Tag - God

1
Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?
2
The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”
3
How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2
4
Can Christians Truly Change Nations?
5
LIFE as a Worship Experience
6
Why Have a Blog?
7
You’re in a Spiritual Crisis? Find Out Why That’s Fantastic News!
8
How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?

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I could be described by some as a bit of a health nut. I enjoy eating healthily; I am fascinated by diet and nutrition; I love being fit and active. The one thing that holds me back a bit is my lack of consistency. I’ll get into a good exercise regime, and I’ll be feeling so good that I’ll give myself a time out. I’ll take a week off just to relax and let my body rest. But that week can turn into two, and before I know it, a month has gone by, and I need to get fit again. So I am frequently faced with forcing myself back into fitness with the the first run after a holiday, the first gym session after Christmas, the first time in your swimsuit after winter… all those “firsts” that we are tempted to avoid. But we know, deep down inside, that if we avoid it today, we’re just going to have to face it tomorrow, so we may as well face it now.

Yet finding a place of maintenance is so much easier than regular fluctuation.

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The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”

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When I was younger, I struggled for years with suicidal depression. When I look back, I can see that I was so obsessed with myself and my pain that I was ignoring the precious people in my life. I was quite selfishly happy to part with them and to never see them again just so that I could stop hurting.

That was a long time ago, and I am now faced with a pain of a different sort. One of the first things I learnt, when I became a follower of Jesus, was that I needed to “sell everything I own and go follow Him.” I did it, and I did it with gladness because of the new life that I had found in Him. Later on, I was faced with the challenge of leaving my home, my language, and my nation. I lived in Wales at the time, and God wanted me to go to England; this is only a four hour train journey, and I would always cry half the way there!

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How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2

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In my last article I began to open up about the issue of reverse culture shock (What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It). In this blog entry I would like to discuss ways that I discovered to help me handle this unpleasant experience.

When I first experienced reverse culture shock, I was not aware of what was going on. I felt depressed, discouraged, and disoriented, but I had no words to use to describe what I was feeling. I somehow came across a book called Re-Entry and found that the information imparted in this book helped me understand what I was experiencing; this knowledge in itself brought some relief. As I read this book, I was reassured that I was not the only one to go through reverse culture shock, and it gave me a vocabulary to use to be able to communicate my experience with others. If you are a missionary, I would highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the issue of reverse culture shock so that you are prepared for when you go through it yourself or when someone you know is going through it.

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Can Christians Truly Change Nations?

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This post was originally published on A Life Overseas by our very own author, Bible teacher, and grace-filled, Christ follower Chris Lautsbaugh, who is a regular contributor there. On normal days you can find him on his blog, http://www.nosuperheroes.com/. This post is re-posted with permission from the author.

The other week, I made a trip to the local police station to get an affidavit. In South Africa, this is the venue you head to make a document “official.” The officer who helped chatted with me a bit. He inquired how long I’d been in the nation and where I stayed.

Finally, he asked what I do.

“I teach the Bible and train missionaries,” I responded.

The officer nodded, raising his eyebrows. He smiled shyly and glanced around. Leaning close to me he says, “I too follow the God of the Bible.”

“Oh, wonderful!” I replied.

As the conversation progressed, you could see him gaining boldness. Finally, as I was about to leave, he waved me closer, wanting to tell me something not all could hear.

“I am a born-again Christian.”

I must confess as I left, my first thoughts were not rejoicing or excitement.

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LIFE as a Worship Experience

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I couldn’t bring myself to sing a certain line in a worship song. The worship band settled on it, hovered over it – a melodic mantra. Hands were raised; eyes closed; voices intensified all around, and yet my mouth clamped shut.

“Nothing in this world can satisfy.”

Lately, I’ve noticed this particular phrase is popular in many worship songs. Israel Houghton likes it. Maranatha Music likes it… and we YWAMers seem to like it. So, I searched for it in the Bible. I couldn’t find it.

Now, I know the singer’s true intent of this lyric, and it’s good: Money, fame, ambition, etc. are not enough to satisfy. There is no replacement for or equivalent to Jesus. However, I found myself thinking how sad it is that nothing in this world can satisfy us, after all God created the entire world just to satisfy us, delight us, marvel us, and ultimately point us to Him.

So, there I was at worship… not even able to force a hum. What was wrong with me?

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Why Have a Blog?

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I happen to love crime shows. And it’s amazing the scientific and technological advances that have been made. To use the minutest bit of evidence – DNA, blood, hair, tissue, fingerprints – to catch a criminal. Granted t.v. is probably blowing it way out of proportion and not demonstrating the great amount of hard work and other things which contribute. But I digress…

When looking in particular at the fingerprint, it is an imprint of the smallest raised swirls and lines of skin tissue on your finger, yet it’s so intricate. And it got me thinking today,

God has not only left His fingerprint, His imprint on our lives,

He has woven His DNA within us and He has placed His image upon us.

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You’re in a Spiritual Crisis? Find Out Why That’s Fantastic News!

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Recently I was told, “You have a real gift for facilitating spiritual crisis.” To which I responded, “Uh… errr… thank you?” Luckily my source of flattery was a clinical psychologist, and we were talking about the Six Stages of Faith every human being (including you and I) are currently traversing.

Fun Fact: Spiritual crisis is the marker you may be shifting up a faith level. This is why I don’t flinch at these types of hushed missionary confessions anymore:

“I’ve never doubted my faith before, but now I doubt everything I used to know.”

“I’m critical of everything! I just can’t go to church anymore.”

And…

“Lately, I’m not sure I even believe in God.”

Once upon a time, I’d dig out my apologetics Bible college text book and frantically try to find the answers to fix these troubled folks, to ease their doubts, assure them of what they already know to be true. Today, I just smile and say, “You’re a missionary who doesn’t believe in God? Awesome. God is so excited!”

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How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

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A little over nine months ago, I came to YWAM Muizenberg to participate in a School of Biblical Studies, and I came hungry. I didn’t know what my life was missing, but there was a deep yearning inside of me. Famished and weak, I decided to come to South Africa to give Jesus one more chance to satisfy my growing appetite for something more. One thing I knew before I came to South Africa was this: if ever-significant amounts of time are spent reading the Bible, the reader comes away changed.

It’s inevitable; truth will change you.

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