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Chenal This Week

Posted 1 week 1 day ago
It's been a wonderful 2017 at Chenal Valley Church. God has done great things in and through us. You have been generous with who you are, what you have, and the gifts and talents you bring to the table, but let me encourage you not to stop. Keep going. Keep growing.
 
Posted 2 weeks 1 day ago

Ecclesiastes 2:22 asks, "What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?" The answer Ecclesiastes repeatedly offers is that they get a big bag of nothing. Emptiness. Like chasing the wind. It's vain, meaningless. We could add that we get ulcers. Irritable. Short-tempered. Distant relationships. We get scattered, disjointed lives where we do a million things but nothing well. We get our priorities all out of whack. We get high blood pressure and higher risk of heart problems. We get sleep deprived and sanity deprived.

Posted 3 weeks 1 day ago
In a land of extreme abundance, spiritual hunger can ravage our lives. Too often we attempt to curb the deep rumblings in our spirit by filling our bodies and lives with more and more stuff. In this age of mass, easy, seemingly never-ending consumption, the discipline of fasting can reap enormous benefits. In the place of unhealthy urges, fasting creates room for God to teach us to rightly enjoy his gifts. Below are a few fasts you might consider.
 
Posted 4 weeks 1 day ago
As we move towards Thanksgiving, perhaps one of the first things we should confess is all the things that get in the way of gratitude. It's natural to struggle with thankfulness during times of difficulty, but there is so much more. Sometimes ingratitude comes from a sense of entitlement. It's hard to feel grateful for things if we think we are entitled to them in the first place. Sometimes it arises amidst unmet, unrealistic expectations. Sometimes ingratitude surfaces due to constant comparison. We compare our present to our past.
Posted 1 month 6 days ago
From an early age, many of us were taught in church that the proper posture of prayer is to fold your hands, bow your head, and close your eyes. Without question, this can be a good, reverent, focused approach. But looking through scripture, we see a wider array of postures in prayer and praise (i.e. standing, eyes lifted, arms and hands outstretched, kneeling, bowing, laying prostrate before God). With that in mind, I want to invite you to consider ways that you might adjust your place and posture to impact you heart and mind during prayer and worship.
Posted 1 month 1 week ago
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus urges us to live like a city on a hill, letting our light shine for all to see. The idea is that when others see us, they would in turn glorify God. We learned the essence of these verses from an early age while singing This Little Light of Mine. "Hide it under a bushel. NO! I'm gonna let it shine." While I had no clue what a bushel was, I knew hiding my light (and index finger) underneath it was the last thing I wanted to do.
 
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
When was the last time you were filled with wonder? For a lot of us, we go back to those special moments of seeing a beautiful sunset or an individual completing an amazing athletic feat. What is special about those moments is that they force us to live within a moment. For a brief time, we put aside our worries and just experience that feeling.
 
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago
In James 5:16 we are encouraged to "...confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." This is an extremely intimidating prospect, but also potentially life giving. So here's my encouragement to you this week.
 
Posted 2 months 4 days ago
I have always liked this quote from Ronald Rolheiser's book, The Holy Longing. "It is not that we have anything against God, depth, and spirit. We would like these. It is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have many of these show up on our radar screens. We are (often) more busy than bad, more distracted than non-spiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today with our spiritual lives." 
Posted 2 months 1 week ago

     Lives that desire ongoing transformation require regular examination. On Sunday we studied the spiritual discipline called the Prayer of Examen. The idea behind this exercise is that we practice regular times of reflection to weigh what is important in our day, our week, and our life. For the next week, try to set aside 10 minutes at lunch or before you go to bed to practice this exercise.