Tag Archives: Leonard Sweet

Need a shot of adrenaline for your soul?

The end product of biblical Christianity is a person—not a book, not a building, not a set of principles or a system of ethics—but one person. ~ Frank Viola & Leonard Sweet in Jesus: A Theography

William Wilson PhotographyJesus!

After offering up a who’s who list of giants of the faith (Chapter 11), the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes:

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message)

I’ll be honest. A shot of adrenaline into my soul sounds pretty good right now. I’ve been feeling fairly discouraged and frustrated lately for a variety of reasons. My guess is I’m not alone.

The reminder that Jesus endured much more than I’ll ever face and not only survived but thrived is very encouraging. All because “he never lost sight of where he was headed.”

So I’m starting this week with a renewed passion to keep my eyes on Jesus no matter what comes at me. And while I know that Satan will do his best to distract me – and likely succeed at least a few times; I also know that the Holy Spirit will be relentless in drawing my attention back to Jesus.

How about you? Need a shot of adrenaline for your soul?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Frustration, God, Heaven, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Fanning the flame

Viral - Leonard SweetIn ancient cultures, the most important thing a household did was to never let the fire go cold. In rural Korean cultures the same ancestral fire burned for centuries, and when they moved they took the fire of their forefathers with them. When your fire went out, it was thought, you lost your connection with heaven.

Would that Christians were as careful about tending spiritual fire as these ancients were about natural fire. We are to nourish the spiritual fire, and we do that by prayer, obedience, mission, devotion, and study.

Holy fire is warming. In the words of the nineteenth-century New England poet Lucy Larcom: “If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”
~ Excerpted from Viral by Leonard Sweet

We can encourage one another to keep our fires stoked; but it’s ultimately our responsibility.

How many fires will we kindle today with the flint of faith?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Missions, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality

The Coffee is Brewing

Jesus did not endure his days on earth out of a sense of obligation. His life was characterized by joy and energy; it was spent in relationship with others. Today, too many Christians line up to follow God out of duty or guilt, or even hoping to win a ticket to heaven. They completely miss the warmth and richness of the experience of living with God. They fail to pick up the aroma of what God is doing in their part of town.

Here’s the truth: God has set up shop where you live. The doors are open and the coffee is brewing. God is serving the refreshing antidote to the conventional, unsatisfying, arms-length spiritual life—and God invites you in. God won’t make you stand in line.

~ Excerpted from The Gospel According to Starbucks by Leonard Sweet

Pull up a seat, pour a cup of coffee and enjoy a few moments with God. He managed to handle the details of life before we were born and He’ll handle them long after we are gone. Give yourself to what you were created for – intimacy with the Lord.

Then head back into your activities with the awareness that you are not alone.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, God, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

What New Path?

Where he was, who he was with, and the circumstances of the request all combined to help determine the path Jesus would take. Do we expect any less of Christ today? How open are you to surprises? Are you willing to take paths that Jesus is blazing and follow him as he hacks a way in the wilderness?

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Paul and brought the Gentiles into the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Saint Francis and brought all of creation into the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Martin Luther and turned the altar toward the people, who are the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with John Wesley and strolled out into the streets and the fields to find lay leaders who would lead the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Charles G. Finney, and an industrial, urban world was claimed as part of the body of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ walked a new path with Billy Graham, and a multiracial, multinational, multicultural world was affirmed as part of the body of Christ.

What new path is the Spirit of Christ walking with you and with your church?

~ Excerpted from What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet

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Filed under Christmas, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality