Good Reads 11.23.16 (on thanksgiving, prayer, and church)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On Thanksgiving: Look Through the Lens of Thanksgiving by Vaneetha Rendall Risner

Counting my blessings may be arduous at first, an act of taxing obedience rather than an overflow of joy, but in the end it opens up space in my heart. When I choose to focus on what I have been given, rather than linger over what I’m missing, I feel happier. More content. Less agitated.

And when I choose to face my miseries directly and find blessings in them, something miraculous happens. I view all of life differently. I see my circumstances through a lens of faith. And I am able to declare with confidence that, even in the worst of circumstances, God is still good and there is much to be thankful for. (click here to read more)

On the individual and the church: You Are Not the Church by Matt Moore

The communal aspect of the Christian life is, according to Jesus and his apostles, indispensable. We cannot grow and persevere without it. God could have infused into each one of us all the gifts and graces necessary to reach “mature manhood” in Christ (Ephesians 4: 13). But he didn’t. Instead, he chose to endow each of us with particular gifts and graces (Romans 12:4) so that our spiritual maturation would occur as we exercise them in a communal context. When we gather together for the purposes of worship, fellowship, and discipleship, our individual, God-given roles and functions merge and work together to build up the whole body in the love and knowledge of Jesus. (click here to read more)

Two articles on prayer:

Twelve Ways to Pray for Yourself Everyday by David Qaoud

What people see of me is the exterior. This is important — but it’s not enough. I can seem impressive in public, yet remain sinful in private. And when we talk about holiness, we often only talk about the “big things” like not killing people, and staying faithful to your spouse. But holiness is much more than that. It includes the thousand little, overlooked things of life that no one else knows about. I pray that I can honor the Lord in these things. (click here to read more)

The Challenge of Praying with Your Spouse by Melissa Edgington

It’s hard to be annoyed or upset with someone who is praying for you. It’s hard to hold grudges or unforgiveness in your heart when you are praying for someone.  Praying together has made me want to live up to the desires that we express with each other before God: Help us to love each other well. When we pray in these ways, the Holy Spirit really does show us where we can improve, where we can lose the attitude, and as a result, we find that we are going out of our way to help each other. We’re taking the time to say thank you. We’re stopping to recognize what a blessing our marriage is. (click here to read more)

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