. You have to make the decision that God is worth the effort. If you do make the effort, I can guarantee that God will draw you closer to Him than you could ever imagine.

If you are church homeless, contact me. I am there and I can help you find ways to connect with God. Don’t give up!

 

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