Does the Church Care? 4 Examples of the Church’s Love

By | 2017-05-11T20:34:28+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , |

Encouragement for Pastors Leadership Development PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Spiritual Encouragement

Self-Improvement Stew: Does the Church Care?

Here are 4 Examples to Consider… You Decide

Does the Church Care? 4 Examples of the Church's Love

Stew on This with Glenn Stewart

Perhaps you have heard it said that the church is hypocritical. It talks love but doesn’t show it. I’ve heard this criticism more times than I can count but in my experience it’s not true. I’m sure it is in some cases because the church is not perfect. We are flawed despite seeking to become more like Jesus (because we haven’t arrived yet).

This past year I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (an inoperable tumor). And what I’ve discovered over the past months is that the church really cares. Not only the local church I am a part of, but also the Church, the body of Christ.

4 Examples of Church Care & Love:

  1. From around the world I have received communication that God’s people are praying for me. Churches in countries that I have never been but they heard of my situation have assured me of their prayers. I have received care packages from people I don’t know but through a friend or family member they were informed of my medical issue. Some have been through their own fight with cancer and sent me items, like a blanket. You might be surprised at how meaningful a blanket is when you are recovering from treatment or the strain of another day.
  1. People who know me best, those I’ve pastored for the past 19 years, have poured love on me. Small gifts (is there such a thing?), large gifts, yard care, home repairs, and house cleaning to help my wife who drives me to where I need to go are examples of the support. These are just a few of the ways my faith family has cared for us.
  1. There’s one more thing… we are part of a health-sharing ministry called Samaritan Ministries. What a blessing! As medical bills have mounted others have shared with us from their resources and helped meet our needs. Along with funds they send notes, which I have saved, that give encouragement and hope. I remember getting a card from a family with five young children. Each child did the best they could signing their name and saying, “We are praying for you.” How can you not weep at such love? I am now as I write.
  1. I haven’t even mentioned yet the one who paid for my initial treatment at Sloan Kettering in New York City or the one who paid for our lodging during the two weeks we were there.

Believe me – the Church truly cares! You will not be able to convince me otherwise. Love the Church. God’s people in relationship […]

Unexpected Results of Hardship: The Fruit of the Spirit

By | 2017-05-18T21:25:12+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , , , , |

Self-Improvement Stew: The Results of Hardship & The Fruit of the Spirit - Holiness is the character of God. To share in His holiness is to become like Him

3 Important Details About How God Works All Things for Our Good

By | 2017-05-01T18:55:34+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , |

Understanding How God Works All Things for Our Good - We are probably all familiar with Romans 8:28. “We know that all things work together...

How to Celebrate the National Day of Prayer: Free Prayer Guide

By | 2017-05-05T12:45:06+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , , , |

Free Prayer Guide to Celebrate National Day of Prayer - For the National Day of Prayer on May 4th, 2017, here is a helpful prayer tool. #prayer

Do You Look at Your Relationship with Jesus as the Key to Life?

By | 2017-04-28T22:59:16+00:00 May 4th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , |

Self-Improvement Stew: Growing Our Relationship with Jesus (Jesus is the Completer of Faith) Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the “author and finisher...

How to Know if Life Baggage is Hurting Your Spiritual Journey

By | 2017-05-02T12:08:52+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , , |

Self-Improvement Stew Thursdays: When to Toss Away Baggage on Our Spiritual Journey - I read the story of a woman who had finished shopping...

How to Prioritize Faith in Eternity Over Life Today

By | 2017-04-24T13:16:45+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , |

Prioritize Faith: Look to Eternity Not Life Today - The eternal is what lasts forever and what is our inheritance. Temporary only relates to...

A New Look at Easter: Humanity’s Life After Death

By | 2017-03-27T22:27:34+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Categories: Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , |

Encouragement for Pastors Leadership Development PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Spiritual Encouragement

Self-Improvement Stew: Do You Believe in Life After Death & Do You Know What that Means?

A New Look at Easter: Humanity's Life After Death

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied,” (1 Corinthians 15:19, ESV).

As Christians, we recognize that a far better life awaits us. Therefore, we can risk our lives or our well-being in the service of Christ and for the cause of the gospel. We can accept that we won’t have as much as we want and won’t have the full measure of pleasure we long for in this life.

Do We Have Bodies in Life After Death?

Remember, God created human bodies perfectly designed to live in and enjoy a material world. The end of the biblical story and the ultimate Christian hope is the recreation of a new Heaven and a new Earth enjoyed by humanity in resurrected and glorified (renewed and perfected) bodies. The final chapters of the last book of the Bible tell us that the biblical hope of the age to come is to experience all the wonders of a fully and perfectly recreated Heaven and Earth. We will experience them bodily, enjoying relationships with others and the presence of God in perfect happiness.

We won’t be floating on our private clouds with wings and a harp trying to find some temporary relief for eternal boredom. No, the new Heaven and Earth is a place of bustling and enjoyable activity.

Now, you may hear all this and think it sounds way too fantastic, too unbelievable. How can this be? Well, the answer is that our bodies will be changed.

“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?'” (1 Corinthians 15:35, ESV).

And it’s not so much a serious question here, but a mocking one. But Paul takes the rest of the chapter to answer it.

“You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body,” (1 Corinthians 15:36-38, ESV).

You take a seed of a plant and put it in the ground. It never shows its “real” life until it has died in the ground, rotted, and then it comes up through the soil and it looks entirely different. It’s the same seed but it’s different. There is continuity to the seed you put in the ground but it has a new appearance. So why does it seem incredible that you should die, be planted in the ground like a seed, yet […]

3 Easter Messages to Share: Hope, Forgiveness & Love

By | 2017-03-22T23:43:44+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Categories: Encouragement for Pastors, Holidays, Pastoral Life, Self-Improvement, Spiritual Encouragement|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Exploring the Easter Messages of Hope, Forgiveness & Love... Whether you're a pastor searching for Easter messages, a father looking to encourage