Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Use Declutter Now for Church Book Studies

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Today’s guest post comes from Lindon & Sherry Gareis, authors of Declutter Now! Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life. They are Christian Life Coaches and small group leaders from Glendale, AZ. They’re announcing a new initiative to take Declutter Now! into churches.

Declutter Now group studyDeclutter Now! tackles the clutter taking up space in many areas of life. Decluttering your heart, mind, body and soul will leave you with the time, money, energy, freedom and joy that God desires for you. Less is truly more.

Declutter Now! has ‘Gone Group’! We’re delighted to have Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix, AZ launch an eight week book study class. Each week, a new chapter is presented and discussed. Ideas are shared, truths are revealed and hearts are inspired.

Each chapter of Declutter Now! deals with a different area of life, so we cover a considerable amount of ground. The comprehensive nature of the material is ideal for group study since there’s ‘something for everyone’. Whether you need to declutter cram-packed physical spaces, harmful relationships, unhealthy eating habits, stinkin’ thinkin’, overwhelmed kids’ schedules or an unbalanced budget, most people can relate on some level, if not many. This sets the stage for insightful and provocative conversations.

We’ve found in group environments, the nature of the dialogue not only encourages personal growth, but meaningful relationship building as Declutter Nowwell. There’s a special bonding which occurs when people speak openly about their challenges and allow their weaknesses to break through. Just this past week during the current NHCC bible study, a class member shared her embarrassment over the clutter she’s living with. Her fellow class mates offered unconditional love, support and ideas void of any judgment. The acceptance and encouragement she received gave her strength to commit to the next step of her decluttering journey. Oh how we long to see her free from the bondage she’ suffering.

Declutter Now! is more than just a book. It’s a paradigm shift; a lifestyle change. A study through Declutter Now! offers inspiration to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. Group discussion takes our ideas, practical tips and life applications to an entirely new level. Unique situations can be personally addressed, support can be extended first hand and emotional connections can take root.

We encourage you to consider Declutter Now! for both individual and group study. We’d be delighted to help you construct a plan specific to your group or organization. Please contact us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Should We Forgive Lance Armstrong?

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This guest post on Lance Armstrong’s recent doping confession comes from Anna McCarthy, author of “Forgiveness is Not an Option”:

lance armstrongThere has been a lot of talk recently about Lance Armstrong and his public “apology”. Many say it wasn’t genuine or it was too vague; in summary many are unhappy with his public confession and believe he has not earned their forgiveness.

I’ve wrestled with this too, given there have been many Lance Armstrong’s in my life. Many who wronged me, lied to me, cheated to get what they wanted and left me with a seemingly half-hearted apology that was magically supposed to fix everything. The truth is, when we’ve been wronged and feel as though we’ve been deceived, hearing an apology that doesn’t meet the level of the gravity of the crime, almost seems to make it worse.  I get it and have admittedly struggled with this.

The problem, however, is that if we profess to be followers of Jesus, then we must choose not to be led by our emotion, especially in areas of the heart. Jesus taught that we must forgive; even if the apology doesn’t meet our standards or if there’s no apology at all. We still have to choose to forgive. Here are Jesus’ own words: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt 6:14-15)

I don’t know about you, but this passage is not easy to read! For some reason, all of us want to defend our reason for withholding forgiveness believing it somehow escapes this Forgiveness is not an optionprinciple. Yet, Jesus didn’t give any clauses; in fact, he goes further on to say that we are supposed to actually do good towards those who aren’t kind to us (Matt 5:44). This sounds nice in a Sunday school class, but when you are in the context of a situation, facing a betrayal and that person doesn’t offer the kind of apology you believe is deserved, this verse can feel like an impossible pill to swallow. This may be one of the reasons Paul prayed this way, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power…” (Eph. 3:16-18)

What Jesus asked us to do in the area of forgiveness is impossible without the power of Christ working through us. I know, because I tried in my own strength and failed miserably. However, having embraced his spirit in my heart in this area, I have seen forgiveness and love deepen and grow for those who I may never receive an apology from; and actually found myself able to do good towards them.

So, whether it’s Lance Armstrong’s apology you are wrestling with or someone else’s, I encourage you to pray the way Paul did and ask that Christ’s power may dwell within you, strengthening you to extend his love and grace towards those who may not deserve it.

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