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Margaret Feinberg https://margaretfeinberg.com Books & Bible Studies by Margaret Feinberg Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:22:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://i1.wp.com/margaretfeinberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/M-favicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Margaret Feinberg https://margaretfeinberg.com 32 32 39862333 Little Known Ways to Find the Wholeness Your Soul Craves https://margaretfeinberg.com/little-known-ways-find-wholeness-soul-craves/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/little-known-ways-find-wholeness-soul-craves/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35580 If you’re looking for an author to love, look no further than Steve Wiens. His new book, Whole: Restoring What is Broken in You, Me and the Rest of the World is like a balm to the soul—healing, generous, beautiful. Allow Steve’s healing words to sink deep… “When Jesus sent out his disciples, he was […]

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If you’re looking for an author to love, look no further than Steve Wiens. His new book, Whole: Restoring What is Broken in You, Me and the Rest of the World is like a balm to the soul—healing, generous, beautiful.

Allow Steve’s healing words to sink deep…

“When Jesus sent out his disciples, he was kind enough to pair them up two by two. He gave them authority to deal with evil opposition, to which I suppose they may have gulped, eyes wide with fear. But what he didn’t give them was equally disturbing:

He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. Mark 6:8-9

It seems as though Jesus was stacking the deck against them. No money? No food? No extra tunic? Really? This seems like some sort of bizarre hazing ritual.

Or perhaps it was a brilliant way to teach them how to leave behind what they’ve known so that they would have to meet new people and experience new things, on their own terms. I think Jesus was teaching them how to enter new places without relying on their usual bag of tricks, or their charm, or anything other than the stark reality of possibility.

He was teaching them what to bring and what not to bring, but he couldn’t teach them all the same thing, because each one of them needed to discover what their own unique etc was. And they’d only discover it by leaving home with as little as possible.

Sometimes the only way to find your etc is by getting it wrong, or getting lost.

My friend calls this kind of knowing “experiential knowledge.” There is a certain kind of wisdom that is only gained by finding out what you don’t know. I trust people who know what they don’t know.

You know?

I wonder if those disciples stumbled more than a few times. They most likely got it wrong more than they got it right.

But I also wonder if, at some point, they experienced the wide-open freedom of releasing the need to know and the need to control their environment. Because they brought nothing other than one another and the power that Jesus anointed them with, they saw and experienced a level of transformation that you don’t get to experience if you insist on bringing your expertise.

You may be in a situation right now that’s brand new, and you have no idea what you have with you that will work, and you feel utterly incompetent. Unprepared. Destined for failure. Afraid.

You need to know something else. Before Jesus sends you anywhere, he asks you to come and be with him, because he wants you.

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. Mark 3:13-15, emphasis added

Have you ever experienced the thrill of being wanted and invited into something special? It’s so much better than being good at something. It’s so much better than being admired or being successful. It’s also so much more vulnerable and risky.

A few years ago, my son Elijah got a bad rash all over his body, so I took him to urgent care. We read books in the waiting room. I helped him pick out a sticker on the way out. We talked. A few days later, he asked me if we could go back to the doctor’s office.

I smiled. “Why do you want to go back to the doctor’s office?” I asked him.

“I liked being with just you, Dad—just you and me,” he said.

Do you believe it’s possible that Jesus calls you to be with him, primarily because he wants you and wants to be with you?

I’ve been a pastor for more than twenty years, and my experience is that most people believe that they’re an agenda for Jesus. They believe that Jesus just wants to change them, clean them up, and send them out. He’s available for triage when they mess up, but he’s mostly miffed because there’s a whole world out there that needs saving and people’s petty troubles and anxieties are wasting his time.

I am more convinced than ever that what restores us most fully is the belief that Jesus wants us to be with him, exactly as we are and not as we should be, and that he is not in a hurry for us to change right away.

It’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance (see Romans 2:4).

Repentance simply means “changing your mind about where you’re going in order to be made whole.” Our wholeness—our restoration—is a result of God’s kindness, not God’s determination that we get it right.

Jesus took these disciples into his life and opened up his humanity to them. He taught them, he laughed with them, he ate with them, and he stayed up late into the night talking to them. He encouraged them. He challenged them. I can imagine each of them opening up like flowers in the springtime.

