The joy of studying Scriptures

I was able to have a conversation with one of my mentors in ministry this week because I learned from him the joy of studying Scriptures. Dr. Don Meyer’s class on Bible Study Methods was a seminal moment for me in my life and my lifelong love for Scriptures.

You can listen to the podcast HERE.

You can watch the conversation HERE.

Be anxious for nothing

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I have walked with Christ for decades. I am still learning and revisiting ares of my life that need the work of the Spirit. Anxiety is one of those areas. Things I cannot control, I develop anxiety rather than trust. This is why Paul connects it to prayer.

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Citizenship

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ… (Phil. 3:20)

I am here on a passport and visa. This world is not ‘home.’ I represent a place I’ve never been yet the reality of that place dwells in me.

We are called to humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil. 2:1-4)

Culturalized Christianity is in a deep struggle trying to grasp the power they thought they had and hold on for dear life. It raises the ugliness of systemic racism and misogyny again and again in our current time.

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Choosing real rest

I’m choosing to ask, “If I really believed the Spirit of the living God is at home in me, making me a child of God right now, how would I live?” Can we handle the kind of intimacy described in Scripture? Our Western preference for safe distance and individual freedom keeps us from receiving what Jesus is actually offering us, an interdependence that may feel a little too close for comfort. — Mandy Smith, Unfettered

The beauty of the FULLNESS of God

“The deeper meaning of the ‘return of the prodigal son’ is the return to God’s womb, the return to the very origins of being, and again echoes Jesus’ exhortation to Nicodemus to be reborn from above… The parable of the prodigal son… is the first and everlasting love of a God who is Father as well as Mother.” — Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith

“God is the fullness of every parental role — creator, provider, nurturer, protector — regardless of whatever gender categories we assign to them.” Mandy Smith, Unfettered

Unfettered - By Mandy Smith (paperback) : Target

Light

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (Eph 4:17-18)

Once we step into light we realize how dark it has been in our lives.