Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

National Random Acts of Kindness Day: 10 Ways to Get Involved

10 ways to communicate kindness to those around you today.

10 ways to communicate kindness to those around you today.

Happy National Random Acts of Kindness Day! We’re all about a holiday that encourages us to show compassion just as Paul did in Ephesians 4:32 NIV: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Here are 10 ways to communicate kindness to those around you today.

1. Call Your Family
Pick up the phone and call someone you don’t regularly talk to. Ask them about their day and let them know that you love them.

2. Sponsor A Child
By sponsoring a child through World Vision, you’ll help that child and their community experience freedom from poverty.

3. Smile At A Stranger
Spread the joy of the Lord by smiling at someone while you’re out running errands—it’s contagious!

4. Make A Donation
Clean out your home, and donate gently used clothes, books, board games, kitchenware and anything else you no longer need.

5. Send A Card
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show someone that you care. Write a handwritten note of encouragement in a greeting card.

6. Pay It Forward
Literally—pay for someone’s meal or buy two cups of coffee in the morning and give one away.

7. Give Directions
If you see someone who looks lost, stop and ask them if they need help. Even if they don’t, they’ll be thankful and inspired by your thoughtfulness.

8. Leave An Encouraging Reminder
Keep sticky notes on hand and write down some Bible verses or messages letting people know that God loves them. Leave them in public restrooms, at the gas pump or anywhere else strangers may see them.

9. Volunteer
Find a local charity or ask your church how you can help by volunteering your time or talents.

10. Say A Prayer
Spend some time praying for healing, wisdom, loved ones’ prayer requests and anything else God puts on your heart.

Looking to for more ways to be a light in the world? Our February Own Your Faith Challenge is all about showing the love of Christ—and you still have time to join us!

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Own Your Faith: 10 Practical Ways to Show God’s Love

Welcome to the Own Your Faith Challenge! We believe God has great things in store for 2017 and we’re excited to partner with you in making this year the best one yet. Each month, we’ll share a new challenge that focuses on a unique area of spiritual growth to keep you committed to your goals all year long.

This month, we’re getting intentional about showing the love of Christ. We encourage you to prayerfully consider the following acts of love. Listen to what God is laying on your heart, then choose 5 out of the 10 challenges below and complete them throughout the month.

  1. Visit a Nursing Home: Make this one a family affair and bring your kids along. Most senior living communities and retirement homes welcome visitors. Spend a Saturday afternoon getting to know some of the seniors by playing board games or simply listening to their stories. Be a friend to someone who may not otherwise have the company.
  1. Be a Good Listener: When people confide in us, our first reaction can often be to try to fix their problems. But sometimes what people really need is for someone to simply listen. Identify someone in your life who is going through a challenging time and give him or her a call or drop by for a visit. Ask lots of questions and focus on truly hearing what they are telling you without offering solutions.
  1. Delight in Someone’s Success: Think of a friend or family member who has recently reached a goal or accomplished something they have been working toward. Give them a call, write them a letter or stop by and congratulate them in person. Show genuine excitement and interest in their success.
  1. Support Our Troops: There are many organizations, both nationally and locally, that send letters of support to those who are serving our country. Write a heartfelt letter of thanks to a solider and spend some time in prayer for our men and women overseas.
  1. Invest in Your Family: Sometimes we forget to love the people God put right in front of us. Plan a family game night or an outing. Show your kids, your spouse and those who care for you just how important they are. Be sure to turn off your devices and give them your undivided attention.
  1. Write a Thank You Note: Think back on who has gone out of their way to help you lately. Maybe someone watched your kids when you were in a pinch, maybe someone prayed for something you were going through. Whatever the case may be, write a thank you card to express your gratitude.
  1. Be a Spiritual Mentor: Find someone who is just getting started out in their walk with the Lord and pour into their life. This doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment, but it certainly could be. Invite them out for coffee or lunch and spend an hour meeting them where they are.
  1. Ask for Input: Whether you’re working on a home improvement project or a presentation at work, find someone and ask him or her for feedback. This is a simple way to show others that you love and respect them.
  1. Love Your Neighbor: We’re not talking metaphorically here – go love your literal neighbor! Bring them a plate of freshly baked treats, offer to help out with some yard work or invite them over for a cup of coffee.
  1. Pray in the Moment: Instead of telling someone you’ll pray for them, pray with them right then and there. Look for an opportunity to pray for someone in the moment. Grab their hands, bow your head and speak truth over their circumstances. Develop your prayer life with Christian Prayer Books.

