FaithSpring Staff Blog

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Day Twenty-Six: Hug someone New

Posted By at Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lent 2019 - Sunday, March 31:Hug someone new

How do we demonstrate our Faith? Are people able to look at us and know that we are people of Faith? Do we wear clothing or jewelry that help provide a clue? Do we put symbols or stickers on our vehicle, or do we listen to the right music or watch the proper video programming? Today, our challenge is asking us to go one step further in demonstrating our Faith: Hug someone new.

Don’t get restless, yet. This challenge can be resolved in one of two ways.The first is to hug someone we’ve never hugged before (stranger, acquaintance, colleague, or just anyone we’ve never hugged). The second solution is to hug someone familiar (that we’ve already hugged), but this time, hug them with new purpose.

What is the new purpose? To demonstrate our faith in God through Jesus Christ. Human touch and acknowledgement are critical to demonstrating the love we have for each other. Jesus taught this lesson very effectively: He reached out and touched people, especially those who were unclean, despised, and greatly troubled. Jesus loved other people and He let them know it.

A simple hug can go a long way towards showing God’s love, reconciliation, and hope for the world. Human touch is incredibly powerful, but if we don’t reach out, the people we encounter today may never know it.

We are God’s people and we need to show it! Find someone to hug today!

“A man with a skin disease approached Jesus, fell to his knees, and begged, ‘If you want, you can make me clean.’ Incensed, Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do want to. Be clean.’ Instantly, the skin disease left him, and he was clean. (Mark 1:40-42, CEB).

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Day Twenty Five - Plant Something!

Posted By at Saturday, March 30, 2019

FaithSpring’s Challenge for Lent 2019: March 30:Plant Something.

Thisdaily challenge for Lent is an easy one that can involve the entire family. Today, we are asked to plant something. The planting can occur indoors or outdoors, seed, seedling, or mature plant. It can produce a crop, herb, flower or foliage. There areno restrictions on how we accomplish this, but it’s one that will pay dividends for the rest of the year.

Planting crops has been part of our heritage from the beginning of creation. God created seeds that would be perfectly engineered to grow into something. God created soil that could receive the seed, providing an incubator suitable for growth and maturation. God also created water to nourish and light tonurture the plant, as well as different forms of fertilizer to help create an even stronger plant and greater yield.

Isn’t it amazing to consider the majesty of God’s powerand how the LORD pays such close attention to something as small as a seed? Just think, God pays even more attention to us, from the time we are created in the womb to the time that we return to the ground. God nourishes, fertilizes, and provides us with opportunities to grow into much more than just a seedling. God even prunes us from time to time, which can be painful at first but provides us with even greater growth opportunities.

What kind of growth can we expect within ourselves? When we give God the permission to care for us, the possibilities are both limitless and eternal.

Plant something today! Care for it throughout the year and watch God’s majesty unfold!

“Now, if you completely obey God’scommandments that I am giving you right now, by loving the Lord your God and by serving him with all your heart and all your being, then hewill provide rain for your land at the right time—early rain and late rain—so you can stock up your grain, wine, and oil. Hewill also make your fields lush for your livestock, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15, CEB).

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Day Twenty Four: No High Fat or High Calorie Food

Posted By at Friday, March 29, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019

Day 24, Friday, March 29:Make a Change!  No High-Fat or High-Calorie Food.

It’s Friday and that means our challenge for the day is another food-related challenge.  So if you’re getting to this challenge after the day has already started, don’t worry!  Just begin the challenge now with 24 hours of No High-Fat or High-Calorie Foods.

Need a definition of what kind of foods qualify?  Again, don’t worry about it.If it’s unhealthy to eat it, don’t eat it today.  Give it a pass and try something that is much healthier.  We don’t need a whole lot of instructions on this challenge.  Rather, we need the will power to be strong enough to withstand the temptation to indulge in our regular, unhealthy diets.

Whenever someone makes the commitment to avoid certain foods or beverages for a specific time period, it is often referred to as “Fasting”.  Fasting is the voluntary withholding of certain food or drinks for a purpose.  Fasting is not intended to remove food and drink from those who need it.  Rather, fasting is supposed to remove food or drink from those who are already well-fed, demonstrating commitment, faithfulness, and sincerity.

Complete this challenge for God.  Show God that you can do something healthy for 24 hours.  Remove high-fat and high-calorie items from your diet and thank God for all the other feast days that we enjoy!

That is why the Lord says,‘Turn to me now, while there is time.  Give me your hearts.Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,but tear your hearts instead.’ Return to the Lord your God,for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  He is eager to relent and not punish.”(Joel 2:12-13, NLT).

 

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Day Twenty Three: Listen to Others

Posted By at Thursday, March 28, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019: Listen to Others

 

Are we good listeners to other people?  Regardless of our answer, listening to others is something that all of us can improve upon.  Today, our Lenten challenge is to focus on our listening skills so that we can both hear and understand the people around us.

How important is it to hear and understand other people?  In the beginning, God thought it was important enough that He created another person, and then gave them the ability to communicate with each other.  Two are better than one and three is better than two.

Listening to other people allows us to gain understanding, knowledge, and perspective that we can’t possibly come up with on our own. Yes, each of us has something important to say, but sometimes, we spend so much time talking (or trying to talk) that we can’t hear what the other person is trying to say.  The same is true in our prayer life.  Sometimes we spend so much time talking that we may be missing what God is trying to say!

But not today.  Let’s make a change and listen to other people today!

“Then Jesus added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more.” (Mark 4:24, NLT).

 

 

 

 

 

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Day Twenty-Two: Say Three Prayers

Posted By at Wednesday, March 27, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019, Day 22 - Say 3 Prayers

Can you say a prayer today?  How about 3 prayers?  That’s our Lenten Challenge for the day, so take a few moments and get started with the first one. 

