How to Get Out of a Spiritual Rut

Spiritual ruts, dry spells, periods of stagnancy – they are something most, if not all, Christians experience. Whether it is a dark night of the soul or a season of busyness, it’s easy to wake up and realize that we are not as close to God as we want to be. Spiritual ruts are real. And often, the dryness of our life feels more real than the Living Water that is there and offered to us through Jesus.  As we battle through life’s challenges, it is hard to look past what we can see with our eyes to the equally real, perhaps the more real, truth of the battle raging in the spiritual realm. Opening our eyes wider so that we can see past the temporal and into the spiritual realm is often overwhelming to even start to do.  But is we want to move past the place we’re in, we need to look past what is seen to what is unseen using the tools God has given us in His Word. Get into the Word The first thing I need to do when I’m in a spiritual rut is to pick up my Bible and read it. The Word of God is living and active. It is there to help grow and strengthen us.  Too often, we over-complicate it and act like Bible reading is only helpful if we have the right study method or reading plan or are in the right frame of mind when we begin. But the beautiful thing about God’s Word is, it doesn’t depend on us – it depends on Him. He is faithful to work with our groggy early morning or late night time in the Word. Even a few stolen minutes throughout the day are beneficial for us. If you are in a spiritual rut, you need to make daily time in the Word of God a priority.  Join a Bible Study and Fellowship Your spiritual walk, my spiritual walk, these are all journeys we need others to join in. We need to build relationships with believers to both encourage us when we are downtrodden and to hold us accountable when we need to live out the commands of the Lord and do what is best for our soul.  Joining a Bible study is a wonderful way to get accountability for getting into the Word of God (and a plan in place…

Read More

13 Bible Verses to Hold Close When Life Overwhelms You

There are days when the waves of confusion and turmoil and desperations crash over and over again on my head. Through the waves, it’s hard to cling to hope and at times, even painful to hope for relief as a new wave crashes fresh, dragging me under. During these times, I have to cling to the type of faith that believes in things that are unseen and trusts that God is seeing more than what it is right before me.  During those time, we need to cling to the Word of God and trust in the truth that will last long after the Heaven and Earth, certainly well past this storm, pass away.  Here are 13 Bible verses to hold close to your heart when life feels like it’s closing in around you:  Psalm 27:13-14, ESV I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!  Lamentations 3:22-27, ESV The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.  2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  Matthew 11:28-30, ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Psalm 46:1-3 ESV God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains…

Read More

What Am I Displaying? Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit

A few weeks ago was Pentecost Sunday. It was the celebration of that day, 50 days after the Resurrection, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers gathered together, waiting for the Helper that Jesus had promised them.  “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. – John 16:12-15, ESV Jesus promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come. Because without Him, we are unable to bear all of the truths we need to. We are like children, unable to see the world for what it is, unable to comprehend truths that are far beyond us, but God does not leave us in this place. He advocates, He assists, He sends part of Himself, part of His Triune being, to walk through our life with us. The Holy Spirit fell upon God’s people like a mighty wind and the world has never been the same.   I have always lived as part of the Body of Christ. I do not remember a time without the Holy Spirit aiding me. But I often wonder what it would have been like to live in that room, to feel that initial rush. And I wonder, do I take for granted the gift God has given me by sending the Holy Spirit? Do I display the fruit of the Spirit in my life, or do I retain the bonds of slavery, convinced I know better? Do I display the fruit of the Spirit in my life, or do I retain the bonds of slavery, convinced I know better? But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the…

Read More

Reading the Word of God (A He Reads Truth Bible Review and Giveaway)

The Word of God is living and active. Every, single word of it is God-breathed and useful for equipping us to live the holy life God has called us to.  But for some reason, it is often a struggle to crack open the covers and breathe in the life-giving words God has provided us. There are many reasons why we struggle, but one of the reasons I most frequently hear cited is overwhelm – not knowing where to begin or how to study our Bibles.  There are many tools to help equip you in reading and understanding your Bible, but I’m excited to share with you the new He Reads Truth Bible, which I received to review and give away to one of you, in exchange for this honest review.  The He Reads Truth Bible is filled with many neat features to help you engage with Scripture. It is written in the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB) which I had previously not had much experience with but greatly enjoyed. It is clear, direct, and easy to read. In addition to its beautiful, hardcovered binding, it is full of tools mingled throughout the text to help make Scripture clear and easy to read.  The features include 66 hand-lettered key verses, 17 full-color timelines, 21 maps, 122 charts (including infographics and lists) as well as reading plans (both a one-year reading plan and plans for each book of the Bible) as well as detailed book introductions.  Since this was the He Reads Truth Bible, I decided to get a guy’s perspective and asked my husband for his thoughts on the layout and design. The infographics and timelines were my husband’s favorite part of the Bible. They make it clear to understand different principles (we LOVED the one covering the Beatitudes). The timelines before the books written by the Minor Prophets intrigued me as those books tend to blur together and can be difficult to understand without some historical background.  While simply the Bible is always enough, it is often wise to engage with the tools and wisdom of the others in the Body of Christ. The He Reads Truth Bible is a great way to do that. It is an amazing gift to help any man in your life, any husband, father brother, or friend, read the Word of God more regularly.  You can enter to win a copy of the He Reads Truth…

Read More

What to Expect at the Maundy Thursday Service (And Why It’s My Favorite Church Service of the Year)

When I was in high school, I babysat for one of our pastor’s children. I always enjoyed the conversation with him and his wife because neither of them talked down to me about truth but spoke about theological truths, difficulties of the life, and our Christian faith as if I was an equal, not someone to talked down to in simple terms.  On particular conversation during Holy Week led to them asking if I was going to attend the Maundy Thursday service. I may have attended in the past with my family but typically, Good Friday and Easter Sunday took front and center of our celebrations and I had put very little thought into Maundy Thursday (The pastor and his wife graciously corrected my mispronunciation of “Monday” Thursday by simply repeating the name and telling me of its origin instead of calling me our directly.)  Despite my reservations, their insistence that Maundy Thursday was their favorite service of the year led me to walk into the Church on that Thursday evening and see what all the fuss was about and why this service had impacted them both so much. Despite my reservations, their insistence that Maundy Thursday was their favorite service of the year led me to walk into the Church on that Thursday evening and see what all the fuss was about and why this service had impacted them both so much. I had no idea what to expect at a Maundy Thursday service. I was still in my Easter and Christmas phase of celebrating the Church Calendar. I may have given something up for Lent a handful of times but it was more of an excuse to commit myself to a new diet idea than to discipline myself through fasting. But walking into Maundy Thursday was a turning point, a reminder that there deep Biblical truths that we have forgotten to remind ourselves of through celebration and commemoration.  Good Friday is a somber service, but it is expected to be so. Maundy Thursday is startling, it draws us into the night of Christ’s betrayal, an evening that began with dinner around a table with close friends and ended with sweating blood in extreme anxiety, experiencing deep betrayal by a friend, and walking forward willingly to enduring a torturous death.  The Maundy Thursday services I’ve been to have always followed a similar pattern. It begins in an upbeat, if…

Read More
1d4a7af8d08de24801fc74d62774cf0a8fadd0f88f77b989ab