We hope your heart is on fire for what God is going to do through you. Print off this list, highlight your areas of focus and get started on your challenges today! If you feel called to hone in on just one of these challenges, please do so. Know that any of these acts of love, no matter how big or small, will produce good fruit.

We’ll check in with you at the end of the month to hear how God used this challenge to affect change in your life and the lives of those around you. Remember to like us on Facebook for details on our upcoming challenges.

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7 Ways to Pursue Spiritual Growth in 2017

Prayerfully reflect on the year that has passed and ask God to guide you in the year to come.

Physical fitness, wholesome nutrition, quality sleep – chances are you’re hoping to improve at least one area of your health in 2017. But what about your spiritual wellbeing? As you get ready to ring in the New Year, take some time to prayerfully reflect on the year that has passed and ask God to guide you in the year to come.

Focus on Prayer
Prayer is a powerful and essential part of spiritual growth. Set yourself up for success by laying your goals down at God’s feet and relying on Him for strength. If prayer has felt more like a burden than a blessing lately, energize your prayer life with these four tips.

Get Into God’s Word
If you’re resolving to read the Bible this year, The One-Year Bible will help you stay on track with daily readings from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the book of Psalms and Proverbs. Maybe you’re just getting started on your walk with God or picking up a Bible for the first time. Get into the Word and begin to better understand the Gospel with these Bible study tips.

Be Thankful
When we flood our minds and hearts with everything we want to change, it can be easy for the goodness of God to escape us. While we certainly need to pray for our needs and the needs of others, it’s important to intentionally thank God for all the good He is doing in our lives. Cultivate a spirit of joy by focusing on your blessings not your burdens.

Consider a Second Bible
If you read your Bible book by book, try a chronological Bible. If you typically take notes in a separate journal, experiment with a journaling Bible. Supplementing your daily reading with a second Bible can help bring clarity to God’s Word.

Commit to a Daily Devotional
Whether you’re diving into your faith for the first time or you’ve been connecting with God for years, these devotionals will keep you encouraged. Focus your heart on God’s faithfulness with 8 daily devotional books that will strengthen your faith in 2017.

Join a Small Group
Faith flourishes in the presence of community. Consider joining a small group or a Bible study at your church or identify a spiritual mentor who can lovingly challenge you to grow. Surround yourself with believers you can learn from.

Put Your Faith Into Action
As Christians, we are called to serve. Be the hands and feet of Christ by volunteering through your church or another organization in your community. Serving can also be a great way to spend time growing together as a family.

We hope you feel encouraged and equipped to make spiritual growth a priority in the New Year.

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Focus your heart on God’s faithfulness with a 365-day devotional that will renew your strength every morning.

With a New Year comes a new opportunity to set and stick to your resolutions. If spending more time with God is your goal this year, committing to a daily devotional will help you stay on track. Whether you’re diving into your faith for the first time or you’ve been connecting with God for years, these devotionals will keep you encouraged. Focus your heart on God’s faithfulness with a 365-day devotional that will renew your strength each and every morning.

The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge
Strengthen the core of your life and faith with this yearlong journey with beloved Super Bowl-winning former head coach Tony Dungy. The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge contains 365 reflections from the New York Times best selling author on living an “uncommon life” of integrity, honoring your family and friends, creating a life of real significance and impact and walking with the Lord.

