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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:38 pm on 2017-03-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spirituality   

    Of God and man 

    The Lord Jesus Christ kept his balance between seeking the Father and serving people. He did not let the demands and needs of others keep him from time alone in prayer and meditation. Neither did he neglect proclaiming the Father’s word to both crowds and individuals by escaping by himself to a mountain.

    Every saint needs this same balance. Spirituality and ministry are not either/or options, but both/and necessities. Without the Father, service is mere social improvement. Without the practice of faith, spirituality becomes nothing more than another form of consumerism.

    • Richard Mansel 7:43 pm on 2017-03-05 Permalink | Reply

      Quite true. Good thoughts.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:44 pm on 2017-03-05 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. A bit of observation of my own recent imbalances. 🙂

  • Richard Mansel 5:04 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , spirituality   

    Motivations for Hating God 

    In the excellent book, “Why? Explaining the Holocaust,” Peter Hayes examines the motivations behind the German brutality directed against innocent Jews.

    How could they have been so barbarous? Were they just soulless monsters?

    After a lengthy discussion of the history of antisemitism among the German people, Hayes considers other motivations. (More …)

    • Karen 5:33 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, this is an excellent article. I will use it in my conversations with people who just do not get it. Some people brush over this horrible time in history like it was not that big of a deal. I think our minds just want to blot it out as one would blot out viewing a horrific crime scene or accident. It is mind-boggling to me how the world witnessed this and allowed it to continue. The thing that people don’t understand is that Jesus was Jewish. His only difference was He was the Messiah, the son of God. If we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus then the Jews are like first cousins to us. Some people bent on hate just can’t understand that.

      • Richard Mansel 7:45 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Karen for your kind words and thoughts.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:08 am on 2016-12-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spirituality   

    Good for me, good for you? 

    Some things one does for one’s own spiritual benefit, as is right and necessary. If by chance those things benefit others, as they often will, so much the better. Growth in the Spirit is not a lonely nor selfish proposition. Of course, one must take care that such benefit does not become the end-all and do-all of ministry. There is that service that is undertaken solely for the benefit and need of one’s neighbor. The overflow of my benefit to the other cannot be the main service provided for another. The additional blessing to others that comes from one’s own efforts toward growth can never substitute the teaching, evangelism, edification, and benevolence given to others. But when the additional blessing occurs, blessing indeed it can be.

    • clkministries 7:48 am on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply

      This is so true! It reminds me how Apostle Paul told the Romans, ‘I have longed to see you so that we can be of mutual encouragement.’ I love how God is able to make a circumstance taking on multiple meanings and purposes. Also, from experience, I know that in the process of ministering to others I have often been ministered to in return.

      Do you think selflessly is easier for people with the gift of service?

  • TFRStaff 5:02 am on 2016-08-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spirituality   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Default Mindset) 


    According to computer technology and terminology, a “default” is “a pre-selected option or a pre-designed value or setting.” For example, when I started typing this article the page appeared in the format that I had previously designated for the settings I would like for all the pages to have when I type these essays. I do not have to re-set the borders of the pages, the type style, the font size, etc. each time I compose an article. All of these things have already been determined and “saved” to the default setting for all “News and Views” essays. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:34 am on 2016-08-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality   

    Prayer doesn’t have to be long 

    Some softwares and WP themes provide reading time estimates for the posts, based, one supposes, on some average figure of words per minute. They do this, apparently, so you’ll know ahead of time how long of a read it will be.

    In today’s Believing Prayer, I set a one-minute reading time when linking to it on my Hubzilla spot, the more to encourage people to click and read and pray. (OK, so maybe it’ll take two minutes to read.)

    Years ago, a book was published called One-Minute Manager. It purported to help managers act decisively. Though one’s spiritual life cannot be contained in one-minute prayers, neither are they inappropriate.

    Prayer doesn’t have to be long. It does have to be sustained.

  • TFRStaff 9:09 am on 2014-10-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spirituality, World Food Day   

    Starving with food in sight: Tim Hall on World Food Day 

    Tim Hall makes a spiritual application of the UN World Food Day commemorated today. http://eepurl.com/5W5sb

    Since 1945, October 16 has been celebrated as “World Food Day” (established by the United Nations) to draw attention to the needs of people throughout the world. It’s hard for many of us to understand chronic hunger. But occasions like this at least make me pause and try to understand.

