Pastor's Forum

Devotionals?

I’m looking for some good daily devotionals, both for my own personal enrichment, and to be able to recommend to members of my congregation. What are some of the different devotional books or materials that other pastors have found helpful for themselves personally and for their members? I’m interested in general devotionals as well as any “specialized” devotionals that focus on helping people through specific issues or different challenging seasons of their lives. Read the responses

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Reclaiming Wonder!
Tony Cooke

Reclaiming Wonder by Tony CookeEinstein once remarked that a person who no longer pauses to wonder is as good as dead. If there was ever a group of people who should take time to stand in wonder and amazement, it is followers of the Lord Jesus, and if there is ever a time to do so, it is when we consider Jesus’ coming to the earth, the Incarnation, when God took on flesh. As we prepare for Christmas, it is good to remind ourselves to never take for granted that Jesus came. It’s also good to remember that it is God’s nature to come to his children when they are in need. When man first sinned, God came. He came walking in the garden in the cool of the day, calling out to Adam, “Where are you?” God then spoke of a future coming—the seed of a woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). The entire Old Testament—all of God’s dealings with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David—led to the fulfillment of the coming of the promised seed. Read this article by Tony Cooke

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And Let The King Of Glory Enter
Lisa Cooke

Let The King Of Glory Enter by Lisa CookeIt’s Christmas time. For many of us, it’s a season of remembering that Jesus is the Son of God given to us, beginning as a baby born of a virgin in Bethlehem. We put our manger scenes up in our houses, we sing the songs telling of his birth, and we are just more aware on a daily basis of the plan of salvation being manifested in the life of Jesus. We are letting the King of Glory enter our thoughts and our lives at this holiday season and that’s a good thing. Our free will allows us the privilege to decide what we will “let in” our thoughts and what will be our focus. We get to choose what we allow our attention to rest on. While decorations and holiday emphasis may remind us of what our God has done for us, we can have a more deliberate decision based motivation to keep in mind the glory of our King that will carry us through the whole year. Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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Anchors of Faith
Gerald Brooks

Anchors of Faith by Gerald BrooksAll those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given a measure of faith. What we do next with that faith is entirely up to us. In Pastor Gerald Brooks’ most recent book, Anchors of Faith, we are taken through many examples from the Bible where someone’s faith, or lack of it, affected the situation for better or for worse. Our faith has potential. That mustard seed sized faith we are all given when we accept Christ is our responsibility to grow and nurture. Don’t let your faith stay small. Challenge it and see it flourish and become strong, hearty, and useful. Almost all of the stories that demonstrate great faith in the Bible begin by someone being humble enough to realize they need God, and then being humble enough to ask Him to do something about their situation. Faith soars in an atmosphere of humility. Let your faith reach its potential, and anchor it in His Word. Listening isn’t enough; we have to obey and actually follow through on what God asks. Read this article by Gerald Brooks

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Video Lesson: Foundations for Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics and is it Biblical?
Jay Stillinger

Defending the Faith VideoThis video is the first in a series devoted to helping believers be better equipped to defend the Christian faith. In a nation that is becoming more hostile toward Christianity, it is imperative that believers know how to explain to others, why Christianity is worth believing above every other religion, ideology and philosophy. This presentation is taught by Jay Stillinger, Pastor of Abounding Grace Christian Church in Schenectady, New York. Together with his wife Pam, they founded Abounding Grace, 24 years ago. Jay graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center and also holds a B.A. in Religion and an M.A. in Apologetics from Luther Rice College and Seminary. Their growing congregation is made up of people from many different nations and cultures which makes for an exciting representation of the Kingdom of God. Watch this video by Jay Stillinger

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Practical Skills for Effective Communication
Jimmy Patillo

Effective Communication by Jimmy PatilloIn a great toolbox, there are many tools. A great sermon may have many tools as well: information, explanation, illustration, application, exhortation, argumentation (I use the term loosely), quotation, celebration, etc. A master carpenter needs more tools than a hammer and a nail, and so does a master preacher. Variety keeps it interesting. I know of a minister who always had good things to say but would just preach way too long. People would dread to hear him speak. But then I started preaching with a stopwatch. I know Paul appeared to be long-winded, but If you’re going to preach forever at least be dynamic. If the horse is dead, DISMOUNT! The Gettysburg address was only 272 words long. Point: It doesn’t have to be eternal to be immortal. Read this article by Jimmy Patillo

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Aimee Flanders White Christmas

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

BROKENNESS
“My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.”
– Sheila Walsh

CROSS
“Jesus was crucified on the cross so that we could stop crucifying ourselves.”
– Rick Warren

EXAMPLE
“We change our world with our example, not our opinion!”
– Randy Landis Sr.

MIRACULOUS
“The thing is, if you make no place in your theology for God to still work miraculously, you’ll never fulfill your calling. It’s beyond you.”
– Beth Moore

PARENTING
“Another piece of advice I have for parents of teenagers is: ‘Get ‘em through it.’ That may not sound like such a stunning idea, but I believe it has merit for most families—especially those with one or more tough-minded kids.”
– Dr. James Dobson