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Manners Matter
Posted by Clare
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A few weeks ago I had a young guy I was mentoring in my car, on our way to have a meal together. As I was talking, he pulled out his cell phone and started checking his email and returning texts.

MANNERS

I stopped talking in mid-sentence. After a few seconds of awkward silence he asked, “What’s the problem?” “The problem”, I said, “is that we were in the middle of a conversation and you began having a “conversation” with someone else. So, I thought I’d let you finish before we re-engage.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I just wanted to return these messages before I forgot them, he said a bit embarrassed. “I know what you were doing”, I replied, “and your generation thinks nothing of it. But, those of us over 50 think it’s not respectful behavior – good manners, so tonight let’s talk about that. You help me understand what’s important to your generation and I’ll share the expectations of mine.” (more…)

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The Danger to your Faith of Being “Liked”
Posted by Clare
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Last year I was traveling with a small group of college seniors through Europe teaching history and a biblical worldview. After a worship service in Paris, we exited the hotel where they were meeting and started walking toward the Eiffel Tower.

As we approached the tower one of the guys had an idea. “Why don’t we have a contest? Each of us take a photo of the tower on our phone, Instagram it and see who gets the most number of likes on Facebook. Some of the guys had more “friends” than others, so after working out a handicap system, they went to work.

PHOTO_OCT21

 
What happened was fascinating. I watched their spirits rise or fall based on the number of “likes” coming in, or not. Some of the more confident guys, ended up with the fewest likes, and were obviously frustrated and disappointed. Of course, the winner was elated.

The next morning at breakfast I made the following observation, which I think is important for us older adults to more fully understand the intense pressure our children, grandchildren and we are under every day. (more…)

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Five Ideas to Transform your Worship Next Sunday
Posted by Clare
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When was the last time you thought about what God himself thinks of your hour and ten minutes of worship each Sunday?

While I can’t know what God thinks, I do know what I think. So, if I’m not intentional about truly worshipping, here’s what a Sunday morning can look like to me and God.

WORSHIP_BLOG

Thoughtless Worship
I drive to church thinking about anything except worship and God. Susan and I are talking about what we did yesterday or our plans for this afternoon, but God generally isn’t being discussed. As we walk from the parking lot to the church I’m thinking about the nice cars people are driving, greeting friends and sizing people up.

I sit down and read the worship folders to find out what’s going on in the church this week. Still no serious thoughts of God. I’m just killing time until the service begins. When it does, it generally starts with congregational singing. Too often, I sing many songs thoughtlessly – I’m on automatic. And, occasionally I notice certain people not singing at all – just standing there and I’m wondering, “why”? It rarely dawns on me that thinking about them while I thoughtlessly mouth the words, is no worse than not singing at all!

In the past it was so easy for my mind to wander during the pastoral prayer, the missions report and even the sermon. I’ll jot a few notes down on the sermon for future reference, which I rarely followed through on, sing the last song and leave. I’m grateful that God has given our church an incredibly gifted Senior Pastor who stimulates my love and devotion to God almost every Sunday, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Too often, I was a “thoughtless worshipper”, (if there is such a thing!). (more…)

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How does God speak to us?
Posted by Clare
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Having written a book on obeying God when he gives us an impression to do something, I get the “but exactly how does he do that?” question a lot.

The most common way God communicated to the prophets and major biblical characters was audibly. They heard God speaking to them. But, what about the average person in the Old Testament or people like you and me living in the New Testament? How does God communicate to us? And, if you’re a spiritual mentor or parent, those you teach will have the same question and we ought to have an answer for them.

The most common answer given by Christians is that God speaks through scripture. But, how exactly does he do that? (more…)

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