Dive Deeper into your Relationship with God with Bible Study

click here to learn more about the bibleEach and every religion is based on its own interpretation of the word of God. While the stories and lessons remain the same, the meanings behind them can be different depending on who you talk to. Reading the bible is an important part of building a deeper relationship with God. Bible study is one of the many ways that you can do this. Followers can enjoy bible study alone or as a group. Before you get started, here are some tips to follow.

  1. Select the Right Bible – There are many different styles of the Bible today. Different religions choose to follow different styles. You will notice that the Catholic version is going to be different from the original King James Version and each religion thinks that their version is the better option. Find out what type of bible your minister/priest/pastor prefers. Click here to learn more about the bible.
  2. Find a Study Guide – People often enjoy following their own study guide for the bible on a daily or weekly basis. Your local religious shop should have a variety of study guides for you to choose from. Study guides can be organized based on a specific book of the bible, one of the testaments or by the answer to a particular problem. An example of the latter would be a study guide that is geared towards those who are struggling with their faith or who are trying to overcome hardship/divorce.
  3. Join a Bible Study Group – Devotional groups typically meet on a weekly basis and are a good way to supplement your personal bible study. Churches often have a variety of study group options. You can join one that is just for adults, one that is for women only or even one that is for individuals dealing with a particular life crisis.
  4. Host Your Own Devotional – One way to connect with other like-minded individuals in your neighborhood is by hosting your own devotional group. This is a popular choice for many individuals who simply want to find a way to connect with their neighbors and share the word of God. You will be able to find individuals from your local church and can then ask them to invite friends to help expand the group.
  5. Act on Your Beliefs – As bible studyyou dive deeper into your relationship with God through bible study, you should want to share what you have learned with others. Make sure your actions are representative of what you have learned through your studies. This will help attract more followers to you who can empower you and your beliefs.

Understanding the bible in your own way is the only way to grow the deep, meaningful connection you have to a higher power. Some believers are happy with one day of devotional per week while others aim to incorporate it into every aspect of their lives. Finding that middle ground between what helps fulfill you and what fits within your busy schedule is a struggle that many believers tackle. What you will learn is that when you really want something in your life – you find a way to make it part of your life. Click here to learn more about the bible.

4 Church Activities to Spread the Word

word of godChurches have discovered that the best way to spread the word of God is to do so through activities which are fun and educating. The same approach is used in schools to help students understand the message and continue to return again and again. As a pillar in the community, the church should focus on bringing people in and sharing the good word with them. The best way to achieve this is with family friendly church activities that offer food, fun and entertainment for a few hours. Here are six ideas for your church to get the ball rolling.

All-Nighter – The Word of Life Superbowl is one of the most popular religious events in the United States. Each year thousands of people attend these all night events that include concerts, fellowship, athletic events, food and fun. And each year the founders of the event are proud of the mass number of people who turn their hearts to the Lord and find his salvation. Check with the organization to find an event near you. Church coordinators then invite parents and youth to partake in the event. You can rent a bus or have multiple volunteer drivers that chaperone the children for the event. It truly is a night to remember.

Family Movie Night – The recreation center of any church is perfect for a family movie night. Choose a Christian favorite that will spread the word for you. Ask for a small donation of $1 to $5 to help offset the cost of food. Use a movie projector to display the film on a wall if you do not have a large projection screen. Offer plenty of free food and beverages for your attendees. You should always start the night with fellowship. For an extra edge, allow the fellowship to be led by some of the youth in your ministry.

Bicycle Treasure Hunt – Put bible knowledge to the test with a Bicycle Treasure Hunt. This activities is fairly simple. Choose a part of town where there are several church going families. Everyone starts at one point and follows clues to get to the next location. You can make it interesting by having each person who has the clue hand out a puzzle piece. When all pieces of the puzzle are collected, it must be put together. The first team to complete the puzzle will win a prize. This is a great event that brings the community together. For more information, click here.

