Posts by Sara Christensen

The Benefits of Bible Study Class

Bible study sessions are obviously great for learning more about the Bible and the Lord’s promises to us. You get to study passages that you might not otherwise study on your own. This study is done under the tutelage and supervision of a knowledgeable member of the clergy or a teacher that has been through some type of religious education. However, Bible study classes provide several other benefits beyond reading and studying the Word in a classroom setting, and free refreshments.

Socialization and Worship

The Bible calls us to worship with others. Bible study sessions allow us to do just that. A good Bible study group allows you to get together with your peers that are of similar ages or interests as you. You get to dive into a passage of scripture, learn what it means and how you can apply it to your daily life. You also have the opportunity to make friends with other study participants and find individuals that you can spend time with outside of Bible study and regular Sunday worship services.

Deeper Understanding

Bible study classes are more than just memorization of Bible verses and coffee afterwards. In Bible study, the group leader will choose a passage of scripture for the group to study. You will get deeper insight into what that passage means. You also get tips and advice on how you can apply that scripture to your own life, to give you a fuller life with a Godly focus. In addition, you can discuss the scripture passage with other group participants, and get some insights and other views that you might not have gotten by studying the Bible in a solitary setting with just your favorite cup of coffee for company.

Confidence

Studying the Bible can be intimidating, especially for new believers. Joining a Bible study group will give you a ready-made group of mentors that can help you find your way around the Bible. These mentors will help you find meaning in the scriptures, and help you see the plan that God has for your life. And let’s face it, no one wants to be “that guy” that is flipping through the Bible during Sunday services, trying to find the particular book and chapter that the pastor is delivering the message from, while everyone else in the congregation found it right away. Bible study classes give you familiarity with the Bible so you know how to find what you need without continually flipping to the index pages. 

For more information, talk to a church like New Gethsemane Baptist Church.

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4 Interesting Facts About Headstones And Cemeteries

You probably do not spend a lot of time thinking about headstones and cemeteries unless you are planning a funeral for a family member. If you are in the midst of doing this, you may be interested to learn some facts about headstones and cemeteries you may not know about.

Symbolism

Take time to walk through a few cemeteries and look at the headstones, especially the older ones. During the Colonial times, headstones depicted the symbol for a person’s occupation. For example, if someone was a flower gardener, there may be a flower, along with a garden rake or shovel. If someone worked as a carpenter, the headstone may have the symbol of a hammer and square.

The newer headstones you will find in cemeteries are move individualized. You will see photographs of the deceased person laser-etched onto the headstone. You will also see images of activities the person enjoyed, such as reading a book or playing tennis. You may see an angel, cross, or a bible verse for someone that was religious.  You may want to consider using some of these ideas when choosing a headstone for your loved one.

Covered Up

The schools of anatomy in Scotland needed bodies so they could dissect them for their studies. The government supplied them with the bodies of recently executed criminals. They did not have enough bodies, however, and started robbing graves of recently deceased people.

Families started using mortsafes, which were iron cages, to cover up the graves to prevent them from being robbed. If they could not afford a mortsafe, they would cover the grave with stones and flowers so they could detect any disturbances.

Vampire Burials

Dating back to the ancient Babylonians, Greeks, and Egyptians from the 17th to 18th centuries, there have been tales of vampires, which resulted in vampire burials.

Graves were dug up recently by archaeologists, and they found people buried with farming knives around their necks, and/or rocks pushed into their mouth. Both of these things were to prevent the corpse from coming back to life. The knife around the neck would decapitate the person if they tried to rise from the grave, and the rock in their mouth would prevent them from biting.

It is thought that these people actually had cholera, as there was an epidemic of it going around that time.

Green Headstone

If you are having a natural green funeral, you should find a monument builder that uses stone found locally rather than stone that is imported. This reduces the carbon footprint of transportation. If you want to be even greener, use a grave marker instead of a headstone. You will find trees, flowers, and shrubs planted to create a living memorial for your loved one.

If you need help choosing a headstone, contact a professional business, like Palmer Bros Granite Co, in your area. They can show you the different types of stone you can use, as well as what they can offer you in engraving and detailing the headstone.

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The Academic Benefits Of Christian Schools

The choice to enroll a child in a Christian school is usually driven by the family’s beliefs. Because of this, the academic benefits of a religiously-affiliated school are often overlooked. This is a critical mistake–the benefits of Christian schools are numerous.

In order to understand these benefits, you have to know about the factors that contribute to a high-quality educational experience for your child. The most important factors to consider are the curriculum and the social environment.

Curriculum Considerations

In a public school, the curriculum is often set by the state department of education and the local school board. To ensure that certain curriculum goals are met, the school is obligated by law to spend a certain amount of time on each subject every week. This creates a number of issues related to instruction.

Public schools have a difficult time differentiating instruction for students because of these minute requirements. They’re required to spend a certain amount of time each day on every subject–even when their students have already covered the lesson for the day. Christian schools have more wiggle room to respond to their students and meet their needs.