Determining your own etc—those extra things you’re going to need that I can’t even begin to tell you about, because it has to do with what’s really essential for you; it’s specific to what you’ll need, and only you can discover what that is—is not something you can study for and then pass, like a test.

You’ll only find out your etc by leaving what is familiar and taking with you only that which you discover you need while you’re on the way there. Fortunately, we’re not sent out alone on that journey. And thank goodness, we are called to be with Jesus before we are even sent out.

As you travel your own road toward wholeness, may you come to know that you need only bring your dependence and your trust in the one who calls you to be with him, not because you’re an agenda but because he wants to be with you.”

Stop. Drop. Pick up a copy of Steve Wiens’ Whole: Restoring What is Broken in You, Me and the Rest of the World…and let the healing continue. 

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7 Ways to Fill the World with Joy Today https://margaretfeinberg.com/7-ways-fill-world-joy-today/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/7-ways-fill-world-joy-today/#comments Mon, 09 Oct 2017 09:03:43 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35379 As children of God, we’re meant to live with a vibrant joy… to heralding the arrival of God’s kingdom… to pound the doors of every human heart with hilarity and celebration until the last prodigal crosses heaven’s threshold. The last hardened heart is rend, and the last older brother plucks his fingers from his ears. […]

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As children of God, we’re meant to live with a vibrant joy… to heralding the arrival of God’s kingdom… to pound the doors of every human heart with hilarity and celebration until the last prodigal crosses heaven’s threshold. The last hardened heart is rend, and the last older brother plucks his fingers from his ears.

While researching for Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fear., I discovered the miracle of joy, namely, you can give joy away even when you don’t have it. When you give joy, you’re filled with more joy.

Here are 7 practical ways you can fill the world with joy today: 

  1. Smile at the people you see. A recent study found that smiling can increase our happiness level and make us more productive, but the grin must be genuine.

Start in your own home. Smile at your roommate. Your spouse. Your kids. Allow your eyes to light up, your hidden teeth to show. Look each person in the eyes.

Remember that you’re beaming the joy of God to them. You’re reflecting the delight of your Heavenly Father.

  1. Radiate grace. When you see a coworker, spouse, or child make a mistake, do something clumsy, or break something valuable, rather than become angry, bring levity to the situation with laughter and compassion.

Help them clean up the mess with a big smile and verbally affirm the person’s value and worth.

  1. Sing or hum throughout the day. All of creation is joined with a holy chorus giving praise to God. You can join in right now, wherever you are.

Turn on the radio. Plug in the iPod. Hum to yourself. Offer joyful praise to God.

  1. Place an exclamation point on today. Don’t let this be another average day. Pause for a moment and consider what simple acts you can do to make today special for you and those you love. You don’t need much time or money.

Pick wildflowers or gather some fresh tree branches and place them in a vase on the table. Light a few candles. Set out the fancy dishes. Wear your favorite shirt.

God has placed the exclamation point of His love on your life. Do something to reflect that exclamation point of loving Him back by celebrating this day He has made.

  1. Write a note of blessing to someone you love. If you need a fresh infusion of joy, then bless someone else. Grab a notecard and start jotting down all the things you appreciate about the person. Feel the gratitude well up in your heart. Then, pop that notecard in the mail and spread joy.
  1. Do something you love. Most people I know aren’t guilty of doing what they love too much, they’re guilty of doing it far too little.

God has gifted and wired you for specific activities that renew your joy, fill you with delight, and remind you of His love. One of my great joys is hiking. When I experience creation, gratitude abounds in my heart, and I come home a much happier person than when I left (just ask Leif!).

What is your joy-filling activity?

Are you an outdoors person, a coffee shop connoisseur, love shopping with friends, settling down with a great book, or cooking a new recipe? Do the activity that God uniquely wired you to thoroughly enjoy and give Him thanks for it while you’re doing it. Celebrate your Creator.

  1. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. A recent study at a Chicago train station asked commuters to participate in a simple experiment. One group was asked to talk to the stranger who sat next to them. The other group was instructed to keep to themselves.

By the end of the ride, the commuters who spoke to a stranger reported a more positive experience—even though most had predicted the ride would be more pleasant if they sat quiet and alone.