    Imagine this hypothetical scenario: people starving, even though food is within their reach. They simply refuse to eat what is before them! Would that not be a tragedy?

    Tim encourages us, among other things, to “develop healthy habits.” Read this good meditation at the above link.

    • Jack 12:30 am on 2014-10-17 Permalink | Reply

      I find it terribly unseemly that a disciple, any disciple, should need be motivated for a day by the UN.
      Are we not charged to the needs of the brethren as the best we can each day, every day?

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:55 pm on 2014-08-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality   

    Giving glory to God. Public or private? 

    Question: Is giving glory to God always a public act? Can it be a private one? I’m very interested in your perspective on this, since I have a “Do this and live” list, and the last one is “Give glory to God.” Can I do that privately, or ought I think of it as a public act?

    • kenandjean92 8:02 pm on 2014-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      Anytime you can give God the glory you should whether public or private

    • Eugene Adkins 8:46 pm on 2014-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      If you think of Nebuchadnezzar I believe both would apply. But as far as the emphasis of your question goes, with Nebuchadnezzar the private declaration came before the public (Daniel 4:32-37). Notice especially the “until you know” part of verse 32.

      If this applied to ole’ Neb, I don’t see why it wouldn’t to us. Plus, it’d be hard to give glory to God in a public and honest way if we didn’t do it privately first (thinking along the lines of Matthew 6:1-7).

      Hope that helps.

      • Randal 9:56 am on 2014-08-24 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the replies, guys. Hope I don’t have to eat grass to get there.

    • Don Ruhl 8:44 pm on 2014-08-27 Permalink | Reply


  • J. Randal Matheny 8:55 am on 2014-08-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spirituality   

    Bible reading is directly related to spirituality.

  • Richard Mansel 6:09 pm on 2012-04-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spirituality   

    Satan Changes Our Focus 

    Satan has no interest in banishing Christianity. Read C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters.”

    Satan is perfectly content with having a form of religion around to lull people to sleep. However, he must make some changes until it is leading people down the road he has prepared (1 Peter 5:8).

    Satan changes our language, re-defines our words and alters our focus from Christ to ourselves. We become more worldly when Satan tells us that the world can’t be converted by holy people.

    Satan discredits Scripture and destroys God’s meanings for words such as grace, holiness, preaching, faith and repentance, replacing them with secular definitions.

    Satan creates a faux Christianity without God that focuses on slick promotions, incense, clothes, hairstyles, poetry, emotion and entertainment. His religion is empty and shallow, appealing to a worldly view of “spirituality.” Satan would rather us connect with a tree than with God.

    The Christian Chronicle published an article about a “Christian” movie called “Blue Like Jazz.”

    (More …)

  • Ed Boggess 8:03 am on 2011-09-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spirituality   

    Spiritual revival? – JAM 

    This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess. American Demographics Magazine, June 1997, says, “The share of Americans who believe in some sort of divine power has remained constant for decades. Likewise, churchgoing rates haven’t done anything noticeable in recent years. So, how do we know a spiritual renaissance is underway? In a word, it’s books. Books are diagnostic not of what we say we are doing, but of what we really are doing with our time and inside our respective interiors.” End quote. Evidence that a spiritual awakening is underway grows each year. People are turning to faith, prayer and looking for ways to answer the soul hunger.

  • Ed Boggess 7:21 am on 2011-08-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spirituality   

    Revival? – JAM 

    There is a spiritual awakening taking place in America. George Gallup, Jr. reports: “The percentage of Americans who say they feel the need in their lives to experience spiritual growth has surged twenty-four points in just four years; from 58% in 1994 to 82% in 1998.” This is only a sample of a multitude of indicators that continue to trickle down. They show unchurched people have grown weary of materialism and are beginning to look for greater spirituality in their lives. They need God in their lives and are eager to learn what will help them find greater fulfillment. The answer to their needs and everyone’s need is Jesus Christ. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

  • TFRStaff 4:36 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality,   

    Glenn Hitchcock: Prayer 

    Prayer is asking, seeking and knocking at a door for something we do not have, which we desire, and which God has promised us.

