2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 4 Pray with A.C.T.S.

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Three weeks ago we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Last week, in part 3, we tackled learning how to be faithful in praying daily. A great way to pray is by using the A.C.T.S method. Today we will finish with the letters “T” and “S”; in the A.C.T.S. method for prayer.

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 3 Prayer

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Two weeks ago we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch part 1 here and part 2 here. Last week, in part 2, we tackled learning how to be a student of the Bible. A great way to study the Bible is to use the S.O.A.P. method. We coved S, O, and A. Today we will cover P, for prayer.

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 2

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Last week we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch part 1 here. Today we will take a deeper dive into reading and studying the Bible by discussing a few “helps” you can use to make your time enjoyable and enriching.

We are privileged to be blessed with multiple Bibles in our homes. At one time having your own Bible was unheard of. Being able to read was in itself, a luxury, afforded to the wealthy. Many European churches chained the Bible to the pulpit; if you wanted to read it, if you could read, it was to be read right there.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Bible as THE BEST SELLING NON-FICTION BOOK. The Bible has its own rich history that goes behind its age, authors, and development.

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits

Welcome to 2022 Time in the Word! I’m glad that you’ve dropped in and I look forward to the adventure that awaits. Whether our lives in 2022 will be white water rafting or floating on the lazy river, we’ve got Jesus to see us through. I thought it was important to get 2022 off on the right foot and form some healthy spiritual habits.

This time of year we hear about “healthy eating” and “forming healthy eating habits”. I think emphasizing healthy spiritual habits needs to be done as well. Healthy spiritual habits are key to growing spiritually. Without spiritual growth, we become stagnant and lose our spiritual edge.

In this series we will focus on:

  1. Bible reading and Bible study
  2. Prayer
  3. Living the life
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“Faith over Fear”, People of the Christmas Story: Zechariah Part Two

Welcome back to today’s “Time in the Word”. We continue in our scripture study, which comes from Luke 1:1-23. If you are reading this digitally you can simply click on the highlighted text, otherwise, I invite you to grab your bible and turn to Luke 1. In the coming weeks, we’ll discover how the people of the Christmas Story: Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph chose “Faith over Fear”.

We last left Zechariah serving the Lord in the temple. Zechariah was burning the incense in the Holy of Holies when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and gave him the wonderful news. After seeing the Angel of the Lord and hearing this incredible news, Zechariah speaks. Read Part One here.

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Comfort

What comes to mind when you think about comfort? A favorite sweatshirt or sweater? Perhaps a cozy blanket or a delicious dish at a restaurant? Whatever your “go-to” for comfort has been, today I am going to challenge you.

I have thought a great deal about my comfort. What makes me feel comfort, comfortable… and I have determined that I have become all too comfortable.

Too comfortable in my “American Freedoms”, too comfortable in my lax as a Christian, too comfortable in my routine. Comfortable has a tendency to lull us into a false sense of security, falsely tells us to “relax, don’t be so concerned.” I like my “ways”, the known paths, the “not ruffling” of my feathers, but this is what makes me soft, weak, and vulnerable to attack.

It is okay to want to relax and be comforted. We all need moments to reflect and relax. As I am writing this devotional, the following scripture keeps popping into my head:

Revelations 3:16

15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

Berean Bible Study

Being “lukewarm” reminds me of being too comfortable. I can’t continue to live my life orchestrating my day keeping myself comfortable. I need to be challenged, and in being challenged- graciously accept the challenge. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and develop.

As we enter a new year, with a new government I am reminded that my comfort is being challenged. That I am an eternal citizen of heaven, living on planet earth. My work here has eternal consequences and I can no longer remain comfortable in the old routine.

-Making myself uncomfortable right along with you.- Michele

Who’s Afraid?

The recent tumultuous weeks have me concerned and I can say sometimes I am afraid. I find myself flowing in and out of confident hope, to feeling scared and defeated.

Maybe you don’t feel the same way. I just struggle with the fact we are VERY divided. I wrestle with and am stumped by many people who believe that this election was completely fair. No fraud anywhere. Just accept that and give in.

Where has true truth gone? How did we lose the ability to rightly divide truth from a lie? When did lying become the truth? How will we EVER be able to tell truth again? Why is truth being hidden? Lied about? And most importantly who is behind this all?