Research is beginning to reveal what I suspect God knew a long time ago, namely, that interacting with strangers helps us feel happier and more connected. Instead of keeping to yourself, say “hello” and strike up a conversation with those around you.[i]

Fun, life-giving practices like these are essential to your faith.

Why?

The joy you radiate in the midst your everyday life is a witness to the goodness of God.

When you walk in greater amounts of joy, people are naturally drawn to you, and more importantly, the Jesus in you.

If you think the Fight Back With Joy 6-session DVD Bible study might be a good fit for your small group or study, click here to learn more.

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Am I the Only One Who Wonders… Where Is God? https://margaretfeinberg.com/one-wonders-god/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/one-wonders-god/#comments Mon, 02 Oct 2017 09:43:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35554   NOTE: I wrote this blog post on Sunday afternoon before the tragic shootings in Las Vegas. Like you, I woke up to the horror. My prayers are heavy today.  Sometimes I wonder… where is God? Maybe you wonder too? For us wonderers… here’s comfort from the beauty of Scripture.  For a moment, imagine yourself […]

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NOTE: I wrote this blog post on Sunday afternoon before the tragic shootings in Las Vegas. Like you, I woke up to the horror. My prayers are heavy today. 

Sometimes I wonder… where is God?

Maybe you wonder too?

For us wonderers… here’s comfort from the beauty of Scripture.

 For a moment, imagine yourself a tweenaged girl. Your pulse races. Pupils dilate. Skin turns clammy and sweaty. You gasp to catch your breath. Hair stands on prickly end.

A mighty warrior angel glows before you. He says you’re favored, and the Lord is with you, with you, with you.

Those words echo deep in your soul along with the wonder of the moment. This is the first of many wonders and joys that will come to you. But it’s those first words to which you must cling.

He is with you, with you, with you.

He is with you when your son disappears for days to teach in the temple.

He is with you when you ask for wedding wine and receive a gruff response.

He is with you when you watch your son ridiculed and run out of town.

He is with you when you weep at the feet of his shredded body.

He is with you, with you, with you.

In Immanuel, the words of the angel reach the farthest outposts of humanity. Immanuel means, “God with us” and refers to the Christ child. The angel says Mary is “highly favored,” reminding us not only is God with us, but He has our best interests at heart. He delights in us and loves us. That’s why God with us is such good news.

He is with you, with you, with you.

No matter where you find yourself in life, in relationships, in work, rest assured, He is with you, with you, with you.

Though I’ve been writing for more than 20 years, I’ve never penned a Christmas project. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Celebrate Wonder and Joy: 25 Daily Advent and Christmas Devotions will ship October 15. You can pre-order here.

And to celebrate the special occasion, I’ve teamed up with Jessica Taylor Design to create these gorgeous Christmas cards.

Jesus is The Best Present Ever samples returned from the printer—and they’re gaspy gorgeous! This is an extremely limited print run, so order fast to enjoy. These will ship October 15 along with Celebrate Wonder and Joy.

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11 Ways to Love Your Leader for Pastor Appreciation Month https://margaretfeinberg.com/11-ways-love-leader-pastor-appreciation-month/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/11-ways-love-leader-pastor-appreciation-month/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:03:35 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35399 Some days I suspect the speed of change is surpassing the speed of sound. The explosion of change in technology, communication, and the world booms all around. In the clamor, I anchor myself to the ancient truths found in the person of Jesus of Christ. I’m not alone. Millions upon millions of others have answered […]

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Some days I suspect the speed of change is surpassing the speed of sound.

The explosion of change in technology, communication, and the world booms all around. In the clamor, I anchor myself to the ancient truths found in the person of Jesus of Christ.

I’m not alone.

Millions upon millions of others have answered the call to follow Jesus. Despite the booming, noisy changes all around, they continue following, obeying, and responding to Jesus.

Day after day.

Week after week.

Month after month.

Year after year.

Until they’ve followed Jesus for a lifetime. These are my heroes.

Many of them work and serve in your church.

These pastors and leaders make mighty sacrifices to serve you.

October is when to celebrate them during Pastor Appreciation Month. (But I suspect anytime is a good time to recognize these men and women.)