Concert and Game Night – Christian music today is designed to be catchy and desirable to listen to. This is why many popular Christian songs start to appear on secular radio stations. The best part about religious groups is that they are rarely hung up on only performing to large venues. Christian musicians want to spread the word of God to each and every person through their music. Invite your favorite group to perform at your church and invite the community. You can start the night with games to allow the guests to mingle with each other and get to know the word of God and the musical act for the night.

4 Ways Religion is Like Fitness

religion and fitnessHave you ever met someone who just doesn’t “get” your walk with God? There are plenty of nay-sayers in this world which can make it difficult for you to focus on spreading the good word and surrounding yourself with the right people. Sometimes a good analogy is all it takes for people to understand your faith in the unseen. As the world becomes more fitness obsessed you can use that as your leverage to help others understand your relationship with God and your religion. Here are four ways that religion is like fitness.

You Are Dedicated to Your Health

Your spiritual health is just as important as your physical health. While exercise works your body, the bible works your brain. Both work your heart. As a Christian, you exercise by studying the word of God and sharing it with others. You take the lessons that are learned and apply them to your life. This yields better spiritual health.

You Believe in Results You Can See

If you go to the gym day in and day out and do not see results, will you keep doing that same exercise routine? No. Fitness lovers believe in the results they can see. The good news is, as a lover of your faith and religion – you do the same. Sure, your results can’t be seen in the mirror but they can be felt – and that is just as important. Think about how your faith makes you feel and share that experience with others. Your heart feels full. You have peace of mind. You do not sweat the small stuff. This is all examples of the results of religion you can see.

Your Faith Gives You Muscle

What better feeling is there than knowing you can accomplish anything with God by your side. Just the way creatine equals more muscle, the bible give you the muscle you need to conquer anything. When you give your testimonial, be sure to mention how your faith has changed the way you live. It gives you the muscle and power to overcome the hardships and allows you to believe that there are better days on the horizon.

You Like to Keep it Fun

Variety in a workout is just as important as variety in your faith. You know that going to church on Sunday, only, is not enough to keep you motivated. During the week you enjoy bible study, game nights with your Christian friends and even other events such as cookouts, music nights or general fellowship. All of these are great ways to keep your faith fun and the focal point in you life. Share the wealth with your friends by inviting them to an indoor soccer match at your church or other fitness-centered event that shows just how fun a relationship with God can be.

If all else fails, simply live your life and walk with God. Those who notice your flame will want to join you. Only then will they understand how your walk with god truly benefits your life and helps you to live it to the fullest.

5 Items Churches Should Have for Emergencies

church preparednessIn event of an area emergency, most people head to the nearest school or church for safety. This is true when there is risk of a natural disaster, impending bad weather or a string of power outages. Individuals and families trust that these facilities will be stocked with the necessities to help them survive through the night or even a few days while they wait out a storm. Churches and schools play a vital role in providing shelter for those who have been displaced from their homes during natural disasters as well. Here are five items that your church should have on hand in event of an emergency.

Clean Drinking Water – One of the biggest problems faced when natural disasters threaten an area is a lack of clean drinking water. Often times flood waters can contaminate the drinking water and other storm damage may unleash chemicals into the water. An easy way for churches and schools to stock up on drinking water is to ask people to donate it at least once or twice per year. If you have a few hundred patrons and each donates one gallon jug (around $0.70) then you are able to keep your supply stocked without any one person spending a bulk amount of money.

Another approach is to invite people in your community to drop off their empty soda and milk bottles. Clean them thoroughly and then fill them up at the local spring for free or at your local store for a discounted rate.

Spare Blankets and Clothing – Blankets are typically a must-have during an emergency. Large organization like to donate small blankets to help communities be prepared for an emergency. Consider reaching out to the local Red Cross or similar organizations. Alternatively, you can invite people to drop off their old blankets and clothing to your location. Wash these items and keep them stored in plastic containers for when needed.

Flashlights & Batteries – In event of a power outage there is one item that you will want on hand – the ultimate flashlight. Being able to see when you are getting around a large facility is critical, especially when there are dozens or even hundreds of other people wandering around. Churches and schools should stock pile versions of the ultimate tactical flashlight to hand out to those who have been displaced by a storm. Also be sure to keep plenty of batteries on hand. These items are also items that you can invite members of the community to donate throughout the year.

