Devotional

Category Archives: Devotional

Live a Bigger Life: Top 5 Curated Resources (May 2019)

Live a Bigger Life image

With all the resources at our fingertips to help us grow in and live the bigger life Jesus offers, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start and what sources to trust. That’s why we’re curating five great resources each month for you–from books to podcasts to videos and more–that have been helpful to our staff team.

We hope this month’s edition of “Live a Bigger Life” inspires you to take one more step down the path of living in God’s bigger and better story.

May 2019 Contributions:

Content: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project (music album)

Description: These worship songs have influenced me and my kids. We love to sing along, and the truths in the lyrics have encouraged me on hard days.

Contributor: Molly Cover, Administrative Support

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Content: Not By Sight by Jon Bloom (book)

Description: This is a short and extremely easy-to-read book that will encourage your faith. The chapters are short (3-4 pages each) and each one is an imaginative retelling of a common biblical story with hypothetical backstories and possible emotions the characters are going through. Many of these stories will stick in your head as encouragements and over time it helps train you to read your Bible with more emotion and creativity.

Contributor: Justin Garrett, Crossing Students Pastor

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Content: Songs of Jesus by Tim Keller (devotional book)

Description: Since January of last year, my quiet times have most often revolved around Tim Keller’s “Songs of Jesus”, which goes through the psalms and breaks them down into 365 readings. Many psalms involve multiple days’ readings, so I often read the entire psalm, then focus more on the verses that Keller focuses on that day, and journal a prayer around the truths found in those verses. It’s a great way to go deep in this book of the Bible that is full of all of life’s gritty experiences – fear, anxiety, joy, grief, anger, loneliness, doubt. I’ve found that this daily routine helps me to remember and cling to the truth that my walk of faith is more about my committed relationship with a Person than it is about following rules and doing the right things.

Contributor: Shelly Mayer, Small Groups Team and Volunteer Director

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Content: Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie (devotional book)
 
Description: It’s true that all of our lives will crash on the painful rocks of reality at some point. When life becomes difficult, as we face deep disappointment or agonizing loss, we set out on a search to find answers to significant questions: Why would God allow this to happen? What good could come out of this? I refer to this book when I need to remind myself of who God is when I face hardships, and it’s my go-to book that I offer to those wrestling with suffering and loss.
 
 
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Description: Hannah and Erin’s discussions about what it means to follow Christ in our culture are thoughtful and stretching. I love their fun back-and-forth, and their practical insights have encouraged me to think more deeply about what’s going on in the world around me.
 
Contributor: Anna Lynne Frazier, Crossing Twenties Team
 
 
 

Live a Bigger Life: Top 5 Curated Resources (April 2019)

Live a Bigger Life image

With all the resources at our fingertips to help us grow in and live the bigger life Jesus offers, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start and what sources to trust. That’s why we’re curating five great resources each month for you–from books to podcasts to videos and more–that have been helpful to our staff team and others in our church.

We hope this month’s edition of “Live a Bigger Life” inspires you to take one more step down the path of living in God’s bigger and better story.

Top 12 Old Testament Verses That Shape My View Of God

The opening line in A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge Of The Holy has stayed with me since I first read it years ago: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Because it affects every choice we make and everything we do, he compared a right concept of God to a foundation of a building. “Where it is inadequate or out of plumb,” he wrote, “the whole structure must sooner or later collapse.” Do you have an accurate view of God?

I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament lately. That’s easy for me to do because I love the Old Testament. The stories are rich, the people interesting, and the spiritual truth life changing. So I thought that I would make a list for myself (and share it with you) of the verses in the Old Testament that most shape my view of God.

Learning to Love Better

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means that love is in the air.

Or is it?

I ask the question because I’m convinced that love is one of the more widely defined–and misunderstood–concepts in our culture. And I’m far from the first person to point out that this time of year doesn’t always lend itself to the clearest thinking on the subject.

So when you get right down to it, what does it mean to love someone in God’s eyes?

A (Very Short) Ancient Prayer for Christmas Day

English speakers share a rich past of devotional writings. Take a moment to meditate on the following prayer by Thomas Cranmer written in 1549 for Christmas day. Though our lives and languages change, our hope does not. On Christmas Christ put on our human nature; ever since Christmas we’ve hoped to put on his divine nature,

Crossing Explainer: What is Advent?

If you’ve spent much time around a church during the holiday season, you’re probably heard the term “Advent” several times. But beyond associating the word with the Christmas season, many of us might not have the clearest idea of its significance.

Our English word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which is a translation of the Greek term parousia, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Western Christians have historically observed Advent during the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

But what specifically are we observing? To sum it up briefly, Advent is a season of expectation. In it, we turn our attention to the coming of Christ. And to do so, we look both backward and forward.

Black Friday Eve (aka Thanksgiving)

At dinner this evening, a friend of mine pointed out the irony in Black Friday following just one day after Thanksgiving. So we all sit around cozy tables surrounded by friends and family on Thursday, eating turkey and dressing, and relaxing the afternoon away either watching football or chatting with relatives we see twice a

Praying With The Psalms – Psalm 111

I often will turn to a Psalm in the Bible to help my prayer time with God in the morning. Like anyone, I find some Psalms more applicable to my life at the moment than others. For example, some Psalms are rather intense pleas for God’s deliverance from and judgment of the psalmist’s “enemies” (see

Seven Quick Thoughts on Praying with Your Kids

Most of us probably think it’s a good idea, at least in theory, to pray with our kids at bedtime. But we may be unsure of what we should pray with them about. Or we may think we sound like one of those particularly annoying toys that repeats the same phrases over and over again. Not to mention all the times when we’re dog-tired or the kids are on the verge of meltdown because they’ve stayed up way too late for one reason or another. And in my house at least, there’s three of the little buggers, which in itself can make the hill look that much higher to climb. So yes, there are plenty of things that might discourage us from turning something good in theory into our actual practice.

With all that in mind, here are a few things to remember as we consider praying for our kids. I’ve thought of bedtime specifically as I’ve written these, but I think they’re relevant for most other times as well.

More on Worry: A Simple Children’s Lesson at 3:30 a.m.

3:30 a.m. glows the green clock on my bedside table. I shift positions and let out a sigh. One quick glance at Nathan sleeping peacefully next to me reminds me of how alone I am in the dark with my thoughts. Then, the stream of irrational worrying begins. “Not another one of these nights!” I