Here are 11 ways to say Thank You:

  1. Purchase a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
  2. Bring flowers you purchase or pick. If your pastor is married, give flowers to their spouse.
  3. Find out your pastor’s favorite beverage (soda, tea, etc.) and stock them up.
  4. Purchase movie tickets for their family.
  5. Offer your family cabin, hotel points, or timeshare week to your pastor for a much-needed vacation.
  6. Select a gift tied into your pastor’s hobby or passion.
  7. Show love to the pastors’ kids through gifts and tickets to fun experiences.
  8. Slip cash in a card. Your pastor and their family have a list of needs you don’t know about but your gift can make a big difference.
  9. Simply ask, “What can I do to be of service to you and your family?” and come prepared with three ideas such as handy-person services, babysitting, or dinner delivery.
  10. Pray for your pastor and write your prayer as a thank you card.
  11. Offer to take your pastor’s vehicle for service and cleaning.

Looking for more ideas? Here are 30 more way to show your pastor appreciation. Plus some inspiring stories of amazing gifts for Pastor Appreciation Month.

Together, may we cheer our pastors and leaders on in their work, life, and families.

What ideas do you have for blessing and encouraging your pastor and leader?

Please post below!

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The One Question You Need You To Ask Today https://margaretfeinberg.com/one-question-need-ask-today/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/one-question-need-ask-today/#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:03:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35385 I recently shared a cockamamie story of feeling led to give away McDonald dollars to someone I’d just met named Patton. Maybe, like me, you’ve wrestled with the questions… Is this a step of faith or a fabrication? Is this a moment of Immanuel or my imagination? In the post, How to Hear from God, I […]

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I recently shared a cockamamie story of feeling led to give away McDonald dollars to someone I’d just met named Patton.

Maybe, like me, you’ve wrestled with the questions…

Is this a step of faith or a fabrication?

Is this a moment of Immanuel or my imagination?

In the post, How to Hear from God, I provide 5 crucial questions to ask to determine if that nudge is from God.

But we need to ask another crucial question… and not just when we’re trying to hear from God.

The question we need to ask:

How will I grow if I take this risk?

As followers of Jesus, we’re prone to talk a lot about faith, but not enough about risk.

Yet risk is the wingman of faith.

The book of Hebrews defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is often an active choice to believe or move forward in obedience. Risk is taking the first step. Whenever I risk—whether financial, emotional or relational in nature—I can’t help but think of the possible outcome.

You can’t stare the eyes of those who comprise the cloud of witnesses without seeing men and women who took great risk—with their lives, families, and livelihoods in response to the sacred echo and in wild pursuit of obedience to God.

Responding to the sacred echoes in your life will always involve risk. Yet the rewards outweigh the risk.

The rewards are knowing God in ways that you could not know him otherwise.

The rewards are a vibrant relationship, an overflowing soul, and a joyful display of real relationship with God.

Sure, you might be wrong. But what if you’re right?

Sure, you can play it safe. But if what if you risk?

I recently tracked down Patton to find out what happened with those McDonald’s dollars. It turns out he had handed the bucks to a homeless man within a block of leaving the hotel. As far as the rest of the story, well, we’ll have to wait until heaven to find out, but I suspect it’s worth the wait.

My hope and prayer for you is that you’ll lead a life of quick obedience to God. Then when we’re in heaven together, God will pull back the curtain and reveal all He’s done through your faithfulness.

If you’d like to know more about the The Sacred Echo book and 6-session DVD Bible study, click here

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How to Pray During a Hurricane https://margaretfeinberg.com/how-to-pray-during-a-hurricane/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/how-to-pray-during-a-hurricane/#comments Sun, 10 Sep 2017 19:02:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35530 Another hurricane hits our nation. In the wake of Harvey, Irma creepily crawls up the coast of Florida. Like you, so many friends and family are holed up in hotels and basements and bathtubs right now. Watching. Praying. Waiting. Born near Cocoa Beach, Florida, I learned the hurricane drill all too well. Boards. Screws. Sandbags. […]

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Another hurricane hits our nation. In the wake of Harvey, Irma creepily crawls up the coast of Florida.

