Social Distancing Devos: Colossians 1:3-8

During this time of social distancing, use your extra time at home to dive into the word of God. I’m praying these devotions through the book of Colossians will assist as you study and apply Scripture. To listen to the podcast, click the links at the bottom of the article. God bless you all through this unique time.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing–as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit (Col. 1:3-8).

Continue: https://growingingrace.blog/2020/03/24/social-distancing-devos-colossians-13-8/

Family Is So Important

Ray Macdonald

1 Corinthians 12:26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

I’ve been spending some time lately reading (mostly online and on my iPad) and listening to some as well. I’ve read the following: The Bible – some books (like Nick Vujicic’s Unstoppable) – some sports news (as we are in the midst of the basketball season – the Super Bowl is upon us – and Spring training is just around the corner) – and the Facebook entries of some of my friends. One thing I’ve noticed in many of these venues is the importance of family – connections – and teamwork. One of my Facebook friends puts pictures and posts up – almost hourly it seems – thanking God for their children – their spouse – and where they work. I believe that our family and close friends impact our lives – for the better or for the worst.

The rest is at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/family-is-so-important/

Hospitality to Strangers

Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Read blog: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/hospitality-to-strangers/

Why Aren’t the Younger Generation Coming To Worship?

https://alightbreaksthrough.org/why-arent-young-peopling-to-worship/

12 Vital Reasons Each Of Us Should Be Part Of A Church

Do you really need to be involved in a church for God’s word?

Can’t believers just worship Jesus on their own? Why do we need to be involved in “organized religion?” It seems like a growing trend that many Christians don’t believe they need to be part of a church.

Yes, we can and should worship and love Jesus individually. But we should also worship, pursue God’s word and love him with others. In fact, it is essential and vital to our spiritual lives and health as believers.

More: https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/366660-12-vital-reasons-each-of-us-should-be-part-of-a-church.htm

Why the Christian Life Is a Call to Community

Why the Christian Life Is a Call to Community

I’ll never forget Miss Moss, with her Coke-bottle glasses and a disability that left her slow and kind. She loved writing notes of encouragement even though her handwriting was chicken-scratchy and sloped down the page.

And Earl Roland. He was a hunched old man who loved to pray. In the absence of an acceptable singing voice, he’d mastered the art of whistling, and he whistled loud and strong through the hymns we sang in church. So to honor him we whistled “A Mighty Fortress” at his memorial service.

I remember little old women in polyester who fawned over me, and the wrinkled man in a wheelchair who had a big black Bible and said, “But God!” (Because he knew stuff the rest of us didn’t yet understand.)

But it wasn’t just the old and the weak that made a strong impression on me.Roland and Naomi were seminary students in their late 20s when I was a teen. They never missed an opportunity to encourage me. When I graduated from high school and no one else my age was left at church, they invited me to join their young married small group. Roland and Naomi wanted children, but their arms remained empty. I watched them navigate barrenness with quiet trust, and it changed me.

More: https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/366621-why-the-christian-life-is-a-call-to-community.html

Why Church Leaders And Members Are Responsible For Each Other

http://chucklawless.com/2019/05/why-church-leaders-and-members-are-responsible-for-each-other/

10 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes That Taught Us About ‘Life Together’

Detrich Bonhoeffer quotes

April 9th marks 73 years since Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed in a Nazi concentration camp. However, through various biographies and writings, his legacy has lived on in church history. Prolific on many subjects relating to Jesus and the church, Bonhoeffer not only wrote about total submission to the will of God, he lived it.

As the church continues to reap from the bounty of his writings, like The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics, there is one particular book that gets lesser attention but is equally important to the church and church leaders.

Life Together is a slim volume, unimpressive in its length, yet deceptively packed full of truth about communal living in the church. In this book. Bonhoeffer not only explores what life together in the body looks like Scripturally, but practically. He shares how Christians can and should interact, the dangers of too much community and being too solitary. His writing on the subject is a must read for any Christian wanting to understand the beautiful tapestry God weaves together through His children, and how one matures in that community.

As we remember the life of Detrich Bonhoeffer and his contribution to the church, here are 10 things he taught us about community in Life Together.

Detrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

1. Accountability is an absolute necessity among brothers and sisters in the body.

“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”

Read more: https://churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/277152-10-things-bonhoeffer-taught-us-life-together.html

Three Ways to Make the Local Church Feel More Like a Family

https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/305015-three-ways-make-local-church-feel-like-family-chris-martin.html

5 Reasons Why a Handwritten “Thank You” Note Can Make a Difference

By Chuck Lawless

I know I’m dating myself here, but I believe many of us need to return to handwriting some thank you notes. I assume that all of us can name somebody who has blessed us, either for a long time or even just today. Here’s why taking the time to write a “thank you” note matters:

  1. It takes time—which shows some depth of gratitude. Think about it – you have to buy the card, write the note, find an address, address the envelope, and mail it. Sure, the card arrives much later than an email would, but the effort behind the “thank you” note is seldom missed.
  2. Few people do it—so it catches the attention of the receiver. An email “thank you” is easier to send, but it’s also easier to miss on the other end. A handwritten note, however, often catches the recipient by surprise. Its very uniqueness in our Internet-based world makes a difference.
  3. It feels much more personal. I know that’s an emotional response, but it’s often true nonetheless. Somehow, seeing the handwriting and signature of an affirming friend or loved one is different than receiving an email.
  4. It provides good memories. I still remember “thank you” notes that arrived at just the right time with just the right words from just the right person. God used those notes to encourage me then, and my memories of them still encourage me today. That’s one reason I’m writing this post today.
  5. It models a good habit for others. I know many people who’ve received gifts and support from others, but who never took the time to say, “thank you.” It is as if we sometimes think we’re entitled to something, so we see no need to express gratitude. We need to learn, though, from others who seldom miss an opportunity to say “thank you” via a handwritten note.

So, I encourage you this week/weekend to write at least five “thank you” notes to people who have blessed your life. Let them hear from you, in the words of the apostle Paul, “in my [your] own handwriting” (Gal. 6:11).