Canned Goods – Food supply is important as well. Canned goods can last for years. In addition to running a canned food donation drive every year you should also create canning days. These are days where community members can donate jars of homemade canned items or they can bring supplies or produce that can be canned. When the whole community helps out it creates memories and helps you be prepared for an emergency.

Games/ Books – People can get restless when they are trapped in a building during a storm. Especially if there is no electricity. Keep books and board or card games available to keep everyone occupied during their stay. This will also help keep peoples minds off any damage that could be happening outside.

Is it okay for Christian women to wear make-up?

200334975-001Many young Christian women today will eventually ask themselves this question, “Is it okay in the eyes of God for me to wear make-up?” It is a tough question for Christian women. There are many verses in the Bible that strongly suggest women who cake on their make-up and wear flashy jewelry are promoting sin by encouraging lust. Though this is very true, the Bible also states that women should simply use moderation when they are adorning themselves, the Bible does not expressly forbid it! I am sure God wants you to feel good about yourself and to feel beautiful but the key is modesty.

Many young girls today are interested in learning to become a makeup artist, or study cosmetology, and they experience little to no discomfort over the matter, but for the devout Christian woman this can be a very difficult decision. If you wanted to pursue an education in fashion or cosmetology, just make sure that you go forth with Godliness and good intention in your heart and teach other young women how to enhance their beauty modestly and in a way that is not offensive to God. In fact, we need more women willing to light the way for young girls these days and show them that beauty isn’t always about sex or vanity, beauty is not just about your outer looks but it is in fact mostly if not entirely about your inner self. Go forth and teach young women how to respect themselves on the inside, and to express themselves modestly on the outside. This will no doubt please God, especially in today’s society where lust and vanity is everywhere we turn. It feels impossible to escape!

Remember, God knows your heart and he knows your true intentions. Pursue beauty not for lust or envy but with the intention of enhancing the softness of your personality and the love in your heart. Use modest natural colors to bring out the glow of your God given features, make yourself look more loving and approachable. Do not go forth with the intention of looking like a Jezebel!

Find a healthy way to express your beauty, without giving into vanity, lust or envy. To be envious of another woman’s beauty, say in a magazine or on television, can often make a young impressionable woman copy that style without considering what God thinks about the matter. Women also do their make-up often with the intention of sexually attracting a mate and this quite simply promotes lust which we must avoid. You should seek love, kindness and acceptance in a partner, and attract them with those qualities as well. Do not use your looks to manipulate a man into wanting to be your partner.

Vanity and pride can also be two very big motivating factors in why a woman would want to wear make-up so. Be very mindful of these things and always keep modesty in mind.

Always in your heart seek to please God first and foremost. You will not be led astray if your intentions are pure.

How to Keep a Clean Soul

RELIGION PHOTO

 Live-God.com is a site devoted to God, the church, and helping you feel closer to our lord. They have all different kinds of information and topics that they discuss openly. They try to help you to stay on the right path and ensure a meaningful existence and a relationship between you and God. Their goal is to make sure everyone who wants to be close to God can be and to help people live life in a way that God would approve of. No one is perfect but when it comes to religious dilemmas and questions about what is right you have a place to go to get some answers and some more information on what is right and where the lines are, which can be quite the tricky topic these days. It is getting harder and harder to know what is right and what is wrong.  Here they answer questions that may be a challenge for you in today’s new world.

In this modern world people are moving further and further from God. They don’t know if working out counts as vanity and if it is okay to do so on a Sunday, the day of rest. With all of these complex issues that are now less black and white than they once were there has to be a place to go and learn what is considered right these days and what is still against the rules. This site has all of that and more. They have the answers to these questions and they ensure that you know what you’re allowed to do and what is not allowed. This site helps to make things more clear and explains what is and is not acceptable, today and forever.

