40 Days of Something

Many people use the season of Lent to focus on one particular spiritual discipline. Maybe these three ideas and experiences can inspire you.

Join one family that journaled their gratitude for 40 days.

What might happen if you read the entire Bible in 40 days like Margaret? (The link includes a plan.)

Or, be challenged by Pope Francis to fast from something other than chocolate this season.

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“Seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

One of the ways that we seek the things that are above is to remember that we are united with Christ in his ascension to heaven. Because Jesus continuously intercedes for us, we are welcome in the throne room of God. Listen to last Sunday’s message on our current series page as we continue to be shaped by Colossians 3.1-17.

How do we get to the throne room right now? Through prayer.

Jesus did it as a crucial part of his rhythm of life.

When we don’t know what to pray, Scripture gives us the words, and even sitting in silence has transformative power.

And prayer has the ability to show us God’s goodness in the here and now, even in the smallest of ways. Read more in “That Time Prayer Actually Worked.”

Sunday Follow Up

On April 28, 2013, Pastor Chelsey’s message, “Our Eyes are on You” was from 2 Chronicles 20.1-30. You can hear it on our website (or in the archives). This message applies directly to events happening in the life of Christ Community Church as we seek out God’s desires for our church family. Nonetheless the same principles of seeking God, humbling ourselves, praying, and turning to follow God, apply to each of our lives.

no food or drinkDuring the sermon, we¬† briefly touched on Jehoshophat’s call to all of Judah to fast because he was afraid of their earthly enemies.

The spiritual discipline of fasting helps us to rightly order our desires and emotions by leading us to crave Christ. To learn more about fasting, consider the following books:
The Spirituality of Fasting (link includes a book review)
Fasting (link includes a lengthy interview with the author)

For a brief overview of what fasting is, and what it is meant to do, check out this short article, “Fasting: A Technique?”

Photo by Brian Snelson. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

This post is a follow up to a message preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC. It provides resources and encouragement for the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Making prayer natural

Relevant Magazine ran a piece called “Why is Prayer So Hard?” by John Dwyer. He writes,

the good news is that prayer is not an item that can be ticked off on a to-do list. And there is freedom in recognizing this.

Check out the rest of the article to learn about praying freely.

We all say, “I’ll pray for you” and then many of us forget to carry through. Here’s a beautiful example of being intentional about using your everyday life activities as a reminder to pray for others: “My praxis of prayer” by Kelley Nikondeha.

If you are married and you and your partner share a common faith, then he or she is a natural prayer partner. This post from Simple Marriage can help you pray for and with one another in a way that gets you talking, thinking and lifting others up to God.

 

This post provides resources and inspirational/challenging stories about the habit of prayer for adults.

Unplug all the things getting in the way.


Children born after 2000 have been dubbed the Wired Generation. But you don’t have to be 12 or younger to know (or experience) how being connected has transformed our lives. This week, all of our stories and resources have to do with unplugging from technology so that you can actually be with people and God.

Begin with this article written by a teen for her high school paper, then picked up by a national newspaper. Shane talks about her relationship with her iPhone, and what it was like to no longer be a slave to it.

Then, check out Hannah’s confession about turning to social media instead of God in “First be a follower”. How many different avenues of social media do you use? How do they guide your actions, thought patterns, conversation pieces, self-image, etc.?

If you’re finding yourself getting a little lost in the world of technological connectivity, then be inspired by Sundi Jo’s friend Sandy. Read about their relationship on Jeff Goins’ site in a piece called “The Power of Being Present”.

And for good measure, here’s two more pieces you might find encouraging and helpful:
An interview with Jodi Cole Meyer after her FOUR MONTH media fast, and a resource to help you deal with the distractions that threaten to derail you.

This post is for adults and teens, deals with technology, social media, lifestyle habits, and the spiritual discipline of unplugging.

Photo by James Vaughan. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

What I Want vs. What I’ve Got

Follow Nicole Cottrell’s example and make a list of what you want in life. Then, compare it to what God has given you.

Are you content? Use your list to reflect on God’s goodness and spend time talking to God about your life and its riches.

*photo by Matt Grover. Used with permission.

This post was made with adults, young adults and teens in mind. It is a resource and example of practicing the spiritual disciplines of reflection and gratitude.