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The problem I had when I was younger in the faith is I had a hard time turning my faith into action. Have you ever felt the same way? When I started working my current job with a giving mindset. How can you act on your faith today? What blessing will you be to someone? Note: Your actions are not what get you into heaven. But Jesus also calls us to live an abundant life John That includes not just forgiveness , but also fruitfulness. I hope this encourages you to be more fruitful with your faith.

I hope this encourages you to take you faith into action. I pray, as you take action, your purpose and calling become just a tiny bit clearer. It is said that identical twins have the same genetic makeup.

32 Fruitful Years: God is Forever Faithful

Although the genetic material or DNA sequence is the same, many differences still occur. This genetic makeup is called your genotype.

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A phenotype is a similar word used to describe the expression of that genetic sequence. The interesting thing about the expression of genes is the environment the genetic material is surrounded by determines how the genotype is expressed. Therefore, although identical twins have the exact same genes genotype the way they express those genes phenotype can be drastically different.

In other words, you can have two identical children that develop into two totally different people based on the environment you set them in. Allow me to state my case: what is true regarding genetic identity is also true concerning spiritual identity. Spiritually speaking, we all have the same genotype. We are all commanded to love God and love people Luke We are all commanded to work as if working for the Lord and not simply for man Colossians We all read the same Bible and worship the same God. Even though we all share the same spiritual genome, we all express these commands with a different spiritual phenotype.

For example, how you express your love for God is most certainly as unique as your DNA structure. Even if you are an identical twin, the spiritual environment you choose each and every day makes you just as unique as an apple is unique to an orange. Spiritually, as well as physically, no one is quite like you. No one can worship God quite like you. Maybe most importantly, no one can worship God for you. You and you alone are responsible for your own relationship with Christ. The old kings of Israel used to have to carry the sacred Scriptures around with them wherever they went.

This was not simply a Bible you found in a bookstore. This Bible was handwritten by the very king who carried it Deuteronomy ! We are not changing Scripture, we are simply comprehending Scripture in our own language. Good cell phone reception is a deal breaker when it comes to who you are going to buy your services from. But just like when the glory of the Lord filled the temple after King Solomon dedicated it in the Old Testament 2 Chronicles 7 , so I find that God sometimes chooses to make His presence more concentrated in certain times and in certain places. When I was younger in my faith journey with Christ, it always brought special meaning for me to go back to the area where I started a relationship with Him as an adult.

I would often go there to pray or simply just sit in His presence. When I worked at a summer camp I would always go to a certain coffee shop to honor my Sabbath and had amazing devotional time spent with God there. Do you have any places where you seem to hear from God more often?

Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful | Casey and Matt's Engagement Adventure

Any place of spiritual significance that you like to revisit? Notice: this is Jesus speaking and He is making a metaphor between sheep and His Church. Jesus will never tell you to do something contrary to Scripture. Sacred Community : we can learn what God is trying to say simply by being around friends and mentors who reflect well the character of God. Patient, kind, faithful, and loving people often say the most encouraging things. Spend some time alone, intentionally seeking Him and you will be surprised at what comes to mind.

A lot of times prayer life can turn into a grocery list of needs for God. Allow God to give you an answer to your requests as you set aside time to both pray and listen. Encouraging words can mean the world to the right person at the right time, especially when those words are from God. Scriptures : Judges Romans Luke Observations : The Lord called Gideon, not by his present, but what God saw in his future Jesus loves us and forgives us before we do anything worth deserving grace The Lord asks us to do the same to others Applications : Do you see people only by their problems or do you also see people by their potential?

At the time he could not have foreseen the incredible popularity that his idea would have today. In our society the beauty and greatness or married love has been so obscured that most people now view marriage as a prison: a conventional, boring, legal matter that threatens love and destroys freedom. My husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand was just the opposite. Long before he converted to Roman Catholicism, he was convinced that the community of love in marriage is one of the deepest sources of happiness. He saw the grandeur and the beauty of the union of spouses in marriage — symbolized by their physical union which leads in such a mysterious way to the creation of a new human person.

He recognized that love by its very essence longs for infinity and for eternity. Therefore, a person truly in love wants to bind himself forever to his beloved — which is precisely the gift that marriage gives him. In contrast, love without an unqualified commitment betrays the very essence of love.

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He who refuses to commit himself or who break a commitment in order to start another relationship fools himself. He confuses the excitement of novelty with authentic happiness.

If You’d Like a Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful Love, Read This

Such affective defeatism — so typical of our age — is a symptom or a severe emotional immaturity which weakens the very foundation of society. It is rooted partly in a misunderstanding of freedom. Many people criticize marriage because they fail to realize that a person also exercises his freedom when he freely binds himself to another in marriage.

These critics of marriage do not see that continuity — and especially faithfulness — is an essential characteristic of a truly great personality: he chooses to remain faithful to what he has seen, even though his vision may later become blurred. Indeed, contrary to Lord Byron and to popular belief, marriage is the friend and protector of love between man and woman. Marriage gives love the structure, the shelteredness, the climate in which alone it can grow.

Marriage teaches spouses humility, making them realize that the human person is a very poor lover. Much as we long to love and to be loved, we repeatedly fall short and desperately need help. We must bind ourselves through sacred vows so that the bond will grant our love the strength necessary to face the tempest-tossed sea of our human condition. For no love is free from periods of difficulties. But as Kierkegaard aptly remarks , because it implies will, commitment, duty, and responsibility, marriage braces spouses to fight to save the precious gift of their love.

Thus, by adding a formal element to the material element of love, marriage guarantees the future of love and protects it against the temptations which are bound to arise in human existence. In a relationship without commitment, the slightest obstacle, the most insignificant difficulty is a valid excuse for separating.

Unfortunately, man, who is usually so eager to win a fight over others, shows little or no desire to conquer himself. Marriage calls each spouse to fight against himself for the sake of his beloved. This is why it has become so unpopular today.


People are no longer willing to achieve the greatest of all victories, the victory over self. What pastors needs most is the teachability, imagination, and agility necessary to seek out and access the resources necessary to engage gracefully the particular challenges that emerge in the course of their daily work. It is not all that good ministry requires but it motivates pastors to seek out and acquire whatever else they need to be fully equipped for ministering to the people they love and serve.

When they truly love their people, they will accept and affirm them for who they are — not without hope that they might become better, but certainly without demanding or even necessarily expecting it. Theological and spiritual development often falls into disrepair apart from mutual encouragement and admonition of friends.

Deep exercise of heart and mind in engaging divine treasures is sustained by gathering to practice these exercises regularly with others. Through our Pastor-Theologian program, we discovered the power of rekindling pastoral imagination and agility by gathering pastors together for several days of theological study and disciplined prayer.

Pastors themselves were the resident theologians — experts were present via their books, but not in person. Each pastor presented a theological paper based on shared reading, and the groups prayed together the daily offices of morning, midday, and evening prayer. Reports of vocational renewal abounded.

The benefits to Pastor-Theologian participants led us to propose to the Lilly Endowment a pilot project that would offer a similar pattern of spiritual fellowship and accountability for people entering parish ministry. The hope was to establish in pastors good habits of vocational nurture from the very start. Members of the Company commit to the Pastor-Theologian model of theological study and daily prayer when they gather, and to a discipline of daily reading and prayer between gatherings.

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Gatherings include generous space for friendship development, study, and prayer. Six years later, two cohorts have completed the cycle and the results are wonderfully encouraging.