They talk about the environment and how the church is involved in its protection, the dilemmas that the church faces about getting involved in certain issues, the outcome of some of those struggles and even about grants for schools and how to apply for them. They discuss a myriad of topics that can help you with your journey to God and help you to live a life that is filled with his love and support. There are also things to do and places to go to feel closer to him. All of those secrets can be unlocked here. This site can help guide you through the world of sin that we live in today and keep you from falling off of the path to God.

It is not only important to be clean in the metaphorical sense either. You can be a man or woman of God and follow all of the rules and live life with a clean soul but what about your home. Living a clean life does not apply just to your everlasting soul but to all aspects of life. It is important to have an organized home as well. A chaotic environment makes it much more difficult to be clear headed and have an open heart.

The phrase cleanliness is next to Godliness is said for a reason. Your life is reflected by your surrounds and vice versa . If you need a new vacuum than Jane’s Best Vacuum’s is the place to go to get a great one, especially if you are looking for the best vacuum for pet hair. Hardwood floors can be so hard to get clean. Sweeping never really gets the job done right. You always end up with that bit of dirt that won’t go into the dust pan. Jane’s also carries some of the best vacuums for hardwood floors.

What do you need to know about religion and how do you find out?

At the times when people have the choice to determine their lifestyle, their partner, their work, education and preferred activities, we are bound to have multiple choices of everything. We make the conscious decisions of what to believe and what to think, based on the research that we do on one topic or another, we can now even choose which religion we would like to follow. The religion is no longer defined as pure Catholic, or Christian, there are deeper differences between each and people feel that they have the right to study the religion that they would like to be part of, prior to converting. If you were born in a Catholic family, it no longer means that this religion is something that you have to believe in for the rest of your life, you could convert to Judaism or Buddhism, if you wish. The choice is really, up to you.

FINDING RELIGION PHOTO

Choosing your religion is not a matter as simple as choosing what shoes you will wear today, although some women might argue that the latter is quite a difficult choice to make, but it requires much more attention and knowledge in order to determine what is it that you wish to believe in. There are certain aspects of each religion that you must first consider and ways in which you can find out about them, that will let you paint a clear picture of what is what.

First of all, you need to address the issue of the holy doctrine of each religion- be it The Holy Bible, or any other written documentation, outlining the main principles, beliefs, guidelines and other questions determining faith, that can help you understand the deeper meaning each religion has and what kind of a ‘refuge’ it offers for your mind and soul. You can do this by carrying out some research on the Internet, but it is best to order there holy books by yourself, in order to really study them in detail. You can order them online and choose your preferred courier transport method, which will deliver them to your door, so you can read them in private, and dedicate all the time that you need in order to be certain.

 

RELIGION PHOTOSecondly, it is important to see the temple of each church, be it a synagogue, or a Church, a Cathedral or any other kind of a religious temple, as this is where the services, religious ceremonies and practices are carried out. If possible, talk to the representatives of that religion, whether a priest, a monk or a rabbi. Make sure that you have a list of the questions that interest you most in that religion and ask them to those who know best. By visiting a religious temple, church or synagogue, you get to learn more about the history of each, try to really close your eyes and listen to your inner self and see how comfortable you feel in each place. Does it offer you the comfort that you need? Do you feel at peace there? It is very important. Some places are hard to get into if you are not of that religion, but you can walk around and see what people enter it and how they are behaving outside of that temple.

Overall, choosing which religious path to follow and which religion is right for you is not a process that should be rushed. Take you time, do your reading and ask others, that way you can form an overall picture of what your path in life is.

3 Ways to Invest in God Without Church

moneyedup this extensive listThe bible states that we should donate a portion of our income to the church in a form of tidings. But not every Christian feels the need to go to church. Many believers prefer to enjoy private, at-home devotions alone or surrounded by friends and family. How can you still pay your dues without actually going to church? The answer is easier than you might think. Here are three ways to invest in god without the hefty overhead.

Sponsor a Mission Trip

Maybe you dream of being able to spread the word of God to underdeveloped countries but you just can’t get the time off work or afford to cover the hefty travel and lodging expenses. Fear not, there is a better option for you. By sponsoring a mission trip through any local organization or church you are aiding in allowing one person or a group of people to do the work of God. Your money is going directly to a greater cause.