The importance of prayer cannot be emphasized enough.Prayer is our communication to God.  As important as that is, unless we commit to pray, it can easily fall through the cracks.  Sure, there are times when we remember to pray, especially the bad times.  But what about when things are going well?  Are we as dedicated during good times as well as the time in-between?

A strong prayer life requires time and patience.  It needs to be fed and nurtured so that it grows into a habit and then into a discipline.  Remembering to pray is important, but recognizing our need to communicate with God is the first and most important step.

Do we need to pray more?  Yes!  Let’s get started and say three prayers today!

“Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer.” (Romans 12:12, CEB).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day Twenty-One: Read your Bible

Posted By at Tuesday, March 26, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019, March 26 - Read the Bible!

On this second day of a week dedicated to making changes, we are asked to read the Bible. This challenge doesn’t have any other requirements or restrictions. This is simple, straightforward, and possibly the best thing we can accomplish today.

In our whirlwind lives, we are constantly looking for answers and direction. Every turn seems to require another decision and too often we forget that the Bible is full of solid, practical advice.From the simplest decision to the most challenging, the Word of God is an incredible tool that can make all the difference.

Make another change today. Read the Bible and discover what God says to you!

“Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character,so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, CEB).

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Day Twenty: Be Happy

Posted By at Monday, March 25, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019 - Monday, March 25

This week, all of our Lenten challenges will be focused on making certain changes in our daily lives.  Since this is Monday, we might as well go ahead and tackle a big one.  Today’s challenge is to Be Happy! 

Let’s be honest: Mondays difficult enough after a weekend of time away.  But today, many of us are going back to school and work following Spring Break and busted basketball brackets, which are both sure to make today even more difficult.  Today might be moving slowly, but look on the bright side!  At least our challenge today isn’t asking us to give up caffeine!

Sometimes, the only thing we need to change our outlook for the day is to consider the many blessings we already enjoy.  Whether it’s the blessing of having a job or freedom that allows us to acquire an education, we have an unlimited number of reasons to be happy today.

Don’t let the blues take your Monday as a hostage.  Give your Monday to God and let God do what God does best!  Change Monday and Be Happy!

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.”(Psalm 118:24, NIV).

 

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Day Nineteen: Go to Church

Posted By at Sunday, March 24, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019

Day 19,Sunday, March 24:Change It: Go to Church!

On this Sunday during our Lenten Challenge, we focus on the need to change. Everyone needs some change, whether it’s a little more time in the gym or a little less time on the phone. But how often do we actually seek-out change in our lives, hoping and wishing it would happen? Probably very few of us, which brings us to this week’s topic: “Change It”.

Our reluctance to change arises from our personal experience with it. Even though we might recognize that change is almost always for the better, our struggles to accept and adapt because of change make lasting impressions. Change is difficult and therefore we are reluctant to willingly approach change, especially when we know that we need it.

Jesus’ closest followers encountered many significant changes during their work in Jesus’ ministry. They experienced major changes in social norms, class identity, economic hardship, and time management. These changes created great struggles for all of Jesus’ followers, but as their faith in Jesus grew, they learned to accept, adapt, and improve because of the changes Jesus taught them.

God is trying to do the same in us. God is using this time to prepare our hearts and minds for the changes that we need to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Where do we need to change? Start today by going to church and listen to what God says!

Change it: Go to church today!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;now it springs forth,do you not perceive it?I will make a way in the wildernessand rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19, ESV).

 

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Day Eighteen - Give Time to Family

Posted By at Saturday, March 23, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019 - March 23

Today is going to be another one of God’s very best days, so take advantage of this opportunity to spend some quality time with our families! This is one of the easiest and most important challenges of our Lenten Season, so don’t let this one slip by. Whether your family includes blood relatives or best friends, go find them and let them know that they matter to you!

In our busy, haphazard, lives, it’s easy to forget the importantbenefits that come from spending time with family and closest loved ones. Our families are connected to us in ways unlike any others. First and foremost, our families represent those who love us unconditionally. Even if they don’t know how to express it, they are always in our corner and ready to support and encourage us. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make it through the most difficult days.

Today, let’s take some time with those who are closest to us. If our families don’t live in our area, let’s reach out to them and let them know that they matter to us. Let’s also use this opportunity to share our lives with them. It’s easy to forget those who are (or used to be) closest to us and a little effort can go a long way. Let’s not miss this opportunity to give back to those whom God gave to us.

Give time to family today!

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12, NLT).

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Day Seventeen: Give Food

Posted By at Friday, March 22, 2019

FaithSpring’s 40-day Lent Challenge 2019, Friday March 22

Hungry people are everywhere.  We don’t have to turn on the television to see an infomercial to recognize that the world is hungry.  The most recent statistics indicate that over 10% of the world’s population suffers from hunger.  Believe it or not, hunger in the United States is actually HIGHER than the worldwide average (somewhere between 12-20%, depending on reporting). 

Sometimes, we witness hungry people in our community and wonder what happened.  It could have been family poverty, a bad mistake, a terrible tragedy, or any number of things that caused someone to experience this horror.  But let’s not catch ourselves pointing a finger, unless of course, we’re looking in the mirror.  As God’s people, we have a responsibility to provide out of our abundance, and it’s likely that most of us are currently enjoying an over-abundance of food.

On this Friday during Lent, rather than withhold certain foods or beverages from our own diets, let’s make sure that someone else doesn’t go hungry today.  Donate some food to one of the many organizations that help feed hungry people in our community.  Or pack an extra sack lunch that includes nonperishable items and a drink - keep it in your front seat and be ready to hand it out at your first opportunity.  Each of us can make a difference today.

Give some food to a hungry person today!

“Feed the hungry and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” (Isaiah 58:10, NLT).