praying without ceasing - young woman praying with eyes closed

23 Apr The Best Question You Can Ask God

Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean you have to be in a contemplative state or a quiet place in order to do so. Prayer can be as simple as a continuous conversation that flows throughout the day. When moments arise that require guidance or wisdom, a silent internal prayer can be all it takes to discern the right steps forward. Or when you find yourself happy or thankful for something in your life, a moment of silence and gratitude can instantly connect you to the Source of all things. Bringing God into these daily moments opens a world of intimacy, connectedness and clarity. Prayer is a Two-Way Street God not only enjoys listening to us, but He also loves to respond back to us. You may have grown up in an environment that didn’t encourage you to listen for the voice of God. And while God certainly communicates through His Word, His...

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sense of belonging - two people at a table with coffee cups

20 Feb Developing a Sense of Belonging

As human beings, our need to feel like we belong is innate. In fact, it’s in our genes. Our ancestors of long ago had a fiercely tribal sense of belonging to their group because it was the difference between life or death. Groups were often homogenous in behavior and thought. To act in a way that was different from the group meant potential ostracization and therefore, no provision or protection from the group. There are a number of social and psychological benefits to this sense of belonging. An article in Psychology Today has this to say about belonging: “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness.  When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.” Just as a sense of belonging has benefits, conversely, a sense of...

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psalm 16 contentment - person walking alone through a forest

11 Feb Psalm 16: Contentment and the Path of Life

The 17th-century French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Catholic theologian Basiel Pascal, once said: “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object.” Obviously war is not an ethical or Biblical way to pursue happiness, but I find this perspective interesting nonetheless. Every move we make and action we take, even if it’s deferring happiness in the moment for a greater, future fulfillment of happiness, is somehow in an effort to satisfy our desires. And depression, which would seem like a lack of happiness altogether, is still a symptom of this desire for happiness, but a failure at finding it. In a previous blog post we discussed the Christ-centered...

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sabbath - first-person view of legs on a hammock, with a dog nearby

03 Feb The Lost Art of the Sabbath

The Wisdom of the Sabbath We live in a society and a day and age where rest is all but demonized. As Author and Researcher Brene Brown lays out in her 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, we need to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol, and productivity as a measure of self-worth. In their place we must cultivate rest and play. The wisdom of creation seems to have something to say about this as well: “...

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pursuit of happiness - woman standing on pier, arms stretched out and head thrown back

20 Jan The Christ-Centered Pursuit of Happiness

In today’s culture, happiness is a primary goal. Everyone wants happiness. And historically, it’s woven into the very fabric of our American society: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps you’d like to be happier this year than you were in 2018. At Agave Sozo in Chandler, we strongly support that goal. There is a subtle distinction between joy and happiness. It’s good to be both joyful and happy as a Christian, but for the sake of this discussion, we’ll focus on happiness. As believers going after happiness, it’s important that our pursuit revolves around the right things. What Do We Mean By ‘Christ-Centered Pursuit of Happiness’? A Christ-centered pursuit of happiness does not mean that your happiness revolves solely around spiritual or religious practices. Giving honor is an important part of finding God-centered happiness. In fact, everything in your life is spiritual and is deserving of...

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