20 Ways To Be Refreshing In The Local Church


There are few epitaphs I would rather have engraved on my tombstone than Paul’s words of commendation to Philemon, “the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philemon 1:7). Oh, how I love Philemons and want to consistently be one!
Here are twenty practical ways that you can seek to nurture this refreshing gift in the midst of your own local church.

– Greet people on Sunday mornings with a smile. It is o.k. to let your face say that you are “happy” to be at church. Go out of your way to say, “Hi,” ask questions about the lives of others, and listen attentively.
– Visit the widows and shut-ins of your church. Take an afternoon and visit three or four. Sit, talk, listen, and be willing to look at their photo albums—all of them (1 Timothy 5:3)!
– Have a mouth that is overflowing with grace (Ephesians 4:29) and is slow to wander down any other road.
– Show up each Sunday morning with a mental list of three or four people that you are going to find and minister to (Philippians 2:4). Many of us walk into church with an attitude of, “I wonder who will minister to me today.” Nothing can be as drastically encouraging to a local church’s membership than a people united in the understanding that they are there to serve and love one another.
– Be a Monday morning encourager instead of a Monday morning critic by sending your pastor an email detailing what you appreciated about his Sunday sermon.
– Don’t rush out of church on Sunday mornings. Be one of the last to leave because you are taking the time to talk with everyone you can (this will be hard for the introvert—but some of the most engaging and refreshing people I have served with are introverts. They wear themselves out on Sunday morning). The football games and lunch will be there fifteen or thirty minutes later.
– Often remind others of the benefits of salvation and the graces that flow from union with Christ. Let it season your conversations.
– Routinely have a crock-pot meal or roast cooking on Sundays and spontaneously invite a visiting family or family-in-need for supper following the service.
– Seek out those visiting the church, get to know them, and introduce them to others. Find connections and be a networker to the glory of God.
– Aim to remember peoples’ names and greet them by name each Sunday (I wish I was better at this, because it means so much to people). The Cheers’ theme song had a point, we all feel loved when our name is known (Isaiah 49:16).
– Refuse to speak ill of others in the congregation (Ephesians 4:31).
– Get to know the children of the congregation and seek to talk to five different children each Sunday morning (Matthew 19:14).
– Know the Word and season your conversations with it. This isn’t to impress others, but rather to encourage them in the faith. The Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
– Write and mail anonymous encouragement notes to members of the congregation. Why are we so hesitant to pass out encouragement? We can never encourage others too much (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
– Always speak the truth with others (Ephesians 4:25). “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.” (James 5:12).
– Ask the pastor if there is anything you can do to help him during the week and be willing to do it.
– Refuse to listen to gossip or be a purveyor of it (2 Corinthians 12:20).
– Willingly bear the burdens of others in the congregation (Galatians 6:2). This means praying for them, serving them, giving financially to help those in need, loving when love is not returned, and being quick to forgive.
– Write thank you notes to volunteers in the church.
– Rejoice in the Lord and lead others to do the same by your example (Philippians 4:4). Don’t be an agitator, complainer, or “negative-Nelly.” This doesn’t mean we are seeking to be Pollyannish, but rather simply rejoicing in the many benefits we have as those united with the Living God by the blood of the Son.

Full article Here

The Write Stuff – Max Lucado

I came to believe this much:  good words are worth the work.  Well-written words can change a life.  Why is this? Words go where we never go—Africa.  Australia.  Indonesia.  My daughter was in Bangalor, India, last summer and saw my books in the display window of a shop.

Written words go to places you’ll never go.  …and descend to depths you’ll never know.

Readers invite the author to a private moment. They clear the calendar, find the corner, flip on the lamp, turn off the television, pour the tea, pull on the wrap, silence the dog, shoo the kids.  They set the table, pull out the chair and invite you, “Come, talk to me for a moment.” The invitation of a lifetime.

Accept it. We need your writing. This generation needs the best books you can write and the clearest thinking you can render. Pick up the pens left by Paul, John, and Luke. They show us how to write.[…]

In an effort to write well, let’s not forget the good news. In an effort to be creative, let’s also be clear.[…]

Good writers do this.  They tap the delete button and distill the writing. They bare-bone and bareknuckle it.  They cut the fat and keep the fact. Concise (but not cute.) Clear (but not shallow). Enough (but not too much).

Make every word earn its place on the page.  Not just once or twice, but many times.  Sentences can be like just-caught fish, spunky today and stinky tomorrow.  Re-read until you’ve thrown out all the stinkers.  Rewrite until you have either a masterpiece or an angry publisher.  Revise as long as you can. “God’s words are pure words, pure silver words refined seven times in the fires of his word-kiln” (Psalms 12:6 MSG).[…]

A framed quote greets me each time I sit at my desk. “You wanna write?  Put your butt in that chair and sit there a long, long time.”  Writing is not glamorous work. But it is a noble work. […]

The Write Stuff.

Looking Back: TIME Asks, „Is God Dead?” by Albert Mohler.

The 1966 TIME cover story became an icon of the rebellious and increasingly secular sixties. The question, in bold letters, was simply, „Is God Dead?”
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The Heavens (and the Hubble) Are Telling the Glory of God. by Albert Mohler.

To read of the vast distances and dimensions seen and measured by Hubble’s technology is to be reminded just how small our planet really is – and how even smaller we humans are.
Read the full article here

Hurtful Words, Healing Words.

Have you ever considered the fact that every word you say—every word—has the power to either hurt or heal?

You may think I exaggerate the power of words. A misspoken word here, a sarcastic quip there can hardly hurt a marriage, you think. When your mate makes a snide comment about the burnt toast at breakfast, it can’t be held against you if you snipe back that he never seems to notice when his toast is made to perfection. Tit for tat can’t do harm. Right? Think again.

Mai mult AICI.

Top 10 Articles of August 2009.

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff.

1. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship
Abuse3.65w.tnBy Laura Petherbridge
In an attempt to help singles avoid a destructive relationship or a painful marriage I offer insight on how to detect a toxic, abusive person…

2. The Secret to Winning Spiritual Wars
girl_praying.65w.tnBy Rebekah Montgomery
Sometimes, when the pain is very deep, you need someone to do your praying for you. The Bible has a name for these people: intercessors.

3. The Husband’s Sanctifying Role in Marriage
ent_TheChristianHusband.100.tnBy Bob Lepine
In a very real sense, God the Holy Spirit is the agent of sanctification in the life of believers. Although his ministry to us is sometimes direct and personal, he often chooses to work through the lives of others to press us toward holiness. In marriage the husband plays a special role in encouraging his wife’s spiritual growth.

4. Parenting Adult Children: Six Steps to Sanity
SeriousTeenGirl.65w.tnBy Allison Bottke
Sanity is what we gain when we stop focusing on our adult children and begin to focus on changing our own attitudes and behaviors…

5. To Tithe or Not to Tithe? That is the Question.
Money_HandWithMoney4By Steven G. Scalici
How much of our income is to be given to God as the firstfruits? Should you tithe even if you can’t pay your bills? No matter what your situation, the key to honoring God with our finances is remembering that our money is really not ours.

6. …

Mai mult AICI