Christian Life Hacks-INTERACTIVE

The Internet Universe is over stuffed with “Hacks”, clever, small actions that improve your life. There are hundreds of thousands of “Hacks” out there showing you what you have been doing wrong. With them, you can improve everything in life from peeling pomegranates to ironing shirts. This is a list of spiritual practices. You aren’t necessarily doing them wrong but you might need a little jump start in order to experience a bigger spiritual impact.

Some of this list was collected from other places while others are my own. This is a living document. Please add your own in the comment section!

1. Bullet Point Journaling:“BUJO” is all the rage and has streamlined my rather hit-or-miss journaling. Another post on this blog shares my heavily adapted system. This system of journalling systematically and efficiently uses your journal as icon, focusing your spiritual goals in everyday living. The first page is an index followed by few pages of lists and goals. Know where you have been, where you are and where you are going in Christ through them. The rest creates space for daily lists of your encounters from each day. Rather than prose, you make bullet point lists-simple, clear and focused lists. One small blank book replaced my scattered notebooks.

2. Use color in your journal: I am not all that artistic but adding a cheap assortment of colored pens to my $5 blank book keeps me in the word longer and opens me up to the scripture from a different part of my brain. Simply adding the act of doodling helps me pray more creatively and connect with the word.

3. Create a “Monday Morning Briefing”: I have three e-mail devotional sources of different perspectives that I read each Monday and glance at through the week. This is an addition to and not a replacement of Scripture and prayer. You should choose three-A single source is thin while more than three clutters your in-box. Here are my three: Cary Nieuwhof-leadership, Patheos-a variety of posts that either edify or tick me off, and “Talent Smart”/Travis Bradberry-Emotional intelligence.

4. Create an email account for devotional posts: This keeps Spiritual matters from becoming lost in the pile and keeps you from checking work stuff at prayer time. My IPhone made this easy to check.

5. Keep it simple: I have chosen a small blank drawing-paper book and a small double-spaced journaling testament for morning devotions. These reside in my bag and go wherever I go. Prefer a tech solution? I carry an Ipad and phone anyway but I find too many distractions in them for quiet time. Analog or digital, keep it simple and easy.

6. Create a fixed devotional space with a mobile solution: My desk at home and at word are sacred spaces. At my knee is a bag where my prayer and devotional items live. I can work on sermons or pray through an issue wherever I am. My prioritized work list and prayer list share the same space and carry the same spiritual weight. How could this work in your life and

7. Make a photo of a critical prayer matter and use it as wallpaper: My kids, grands and church family rotate across the front of my phone as a reminder to pray and not just talk about praying. Even if your are just praying about bad weather, keep it up front.

8. Bookend your day with God: Condition yourself to make prayer your first conscious thought and a disciplined habit of your final thought as you go to sleep. This simple habit will change your life in Christ.

9. Turn those daily repetitive task into prayer time: I hate unloading the dishwasher and folding clothes but look forward to the prayer time. These mindless tasks are exceptionally rich times for prayer. The old monks worked with their hands while they prayed. We can make any space sacred.

10. Make Lists: Lists of Books read, edifying movies watched, Bible verses by topic, birds watched, prayers answered, and such can provide focus and depth for your devotional time.

11. Own a Psalm: Choose one psalm, pray through it until you own it, then choose another. This is God’s own devotional book and will open you up to spiritual riches.

12. Have and be a prayer partner: Devotional time is solitary but you were never meant to travel along. Find your intercessor then be available to someone else. NOTHING opens a disciple of Jesus up to deeper things like blessing another person in prayer.

Our August 2016 Prayer Challenge

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

compass of faith

Our Texas Annual Conference offers a “Wellness Program” with a structured exercise program through our health insurance.    Each week or so we are offered a motivational “challenge” that expands “Wellness” beyond exercise and weight loss.  The current challenge is “to journal a prayer daily”.  How wonderful to remember that our spiritual side is a crucial part of being healthy people.