Another known issue with public school is the lack of informational reading done during the day. In a religious school setting, theological study is often added to the core curriculum. This creates a perfect opportunity for students to practice informational reading and writing–two critical skills for future academic success.

Social Benefits

Learning is a social process. It’s uncommon for the school day to provide a chance for students to interact in a one-on-one setting with a teacher. Because of this, your child’s educational experience is shaped by the social setting created at the school.

Christian schools have a significant advantage in this department. Families that make the financial commitment to send their children to a private school value their child’s educational experience. That makes them more likely to reinforce appropriate school behavior at home.

Also, many of the core religious beliefs in a Christian school promote learning and proper socialization. Kindness, respect, and caring for others are all traits that are valued in any religious setting. When these values are shared among a school population, it’s much easier for positive relationships and social experiences to develop naturally.

While religious considerations are certainly an important part of the decision to send your child to Christian schools, that’s not the only benefit. Christian schools, as a byproduct of their structure and religious affiliation, create an educational experience that’s difficult for public schools to match.

Talk to a school like Lakeside Christian School to learn more.

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Rebuilding Trust And Faith – Tips For Gaining Trust From A Congregation

With life becoming increasingly complicated and the turmoils of modern society becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, many people are returning to their church and looking for guidance. While there is a strong desire for help, many people hesitate to trust their church because scandals and unfortunate behavior have weakened the moral authority that is desperately craved.

Pastor Jim Bolin was one of these leaders who faced severe challenges. After an accusation of an improper relationship with a member of his congregation, Pastor Bolin found himself trying to rebuild that trust and reestablish his leadership and authority. If you find yourself facing these challenges, you’ll find a guide below to building strong relationships with your flock and increasing your moral authority.

Avoid Dilution

Many church leaders feel pressure to weaken the impact of their sermons or try to strongly relate to their congregations. However, while this temptation may be strong, it should be avoided if you want to rebuild the trust that may be lacking in your relationship with your congregants.

A reliance on a strong, stable message will show the members of your church that you are committed to scripture while also highlighting your credibility as a leader in the faith. Too much weakening of your message will, obviously, make it come out weak, and will leave your church members looking elsewhere for explanations and guidance.

Utilize Technology

Some church leaders are uncomfortable with the role technology has in today’s daily life, and may be unfamiliar with strategies for connecting with people and spreading information that are increasingly common. Indeed, social media and other communication tools can allow you to connect to your congregation every day and keep your message strong.

This use of technology will also provide the impression that you are a church leader who understands the ins and outs of everyday life. This will allow you to avoid the appearance of being old fashioned or uninformed, and will help church goers trust that your method really does have an application to their trials and tribulations.

Maintain Consistency

The worst thing that a church leader can do while trying to reestablish his or her credibility is appear to be inconsistent. While it may be tempting to carve out exceptions for your own sins and flaws, it’s important that your congregants recognize that you accept blame for your actions. Once this blame is accepted and acknowledged, it will be much easier for you to be trusted, and your message will sink in much more easily.

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4 Ways To Maintain Your Happiness

If you feel as if happiness is eluding you, then it may mean that you need to make more of an effort. Happiness takes effort, because problems will always occur in life. If your happiness is dependent on the circumstances around you and not your faith in the fact that you can face and overcome any situation, then you are likely to be continuously lacking in joy. The following are some good ways to maintain your happiness.

Volunteer Your Time

Helping others is one of the best ways you can stay happy. There are so many people out there who could use your time and talent. Take an inventory of your talents and interests. You are likely to find that you can help someone or even an organization in your spare time. Giving joy and happiness to others is one of the best ways to receive it.

Become More Positive

If you find negativity creeping into your thoughts from time to time, then you should start working immediately to eliminate it. Negativity is one of the biggest thieves of happiness. It takes just as much energy for you to be negative about a situation as it does for you to stay positive about it. A good way for you to stay positive is to start saying affirmations daily. An affirmation is a positive statement that you make to yourself to counteract your negative feelings. An excellent way to do this is to write down positive thoughts and repeat them to yourself in the mirror constantly.

Read Uplifting Books

Go to a bookstore and start browsing the spiritual and inspirational category. You could even do this from home by browsing a site like pioneerbook.com. You are sure to find something there that will appeal to you. Pick up some motivational bestsellers and go home and read through them. This will help you to become inspired by what others have gone through and overcome. This is especially useful if you are feeling as if you are all alone in your problems. Reading books like these will undoubtedly cause you to begin seeing your problems more as learning opportunities, and this will put you back on the road to happiness.

Look Back

Go back in your mind’s eye to some of the problems you have faced in life. Some of them may have seemed insurmountable at the time, but now that you have overcome them those mountains have become mole hills. If you have overcome in the past, you can do it again. The same spirit of survival is still inside you and will help you through anything. This thought should be at the forefront of your mind whenever you become tempted to lose your joy in a difficult situation.

Your happiness is one of the keys to a healthy life. You should make every effort to maintain it at all times no matter what your circumstances.

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