Shannon here: Ada Brownell shares some tips for stretching spiritually in the new year. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Dec 30 – Jan 4 to enter drawing for a copy of her historical romance, The Lady Fugitive, U.S. only. Deadline: Jan 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Ada:
Seven Ways to Stretch Spiritually in 2016
When they think about stretching, health conscious adults head for the gym. But what about spiritual fitness?
With disuse, faith gets flabby. Here are a few spiritual stretches I did the last couple of years and plan to continue.
When we are spiritually strong, our lives show it in ways that enhance relationships and even romance, because then we bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Meekness, Faithfulness, Self Control (Galatians 5:22).
1 DESIRE TO ENLARGE YOUR TERRORITY. Pray the prayer of Jabez every day and mean it: “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10NKJ). After I began praying the prayer, new opportunities opened that surprised me. I realized I had more potential than I thought, and God was with me!
2. STRETCH YOUR ABILITIES
• Dust off old talents and develop others. You never know what the Lord might use, and it will increase your contentment.
• Witness to others when opportunities open, and resist fear.
• Tell your family how and why you are a Christian and share a witness.
3. STRETCH YOUR KNOWLEDGE
• Get a good study Bible or join a Bible study group. Last year I asked my husband to buy me a new Bible because I wanted the included commentary. I often study a book of the Bible at a time or one subject. Recently I did an intense study on faith using my study Bible. I also looked up scriptures in different versions and on biblegateway.com
• If you don’t have a ministry, pray and see where God leads. I grew spiritually when I taught Christian education classes because it stretched me.
• Learn new things that will enhance your career. Ask God for direction and take a class, do research, or take advice so you can be your best.
4. STRETCH YOUR LOVE
• Put into practice everything you know about being a better wife, mom, grandma, husband, father or grandpa.
• Contact relatives and friends you haven’t communicated with recently, and visit neighbors.
• Pray for supernatural love to help you show love to people who are difficult.
5. STRETCH YOUR COMPASSION
• Give to a credible organization that helps those in need.
• Encourage the grieving, the ill, the elderly and lonely with a card, email, phone call or something from your kitchen.
• Ask your pastor if there is someone who especially needs encouragement or help.
6. STRETCH YOUR FAITH
• Believe God for something you need or desire that looks impossible.
• Venture out and do what you know God wants you to do, but you’ve hesitated.
• When you pray, give your faith a jump start with the Word.
7. STRETCH YOUR THOUGHTS, PATIENCE AND SPEECH TO PLEASE GOD
• With David I pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:15).
• I pray, “Fill me with the fruits of the Spirit. ‘For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’” (Galatians 5:22-23).
About Ada: Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of six books. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Her historical romance, The Lady Fugitive, is a 2015 finalist for the Clash of the Titles Laurel Award.
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement
About the book – The Lady Fugitive: How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?
2015 Laurel Award runner-up.
#Review The Lady Fugitive. You’ll laugh, bite your nails, wish you had a gun to help
Can’t wait for the drawing? Purchase Ada’s book now: Ada’s Amazon Page
Question for Readers: Do you have a goal for 2016? Want to share?
Come back Jan 4th for more from Ada!