Highlighted Blog #11 – Growing With God

A friend of mine writes this one, and of course, I have to follow it. But it’s not friend-obligation that makes me look forward to reading it. I believe in God, but I find that thoughts on Bible passages are not all I want for when I have my quite time with God. I want to know more.

What do different interpretations say? What was the history surrounding the things I read from the time? This blog goes more in-depth than most daily readings. And I love it.

I appreciate how the author takes time to dig below the surface. And it links to music I might never find on my own, broadening my horizons. Love it.

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Book Clubs and Bible Studies

woman sitting on sofa while looking at phone with laptop on lap
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

I’ve been missing regular meetings with friends sharing thoughts on books and Bible passages, but I’m traveling enough that joining a group isn’t really practical. After searching online I came across sites such as the Women’s Bible Cafe. It’s perfect for me!

Right now we are studying Elijah, and beginning late November we are going to discuss the book The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs.

The group meets something like 15 times a week, accounting for different time zones and schedules. If you can’t make your regular time, you just join another group. Or skip a week. All communication is done via typing so shaky networks are not a problem (as I discovered yesterday while traveling).

I’m thankful to share thoughts and opinions on books and studies in a way that works with my current life situation.

**For the month of November each year, I try to focus on something I’m thankful for each day. It is the month that holds Thanksgiving where I live, after all. Focusing on the positive and remembering the little things that make life great is something I should do more often. If you want to see some blogs I’m thankful for, check out my main site, Word Quilt.

 

Find a Church Service on The Web

There are so many reasons one might want to use technology for church or other type of religious service. (I’m going to use churches in this article because it’s what I’m most familiar with as a Christian). You might be ill, the roads might be dangerous, you might be traveling, or you might have a hard time picking which church you wish to attend. That’s just to name a few reasons, and it’s not even counting the times you attended a service and wanted to listen to a message again. The solutions to these issues might be right in front of you – and you just don’t know it yet.
Catch Sermons Week-to-Week
When my kids were younger, we were in a quandary. They were too old for children’s church, yet the adult church was just a bit, well, too adult-y. The material presented wasn’t age-appropriate, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember any place in the Bible that dictated that being a Christian included a three-point sermon. My husband and I decided that we still wanted our children to learn about God, but in an age-appropriate setting. We chose to send them to Sunday school and not make them come to the church service.
This was great for them, but not so great for me. I missed the sermons. Fortunately there was a solution. I discovered that our church offered a podcast, available on the church website and on iTunes. It’s a free download that updates weekly. As I browsed through the Internet, I discovered that many churches offer this podcast option.
Find a Church Service on The Web For Special Holidays
Another issue we faced was the holiday one. My husband isn’t really big on crowds, and the religious holidays tend to have people packed into the church so tightly that one could feel like a a mummy in a sauna.
Our solution? We catch a service on the Internet, watching a service in real time with the computer hooked to the speakers, so we can enjoy the music and the message without the crowds. On non-holidays, we can watch services online at any time using sites such as ChurchOnline. My favorite part of the online services is that I can worship with people from all around the world.
Wedding, Baptisms, and Funerals
There are, of course, the special services, too. The services that you want to hold on to forever. Thanks to digital recordings, these special services are there for you to keep in your files so you can listen to them whenever you want.
If you want to give church technology a try, there are a few points to consider. If you are a church music fan, you might be better watching the services online or get the app for a church such as the Saddleback iPhone app. Most churches don’t offer music in their podcasts due to legal reasons. Also, find a church (or two or three) that you love, and ask what they offer. Some churches offer basic sermons while others do Bible studies and prayer sessions. Some even offer youth group online.
Give it a try, and let me know if you come across any great podcasts.

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