Category Archives: Lent

Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 7: Bible Gateway

BibleIf this were a count-down list of the top resources for spiritual growth, I would certainly have to say, “And…the number one resource guaranteed to assist you in growing more Christ-like IS…God’s Word.”

Rather obvious, right? I guess that’s why I left it for last. What more can I possibly say about something so blatantly apparent? You have a Bible? Read it. You don’t have a Bible? Get one. Read it.

biblesBut I recognize that it isn’t always quite that easy. Choosing a Bible can be overwhelming today. With dozens of translations, plus many study bibles,  as well as different formats like a 365-Day Bible, (divided up into readings for every day of the year)…a newbie may well give up in despair before (s)he ever settles on “the perfect Bible for me.”

The good news about the Good News is that a practical resource for all of us exists, which is also a great way to preview all those other resources: BibleGateway. com. Continue reading

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 6: Fixed-Hour Prayer

godsbooklover-gravatar991Prayer means many different things to different people, and there are many kinds of prayer. Let us say, for our purposes, that to pray is to address oneself to Deity. For most Christians, this is a practice in which they engage at least occasionally; for many, it is part of their daily routine.

Praying Hands statueAt times, prayer may flow out of what one is reading, or out of one’s life circumstances. At times, our hearts are beyond the ability to form our own words. At such times it is good to have the words of others as a guide, as we discussed in Week 2, Puritan Prayers. We are exhorted to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) and many of us find that very hard at the best of times.

How might we better incorporate prayer into our daily routine?

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 5: Online Devotionals

godsbooklover-gravatar991Each Wednesday during Lent, I am suggesting some resource or activity which can assist the Christian in his or her spiritual growth. We’ve looked at a news magazine, a collection of prayers, several excellent books, and some recording artists. This week, I want to acknowledge my own tremendous debt to a variety of online resources, all of which are free.

If you would like a daily devotional delivered to your inbox, the choices are vast. Here are a few I’ve used in the past couple of years:

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 4: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

medieval hymnWhile music is not everyone’s preferred tool for spiritual growth and renewal, nor even for worship, it has its place in centering one’s thoughts on God, and can also be a teaching tool, both for doctrine and Scripture memory.

Since the apostle Paul instructs the early believers to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (see Ephesians 5:19 NIV), today I will offer my own recommendations for a bit of each of these three, from a variety of recording artists.

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 3: Books for Spiritual Formation

godsbooklover-gravatar991This Lenten season, I’m taking a moment in this mid-week slot to recommend resources for spiritual growth. Previous suggestions have included a news periodical with a Christian worldview, and a collection of prayers written hundreds of years ago.

Today I turn to my favorite medium, books–real, hold-in-your-hand books. I have three from my personal library in front of me; each offers a somewhat different approach to spiritual formation.

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me-i-want-to-be-coverThe most recent addition is by an author I have enjoyed in the past, John Ortberg. His 2010 book, The Me I Want To Be, is written with his signature blend of pithy anecdote, biblical insight and practical teaching points, complete with helpful call-out frames (or whole pages) which provide overview or outline of his main points. Its design is eye-catching and its format makes it very readable.

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 2: Puritan Prayers

godsbooklover-gravatar991I am using the Lenten season of the Church year to present a series of varied resources for spiritual formation. Last week I highlighted an excellent print and online news publication which is extremely helpful in developing/maintaining a Christian worldview.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to a body of work which exists in several formats. It is at least a couple of  hundred years old… and I just discovered it a month ago.

I have to give a hat tip once again to The Park Forum’s devotional blog, 843 Acres, which reprinted one of these extraordinary prayers and noted its source as a book titled The Valley of Vision. This book is still available in paperback and hardcover, both from Amazon and Christianbook.com.

Valley of Vision

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The Lenten Season: “Receptivity”

potterToday, with one eye on the clock which has robbed me of a precious hour, I am sharing a thought-provoking devotional post from 843 Acres, on viewing our lives as a work of art “in progress”…

So far from demanding of the Lord, “What are You making?” (see Isaiah 45:9), we can choose to submit ourselves to the brush, to the wheel…and wait. Such receptivity requires contentment and trust, two excellent character traits to cultivate during this season.

Here is the devotional–the emphasis is mine.

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 1: “World Magazine”

godsbooklover gravatar99This past Sunday on this blog, I was musing over all the words, words, words we take in without doing–or even expecting to do–anything about them. Shouldn’t Christians be seeking out words which will in-FORM us: our opinions, our character, our beliefs?

So as a different sort of Lenten mid-week post, I’ve decided to feature one book, periodical, website or author each week. We’ll profile writers or publications whose words inspire, challenge and “inform”, as a way to encourage us to choose to read more deeply (rather than widely) for the next 40 days.

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