6 short audio devotionals

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Learning to enjoy silence

Wise people “give the impression of speaking out of a stillness at their center, a quiet place in which they are at home with themselves, in touch with God, and hospitable to the voices of others” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr.).

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  • Have you ever experienced uncomfortable silence?

Perhaps it happened when a speaker stopped speaking and you were convinced that his silence meant he was looking at you. Maybe it was an awkward moment when you didn’t have the words to speak to another person.

“Silence often puzzles people. They meet a silence and they wonder what’s wrong. Or silence makes people restless. The effect is just the opposite of what you’d expect. You’d expect that people would enter a silence and fold their wings. You’d expect that inside a silence people would smooth out and settle down. But that’s not the way it goes. Oddly, a fair number of people find silence disquieting” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr.).

Some people avoid silence and prefer noise, even feeling more secure with the sound of sounds. But what does it tell us when noise feels better than being alone with our thoughts? How can we truly learn the benefit…

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Homeless woman left hungry, lonely and cold

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[f] you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

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“I was hungry, and you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger. I was imprisoned, and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release. I was naked, and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health. I was homeless, and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God. I was lonely, and you left me alone to pray to God but I am still very hungry and lonely and cold.”

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Five reasons not to be an atheist

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1. Atheism is irrational

It’s simply irrational to look at anything with the kind of design we find in this world and to assume that no intelligent mind was behind it. I am not suggesting that this solves all problems in discussing the existence of God. I realize apparent flaws in the design raise other important questions. I also realize that moving from belief in a designer to a specific designer is a different matter. And it’s also wrong to assume that affirmation of intelligent design is equivalent with belief in young- earth creationism. It’s not.

Yet if one considers, for example, the design in the human body, it’s enough to compel belief in an intelligent origin. When we study any single part of the human body (eye, ear, hand, etc..) and consider the synchronization of each part with the whole, the design is breathtakingly awesome! No designer? Irrational!

The…

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Caring for the whole person

As the fields of counseling, psychotherapy and biopsychiatry have increasingly become profit-driven driven, I’ve grown more nervous about their market interests. It’s worth asking if the narratives being used for assessing behavior are potentially self-serving to business interests and profits in ways that could hurt those in need.

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Professional opinion on sources behind human behavior has experienced a social revolution. 

The new authority in behavioral science is more multi-dimensional than ever before. Biopsychology holds the chief seat but maintains a vested relationship with pharmacology, medicine and the insurance industry.

Over the past decade or so, I’ve felt a growing uneasiness with the relationship between psychology and business. And I’ve suggested that we need more thoughtful conversation about the potential dangers of these alliances.

As the fields of counseling, psychotherapy and biopsychiatry have increasingly become profit-driven driven, I’ve grown more nervous about their market interests. It’s worth asking if the narratives being used for assessing behavior are potentially self-serving to business interests and profits in ways that could hurt those in need.

The big picture

The two most prominent narratives for understanding human behavior are nurture (social context) and nature (genes and brain chemistry). Consider a basic overview of these…

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Hurt by a broken relationship

Returning dignity and strength to love is essential if we hope to stop the tide of broken relationships in our culture.

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If you’ve been hurt by a past relationship, I encourage you to learn from your experience.

  • Take inventory with the help of a wise friend or counselor who can offer godly perspective.
  • Make changes in your life that will help you become wiser in how you approach relationships.
  • Remind yourself that bitterness and standing aloof from intimate relationships locks you in a prison of fear and loneliness.
  • Acknowledge that a choice to love is essential but vulnerable. 
  • Explore some of the deeper issues in your relationship with God as the providential Ruler of life.
  • Recommit to Psalm 62:1-2 “I find my rest in God alone. He is the One who saves me. He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.”
  • Finally, think more deeply about love.

Cultural understandings of love are too often shallow and self-absorbed. Love is…

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The danger of legalism

Few things are more disruptive to unity in the Church than legalism. We must understand the threat of legalism and equip the Church and our families to respond.

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legalism-maskFew things are more disruptive to unity in the Church than legalism.

We must understand the threat of legalism and equip the Church and our families to respond.

The links below will help you understand and teach about the danger of legalism.

For the helpful resources listed below, seehere

  • Understanding legalism (part 1)
  • Understanding legalism (part 2)
  • Understanding legalism (part 3)
  • Understanding legalism: (part 4)
  • Six reasons legalism is a challenge for the Church
  • Unity through the Gospel
  • A dress code for Church
  • Protect your Church from Pharisees
  • When Christians Disagree

Steve Cornell

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