Like you, so many friends and family are holed up in hotels and basements and bathtubs right now. Watching. Praying. Waiting.

Born near Cocoa Beach, Florida, I learned the hurricane drill all too well. Boards. Screws. Sandbags. Packing. Traffic. Sold-out bread and water and Duck Tape and blue tarps. Bare shelves. No more gas. No more places to stay inland.

The stress… the extreme stress of preparing and packing, waiting and watching…

The sense… of driving away and knowing life you once knew may be lost… that you may come back to nothing…

The losses… of roofs and homes and inventory and businesses and hospital care and life as you know it…

The wait… as we wait and we pray…and maybe like me, you wonder how to pray when you don’t know what to pray…

I’ve been wrestling with a question over the last few weeks:

Are we really wired for this?

I mean, I know God is wired for this… but you and me…

The images of loss, pain, suffering, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, and hurricane damage. Trees bent in two. Cars crushed. Homes knocked down, drowned out, bashed in, blown away. The destruction takes place around the world, but now we’re seeing it again, thrust on our nation.

The visual carnage makes me want to pray, but what do you pray when there are no words?

I hear the sacred echo

Remember my name.

Oh, yes, but which one?

Should I call you…

Alpha or Omega
King of Kings or Lord of Lords
My Rock or My Shepherd

Or do you prefer…

El Roi or The God Who Sees
Jehovah Jireh or The Lord Will Provide
Jehovah Rapha or The Lord Who Heals

Or may I call you…

Creator or Father
Abba or Pappi
Almighty or Ancient of Days

In a short list of many names, I remember that yours is the name I need most…

To regain footing…
To refill lungs with breath…
To shift the focus from the darkness to your glorious face
To remember you’ve established us on the rock, not sand or pebbles

I take my place and invite you, my friend, to join me, as we bend our knees…

  1. Begin with God’s name. The name that seems so right for this situation…

Alpha or Omega or King of Kings or Lord of Lords or My Rock or My Shepherd or El Roi or The God Who Sees or Jehovah Jireh or The Lord Will Provide or Jehovah Rapha or The Lord Who Heals or Creator or Father or Abba or Pappi or Almighty or Ancient of Days or the name that comes to mind.

Call on God’s name.

  1. Ask God how to pray.

What is the first line of the Lord’s prayer? The most common answer, “Our Father, who is in heaven.”

Yet if you look at Luke 11:1, you’ll see that the Lords’ prayer begins with an earlier request of the disciple, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

This is a powerful way to start praying. Too often we begin prayer by thinking of what we would want if we were in the person’s situation.

God hears these prayers, but what if you approach the Alpha and Omega, the one who knows and sees all things, with the humble request, “Lord teach us to pray in this situation”?

Pay attention to what and who comes to mind as you ask Christ how to pray.

  1. Pray the Prayers of Scripture.

In prayer, you may find the words you need from the Holy Scripture

The Lord’s Prayer

Jonah’s Prayer 

David’s Prayer for Deliverance

Aaron’s Blessing

  1. A prayer for all those in the path of the hurricane.

Abba, Pappi, Father,

You who laid the earth’s foundations and marked its dimensions
while the morning stars sang and the angels shouted for joy.
You who fashioned the springs of the sea
and walked the recesses of the ocean’s depths,
every element of nature obeys your command,
whether sky or storm or cloud or wind or raindrop or hailstorm.

We humbly ask you, Creator, Lord of All,
Protect us, guard us, keep those in the path of the storm
safe from every danger, sheltered on every side,
from the harsh gusts of wind to the wild spin of tornadoes,
from the firebolts of the lightning to the soundbolts of the thunder,
from the receding waters to the storm surges to come.

The calamity and destruction of this storm reminds us yet again
we have no power, we have no place, we depend only on you
for our life, our breath, our shelter, our bread, our everything.

You are the One who holds all things together.
Now we call on you to hold those in the storm’s wake extra tight.
Scoop them up in your loving arms of protection and provision,
Hold them extra tight, this day and this night, now and forever.

Help us find our security and comfort in you.
May we seek you today and in the days to come
To serve you and praise you with thankful hearts.
For you are our God, our Savior, our Lord.

We ask this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen and amen.

Will you join me in praying? Write your prayer in the comments below.

