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Why Men Struggle with Prayer
Posted by Clare
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I’ve been a follower of Jesus for 35 years now and still struggle with having a deep prayer life – consistently. I have days while praying, when tears are streaming down my face and I feel unbelievably connected to God and alive as a believer. Then come stretches when my mind wanders and my prayers feel lifeless – like I’m just going through the motions.

And most men I talk with have the same struggle. Perhaps women do as well, but men for sure. So let’s explore some spiritual and practical reasons why that may be true in your life.

1. Men are doers!
Men like to get things done. I’ve noticed this about myself; that perhaps 75-80% of the things I set out to do, I get done. I’ve also noticed that a much smaller percentage of the things I pray for “get done.

Sadly, I may have concluded subconsciously, that one of the reasons I work harder than I pray, is that I have more confidence in me than in God to accomplish things. It pains me to admit that sin, but I think it’s true sometimes. If it weren’t true, I’d pray more, wait on God more, and work less.

When I’m lucid enough to realize what’s happening, I’ll cry out to God to both forgive me and ask him to give me eyes of faith to enable me to “wait upon the Lord.”

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Kissing the Face of God
Posted by Clare

I have a gift for you! This is one of the most moving and worshipful Christmas videos I’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful reminder of Immanuel – God with us. God in the flesh!

Think of it – Mary, the mother of Jesus actually kissed the face of God! This video says in song, better than any blog I could ever write, what Christmas is all about. So, this is “my blog” this week. Consider forwarding it to your friends and playing it for your family this Christmas.

We wish you all a Christ-centered Christmas,
The De Graaf Family

How following Jesus works in real life. 

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you can take care of that right HERE.

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Would Jesus Own a Handgun?
Posted by Clare
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The subject of guns is a touchy one for Christians. Our feelings about them are often wrapped up with a love for hunting, concern about second amendment rights, as well as personal security. So, let’s take two of the three off the table. I believe in the constitutional right to bear arms and in the hunting of animals that are eaten, or are hazardous to humans or farm animals. (Frankly, I can’t imagine Jesus would think killing living things, just for the fun of it, acceptable.) But, I can’t prove that by the Bible.

But, the question before us today is, would Jesus own a handgun for personal protection? Setting aside the fact that he was, and is God and needed no protection, it’s more helpful to ask this question, “Would Jesus condone followers of his, owning a gun for the protection of one’s family?”

I also want to say upfront, that I have friends who are serious followers of Jesus, loving, kind and deeply spiritual who own handguns for personal protection. This is an issue on which serious Christians can disagree. But, I do not own a gun for personal protection and never have and I’ll tell you why shortly. (I do own a shotgun to shoot skeet occasionally, but it’s locked away and I don’t hunt.)

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Does the Bible Permit Divorce for Abuse?
Posted by Clare
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As an elder, I’ve seen an alarming trend the last 20 years, it’s the number of Christian women divorcing their husbands for verbal, emotional or physical abuse. The scripture they quote most often as justification for a divorce is this one.

“To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.”  1 Corinthians 7:12-13, 15

They’ve concluded that one or more of these things are true of their husbands;
1. He is, or may be an unbeliever as evidenced by his abuse. Therefore divorce is permissible.
2. He has already emotionally abandoned his wife, even if he’s still living in the home.

(While there are cases of abuse by wives, 95% of the abuse I’ve seen is by men against women. Therefore, I’ve written this blog in that vein.)

So, let’s try to examine this issue from both a biblical and human points of view.

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