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Showing posts from March, 2010

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 5

The series of posts for this week have been adapted from an article by Rick Warren entitled, "How To Have A Meaningful Time With God." I pray that each post has been helpful and that you'll take the leap and experience your Creator in a new and fresh way! To read the article in its entirety, simply click here!

CONCLUSION

What if you miss a day? Don't worry about it if it only happens occasionally. Don't go on a guilt trip. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)

Don't get legalistic because missing one day does not make it a flop. BUT don't give up. If you miss a meal, it does not mean that you should give up eating because you're inconsistent. You simply eat a little more at the next meal and go on from there. This same principle is true with your quiet time.

Psychologists tell us that it usually takes three weeks to get familiar with some new task or habit; it takes another three weeks before it becomes…

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 4

FOLLOW A SIMPLE PLAN (adapted from Rick Warren)

Someone has said, "If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!" To have a meaningful quiet time, you will need a plan or some kind of general outline to follow. The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.

You will need the following three items for your planned quiet times:
1. A Bible - a contemporary translation (not a paraphrase) with good print, preferably without notes.
2. A notebook- for writing down what the Lord shows you, and for making a prayer list.
3. A worship C.D., ipod, hymnbook - sometimes you may want to sing in your praise time (see Colossians 3:16).

The 5 R's are foundational elements of a great quiet time with God! (Relax, Request, Read, Reflect & Remember, Record)

Wait on God (Relax). Be still for a minute; don't come running into God's presence and start talking immediately. Follow God's admonition:"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10; see also Isaiah 30:15; 40:31)…

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 3

As you're beginning to build your relationship with God, it's important that you carve out time to be with Him. That you find a place to connect with Him in prayer and His Word (the Bible). Rick Warren says that you should find a "secluded and sacred place" that you can always run to and escape the busy world all around you to meet with God. Here's what He has to say about this topic...

CHOOSE A SPECIAL PLACE

The location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham had a regular place where he met with God (Genesis 19:27). Jesus had a custom of praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. "Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him." (Luke 22:39, emphasis added)

Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where it's quiet, and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In today's noisy Western World, this may take s…

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 2

SELECT A SPECIFIC TIME

The specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day - when you are the freshest and most alert. Don't try to serve God with your leftovers (leftover time). Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else's.

For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus' own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “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." (Mark 1:35)

In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were:

Abraham - Genesis 19:27 Moses - Exodus 34:4
Job - Job 1:5 Hannah and Elkanah - 1 Samuel 1:19
Jacob - Genesis 28:18 David - Psalms 5:3, 57:7,8
(See also Psalm 143:8; Isaiah 26:9; Ezekiel 12:8.)

Throughout ch…

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 1

This week we I will be re-posting an article from Rick Warren entitled, "How to have meaningful time with God." If you want to develop a relationship with God, here are some helps that will get you there! Enjoy!

Once you’re convinced that a daily quiet time is necessary for spiritual growth, then how do you go about having one? You may be motivated to do it but may not know how. You need to consider four essentials elements of a good quiet time:

Start with the proper attitudes.
Select a specific time.
Choose a special place.
Follow a simple plan.

START WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDES
In God's eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do. On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7, NIV*) It is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude. This was Amaziah's problem, for “he did what was right in the eyes of th…

Mid-Week, How To Manage Your Mouth

The average American has 30 conversations a day and you'll spend 1/5 of your life talking. In one year your conversations will fill 66 books of 800 pages a book. If you're a man you speak an average of 20,000 words a day. If you're a woman you speak 30,000 words a day. Every word that you speak originates in your mind with a thought.
Did you know that your mind is capable of storing over 100 trillion thoughts? It can handle enormous things. You have been given by God the freedom to choose what you think about. Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is." Whatever dominates your mind will dominate your life. The question is simply this, what do you think about the most? The root cause of stress, low self-esteem, depression and so on is the way that we choose to think. Whatever I think about is what I am becoming. What I am becoming is reflected by what I am SPEAKING. Your mind & your words are interconnected and they have incredibl…

Life's Healing Choices, Part 6- Repairing Relationships

Week 6: REPAIRING RELATIONSHIPS- THE RELATIONSHIP CHOICE:
I evaluate all my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me, and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are those who are merciful to others... Happy are those who work for peace.” Matthew 5:7,9 (TEV)

1. I can FORGIVE others because God has FORGIVEN me.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C.S. Lewis
“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (LB); Matt. 6:12; Matt. 6:14-15; Luke 6:37; James 2:13
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 (NLT)

Key thought- I will need forgiveness in the future

2. BITTERNESS doesn’t work.
“To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, sensel…

How To Make Changes That Last! Part 2

GOD WANTS TO GIVE YOU TRANSFORMATIONAL THOUGHTS FOR OLD FEELINGS
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord...” Isaiah 55:8-9

You make changes that last when you exchange your thoughts for God's thoughts. When you change your thoughts you will change your actions and ultimately your feelings. Here are some examples of how you can change your thoughts for God's!

I’m isolated and I feel all alone. Solution: Build new, godly relationships.
Psalm 92:13-14, “... planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green...”
Proverbs 22:11, “He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.”
I’m too depressed and discouraged. Solution: Focus on God’s strength.
Romans 8:28, “... we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...”
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of…

How To Make Changes That Last! Part 1

HOW TO MAKE CHANGES THAT LAST
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Every lasting change in your life begins with God’s POWER, not your WILLPOWER.
“Can... a leopard take away his spots?  Nor can you who are so used to doing evil now start being good.”  Jeremiah 13:23 (LB)
“’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord.” Zech. 4:6

1. ALL BEHAVIOR IS BASED ON BELIEF.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Pr 4:23 (TEV)
“Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others.” Matt. 15:19 (NCV)
2. BEHIND EVERY SIN IS A LIE THAT YOU’RE BELIEVING.
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures." Titus 3:3 (NIV)
“For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He… has always hated …