“The will of the one who sent us is that we be the one who was sent. What we do is meant to be lived out of the context of discovering and becoming the person we are.” (Robert Benson, Between the Dreaming and the Coming True)

Mount Nittany is the highest place in our city. When I look across the valley from up there, I see homes, businesses, and schools; I see bars, streets, and stadiums; and I see cars on the highway and planes in the sky. And I wonder about the peoples’ lives.

How many want something more? How many go to church, but sit quietly in their pews, have given up on reaching their neighbors, and simply work their jobs and go home to watch television? They don’t go beyond their own lives and their families.

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That Time I Drove Into A Ditch

Chris Heinz —  September 17, 2014 — 1 Comment

I’ve done some stupid things while visiting my in-laws.

The first time I met Jean and Jeannine, I broke their door, their vacuum cleaner, and dropped their camera in the snow. That night I asked Jean for Colette’s hand in marriage. He answered, “I think you should wait longer.” (By longer, I think he meant forever). Sorry Jean.

At my in-laws house, I’ve caused false 911 calls, fallen off motorcycles, and gotten sick on bike rides, but this one tops them all.

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I’ve been around churches, ministries, and Christian conferences for most of my life, and I’ve had many awesome leaders in that time. One quality was pretty consistent among my leaders—dedication to prayer. They wanted to pray and they wanted us to pray. For that, I’m grateful.

However, there’s one fundamental mistake many of them made about prayer

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Last night we discovered our basement had flooded and everything was sitting in three inches of water.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced a crisis before, but my mind went in different directions–we have to get this water out, we have to save what’s wet, whom should we call, but there’s no time, what if it rains again, our house is going to sink into the abyss, ahhhh!

But then I looked down and floating in the water was this. Hah! My wife and I stopped and prayed. There’s always time for that.

Until August 23, get Made To Pray for only $5! Click to find out how.

What Was Floating in Our Basement Water

When I was a senior in college, I entered a depression.

It started as a deep gray feeling, then widened and darkened into a black abyss. I lived with five of my college friends, but felt all alone. It got so bad I dropped out of school and entered treatment.

The doctors said I had suffered from low grade depression for years. I don’t know if this was true, but it’s what they said. Apparently I had a knack for coping. But this current season of depression, this slick and slippery downward spiral that threatened my entire world, was beyond coping. I wanted to kill myself.

I’m better now. It’s 14 years later. In the course of my depression, lots of people tried to help. I know their heart was right. But sometimes, their words were not. Following is stuff that Christians shouldn’t say to someone who’s depressed. (No blame here—I said some of these things to others myself.)

But here they are…

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It’s half-way through summer, which means kids and moms are fretting. Kids because the summer is ALREADY half done and moms because it’s ONLY half done.
If you’re looking for an idea to jumpstart your kids for the rest of the summer, try this, which we’re doing in our home. We’re calling it Summer Son and it’s based on Luke 2:52:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.”

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Someone recently asked me what forces have helped me mature. That is, what factors were responsible for my personal growth? Although several causes came to mind eventually, my first thought surprised me—it was trials.

According to Webster’s, a trial is, “a test of the quality, value, or usefulness of something.” Usually we like to avoid trials because trials are painful. When we propose a personal or professional development plan, we don’t propose the deliberate inclusion of trials. When trials come, we want to walk the other way.

But trials can be powerful forces for good in your life. Here are five ways that trials can benefit you:

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Although he was the Son of God, Jesus had a clear vision for prayer. The book of Luke gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ prayer life. One particular night after he started his public ministry, Jesus was surrounded by a crowd of people. But he went alone up the mountain and spent the whole night in prayer. The next morning, he acted upon the result of his prayer time—he chose twelve from among the multitude to be his close disciples (Luke 6:12).

Luke 9:18 says Jesus prayed in private. Luke 9:28 says that Jesus took three of his disciples—Peter, James, and John—up a mountain in order to pray. And in Luke 11:1, Jesus was praying near his disciples and after he finished, one of them said, “LORD, teach us to pray.” This disciple had observed Jesus’ vision for prayer and wanted to grow in prayer.

In his classic book about spiritual disciplines called Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes, “All who have walked with God have viewed prayer as the main business of their lives.” Do you have a vision for prayer? Would you be the one disciple who says, “LORD, teach us to pray?”

Learning to pray begins with a clear vision for prayer. Here are four helpful ways to think about prayer:

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The other night I did something I had been putting off for months. Once I got the idea, I sat on it for a while, but then in a rare flash of courage, I acted on it.

My idea was to invite a group of men to my house to tell them they were important to me, and to tell them why. I would, one by one, look each in the eye and give word to our relationship—review the history of our friendship, name what I admire about them, and give them a personalized gift.

I wanted to celebrate men who were important to me.

But what guy would willingly come to something like this?

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Although spiritual gifts are one of God’s ways to build a healthy Church, many Christians aren’t operating in them.

-They don’t know what a spiritual gift is.
-They don’t know what a spiritual gift is not.
-They don’t know what their spiritual gift is.

And consequently, the Church isn’t benefiting from their gift nor are Christians experiencing joy from operating in their gift. The Body is dismembered.

But the Bible exhorts us to pursue spiritual gifts because we form one body. As a reminder, here’s my preferred definition of a spiritual gift (C. Peter Wagner):

“A spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God’s grace, for use within the context of the Body.”

Here are five reasons we don’t pursue them:

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