ABCs of Faith – Quiet Faith

ABCs of Faith – Quiet Faith

Encouragment
Quiet faith is not silent faith. Neither is it voiceless faith or violent faith. Quiet faith seems like a loser in a world where the loudest voices appear to win the day instead of the truest and wisest argument. Quiet faith isn’t about noise levels at all. There is quiet faith in the decibels of loud worship as well our silent moments alone with God. Volume is not the issue although some have used loudness to cover up a lack of faith; shouting at the heavens as if God is hard of hearing. Quiet faith is an unshakable foundation that absorbs rather than amplifies the turmoil around it.There isn’t one verse that directly describes quiet faith. We do however find it hidden like a foundation stone in a passage Paul wrote to Timothy. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
ABCs of Faith – Persevering Faith

ABCs of Faith – Persevering Faith

Encouragment
Please welcome today's guest author Kerry Rohman.The season of detasseling has come and gone. If you live in the Corn Belt (midwestern part of the United States), you’ve at least heard the term. The youngsters that take on this feat describe it as “hard work”, “hot”, “early mornings” and  “lots of walking”. Pretty descriptive, right?For those who don’t know about detasseling. This seasonal job entails removing the tassel (the pollen-producing flower) from the top of the corn as pollination control for seed corn.  If you’ve ever seen a cornfield, you know there are lots of rows! Throughout the 3-4 week detasseling season thousands of acres are walked row by row in the July heat.If detasseling was easy, there would be lines of youngsters signing up for this summer job and the
Dale’s Rules for Life – Of Steaks and Seafood

Dale’s Rules for Life – Of Steaks and Seafood

Encouragment
Over the years I’ve collected a set of rules for living life. Some are born from walking with Jesus, others stem from my own fears and failures. While they’re in a numbered list there is no ranking, well, for the most part. There are a few, like number 22, that trump all others. Neither are they recorded chronologically by discovery or even alphabetically. The order isn’t important. So, while this particular rule is marked as number one it is not primary, it’s simply the first on the list.The rule is -- Never order seafood at a steakhouse or steak at a seafood restaurant (unless it’s surf and turf). Sounds flippant, perhaps a bit on the silly side. However, every time I violate this rule I come away disappointed. Especially that one time when I ordered lobster at an Italian restaurant.
ABCs of Faith – One Obedient Faith

ABCs of Faith – One Obedient Faith

Encouragment
There are two aspects of faith we struggle with at times. Both happen to be “O” words; which works nicely for our ABC’s of faith.  As we talk about them it’s easy to slip into thinking of faith as religion, denomination, church, belief system, or practice. But even in these “O” words the emphasis is on our relationship with God and trusting Him. To some these “O” words seem restrictive - I hope that you will find freedom. To some these “O” words justify judgment and condemnation - I hope that you will discover the log in your eye. Some have abused these “O” words to drive personal agendas instead of leaning into God’s desire - I hope that you will see God’s trustworthy love.Paul wrote, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord
ABCs of Faith – Nurtured Faith

ABCs of Faith – Nurtured Faith

Encouragment
What is faith like a seed?  You’ve may have never asked or even considered that strange question. Perhaps if I asked - What is the promise of a seed?  Or, What is the hope of a seed? The answers to those questions may give us a clue. The promise of a seed is life, growth, reproduction, and depending on the seed, harvest. There is also one more promise we rarely consider. That a seed will grow “after its kind.”  A truth that is so common we rarely think about it. Plant an acorn get an oak tree. Corn grows corn. A mustard seed grows into a mustard plant. An apple seed into an apple tree. The faith in a seed is all of these things but it must be nurtured to grow.In our last article, Kyle quoted Luke 17:6 from the New Living Translation and highlighted the size aspect of faith. Specificall
ABCs of Faith – Mustard Seed Faith