So here is your challenge.  Write at least one brief prayer each week and post it in a comment at the bottom of this post.  Post as many as you wish!

Check in often and pray through the prayers of others who post.  This could be a part of your personal well and a jump-start to a richer prayer life.

Below is a worksheet that I use in classes and for writing group prayers in strategic planning.  If you are not sure how to form your written prayer, this provides a starting place.

As for me…..  I am going to write 100 brief prayers of this style in August!  Each time the Spirit moves, I am carrying a blank notebook to write them down.  Please join me and share how Jesus is touching your heart in prayer.

collect worksheet for individual prayer in gif

 

Summer Sermons! July & August 2016

Following is our Cheatham Memorial UMC sermon Planner for July and August 2016.  Our church is open to anyone seeking to deepen their faith and take part in significant ministry as a way of life.  Our Motto is “WELCOME HOME” and we know our congregation to be about these three things:  Fist, our Mission:  Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World; second  our Vision: We are Christ’s Love in Action: Following Christ, Serving Others, Unifying the Church. And finally, Our motivation:  Loving God’s Word, Deepening the life of Prayer and developing ministering Skills.  For more information on how we do that, click here and check out our activities on the main website. 

July 3:  7th Sunday of Pentecost

Text:  Psalm 33:6-17, Philippians 3:17-21 “God Country”

We live in the greatest nation with the greatest faith, the largest economy and the greatest technology in the history of the world.  How did we get it and how do we keep it?  Things seem pretty uncertain and we desperately need to look for this answer!  Join us with a theological look at what it means to be a Christian in the USA today.

 July 10: 8th Sunday of Pentecost

Luke 10:25-37  “The very first Lawyer Joke”

There are many lawyer jokes but only one that I know of in the Bible and it comes from one of the best known of all of Jesus’ parables.  Which one?  Look it up and see.  Do you get the joke?  How does your, mine and our faiths fit together?

 July 17  Vacation Bible School Wrap Up Sunday

Luke 10:38-42  “Kids Remember What Grownups Forgot”

God speaks volumes through children.  If you want to know God-Sized answers to God-Sized questions you must take on the manner of a child.  What does that look like and how do I get it?

July 24  “Lawn Chair Worship Sunday”

Revival Theme.  The text will be announces later for this morning of fun, barbecue and praise.  Outside service at 9:00 AM followed by too much food and lots of music!  See the main website for details.

 July 31  Lawn Chair Sunday Rain out Day

Colossians 3:1-11 “You Find What You Look For”

August 7:  Youth Service at 10:00 and Youth Rally at 2:00

Youth Speaker

August 14:  Block Party Celebration

Hebrews 11”1-13  “A Love Song for the Vineyard”

I’m tired, where is the faith I need for today?  The church is a fertile vineyard and Christ loves his church.  Still, some days we fall short of Christ’s vision.  The fruit of His vineyard is faith and faith is the seed where that fruit begins.  We will discuss our every-day starting place to find and cast that faith for ourselves.

August 21:  Back to School Consecration Sunday

Jeremiah 1:4-10 “Only a Child can Know”

We think of children as needing our teaching but often they are the example of faith for us grown-ups.  Faith is supposed to grow in us and mature .  Not knowing how the things of faith work is not an excuse.  I our “not-Knowing” are the seeds of exciting spiritual formation.  How do we build and plant that necessary faith?

August 28 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Hebrews 13:1-16  “Hospitality’s Gift”

Our church knows what hospitality looks like and knows that it is a FAITH BUILDER!  We are very strong in opening our home to others.  What do we get out of it?  Is it ok if we get something out of it?  We will discuss that gift that we get in return regardless of what our guests leave behind.

Coming Events:  Gideon’s Sunday on September 18,  Fall Festival on October 14 and a celebration service on October 15

 

Go to the main website!

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