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Longing for Community? Find It Here

This post is excerpted from Connected to Christ: Overcoming Isolation through Community by Brian Davies. Read below to see how you can find community in Christ’s Church.

Living a Life of Reconciliation

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:1–2a)

We know fighting and quarreling all too well. In reading this passage from James, we recognize that conflict caused by sin isn’t a new problem. Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit brought quarreling and conflict into the human family and put humanity at conflict with all of creation. We can say confidently: Wherever two or more sinners are gathered, conflict will occur. So how are we to deal with conflict?

Our Callings through God’s Plan for Us

As a college senior, I feel an incredible amount of pressure to have my life figured out and to be living out what I was born to do. This is most likely the case for any college student or young adult who may be preparing to face the real world. Society leads us to believe that our lives must be perfect and full of purpose in order to have meaning. I blame social media for this, as that is the main platform people of my generation use to share their so-called perfect lives. Obsessing over what other people are doing in life leads to comparison, which can lead to believing that everyone else has their purpose in life figured out.

God Is Never Distant

The pastor steps up to the pulpit. He lays before him the outline of his sermon. There are some correction marks throughout the pages, but he is ready to preach. He lifts up his head, peers out into the sanctuary space, and notices a striking difference. This year, the pews are empty. His audience cannot be seen behind his smartphone as he broadcasts his sermon on social media. This year is different; from the pulpit, he feels alone.

January 2021 Everyday Faith Calendar

In our house, we have two little people, and they seem to be constantly going through growth spurts. Lately, my four-year-old has started using his growing as an opportunity to always have an “out” when he doesn’t want to do something. When it’s time to clean up toys or help with a small task, he likes to respond: “I am too tired to do that.” And sometimes he probably is actually tired, but we have started to talk through the difference between being tired and just not wanting to help out, even if they go hand in hand. When he declares he is too tired to do something, we have started asking him about the root of that statement. “Are you really too tired, or is helping your sister just something you don’t want to do right now?”

How to Crowdfund Your Next Ministry Project

Generosity comes up a lot this time of year. It’s part of the fabric of the traditions of this season. You give gifts as you learn about the baby in the manger who grew up to willingly give His life for our salvation. And from the love you’ve been shown, you think of others before yourself. We know that many churches struggle financially and that many pastors wish they had the funds to purchase helpful items. Congregation members are likely thinking about what they plan to give at the end of this year as well as in the upcoming year.

Christmas Service Projects for Families

It’s no surprise that Christmas is going to look different this year. Many of us won’t be having our usual big family celebrations or attending our typically packed Christmas services. Our ways of serving at Christmas, like doing food drives or giving trees, are likely impacted as well.

This year, we’ll all have to get a little creative, because people need assistance now more than ever! The pandemic has impacted many families’ incomes, so clothing, food, and gifts will likely be in short supply.

December 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Over the course of this year, I have had countless conversations that ended with lamenting the difficulties this year has held. When something difficult happens, it has been easy to respond to the situation by adding it to the list of wrongs 2020 has dealt out:

“2020 just won’t quit.”

 “Man, this year!”

 “Ugh, 2020!”

“Of course that happened—it’s 2020!”

“2020 is the worst!”

Gratitude When Gratefulness Won't Come

This time of year, you don’t have to walk too far into a store to find a plaque or pillow for sale with one of these words on it:

grateful

thankful

thanksgiving

gratitude.

Simple Ways to Give Thanks with Your Family

’Tis the season to give thanks! As Thanksgiving approaches, many people are considering how they can inspire and teach their families to give thanks! Of course, it’s important to give thanks year-round, not just in November, but hopefully this season can inspire a life of thanksgiving!

Here are some simple ways to show your family how to give thanks all year round!