Pulse Podcast 017: Why People Stop Believing

, , , ,

In this episode, we’re joined by Paul Chamberlain, a professor at ACTS and TWU. We’re talking about his new book: Why People Stop Believing. It’s an insightful piece, with first-hand accounts of people who have left their faith, sometimes at great personal cost.

We invite you to get a copy for this book for yourself: Click here!

Here is the full-length podcast in video form:

Here is the teaser/preview version, for your church or group:

And here is the audio version:

Pulse Podcast 016: Prayer Retreat Recap

, , ,

This is a post that highlights EFCC Sunday — our annual reminder that we are a part of a larger family together — and shares some highlights from the recent Prayer Retreat. In addition to this clip, you’re welcome to share the Revitalize rack card as a reminder to pray for your neighbours. (Click here to see a preview.)

Contact us at Home Office if you want copies of this to share with your church!

In the full podcast, we get deeper into our memories and takeaways from the retreat. What we talked about as leaders is the beginning of a conversation that will be hosted at Conference 2018. It’s pretty significant to us.

Below is the audio version — if you’d like to find all of our audio-only podcasts, you can do that at SoundCloud.
The RSS feed can be found here: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:41446994/sounds.rss

Pulse Podcast 015: Volunteerism

, , ,

Do you think 20% of the people actually do 80% of the work? Our guest on this episode — author and speaker Ann Griffiths — isn’t convinced.

When everything we do is heavily dependent on volunteers, we really need to get our heads around what makes them tick, and what makes them stick.

Here is the preview/abbreviated version, which we invite you to share in your church, small group or wherever people are gathered:

And as usual, here is the audio-only version:

Prayer Calendar: Cleansing Prayer

, , ,

Our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst, Dave Acree, contributes to our monthly EFCC Prayer Calendar. To subscribe to that, click here.

“Too much” or “too little” often wins out over “just enough.” We humans don’t do “balance” very well. Take sin for example.

In years past we tended to make too much of sin. We saw sin everywhere. Not just biblically identifiable sin but also culturally determined (by the church) sin, like going to movies or drinking alcohol or shooting pool down at the “hall.” We became so burdened down by sin that life became almost unlivable and our non-church friends (if we had any) saw us as holier-than-thou hypocrites, not something they wanted to be part of.

In times present, we tend to make too little of sin. We’ve managed to do away with most of those culturally determined sins but even the biblically identifiable ones are often now seen as too narrow and binding and perhaps in need of some redefinition, or just ignored. We don’t much like to talk about sin anymore.

In years past confession, or cleansing prayer, was a regular part of our prayer menu, both in public gatherings and in private prayer. Not so much in times present.

If you haven’t read Psalm 51 recently, you should. It’s good for the soul. There’s something cleansing and refreshing about confession of sin. Of course, that means we have to recognize and own up to our sin.

Maybe that’s why 1 John 1:9 is one of the first verses from the Bible we have people memorize. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Back in the 15th century, Ignatius, developed what he called the “examen.” Let me recommend a modified form for you today. At the end of each day think back to where you saw God at work and thank him for it. Also, think back to where you walked away from God’s path and sinned. Confess it and be cleansed.

We all need a daily “prayer bath.”

Prayer Calendar: Deep Prayer

, , ,
Dave is the EFCC’s Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. His regular contributions are excerpted in the monthly Prayer Calendar.

————————

Have you ever tried to explain something when you knew you didn’t know how to do it? Well, here goes! Prayer comes in all sizes and shapes. One isn’t better than the other. They all fit a certain moment with a compelling need.

 

Many times I find myself praying what I call “grocery list” prayers. I go grocery shopping with a list, either electronic on my phone or an old-fashioned piece of paper with items listed. I find the item and delete or scratch it from the list.

 

I’m more comfortable praying like that. I have a list of concrete, specific items or people to pray for, pray and tick them off the list having fulfilled my responsibility. However, I don’t find many examples of that kind of praying in the Bible, if any. Maybe they did some praying like that, but they don’t record it for us to see.

 

I think I default to such praying because it’s neat and clean, measurable and takes the least amount of time and effort. I hate to admit that, but there it is. I think there are times that God wants more than that. He wants us to pray below the surface where it’s messy.

 

He wants us to pray deep.

 

I’m preaching Sunday on Romans 10. Paul starts the chapter like this. “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” He started off chapter 9 by saying that he had such a desire for his countrymen that he was willing to be cursed and separated from Christ for their sake. I wish I could have heard his prayer. It wasn’t an item on a grocery list. It was deep and messy.

 

To the church at Colossae, along with Timothy, he prayed, “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.” That’s deep!

 

I’m trying to wean myself off of defaulting to “grocery list” praying. Of course there’s a need for such prayer but there’s also a need to go deeper. Why not join me!