Posts tagged with: Acts

a cross in front of a cloudy sky

Calling in COVIDtide: A Man Named Stephen and a Man Named Saul

Stephen is commonly called Christianity’s first martyr. It’s interesting that the church’s first martyr wasn’t one of those called to preaching and teaching, but instead was called to administrative leadership. Yet he preached anyway with his life. We don’t know what the signs and wonders were that he did, but they seem to have occurred as he was fulfilling the ministry to which he had been called.

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a woman cutting French bread into slices

The Breaking of Bread and the Prayers

I don’t know about you, but if you are like most of the Christians I know in most of the United States right now, you are doing some form of online or distanced worship. Maybe your church is using Facebook or Zoom. Maybe it is recording services (with appropriately distanced participants) and putting them on YouTube. Maybe you are doing drive-in church services in the parking lot. Maybe your church is mailing bulletins and meditation materials to congregants.

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an intense collaboration discussion amongst a group of people

Leading in a Crisis: Don’t Do It Alone

Surely there are times when leaders need to move quickly and decisively, using the unique authority given to them. We may well need to stand firm even if we stand alone. But even if a leader ultimately needs to make a hard call, it’s important that we do not isolate ourselves in the decision making process in times of crisis. Part of what God gives us for crisis leadership is the wisdom, knowledge, giftedness, and support of our Christian community. When leading in a crisis, if at all possible, don’t do it alone!

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Three signs on a fence reading "Don't give up, you are not alone, you matter"

Healing All Who Are Oppressed

So here we have a full-orbed picture of what a life of servant leadership looks like. It is empowered by the Spirit, brings justice and healing to those oppressed by sin and sorrow, and witnesses to others about the saving grace of Christ.

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A green field at dawn

Why Do You Stand There Looking Into the Sky?

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?” (Acts 1:10-11)

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A young woman with glasses.

The God of New Things

The passage above comes from the greater passage in Acts 10 in which God gives Peter a vision, and then a word, which leads him to eventually preach the gospel to a group of Gentiles. This move was revolutionary. For a Jew like Peter, it took some readjusting and re-understanding to realize that God’s kingdom was not only for the Jewish community, but actually for everybody. On that day, Peter, and many others, witnessed God doing a new work—though very much in keeping with who God always was and is.

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Mountain peaks at the beginning of Golden Hour.

The Golden Hour

Heaven is all around us, and the Spirit of God invites us to awaken to a life where every ordinary moment shimmers with gold… The Golden Hour is here, right where you are. Jesus told us we would be his witnesses, first in the place where our feet are planted. At your kitchen table, in line at the grocery store, walking the dog with in your neighborhood, in the boardroom, on the other end of that phone call. This moment, right now, is what you are called to. This is the adventure of a lifetime.

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A person in motion, dancing before a backdrop that looks as if it is amplifying the movements.

Movement as a Spiritual Practice

I believe our bodies were made to move — whatever we can move, for as long as we can move it. I feel the sun beat down on my shoulders as I tug at the roots of an obstinate dandelion and I cannot help but thank God for shoulders that move, knees that bend, lungs that expand, and thumbs for grabbing and tugging. All of it comes from God: the sunshine, the dandelions, and the bodies we’ve been given as packaging for our soul. We live, move, and have our being in him alone. When my limbs ache after a weekend of shoveling or digging or reaching or bending, I thank God for the ache and its reminder to me of this gift of movement and presence of God in the midst of it all.

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A pendulum balanced on point by gravity.

Gravity Problems

In yesterday’s devotion we were challenged by an assertion in Dave Evans’ and Bill Burnett’s book, Designing Your Life to not waste time on the wrong problems but rather to focus on the right ones. They follow this advice by warning us to especially avoid what they call “gravity problems”.

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A push pin left unpinned and unutilized.

Are You Fixing the Wrong Problem?

Sometimes the problems we focus lots of resources on don’t deserve this time and effort. Wrong problems often disguise themselves as important or urgent when they are rarely both – and often neither. Those we lead deserve our focus to be on the right problems to be addressed instead of the wrong problems that others want us to fix.

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A compass and a map.

Following Jesus as a Wealth Creator: How Can Investing In Our Local Church Connect Us To God (And The World)?

I’ll be transparent about an embarrassing reality: wise planning and my desire for comfort can sometimes crowd God out of my life. I suspect the same is true for you at times. It’s probably true for everybody who works as a wealth creator in the marketplace.

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A diverse group of friends.

What the Great Commission Teaches Us About Talking to Strangers

A recent study conducted by the Barna Group found that many evangelical Americans have a difficult time striking up a conversation with people who are different from them. This struggle to communicate with people who are different from us is consistent across the board. The Barna study found that all Americans find it difficult to engage in conversations with people from groups that are different than theirs. However, what’s most striking is the discovery that evangelical Christians appear to struggle more than any other groups in the study.

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