ABCs of Faith – Mustard Seed Faith

Encouragment
Guest Author - Kyle BenefieldSkyscrapers. Megacities. Hustle and bustle. Often “bigger, faster, and louder” seems to be the mantra of today’s society and it makes one wonder if God even cares about the small things in life. Today as we look at Mustard Seed Faith I want us to explore the possibility that growth in the Kingdom might not always look like a growth chart where up and to the right is the only valid trajectory.Jesus said in Luke 17:6 “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!” (NLT)  I think society might have this conversation with Jesus: “A mustard seed?!?! Come on Jesus! Why are you so meek and mild? Wouldn’t it have been better for you to pick something
ABCs of Faith – Loving Faith

ABCs of Faith – Loving Faith

Encouragment
Have you ever rode a unicycle?  How about a pogo stick?  Or perhaps you have tried hopping around on one leg. All are doable but not the most stable things in the world. It takes great effort and concentration to maintain balance when there is only one point of contact. Faith works like that too. Focusing only on faith is like trying to ride a unicycle. The hard truth is that faith never stands alone. It is one leg of a comfortable and inviting chair.In a chapter that is often reserved for weddings, Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13. In those poetic words there is also a warning about faith. “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2, NASB9
ABCs of Faith – Kept Faith

ABCs of Faith – Kept Faith

Encouragment
If I say “keeping faith” what leaps to your mind? That phrase is like those pictures you may have seen. Focus on the dark lines and see a young girl, focus on the white and see an old woman. One picture with two realities. Some of you, perhaps most of you, thought of keeping faith in the sense of doing the right things. Holding fast to faith. A few of you may have thought about how God keeps or protects us through faith. Both are “keeping faith” and both are the topic of today’s ABCs of Faith. Keeping the Faith Paul wrote a warning to Timothy,  “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regar
ABCs of Faith – Just Faith

ABCs of Faith – Just Faith

Encouragment
Researchers identify, in broad strokes, three major culture types. One culture type is power/fear. Relationships, politics, and even worship is driven by power encounters and failure produces fear. Another culture type is based on honor/shame. Everything is weighed by the honor or shame something brings to themselves, their family, workplace, or community. The third type is innocence/guilt which puts great stock in adhering to law (written or unwritten), failure is identified and punished through guilt. The researchers note that all cultures have some flavor of all three but that one will be predominant. As we continue looking at faith, specifically “justified by faith” we’ll see how the Good News of Jesus touches our fear, our shame, and our guilt.  Paul wrote at length about faith, j
ABCs of Faith – Inherited Faith

ABCs of Faith – Inherited Faith

Encouragment
We often think of inheritance as money. That’s probably so more times than not. But inheritance can also be land, possessions, or that famous dish that has been passed down through the generations. I inherited a hickory cane that was once my great-great-grandfather’s. In some places, titles such as Count and Duke are inherited. What we think and believe about God is often, in a sense, inherited. I have Anabaptists roots that I inherited from folks that can be traced to Reformation times. Some of you, in the same way, may be Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptists, etc...not so much by choice but by heritage. (Sorry if I left our your particular roots) As we consider Inherited Faith we are not, however, considering religion, tradition, or denomination but something deeper and
ABCs of Faith – Hearing Faith

ABCs of Faith – Hearing Faith

Encouragment
A few weeks back we began our ABC’s of faith with Acquired Faith. That article looked at the beginnings of faith and Romans 10:17.  “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17, NASB95)  Sometimes we gain the attitude of one old married gentleman that said to his wife, “I said I loved you once if anything changes I’ll let you know.”  Hearing faith is not just for when we initially turn towards Christ, but every day, in every circumstance, and everywhere we go.Paul was upset with the Galatians. That’s obvious when you read his letter. “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1, NASB95) Paul’s issue was their turning towards religious acts for assurance instead of si
ABCs of Faith: Growing Faith

ABCs of Faith: Growing Faith

Encouragment
We know the basics of about growing, it’s all around us. A seed planted germinates, sprouts, grows deep and pushes up. One sign of life is growth. We see it all around us, even in ourselves. Sure, most of us have stopped physically growing. But we all continue to grow in other ways or something is wrong. When considering growing faith the question isn’t whether it grows or not, but how can we encourage along?Paul wrote, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3, NASB) Faith grows in community and family, but only if it is put to use. Just getting together and sharing a moment doesn’t exercise faith. If it did, then we w