When you sponsor a mission trip you are investing in the future of religion and those ambassadors who will be spreading the good word. Missionaries choose to go to countries where the basic necessities such as clean drinking water and a sturdy shelter are hard to come by. These individuals need money to fund purchasing food in the area, equipment, toiletries and other basic necessities to survive and complete their work.

Join a Meditation Retreat

If money is tight then maybe you need to invest in yourself. Meditation retreats are popping up everywhere. You can check out this extensive list at CNN.com to find some of the most popular options. During a spiritual meditation retreat you are encouraged to expel negativity and unhealthy habits from your life. There is often structured dietary plans and activities that you take part in. The experience is designed to help clear your mind of clutter and external poisons and bring your focus back to God.

A meditation retreat is typically completed in silence as well with the exception of devotional times. This allows your body to fully rest and your mind to contemplate and build on your relationship with God and your spirituality. Individuals who embark on meditation retreats report back that it was an uplifting and life changing experience that brought them closer to their savior.

Support a Cause

It probably seems like every time you go to a store you are hit up for a donation to some charity. It’s impossible to not feel like you should donate to every cause that touches your heart. If you want to invest in God without the church then select a specific charity which you are most passionate about. A popular option for Christians is charities that help the homeless. You can invest your money to help them build shelters and grow their outreach efforts or you can invest your time helping to prepare meals or council those who are living on the streets.

Additionally, you could choose to support a cause that distribute bibles to wounded soldiers, helps single mothers or is geared towards bringing children closer to god.

Need a little more God in your life? Check out our list of the Top 20 Christian Sites.

5 things that the Church frowns upon, but what can we do?

Catholic-Church PhotoIn the world that we live in, there are many rules, beliefs, traditions, customs and religious guidance that we don’t particularly adhere to. We all want and try to be proper Christians, Protestants, Catholics, Mormons and so on, according to our religious belief, but when it comes to every day life, how easy is it to implement the things that the Church advocates and what are the things that simply cannot be done? Going to Church every Friday is compulsory and strict enough, but what about ‘sinful’ actions like gluttony, or having relationships without marriage, even worse, kids out of the wedlock, or what about stealing? Does stealing someone else’s idea to your own benefit count as a sin? Let’s look at the 5 common things that the Church would frown upon, but then again, we have to live our lives somehow, right?

Gluttony

While gluttony refers to the process of over-eating and usually associated hedonistic behavior, there are times when we perform that ‘sin’ without even realizing it. Think about Thanksgiving dinners, what about Christmas celebrations, and Birthday parties? We usually buy, cook and prepare food that could feed a small country, just for our families to eat during that day in the year when we celebrate one thing or another. When the tables are filled with roasted turkeys, salads, side dishes, desserts, pies, cookies, drinks, fruits and more, what do you call that? If that is not gluttony, then what is? And do we have to feel bad when we eat our Christmas dinner to celebrate that wonderful holiday?

Relationships

Most religions advocate the importance of marriage, you have to meet the person you fall in love with, marry them, have many children, who will be taught to do the same. But the modern man doesn’t want to marry, or have children in their teens or even 20’s. The majority of the population is aging, whereas there are so few babies born, that it has created a demographic problem. If you would to improve these alarming statistics, you can try this out. We also have other issues, like people living together, in so-called ‘civil unions’, for several years, to see whether they are a good fit. Instead of increasing the divorce rates, which are already high in the country, people are finding new ways to meet each other, live together, find out what each other is really like, and then may be get married. Most of the younger population now treats marriage as a binding legal document, more than anything, they would rather concentrate on more pleasant parts of their union, like romance, love and intimacy, with websites showing people how to last longer in bed it is now easy to find ways to feel closer to your partner.

