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Posts tagged with: 1 Thessalonians

A weight room, empty but ready for weightlifters

Silent Labor Resonates

Silent labor is neither unimportant, unvalued or unrecognized work.

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An elderly woman's hands folded in her lap on top of a Bible

Remembering Your Work

Sometimes the very thing we need to endure is to recall the work others have done.

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A closeup of a white magnolia

Called to a Special Way of Living

How we live each day should reflect the fact that we have been set apart by God for relationship with him and for participation in his work.

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A man standing on a hill looking at a sunset

Calling Today into the Future

God is calling us today into his own kingdom and glory.

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A sign on a garden in Belfast, Ireland, decorated with rainbows and reading "Thank you key workers and NHS staff"

Thanksgiving in a Pandemic

Can we be thankful in the midst of such difficult times?

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A sign saying "Don't Give Up" in someone's front yard

It Is Well With My Soul

Christ has defeated sin and death, and his reign of justice will ultimately cover all the world.

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A man on his cellphone with a skyline in the background

Life in Lockdown:
Some Examples of Creative and Critical Use of Technology

Chris is a pastor, a relational person who enjoys being personally involved with his congregants. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Chris was suddenly unable to relate to his people in his preferred mode. But he quickly adapted, using Zoom for Bible studies, small groups, and church meetings. He also used one of the most common of technologies, his phone, to call people in his church family. Each day of the week Chris makes several calls just to check in on people. They appreciate his care and he appreciates the community he experiences.

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A fountain pen and a letter

Life in Lockdown:
Creative and Critical Use of Technology

As we utilize the various technologies that are available to us, we should think carefully about how best to use them. What might it mean to send an email as a follower of Jesus? How might a Christian engage with others on Facebook? What difference does our faith make when it comes to a Zoom video conference?

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An ancient Greek papyrus

Life in Lockdown: Creative Use of Technology

Letter writing used the tools and products of first-century technology. It required the use of papyrus, which was produced from a plant that grew around the Nile River in Egypt. (Today’s photo is a papyrus document from the third-century B.C.) Paul’s use of papyrus depended both on the technical process by which this paper-like substance was made and on the extensive trading system that spread papyrus throughout the Roman Empire. Moreover, Paul used both ink and a stylus as he wrote. These were essential to the technology of letter production.

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A plate of chocolate covered strawberries

Life in Lockdown: Connect Creatively

Though I believe it’s important for us to learn the value of community in this time, learning is not the only way for us to receive God’s grace. This is also a time, I think, to receive the grace of innovation. In particular, I am convinced that God wants to teach us how to be creative in the ways we connect with each other. As it turns out, Scripture has much to say about this, even though the biblical writings were not composed in the era of email, smartphones, Facebook, and Zoom.

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El Ángelus by Jean-François Millet. Public domain.

Prayerful Work

Early in my Christian experience, I thought that the Apostle Paul intended me to retreat from the world to spend all my time focusing on my interior life of prayer… Thankfully, the apostolic command to “pray continually” isn’t primarily about developing our devotional prayer life, even though that is important. It has much more to do with learning to pray our everyday life, particularly in the context of our work, where prayer may be the last thing on our minds.

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Two girls walking down the street.

Gratitude Reframes Your Relationships

The benefits of gratitude abound. That’s what we learned in yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion. Psychological and medical research has shown that gratitude can lead to increased patience, improved relationships, better sleep, and superior mental health, among many other demonstrated benefits. But, I wonder if there are benefits beyond those found in academic journals? How does gratitude affect our experience of God and God’s people?

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Les Botteleurs de Foin by Jean-Francois Millet (1850)

Thankful Work

It’s worth remembering that our position, privilege, and responsibility are meant to bless others, not just ourselves. Giving thanks for our blessings is intended to provoke us to respond to those blessings in a way that benefits others. We are called as God’s people to care for those who are disadvantaged—“the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns (that they) may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 14:29).

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The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, public domain.

Finding Joy in Work

God alone is the source of our joy, in our work as in everything else. Our joys are like a metaphorical tree, where God is both the root and trunk. All else in our lives, including our work, are like the branches, leaves, and fruit. No joy in our lives is sustainable apart from being rooted in and connected to God. [And] because God calls us to be his servants, all work serves his purpose and therefore has ultimate meaning, even when we can’t make sense of it here and now.

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The word "thanks" spelled out with Scrabble pieces.

Give Thanks in All Circumstances! Really?

I’m struggling a bit with gratitude this week. Oh, to be sure, I have plenty to be thankful for. And I am thanking God regularly. But I’m also feeling heavy of heart because my mother is not doing well.

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