Archives For Encouragement

Draw Closer to God in 2018

December 27, 2017

“let us draw near to God 
with a sincere heart and 
with the full assurance that faith brings”

Hebrews 10:22

Invest 28 Days to Develop Confidence and Consistency In Your Personal Prayer Life

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from siteTime with God is a 28-day journey designed to draw us closer to God by

  • Focusing on the nature and character of God
  • Praying with the Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication pattern
  • Praying the Scriptures
  • Praying our own personal prayers.

Time with God is written for people who love God and long to spend time with him but need help.

New Year SPECIAL

Free eBook Downloads and Discounted Print Bundle

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Complete the form below to receive the eBook or printable pdf version of Time with God and the Encourage and Equip Monthly Newsletter with inspiration and resources to help grow closer to God in 2018.

 

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1 Personally Autographed Time with God Paperback Book

Time with God Bookmark to keep your place

1 4-Page Personal Prayer Helps Folder to keep in the book or in your Bible

1 Downloadable eBook version for your Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or PDF reader

ONLY $15.00 INCLUDING STANDARD SHIPPING

Why I wrote the book!

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from sitePersonally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book, I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination.

At the heart of Time with God, is a desire to help develop the habit of communicating with God in practical and powerful ways. Practical, because I will balance four different aspects of prayer. Powerful, because we will use God’s Word as the basis for many of our prayers.

This book is filled with Scripture verses translated from the original languages that have been reworded into prayers. They are chosen to help us nurture and develop our focus on God and our love for him. As you get more comfortable with the concept, it will revolutionize the way you read the Bible on your own.

Here are just two sample prayers:

Adoration
Your unfailing love is better than life itself; my lips will praise you! So, I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name.
—Modified from Psalm 63:3

Confession
Please forgive me for not allowing your love to flow through me. So often, I am not patient or kind. Forgive me for times when I envy, or brag, or am proud and seek my own way instead of what’s better for others.
—Modified from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

I have two questions for you.

  1. Do you have a safe place?
    A judgement-free zone.  A place where you can feel free to share what’s on your mind without worrying that people will be so scandalized they’ll never talk to you again.
  2. Do you have a stretching place that challenges you?
    A mediocrity-free zone. A place that inspires you and motivates you to be better.

We need both. We need a place where we can be accepted as we are AND a place where we can be challenged to be more than we ever thought we could be. We need a place that can handle the worst in us AND a place that brings out the best in us.

We call it “a safe place” or “a stretching place”, but really the “place” is secondary to the relationships that happen there. The people are what makes the place scary or safe–discouraging or encouraging.

BigStockPhoto.com 65273749 Leungchopan

BigStockPhoto.com 65273749 Leungchopan

A Great Example

As Christ-followers, we have the greatest example of this concept.  God saved us by grace while we were still in sin and had nothing to offer him.  He knew who we were and that we were incapable of pleasing him in our own strength.  But he choose to love, save and even adopt us into his family.  We were accepted and adopted as we were.  THEN, God sets out to help build us into a new creation to display his glory to the world.  Consider these three examples. Continue Reading…

I really enjoyed yesterday.  It was Easter Sunday–a day that can embody all the best of faith and family. Plus, the weather was great. Two of my three kids were able to come back home and enjoy a great dinner together with an extra friend.  It was just a really good day.   Church was very nice.  Somehow songs about the resurrection took on a whole new significance.

He didn't stay on the cross.  Because He Lives, I can...

istockphoto.com 9332062

The pastor referred to Dr. Tony Campolo and his, now classic, sermon.  My daughter wasn’t aware of the message so it gave me an excuse to look it up so I could send her a link.  It is truly a great message. Toward the end, Tony shared his memories of preaching at a “preach off” at an African-American church.  One of the preachers did a 90 minutes focused on one phrase.  He would describe the followers of Christ in various stages of despair seeing Jesus on the cross.  Then the pastor would say, but they didn’t know.  “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a comin'”.

It also made me remember the opening line of a sermon I heard about this time over thirty years ago.  “The problem with many Christians is that they are living on the wrong side of Easter.”

You see, before the resurrection, it’s a little easier to understand how some people can tend to give up hope. I can’t really imagine what that first Good Friday must have felt like.  Not knowing what would occur in two short days, it’s understandable that they would feel that all was lost.

However, the sadder truth, is that so often knowing what already did happen on the first Resurrection Day, we can fall into old patterns of despair and disillusionment or just distraction and drifting through life.

I woke up this morning thinking about both of those older sermons and reminded myself that even though it is Monday, Sunday’s not coming.  It already came.  I don’t need to wait for the power of the resurrection in my life, I need to live in it. Continue Reading…

Consider what happens when we encourage someone.

Definition of ENCOURAGE

1a: to inspire with courage…

Definition of COURAGE

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous

Source: Merriam Webster Continue Reading…

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 40:10