Where Our Treasure Is

Not long ago my wife had a conversation with a financial adviser   She'd worked for many years at a large non-profit and they'd been putting money aside for her in a 401(b) (the non-profit version of a 401(k)).  She hadn't paid much attention--statements came, the account kept growing.  Then she left that work to spend more time with our daughter and she started getting letters that said that it was time for her to find someplace else to put her money--an IRA, etc.The trouble is that we're th … [Read more...]

St. Nicholas and a Season for Sledgehammers

St_Nicholas_Paleh

I'm considering a war on Christmas.  Not because I don't enjoy Christmas trees and gifts and the time spent with family, not because I'm against a religious holiday playing large on a national scale.  I'm increasingly against Christmas because I love it--this is a sort of kill it to save it strategy.In a recent survey 45% of Americans said they would rather skip Christmas.  Why?  Because of the financial and personal stress.  Being overwhelmed with shopping and economies of obligation is no w … [Read more...]

Prayer Walk

It's that time of year--the busy time and we haven't even begun Advent.  It is important that in these days of holiday rush, we remember to slow down, take stock and call Christ's presence into the places we are.  Today, go on a prayer walk.  Walk through your neighborhood and pray over each house, the people inside, and ask that Christ be present with these people and this place throughout the advent season.  Pray that God's coming into the world would be a coming here. … [Read more...]

A Day for Attention

Yesterday we feasted, we spent time with family, and now we rest.  If we practice the traditional Friday fast of Christians, then we rest our bodies (if you haven't started this practice today is an excellent day to start).  But it is also a time to relax into the Thanksgivings that we celebrated yesterday which means that this is also a day not to jump immediately into the season of wants and desires.  Gift giving is good and like anyone I  like receiving and giving gifts, but in our excess we h … [Read more...]

Free Day

Many training gyms around the country reserve Saturday for a free day.  It's a time to come in, work on your weaknesses, and take a break from the normal programming of the gym.  Sometimes we need the same for our soul.  Today, take a free day.  Maybe you need to work on contemplative prayer, so spend some time in that.  Maybe you need to reach out to your neighbors and get over fear of people different from you, so do something to address that.  Discern where you need work and tackle it. … [Read more...]

Memorize Monday: Blessings and Warnings

The Exercise:Memorize Luke 6:20-26:20Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their an … [Read more...]

Write a Minister

The work of organizing, encouraging, and prodding along (in some cases) God's people is difficult and draining for those who burden that responsibility.  We call these people ministers, but they don't have to be clergy or even full time church staff.  A minister could be anyone who plays a significant role of ministering within a church.Today write a letter to a minister and encourage them in their work.  It doesn't have to be a long letter; just a quick note to say, I appreciate you and the … [Read more...]

Replacing the Future

The future is an obsession for many of us--we plan for it, insure it, invest in it.  But the future is always uncertain and completely beyond our control--we simply can't know it or make it into what we want it to be.  Instead, we must trust that God has our best interest at heart and put our energy into following God's way.Make a list of all of your future worries and cross each one off and replace it with a practice you can do here and now to follow Jesus more closely.  For instance, if yo … [Read more...]


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