Crossmap

Search

“Spiritual Songs” and our Corporate Worship: Some Thoughts on Ephesians 5:18-21

The following is a brief excerpt from my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). Its focus is Paul's instruction in Ephesians 5:18-21, where he writes: "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:18-21).

Knowing Christ in Conflict

Whether it is in the play room or at the negotiating table peace is often defined as the absence of conflict. So, terms are sought to minimize or eliminate conflict. But this is a futile pursuit. A mom knows that discord and self-service rules young hearts. People are born at war with God and with each other (Ephesians 2:1-3). Thus, the goal for achieving peace cannot be the absence of conflict. Rather, for Christians, our goal must be to know Christ in the middle of the conflict. The Bible teaches that we are to return good for evil. Instead of eliminating conflict, the Christian overcomes conflict with the powerful force of good. This means I don't have to control the other person to find peace. I must choose to honor God and respond to evil / conflict in obedience to God. That way, even if the other person continues to do what is wrong you can pursue Christ and find his peace regardless of what that person may or may not do.

4 Ways to Start Memorizing Scripture

Our oldest son texted me New Year's Day this year. He wanted to practice memorizing Scripture again this year. He's been out of college for several years and fell out of the habit. He used to do it regularly when he was in high school. he wanted to know if I have any tips. Of course, he already knew I'm fairly simple-minded, so my response may be overly simplistic, but I think it may have been what he was seeking.

Wait Is a Four-Letter Word

Wait is a four-letter word. Coincidence? I think not. We're all waiting on something from God: true love or a baby, a job or a cure. And the period between answers can feel like a place where dreams-and faith-go to die.

Experiencing the Joy of Jesus

It's one thing to be filled with the joy that comes from earthly comforts or accomplishments. The joy of winning the game or completing a project is truly a wonderful thing. But nothing can compare to the experience in one's heart of the very joy that filled the heart of Jesus. In John 15:11Jesus said this: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." He virtually repeats himself in John 17:13 - "But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."

4 Ways to Start Memorizing Scripture

Our oldest son texted me New Year's Day this year. He wanted to practice memorizing Scripture again this year. He's been out of college for several years and fell out of the habit. He used to do it regularly when he was in high school. he wanted to know if I have any tips. Of course, he already knew I'm fairly simple-minded, so my response may be overly simplistic, but I think it may have been what he was seeking. Here's what I shared with him.

10 Things I’d Do If I Were Raising a Son Today

I revised and reposted 10 Things I'd Do If Raising a Daughter Today recently. In this post, I will focus on raising a son. I know a little more about this subject, having two incredible sons of my own. But, we always look at life differently from the other side of it. My boys are grown. I'm still parenting, but in a completely different way. My parenting these days is one of influence. Thankfully, both boys still come to me desiring my input into their life. There is no greater joy than seeing boys become God-honoring young men. I'm thankful to have a front row seat with my sons.

Gentleness is Grace and Power

Gentleness is God's answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God's truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit's fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes being gentle as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness

10 things you should know about Martin Luther

Much will be said and written about Martin Luther in 2017, inasmuch as this is the 500th anniversary of his posting of the 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg, an event that many believe launched the Protestant Reformation. But here are ten things about Luther you may not know.

A Time to Pray for Repentance & Mercy

God commands that you and I pray for our land and for our leaders. Specifically, we are to pray for hearts to turn in repentance to God and also to cry out for God's mercy to fall upon a land which would have him not. It is far too easy to complain and to grumble. It is the simple way out just to be unhappy with lifestyles that scorn God's laws. However, God has called us to compassion and to the mercy of gospel grace. Let us seek his great name in prayer to bring about repentance, mercy and grace to our land.

10 Things I’d Do If I Were Raising a Daughter Today

I wrote this post a few years ago, but it came to my attention again after someone shared it, so I decided to revise and repost it. I never had a daughter. I have a great daughter-in-law, and she has a special relationship with her dad, but I never got to raise a girl. We are hoping some day for a granddaughter - should the Lord provide.

7 Things To Do in the Spiritually Dry Times of Life

Recently I wrote about what to do during the times God is silent. It seemed there was more to be said. As I read the Scriptures - and consider my own journey with God - those times are frequent for God's children. Sometimes it is even more than the silence of God. Sometimes I am silent in my own spiritual life. I'm not growing. I'm not as passionate about my walk as I once was. Spiritually speaking, I am stagnated.

7 Things To Do While You are Waiting on God

I’ve spent much of my walk with God waiting. Waiting for Him to give direction. Waiting on Him to open doors. Waiting on Him to make things clearer. Waiting on Him to supply the needed resources.

Why we need reminders of God's Faithfulness

GROVE, OK (ANS – February 26, 2017) -- “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’”-- 1 Samuel 7:12 (NKJV).

God's Favourite Name is "Father"

An excerpt from Max's Worship Night in America message... Of all his names, Father is God's favorite. We know he loves this name most because this is the one he used most. While on earth, Jesus called God "Father" over two hundred times. In his first recorded words Jesus explained, "Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49). In his final triumphant prayer he proclaims, "Father, I give you my life" (Luke 23:46). In the Gospel of John alone, Jesus repeats this name 156 times. God loves to be called Father. After all, didn't Jesus teach us to begin our prayer with the phrase, "Our Abba"?