    Prayer is a direct address to God. “In everything let your request be made known unto God.”

    Prayer secures blessings and makes men better because it reaches the ear of God.

    Prayer is only for the betterment of men when it has affected God and moved him to do something for men. Prayer affects men by affecting God. Prayer moves men because it moves God to move men.

    Faith must have a tongue by which it can speak. Prayer is the tongue of faith. Faith must receive. Prayer is the hand of faith reached out to receive.

    Prayer asks. Faith lays its hands on the things asked for. Prayer is not a sweet little privilege. It is a great prerogative, far-reaching in its effect.

    Prayer is not a mere episode of the Christian life. Rather the whole life is a preparation for and a result of prayer. In its condition, prayer is the sum of religion. Faith is but a channel of prayer. Faith gives prayer wings and swiftness.

    What forces lie in importunate prayer! What mighty results are gained by it in one night’s struggle in praying! God is affected and changed in attitude and men are transformed in character and destiny. Satan dreads nothing but prayer.

    "Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day" by Glenn Hitchcock

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:46 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality   

    Maybe it's just me … 

    … but it seems like:

    • We prefer to keep our traditions, rather than sacrifice them in order to reach the lost;
    • More prayers are being offered for the American military — who greatly need prayer — than for those who work in the gospel;
    • More is known about and talked about TV stars and shows and sports figures than the facts, commands, truths, and promises of Scripture;
    • Things excite us more than our eternal hope.

    Maybe I’m just in a Sunday night low …

    • Mike Riley 9:42 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply

      We need to repeat the words of this hymn often:

      “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”

      The sentiments of this song should keep us focused on the spiritual goal at hand of saving the lost – not on residing in this world.

    • Bernard Barton 5:00 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you 100%-but we still need to remember our veterans
      I know a lady in the church who could name all the starting playes for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team but could not name the 12 apostles by name
      WE need more prayers for those who are spreading the gospel

    • Ron 5:07 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply

      It is not just you, Randal, that has noticed this….unfortunately.

    • joyjensen 6:08 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply

      No, it’s not just you. On our last furlough we attending a function for members of the church, and there was daily talk and prayers for all the veterans represented, as well as a special song for them. Nothing of the sort for the gospel preachers and missionaries who were present. Had I mentioned it, people might have assumed wrongly that I was feeling left out or jealous, nothing could be further from the truth. I am rather uncomfortable being in the public eye, and am quite happy letting my husband be there. But it definitely underscored in my mind the very point you make, and that is how much energy is devoted to the physical, rather than the spiritual. But then, it’s not a new problem, is it?

    • Don Ruhl 6:58 pm on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply

      Randal, it bothers me that we pray more for our people in the military than for preachers, and preachers in foreign lands, and I have mentioned it to the church here, and those leading the prayers have been speaking more of our missionaries.

  • Daniel Haynes 12:06 pm on 2010-06-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality   

    Reaching spiritual maturity is a choice It does… 

    Reaching spiritual maturity is a choice. It does not happen automatically. Maturity in Christ relies on instructing and teaching the message of Christ (Colossians 1:28). It is a full knowledge of God’s will and a devotion to follow it. As the believer labors toward this goal, several spiritual disciplines help to realize what it means to live a life fully devoted to Christ.

    The first discipline that we want to think about is prayer. (Read more at The Proclaimer.)

    UPDATE: The link is no longer active.)

  • jimnewy 2:45 am on 2010-02-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spirituality   

    When Do I Grow the Most Spiritually? When I have to lean on 

    When I have to lean on and depend on Him the most. There have been times in my life when I have had to put Prov. 3:5-6 into practice. When I have struggled to understand myself when I was younger. When we lost our first grandchild within 24 hrs. after he was born due to reversed heart valves. When no human could answer or help. Like Randal, there have been moments in my life when I was at the end of my rope. Time and space would not allow me to relate the number of times in my life when I have had to put all, and I mean all my trust and faith in Him. I certainly do not want to grow spiritually that way, but I did. My growth today comes from Bible study and prayer which I look forward to every morning.

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