Spiritual Formation

Articles about personal growth, spiritual disciplines, Bible study, prayer, and related topics.

Settling Your Identity

By Spiritual FormationNo Comments

The way you see your life shapes your life.

I wrote those words 16 years ago in The Purpose Driven Life, and I still mean them today. We’re tempted to see ourselves as everyone else does. You know the way it goes. You see yourself as broken and beaten up. You see yourself as an addict or former addict. You see yourself as a failure.

If that’s what you believe about who you are, you’ll never become who God wants you to be. How you define your life determines your destiny.

That’s one of the reasons why, when John Baker first started Celebrate Recovery®, he didn’t ask people to identify themselves by their addictions. Read More

A Biblical Model of Grieving: Hope in the Midst of Your Grief

By Healthy Living, Spiritual FormationNo Comments

The Big Idea: In just 1,000 words we contrast the world’s way of grieving with the Word’s way of grieving and growing.

How Do We Face Suffering?

How do we face suffering face-to-face with God rather than turning our backs on God during the grieving process? What does the journey with God look like as we find hope when we’re hurting?In finding God’s healing for life’s losses, we have two basic options. We can turn to the world’s way. Or, we can follow the way of God’s Word. Read More

To See Him Who Is Invisible

By Devotional, Spiritual Formation, WomenNo Comments

This is the fourth article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” —Psalm 16:8-9, 11

It’s always about what we’re seeing, isn’t it? Read More

Nothing To Keep Us Out

By Devotional, Spiritual Formation, WomenNo Comments

This is the third article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I have no idea when it happened, because I thought I had been paying closer attention. But when I looked over at my oldest daughter, with her legs crossed, her hair tucked, and her cheeks thinner than they used to be, I could almost feel the wind blow across my face from the years that have somehow flown by.

I can look into a mirror and count the lines on my forehead, and recount the years that put them there. How can faces change like that? How can the years evaporate just. like. that? Read More

I Will Make Myself Remember

By Devotional, Spiritual Formation, WomenNo Comments

This is the second article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint, you kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of my past; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked you:

“Will you reject me forever? Will you never show your favor again? Has your unfailing love vanished forever? Has your promise failed for all time? Have you forgotten to be merciful? Have you, in anger, withheld your compassion?”

Then I thought, “I will make myself remember the years when you stretched out your hand. I will remember what you’ve done, I will remember how you’ve helped me. I will remember all your works and meditate on all your mighty ways.”

Because your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? (Psalm 77:1-13, NIV, author’s paraphrase)

There are lines of demarcation in every life—before and after something happened—that mark and divide our years, making a life feel split in two. Read More

As If Nothing Had Yet Been Done

By Devotional, Spiritual Formation, WomenNo Comments

This is the first article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”

As if nothing had yet been done.

As if we didn’t feel like we’ve failed at this whole thing.
As if we hadn’t ripped a soul apart with what we said.  
As if we weren’t carrying the pain that has made us heavy and tired. Read More

Stress Is Bad…So How Can I Relieve It?

By Spiritual Formation, Stewardship2 Comments

Part two of the series, Making Change, highlighted something to which most of us can relate: the enormous stress caused by financial strain. However, we learned from Scripture the importance of living debt-free and discussed a realistic way we can all eliminate financial debt from our lives. Below is an article from Dave Ramsey about the “Debt Snowball.” At the end, you will find a link to a free online tool you can use to create your debt snowball. Here’s to reducing your stress with the debt snowball! Read More

We Pray. We Fast. God Moves.

By Devotional, Spiritual FormationOne Comment

Yesterday was an exciting day for me. As a pastor, I have always been invigorated by seeing lives changed, families restored, and people finding hope. As I shared stories of people who call Relevant their church home, I looked out and saw the hundreds more in every service that I know of who have been impacted through our church. It has been an incredible six years as we have watched God move in our community and we have had the opportunity to be a part of it. As we now embark on year seven of the journey of Relevant Church, we are asking God to “DO IT AGAIN.” Read More

The Best Is Yet To Come

Prayer: The Final Push

By Devotional, Spiritual FormationNo Comments

Week of Grand Opening

As Relevant’s Grand Opening weekend comes and goes, we realize that all of our collective efforts would fall short without God’s help and our utter dependence upon him. Over the next six days, would you pray specifically for our staff team and for those with whom you serve—that God would enable, empower, and protect them and their families? Let’s do it together!

Day 1 – SaturDATE Night Services
Day 2 – Pastor Carl and Julie Nichols (Jase and Trey) – Lead Pastor
Day 3 – Pastor Brandon and Laura Conn (Ava, Ellia, and Jack) – Worship Pastor
Day 4 – Pastor Mark and Melissa Einersen (Olivia, Natalie, and Brook) – Operations Pastor
Day 5 – Pastor Daniel and Tiffany Mead (Cooper) – Campus Pastor
Day 6 – Dream Team Volunteers – If you currently serve, pray for the people with whom you serve.




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