Lies

The Church says that we should not lie, but that is such a general term. People lie all the time, think about actors on TV, in fact, anyone in the Mass Media – they tell you the news, but are they telling the truth, or lying? What about those of us who work in the Sales and Marketing? Often enough we find ourselves making creative descriptions in order to boost sales that have nothing to do with reality. And how about the simplest of all – when someone asks you how you are doing, do you always tell them the truth? Of course no, so if everyone in the world just stopped lying, it is not certain that the world would miraculously become a better place.

Stealing

Another very general guideline is about stealing. If it means stealing material possessions of others, it is reasonable, but it is such a general term that it can be applied in a number of ways. For example when we do research on the Internet, and we read something and then use it in our every day life, we don’t always remember to quote the source of that idea or innovation, is that considered stealing? Will we be punished in the afterlife for this, or is this ok?

Interfaith marriage

A question that has raised a lot of frowns is the provoking interfaith marriage, when people of different religions marry each other. First, people are supposed to marry, but then, the Church doesn’t let them marry the person they fall in love with, who may be their soulmate, but of another religion. In the modern society where a man has so much freedom of choice and endless possibilities to actually search the whole world to find their other half, such a strict moral is not something that sets you free, it is something that weighs you down and restricts you.

So are there really Christian Metalcore Bands out there or just Metalcore Bands made up of Christians?

CHRISTIAN METAL PHOTOChristian metal music has come a long way since the 80’s.  Bands like Stryper had stepped on the scene in those days as well as some others.  It was heavy metal, not metal core and the lyrics were focused on God and all aspects of Christianity.  It was the first time the two had mixed that being Christians and heavy metal music.  The lyrics were heavily laced with love and preaching about God and the bible and didn’t go over big with church elders.  Most of the kids back then really got into it at first, but so much pressure was put on them from their communities it just faded to the background.  They were told that it was wrong.  It was like the Footloose movie with Kevin Bacon in it where dancing was wrong, except in this case, it was the music that was wrong.  Heavy metal Christian music wasn’t able to get a foothold in the industry for a while because of the church elders and bylaws and overall, older people who were in charge saying it was wrong.  Pretty soon listening to that type of music became wrong and eventually obsolete.

Here we are in 2014 now and there’s been a resurgence of Christian metal music.  It’s considered to be more Metalcore which is a heavier deeper type of metal music than was popular back in the 80’s.  Metalcore doesn’t just apply to Christian music, but all types of bands and lyrics that play music of that type fall into that category.  It seems to be different this time too.  Be it whether the elders of the churches just are worn out, or now the teens of the 80’s are the older leaders of the church communities now and want to give their support, it’s more acceptable.

Are the lyrics praising God, or just positive messages with Christian values?

Christian Metalcore bands such as Norma Jean are popular among the teenage crowd.  It’s the music they love first it seems however, and then the lyrics follow second.  The lyrics are something to be mentioned however as they seem different, yes, they are Christian and about God, but more subtle than the “in your face” lyrics of days past.  Therefore there are a lot of crossover bands.  They are picking up fans that are not only Christians, but just average teenagers who really dig on metal music.  The lyrics are positive ones with a positive message, but not so much preaching and focused on God per say, they are focused on the Christian lifestyle and have a way of meaning whatever you want them to mean and stand up for.  It’s for that reason bands Christian Metalcore Bands are pulling in all types of different people, Christians and non-alike, of different ages but mostly teenagers.

The music is just as heavy as the non-Christian Metalcore bands, just with more positive lyrics based on a lifestyle of Christian beliefs of helping your fellow man and whatnot.  However the lyrics really don’t seem to speak volumes of praising God as should be and as was in the 80’s.  It’s almost as if these new strings of Christian bands don’t want to push their luck so they try to be subtle and almost embed the praise of God by making the lyrics speak of it without actually saying anything.

Such as P.O.D. a band that had a crossover crowd and got radio play and fans of all races, and creeds.  In such songs as Alive, and Youth of a Nation,  which made it big but were of a positive nature and they were considered a Christian band yet their songs, even the hits didn’t seem to put God out there and the lyrics could fit any theme you wanted them to.  So are there really Christian Metalcore Bands out there or just Metalcore Bands made up of Christians?  That my friend is the question.

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