I am grateful to God for giving me a good sense. Meters and red flags that go off when I encounter things that “don’t seem right”. These things have saved me more often than I can count. They are warnings and I need to heed them.

I know God has this all in his control, perfectly being played out according to his plan. But I don’t like what is coming if socialism takes over this beautiful republic. Socialism is selfishness. An “I will control it all and have all that I want, but you will have only what I say you can have, do what I say you can do and be who I say you can be, live, or eat.” “I keep the best for myself because I have decided you have ruined life here on earth through your living, so I will do your thinking and you shouldn’t think for yourself.”

I am so glad that there is freedom in Christ. He lets me make my own choices, encourages me in goodness and the Godly, loves me in my weaknesses, and welcomes me to his table no matter my skin color or talents. God’s love is our equality and our giftings don’t make us more special or valued more over someone else.

I am praying. Praying hard day and night. If you are a solid, Patriotic, Constitutional loving American, you won’t see this as a race to win for one political party, you’ll see this as life or death of freedom for the human race.

-Praying hard against a big giant with you.

Creation is Preaching You a Message

I love Romans 1:20:

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

NIV

Did you catch all the verse goodies? “Invisible qualities”, “Eternal power” and “Divine nature”. And then the zinger- “Have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.” BOOM! And as they say “Mic Drop!”

Every day God puts on a show through creation. It does spark constant questions in my mind of “how?”, “why?” and it also leaves me breathless.

Are you searching daily for these invisible qualities of God? Are they leaving you breathless? Friends, nobody can say God doesn’t exist, or that they never knew he was reaching out.

There are so many things pressing down on us as American citizens as well as Christian citizens of heaven. These are weighty, often frightening… but do not let those things of this world bog you down. Look to God’s creation to fill you and give you additional strength to meet the day.

I find strength and am humbled watching a sunrise or sunset. I am encouraged by the spring frog croaking, quiet starry nights, lightning strikes, and thunderstorms. Amazing! Awesome!

I pray today you can come up from under the “yuck” of life and marvel at the invisible!

  • Looking for the invisible with you and MARVELING at what we are finding. God is here and he loves us so much he leaves us notes everywhere. AMEN

Comfort

Comfort. Just saying the word “comfort” makes me think of soft pillows, warm blankets, a timely hug, and laying my head on my mom’s lap. If I were to look at my life I can definitely see areas of my life I have designed for comfort.

Comfort itself isn’t something bad, but as an adult, I think we can design life so focused on comfort we are not challenged. And that friends are where the problem comes into play.

I have thought a great deal about my life as a free American. That freedom didn’t come cheap and I think there are some folks who have forgotten that freedom isn’t free. They have grown to comfortable in all their “freedoms” that it has brought on complacency. That’s maybe the downside to such a free society, we have so much and so many choices we forget how this ability to choose came to be.

How comfortable are you in your walk with Christ? Are you satisfied just being in your comfy “Christian” leggings with fluffy sweatshirt, doing the daily usual?

I know for me prayer is challenging. I like to rush through and get to reading the bible, or doing a devotion- things that make me comfortable. Prayer stretches me. I calls me to go beyond what is in my heart, it calls me to say it out loud.

We live in a challenging time politically. We stand to lose some major freedoms if we don’t speak up and pray up! We can’t wear the same fluffy comfortable Christian outfit, we need to suit up for a serious battle. What we are fighting is evil. It is a spiritual warfare unlike anything I have seen.

Satan fights to keep you bound, to keep us all bound. Our only weapons are prayer and praise. Prayer binds/loosens and praise is completely distracting to Satan and his helpers. Time to stop being comfortable.

-Getting uncomfortable with you and leaning into prayer and praising like never before.

Vampires in Your Life

I thought with Halloween approaching talking about “vampires” would be appropriate. Now, I am not talking about the mythical scary vampires written in novels. I am talking about the people, jobs, hobbies, or event volunteering that is sucking the life out of you.

Take a look at your life right now. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Who am I putting first? Who SHOULD I be putting first?
  • What is demanding my time?
  • When (certain time of day? certain person? certain conflict?) do I feel a draining of my energy?
  • Where (pinpoint and be specific) are these “drains” leading?
  • Why do I keep allowing this to happen?

These may be difficult questions to ask yourself. The answers may be hard to hear. But we all need to address “vampires” in our lives. God needs to be first because he supplies “all that we need for the moment”.

-Looking for vampires in life with you.- Michele