Wisdom from Above: Daily Encouragement from the Proverbs
Inspired by a lifetime of learning God’s wisdom, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Charles Stanley has created a 365-day devotional, full of timeless teachings from the book of Proverbs and inspirational guidance for every day of the year. Wisdom from Above is filled with spiritual insights that offer courage for difficult times, inspiration to be the best person you can be and confidence that God is always with you.

Daily Guideposts 2017: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional
Are you looking for a compass to orient you on your spiritual journey? This devotional is sure to point you in the right direction! Offering 365 daily reflections based on Isaiah 41:10, it is packed with all new stories from 60 contemporary writers as well as inspiring scriptures and practical prayers. It is a wonderful way to start or end your day!

Jesus Calling
After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to “listen” to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue. She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping her grow closer to God. They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title of this 365-day devotional Jesus Calling.

Jesus Always
Jesus Always is Sarah Young’s second full 365-day devotional since Jesus Calling, focusing on the topic of joy. Through Jesus Always, Sarah shares with her readers how to experience true joy now and always. With scripture and personal reflections, she brings Jesus’ message of joy for today and every day. These devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus – the One who meets you where you are – reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God.

Our Daily Bread Devotional Collection
When you’re in the midst of life’s challenges, be reminded of the encouragement, hope, promises and down-to-earth advice that God offers! A great gift for any occasion, this beloved collection features 365 meditations from the perennial best-selling devotional as well as Scripture readings and reflective thoughts.

Simple Pursuit: A Heart After Jesus
Simple Pursuit contains 365 daily devotionals written by a collective of 18–25-year-olds from the Passion Movement for their peers. Each day of this yearlong journey will inspire you to perfect the pause, allowing God to break through the noise of this world with the truth of His Word. The overflow of your daily pursuit will lead you on to be winsome – living an irresistible life focused on the central purpose and mission of Jesus.

Starting Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Morning of the Year
Seek the Lord in the morning and you’ll stay closer to him all day long! In this morning devotional, are 365 brief inspirational devotions to help you put God first before you face the world. Joyce Meyer shows you how to enjoy every new opportunity, balance out extremes, act with self-control, live without fear and much more.

We hope these devotionals encourage you to spend time in fellowship with the Father all year long.

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6 Guidelines for Encouraging Your Child’s Spiritual Growth

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6 NIV

This verse is both a command and a promise – a command to raise children who know Jesus, and a promise that God will be faithful in holding up His end of the deal. He doesn’t ask us to be perfect but He does ask us to be purposeful. Encourage your kids to pursue Jesus with these guidelines for fostering spiritual growth.

Teach Them To Be Thankful 
Use everyday moments as opportunities to teach them gratitude. Go around the dinner table and take turns sharing something positive that happened that day. Use their response as an opportunity to show your children how God has blessed them.

Get Them Involved In God’s Word
Introduce your little one to God’s Word with a kid’s Bible. Get them excited about their faith by taking them with you to pick one out. Have their name imprinted on the cover to personalize their Bible and explain how God’s Word speaks directly to them.

Practice Prayer
Teach your children about the power of prayer. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or as you tuck them into bed, make sure you and you set aside a consistent time every day to pray. Encourage them to explore prayer on their own and document their conversations with God in a prayer journal.

Cultivate Curiosity
Kids ask a lot of questions. Do your best to answer them and introduce Christian principles to their everyday curiosities. The more often you initiate conversations, the more comfortable they will feel coming to you when they need direction.

Create Community
Faith flourishes in the presence of community. Encourage Godly friendships by getting them involved in a youth group and other activities with the church outside of Sunday service. Surround your children with kids and adults who model Christ.

Lead By Example
Whether they admit it or not, your children look up to you. They are watching and learning your attitudes and actions. You have a unique opportunity to show them what it means to live out their faith. Go to God in prayer and ask him for guidance and wisdom as you seek to raise children who love the Lord.

We hope you feel inspired to foster your child’s faith in new and exciting ways. Tell us how you encourage your little ones in their spiritual journey.