Spiritual Formation
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Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine
Max Lucado explains why we must embrace the whole truth about grace.

Q: What better way to start than with your definition of grace?

A: To put it very simply, grace is God's best idea—it's his decision to ravage a people by love, to rescue passionately, and to restore justly.

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Following Christ with Our Actions
Following Christ with Our Actions
Authentic disciples vote with their feet and not mere words.

Josh, Brian, and I had agreed to meet in a local coffee shop around 10 a.m. Brian and I chatted as we waited for Josh.

"Being a missionary in Alaska was both challenging and rewarding," Brian said as he summed up his three years among the Athabascan ...

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The "Zero Point"
Only when we get to the end of our selves do we find the beginning.

"I'm at the end of my rope!" Have you ever felt like this? Maybe you've experienced what David was feeling when he wrote, "I am poured out like water … my heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me" (Ps. 22:14). ...

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Learn to Listen
Learn to Listen
Listening is an important gift we can give others.

Have you ever been in a conversation with others and realized you had checked out? You see their mouths moving, but aren't engaged? Situations like this make me ask:

  • Why is it so difficult to stay in the present?
  • How can we remain engaged when we are in conversation?
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Forming an Inclusive Community
Forming an Inclusive Community
God opens his arms wide and so should we.

We experience community when we are with others who think like us, believe what we believe, and maybe even like what we like. Community is good, right? We form groups without being aware of it. Mention a sports team and in seconds you will know who is ...

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Open Your Hand
Open Your Hand
Learn to let go of grudges.

I watched as Jude and Charlie got released from "time out."

"What do you have to say to each other?" Heather asked.

"I'm sorry I hit you," Jude said.

"I forgive you," Charlie responded.

"I'm sorry I screamed ...

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Is This Gossip?
Is This Gossip?
9 questions to help you decide.

Vulnerability is the degree of openness between oneself and others. Finding the right degree is a balancing act. A related challenge in ministry is confidentiality—that is, how open can you be about someone else? These nine questions can help you ...

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How to Start Reading the Bible
How to Start Reading the Bible
Tips for getting started and understanding what you read

It can be intimidating to start going to church every Sunday and hear about passages you didn't even know were in the Bible. How can you even begin to grasp this massive book? You want to understand the Bible for yourself, but the laws and stories ...

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What Can I Do for the Persecuted Church?
What Can I Do for the Persecuted Church?
Practical ways you—and your church—can help.

How can a Christian who is undergoing persecution for their faith manage to keep perspective? Ziya Meral says:

For the average persecuted Christian, their prayers seem unanswered and they lack peace, strength, courage, and joy. Their humanness in a very ...
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How God Can Redeem the Darkness
How God Can Redeem the Darkness
What I learned about seeing myself as God sees me.

The concert ran late and I knew I was breaking curfew, which spoiled any of the fun I had in the previous hours that night. I carefully tiptoed up to my room hoping that, for a change, my mother had already gone to sleep so my punishment would come in ...

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Finding the Providence in the Pain
Finding the Providence in the Pain
What we learn when we realize God doesn’t always protect us from hardships.

How long must I take counsel in my soul

and have sorrow in my heart all the day?...

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Ps. 12:2, 5-6 ESV)

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Standing on Holy Ground
Standing on Holy Ground
Is God going to be enough for my hurt?

I am an unnervingly present person. I rarely think about the future. I’m too caught up in the now to worry about what has to be done tomorrow. For some reason, pregnancy launched me into a preparatory nightmare. I couldn’t be too equipped. ...

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