 

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Small Group Golden Toolbox of Ideas and Resources https://margaretfeinberg.com/small-group-golden-toolbox-ideas-resources/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/small-group-golden-toolbox-ideas-resources/#comments Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:00:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35515 More than anything, I want you to grow in your relationship with Jesus this fall. That’s why I’ve put together a golden toolbox of resources for you and your church leaders. In this free gift, you’ll find icebreaker questions, experiential activities, a connection sheet, and an outline to develop expectations for your specific group (i.e. […]

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More than anything, I want you to grow in your relationship with Jesus this fall.

That’s why I’ve put together a golden toolbox of resources for you and your church leaders.

In this free gift, you’ll find icebreaker questions, experiential activities, a connection sheet, and an outline to develop expectations for your specific group (i.e. what’s said in the group, stays in the group).

Download the Free Golden Toolbox of Small Group Resources

Wahoo! You\\\\'re in. Check your inbox for your free Golden Toolbox.

Plus, Heather Zempel, author of Community is Messy, and I filmed a webinar together so your small group can grow wider and deeper than ever before.

In this MasterClass Webinar, you’ll learn:

*Tactics to get everyone involved in your small group
*Develop expectations and wins for your gathering
*Learn how to raise up leaders
*Techniques to handle the messy in community

To watch the free webinar training, enter your email below: 

Download the Free Golden Toolbox of Small Group Resources

Wahoo! You\\\\'re in. Check your inbox for your free Golden Toolbox.

This fall, let’s grow deeper in our love of Jesus and people together.

Cheering you on,
Margaret

P.S. Two days to save during our BIG FALL SALE.

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New Advent Devotional: Your Invitation to Celebrate the Wonder and Joy of Advent https://margaretfeinberg.com/new-advent-devotional-invitation-celebrate-wonder-joy-advent/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/new-advent-devotional-invitation-celebrate-wonder-joy-advent/#comments Tue, 05 Sep 2017 09:03:08 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35403 Following the spring Lent Bible study, many of you wrote and asked, “Will you do one for Advent?” I’m not sure if it was the 4th or the 14th or the 40th request that convinced me, but I have some exciting news. But before we get to that… If you thumb through Scripture, you can’t […]

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Following the spring Lent Bible study, many of you wrote and asked, “Will you do one for Advent?”

I’m not sure if it was the 4th or the 14th or the 40th request that convinced me, but I have some exciting news.

But before we get to that…

If you thumb through Scripture, you can’t help but notice how waiting weaves itself into the fabric of history.

God waits.

Creation waits.

Humankind waits.

We wait for reconciliation and redemption, healing and wholeness.

For four hundred years, the prophets wait in silence for a syllable from God.

All heaven and humanity hold their breath for the arrival of Immanuel.

Deep in the fabric of our souls, we wonder, “How long must we wait?” Well, the answer…

The truth about waiting is God asks this question, too.

In Exodus 10:3, Moses and Aaron deliver this pressing question to Pharaoh:

“This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.’”

God sends a baby boy in a basket to deliver the Israelites freedom.

God sends a baby boy in a barn to deliver us freedom.

God doesn’t just ask, “How long?”, He delivers the gift of freedom in person.

Your freedom arrives in a divine plan, a holy person, a sacred child. Immanuel.

You convinced me to spend late summer diving into the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke to create a special Advent devotional for you.

Along the way, I’ve discovered beautiful gems, fresh insights, and words that have prepared me to celebrate the arrival of Christ with wonder and joy.

I think you’ll treasure this Celebrate Wonder and Joy: 25 Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas.

In Celebrate Wonder and Joy, you’ll discover:

– A Welcome Letter
– The Reading Plan
– Instructions on How to Use the Color Method
– 25 Daily Bible readings
– 25 Devotions
– 25 Sets of Discussion Questions
– Space to take notes and doodle and color around each day’s reading

This will be a short print run. We expect to sell out well before Christmas. If you’re looking for an Advent devotional or study for Christmas…

Pre-order your copy of Celebrate Wonder and Joy: 25 Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas today. Ships October 15.

And in case you missed it, the BIG FALL SALE is this week until Friday, September 8 at midnight Eastern. Save up to 40% on Bible studies, workbooks, gifts, and much more. 

