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In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

As promised, I have included a Black Friday free resource for you.

Let Your Light Shine: Share It & Show It

My hope is that this resource might serve as an impactful part of your reading.  It serves as a foundation for some other work that we have coming up but it also stands out as a simple reminder of our root cause and calling as a believer.

Faith Impact Training is about inspiring hearts, minds and souls, particularly for outreach/ evangelism and service through good works.  Our mantra is making a difference today, while leaving an impact for life.  Part of our work includes the development and distribution of publications and trainings.

Stay tuned.  There is more to come.

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“Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal” – Psalm 118:1

LifePath_hoody

Once again, I am purposefully pursuing a way to give thanks and give back this holiday season.

I have been here before.  I have done this a few times.  The problem is that I am persistent.  I have not given up yet.  I am either stubborn or faithful.

I just haven’t figured out which one yet.

I think I will go with faithful.

A Week of Works (download available)

However, this time I have approached things a little differently.  There are all sorts of ways to get the work done.  My goal is to share small and simple ways to give thanks by giving back.  It doesn’t matter if you do it as an individual or as a small group, even a church ministry or family.  I have included ways to support small businesses for Small Business Saturday.  I also have shared ways to extend yourself and your outreach on Black Friday.  It is about sharing the Word.  It is about truly being thankful.

What I am most proud of (if I can say so without boasting or bragging) is that I am involved in the same efforts that I sharing.  I am involved intimately.  I am involved intentionally.  I am involved.

Follow my feed and see how I am giving thanks by giving back.

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Be sure to download the Week of Works PDF

Check out my other e-Books at Sellfy and on Lulu.

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“Prayer is humbling work.” – E.M. Bounds

Prayer has a way of humbling us.

We may or may not recognize it at all times, but prayer can help us put things in perspective time and time again.  As I noted in a previous post, prayer is endless work.  Yet, prayer is truly humbling work.

Prayer Humbles Our Egos

We are admonished by the Bible writers to pray without ceasing and to pray earnestly with expectancy.   Prayer can humble our egos because it forces us to come to grips with our own mortality and God’s mighty ability.  We begin to realize that we are limited while God remains limitless.  We face the fact that we have an ultimate end but God is endless.  We accept that we are powerless in spite of serving God who is powerful.

Our egos are humbled by what prayer can reveal to us.

Prayer Humbles Our Expectations

Our expectations are humbled through prayer.  We learn more about how God works as we see Him at work, answering our prayers without having to answer to us or anyone else.

Prayer may not change the outcome but it will most assuredly change our outlook.  Prayer may not alter our problems but it surely alter our narrow perspectives.

Trust and believe that prayer remains humbling work.

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“Never stop praying.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
Prayer is endless work.  There are all sorts of ways to look at prayer as a Christian.  One serious reality is that prayer is to be continual.  It is to be ongoing more than occasional.  Christians are to pray always and in all ways.
Pray Always
We have to stay at prayer all of the time no matter what.  We need to stay prayed up day after day, moment by moment.  We cannot simply start and stop regarding prayer.  We are to pray always.
Pray All Ways
I used to hear people start prayer with words and phrases like: “Bow your heads and close your eyes…” or “Let us pray.” Prayer does not require any type of formality or format.   There is no definitive prayer position.  You can stand or kneel, bow or lift up your head.  You can repeat your favorite verse, speak from your heart or simply commune in silence with the Lord.  Prayer is free flowing.

 

All you need to really know and do is pray continually, understanding that prayer is endless work.

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And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. – Titus 2:7 (NLT)

How often do you think of a Hindu as  good example of “good works” for a Christian to follow?

Would you really feel comfortable recommending an existentialist’s political views and ideology as a ‘pattern of good works’ that Christians could imitate?

Henry David Thoreau had such an influence.  His words of social change and individual ideological protest had an influence that span across decades and then centuries.  Walden and its escape from societal norms of the 19th century was combined with Civil Disobedience and its core message of anti-war protest and nonviolent, pacifist yet disruptive social action.

Gandhi bought into it over a hundred years later.  He used its powerful message to turn the British Empire upside down as he held hunger strikes and nonviolent protests to free India from the imperialistic reign and rule of the British.

MLK read Thoreau as part of his study of the social gospel.  His own words in Why We Can’t Wait exploded with the very essence of Thoreau’s fit with taxing Americans for the war with Mexico that no one really wanted except Texans and the federal government.

Thoreau’s influence went beyond these two and continues.  Yet, as Christians, we act as if a many of the faithful men and women of the Bible’s early church period and history’s Roman Empire were not persecuted for their faith.

Yet, Thoreau is a not  a sole voice speaking up against social ills and unchecked injustice and tyranny.  The Bible speaks of speaking up and taking a stand against such earthly rulers and social chaos.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

– Ephesians 4:1 (ESV)

Was Bonhoeffer influenced by Thoreau’s words of wisdom or the red letters of the New Testament as spoken by Jesus? Did not the Apostles stand up before the Sanhedrin in the Book of Acts, vowing to follow God rather than to listen to man? Was Paul not a persecutor of the people of the Way, later known as the church, as a Pharisee only to later be punished by the Roman government in spite of being a Roman citizen himself?

8 Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. – Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

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Called Out and Counted On

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. . . And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. – Matthew 10:1, 7-8 (KJV)

good shepherd

How much of what you are doing today is

related to what He called you to do with your life?

Jesus calls us.

He calls us to salvation.

He calls us into service.

He calls us out from the world, to live set free and set apart.  He calls us from darkness into the light.  He calls us from sinful depravity to the free gift of salvation through grace by faith.

He calls us out from among the other sheep for service that will further the spreading of the gospel (Matthew 10:7).  His call upon our lives sends us along a different path than many of the rest of the flock.  He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep who know His voice.

As you go about your routine business and affairs this week, continually ask yourself: How of what you are doing today is related to what God has called you to do with your life?

Don’t forget that He called you for two things:

  • He called you to salvation
  • He called you for service

crosses

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

– Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)

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Let God Hear

I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. – Psalm 119:147

In the morning and in the evening are times when God should hear from us. It isn’t reserved just for in times of trouble.

However, many people just wait until it is troubling. They wait until then to call on God. They wait until a deadline is fast approaching. They wait until they are backed up against a wall.

Let God hear from you daily. Come before His throne and lay out your heart to Him. He’ll hear you.

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