The Genesis of Your Dream

  When did God whisper your dream to you? How did you know it was from Him? While attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC), many people asked how I got into writing. The truth is, I don’t remember…

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13 Reasons Why and Discussing Teen Suicide

<AUDIO: Addressing Teen Suicide in the Media Podcast> As the pastor who oversees Celebrate Recovery and the Landing at my church, I was recently asked to join a podcast discussion about teen suicide and its portrayal in the controversial Netflix series,…

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How to Start Praying for America

 

<VIDEO: A Prayer for America by Joshua J Masters>

Today is the National Day of Prayer, but with all the negativity swirling around the politics of our country, many aren’t even sure how to get started.  The first step in praying for the nation is committing to do so. I’ve often pondered how important it is to pray for America, but I wasn’t actually doing it. I had a ton of ideas on how others should be praying, but planning a prayer life for someone else is as effective as calling football plays from your couch. Decide you’re going to get off the spiritual bench and do something yourself.

The most important element in developing a spiritual discipline is making a commitment to the process of letting God change you. Once you’ve made that commitment, you want to be sure you remain accountable. Make a covenant with God to pray for the nation, then ask other Christians or your small group to keep you accountable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when praying for America:

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After Easter

[VIDEO: After Easter by Joshua J Masters]

It’s the week after Easter. Our holiday clothes are back on their hangers, and our empty tomb memes are falling further down our social media pages. The leftover ham is tucked snuggly into the refrigerator, ready for its role in a much less grand series of lunches. Life will return to normal this week. But should it?

 

Life for the disciples didn’t return to normal after the resurrection. They could not say, “What a lovely Resurrection Day,” pretending the significance of Christ’s return would merely last a day. They tried to return to a normal life.

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When I Think, “I’m Not Strong Enough.”

[VIDEO: When I Think, “I’m not Strong Enough”]

A Think This, Not That Post.

I’ve always had a deep desire to become a knight. When I was young (although not as young as one would hope for such a thing), I wrote a letter to the Queen of England asking what deed I might perform to make me worthy of knighthood in her eyes. That was about twenty-five years ago—but the Queen is very busy; I’m sure she’ll get back to me soon. The truth is, I don’t always feel like I have the strength to be me, let alone the strength to be a knight.

There are events in our lives that knock the wind out of us, events that make us feel we don’t have the strength to fight or even stand. The truth is, we probably don’t have enough strength to stand on our own in those moments.

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Heroes of Faith Training: Identity & Purpose

 

[VIDEO: The Bat Pastor Teaches on Identity and Purpose]

Are you trying to become a Hero of Faith? Join the Bat Pastor as he shares these short and practical training exercises that will help you pursue a relationship with Jesus.

TODAY’S TRAINING: Identity and Purpose

 

1. CONSIDER: Why would any superhero want to call himself The Golden Spoon?

2. READ: 2 Timothy 2:20-21

In a wealthy home, some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 NLT)

3. ASK: Am I living my life as a golden utensil or is it a life of common clay?

4. PRAY: Father, purify me so I might be used for an honorable purpose. Amen.

How have you learned to live a life of purpose for the Kingdom? Comment below.

 

The #BatPastor teaches on Identity and Purpose | VIDEO | #Faith #Discipleship |

 

© 2017 Joshua J. Masters. Please see the Conditions of Use for this blog.
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A Pruning by Any Other Name

[Video: A Pruning by Any Other Name]

When Gina and I bought our house, we fell in love with the landscaping. The previous owners meticulously designed the property to bloom in cycles. This created a seasonal adventure in our own yard, allowing us to see something new blooming nearly every week. Never having owned a house before, I didn’t know much about gardening. What I can tell you (now that I know what they are) is that the Knock Out Roses in the back were completely out of control.

 

Everything I read told me to prune the rose bushes all the way down—basically to the stubs. But I couldn’t imagine how that could be good for the plant, so I just cut off the excess and made them look pretty. The result was that the bushes were not nearly as healthy. They struggled because I was looking at short-term aesthetics over long-term growth.

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The Most Important Comma in Human History

 

[VIDEO: The Most Important Comma in Human History]

This week celebrates National Grammar Day, so before you light your punctuation fireworks or fire up a grill to cook those exclamation dogs, let’s take a few minutes to consider what may be the most significant use of grammar in human history—a single comma in the English Bible.

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