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Ooh la la… treasures for you and your friends… https://margaretfeinberg.com/save-big-bible-studies/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/save-big-bible-studies/#respond Mon, 04 Sep 2017 10:00:00 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35499   Take a look around…. because Bible studies and books and gifts are up to 40% off during our BIG FALL SALE happening this week only. If your small group or Bible study is looking for a fall, winter, or spring study…this is the time to save on… a study of the Bible through a […]

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Take a look around…. because Bible studies and books and gifts are up to 40% off during our BIG FALL SALE happening this week only.

If your small group or Bible study is looking for a fall, winter, or spring study…this is the time to save on…

a study of the Bible through a shepherd, beekeeper, vintner and farmer’s fresh eyes in…

Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey

a study of prayer and recognizing God’s presence and voice in…

The Sacred Echo: Recognize God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life

a study of the awe and marvel of God for those who don’t know him or have lost the wonder in…

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God

The Big Fall Sale ends Friday, September 8 at midnight Eastern.

Thank you for all your love and support.
Margaret

P.S. When you make a direct purchases through the store, margaretfeinbergstore.com, it makes all the difference for Leif and I as we serve in ministry in our community and around the world. Thank you for loving and supporting us in this meaning and tangible way.

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Little Known Ways to Handle Conflict Well https://margaretfeinberg.com/top-ways-handle-conflict-well/ https://margaretfeinberg.com/top-ways-handle-conflict-well/#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:03:15 +0000 https://margaretfeinberg.com/?p=35396 Who stomped on your nerves this week? When was the last time someone annoyed you with their strong-willed opinion? How did you respond when someone refused to drop a prickly topic? If you’re living a healthy, vibrant life in a community, you’ll run smack into people with whom you chafe. You can’t always choose your […]

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Who stomped on your nerves this week?

When was the last time someone annoyed you with their strong-willed opinion?

How did you respond when someone refused to drop a prickly topic?

If you’re living a healthy, vibrant life in a community, you’ll run smack into people with whom you chafe. You can’t always choose your conflicts, but how can you respond well? 

Paul reminds us of this principle from a dank prison cell. His old friend Epaphroditus updates the apostle that a dispute broke out in the Philippi church. The conflict threatens to divide the people Paul loves.

The apostle’s first response isn’t picking sides, slapping wrists, or ushering a verdict.

Paul prays: That your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight. (v. 9)

The pinnacle of Paul’s petition is l-o-v-e.

This is no ordinary love. This deep rooted, agape love is based on a longsuffering commitment to place others well-being above yourself.

Paul doesn’t ask for a droplet or teaspoon. He asks for the wellspring of divine affection to “overflow.” The word used can also be translated abound which means to increase to the point of excess.

Imagine a glass filled until water overflows the rim, spreads across the table, and drips to the ground.

Yet Paul doesn’t stop there.

He prays that love may overflow more and more. In Greek, the use of repetitive language serves to accentuate the words and provide a visual echo. If Paul texted these words today, he’d use a string of exclamations and heart-eyed emojis to emphasize the superabundance of divine affection.

Why does Paul pray this?

He knows that whenever we bump into each other, what’s inside sloshes onto the next person.

Paul petitions God that in the conflict of the church in Philippi, even as viewpoints and perspectives clash, love splashes and splatters, douses and drenches, sloshes and soaks.

When people overflow with love, irritation and annoyance, frustration and divisiveness wash away.

The key to handling conflict well is to abound in love that’s full of knowledge and insight.

You need wisdom coupled with discernment to love well. This means knowing when to speak and when to hold your tongue. How to use a gentle tone. How to recognize the right timing. How to give space and how to seek resolution. How to affirm and reaffirm your love for the person.

This love will inspire people with grace and peace and help you overcome the everyday conflicts you find yourself facing.

Speaking of Paul and Philippians, so many of you have asked to lead Overcomer: 4 Weeks in the Book of Philippians in your small groups and Bible studies, that we’ve done a mini-printing just for you.

You can find copies of this ridiculously popular study, here.

In a time of great conflict, how are you handling difficult conversations? 

Please share your wisdom with me below. I want to learn!

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