Posts in Spiritual Formation

Can One Person Change the World? Questions Over Breakfast #12

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 1, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim comes to a close:

Michael: But what if it doesn’t happen the way I hope? What if I set out on a course of action and my impact turns out to be minimal?

Jim: I don’t believe that anyone who lives a life of whole devotion to God will only have minimal impact. But it’s not until eternity that we will be able to see all that has occurred through our lives. In other words, we don’t always see fully now. But, let’s say that you really don’t make an impact; you can’t even see a dent. Even then, you’ve lived life according to the purpose for which you were created, and that can never be called an empty life.

Michael: But if your ministry is unsuccessful, you haven’t succeeded.

Jim: Not necessarily ...

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What About All the Hypocrites? Questions Over Breakfast #11

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 27, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I think I’ll never find a church I can take my family to.

Jim: WHY NOT?!

Michael: There’s just too much hypocrisy!

Jim: I have to agree with you there.

Michael: (not listening to Jim’s answer) … I know it’s hard for you to hear this, since you’re in the ministry and everything … (all of a sudden catching on) … did you say you agree?!

Jim: Of course I do ...

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Christians in the World: A Triumphal Church or a Persecuted Minority? Questions Over Breakfast #10

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 25, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I admire your courage. But I still think that what you’re trying to do is almost impossible.

Jim: That’s one of the reasons we’re trying it. God is the one who makes the impossible possible. What do you think, Michael? Is the church a triumphant church, or are we just a band of persecuted idealists?

Michael: In your case I’d say that you look more like a group of persecuted idealists. At the same time, the church does seem to be making strides in many places in the world ...

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From Slave to Queen to Nun: Advancing the Kingdom of God Through Vocation

By Joy Mosbarger Aug. 24, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Spiritual Formation, Theology

For many of us who are not pastors or missionaries, integrating our walks of faith and our vocational callings can be a challenge. Throughout church history, there have been some remarkable men and women who have excelled at meeting this challenge. One such example lived in the early centuries of the church. Her name was Bathild (c. 630-c.680), and she found herself in various vocational situations at different stages in her life. In each of those situations, she found opportunities to be a blessing to others and to advance the kingdom of God ...

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Do We Make Decisions through Wisdom or Guidance? Questions Over Breakfast #9

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: The issue, as I see it, is this: Are we supposed to make decisions according to wisdom or should we look for special guidance from God?

Michael: That’s the question.

Jim: Proverbs tells us that we’re supposed to seek after wisdom in every area of life.[1]

Michael: So wisdom is obviously important.

Jim: Definitely. But Paul describes the believer as one “led by the Spirit.”[2] This description may be broader than simply the internal processes in decision-making, but also probably includes those as well. The Bible also presents many examples of God giving specific guidance to individuals for specific situations by various means ...

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How Do You Know If You’re Doing Okay in Your Spiritual Life? Questions Over Breakfast #8

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: How do you know things are going well? How do you know you’re not actually doing badly in your walk with God and that you just don’t realize it?

Jim: What kind of question is that?

Michael: A question to frustrate you.

Jim: Thanks ...

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The Importance of Meditation for Sermon Preparation

By John McKinley Aug. 17, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

... In meditation, I now listen for God’s message through the text in a different way. I have stopped merely thinking about the sermon and drilling into the passage, chewing on what the commentary says, and that has helped open things up for me. The result is a different sort of sermon ...

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