Christian Living

freedom in christ - wild horses runing free

02 Aug Freedom in Christ: Part 1 – The Law

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” ~Galatians 2:21 If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Freedom in Christ” used often. But what does it really mean? In this two-part series we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about it and how we can fully live out our freedom in Christ.  Freedom from The Law In the early days of the expansion of Christianity, the apostle Paul made missionary trips to spread the gospel in different regions of the ancient world. One of those regions was Galatia, an area where Gentiles lived (non-Jewish people). Whenever Paul returned to his homeland of Israel, he would give testimony to the believers back home about his journeys. When he shared about these new believers in Galatia, some people in the new, Christ-following churches...

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what God thinks about you - woman sitting on a rock overlooking the Grand Canyon

18 Jul Do You Know What God Thinks about You?

At Agave Sozo in Chandler, AZ, we have the privilege of creating a space where people can encounter God and hear his voice. In our ministry, we’ve seen people set free from depression, fear, anxiety, unforgiveness, anger, and so much more. While every testimony and story is sweet, one of our favorite aspects of this ministry is when people get a chance to hear what God actually thinks about them, through revealing a special name, an identity or even an image.  When Sin Becomes Our Identity, We Shrink  Due to the guilt and shame culture that can (unfortunately) be present in the church, many people struggle with believing God thinks negatively about them—that He’s constantly judging their performance and keeping track of where they come up short. And while it’s important to have accountability in our lives, it’s also vital to not make an identity of our sins and shortcomings.  In addition, many...

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Understanding the Spiritual Season You are In - barley field with sun rising

30 May Understanding the Spiritual Season You are In

As creation reveals, all of life is cyclical. The sun rises and sets; the human body deteriorates and rebuilds; the planets orbit around the sun, the growth of spring follows the death of winter. Through observing the handiwork of the Creator, we can also recognize that our human lives are filled with seasons and cycles. And at times we may feel as though one season will never end, but we only have to look to God’s creation and recognize, “this too shall pass.” So in order to live an intentional life, an important key is understanding the spiritual season you are in. What are the spiritual seasons and how do I flourish in each one? When we don’t understand the spiritual season we are in, we may find it difficult to embrace the season’s gifts or challenges and make the necessary adjustments to thrive and move on in a healthy...

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eel stuck in life - woman dancing with scarf

20 May Do You Ever Feel Stuck in Life?

Feeling stuck in life is an extremely common human experience. As the Bible testifies in Ecclesiastes, there are seasons in life. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. A Time to plant and a time to uproot. A time to search and a time to give up. A time to keep and a time to throw away. The difficulty we face is when it’s time to move on to a new season, but we feel lost and unsure about how to reorient towards a new path. At Agave Sozo in Chandler, AZ, we believe every season holds guidance and wisdom for us, and that freedom is our ultimate trajectory. So how do we move on when we feel stuck in life? Moving from Stuck to Free In a culture that celebrates progress, achievement, and moving forward, when we feel stuck in life it can feel like...

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hearing gods voice - sheep and a shepherd in a green field

01 May My Sheep Hear My Voice – How Can I Hear God’s Voice?

As Christians seeking to please God, we are dependant on His guidance. But many of us might feel like prayer is us speaking while God silently listens, instead of a vibrant back and forth conversation. You may know that God wants to speak to you, but there are a few questions rolling around in your head: How can I hear God’s voice and how can I be sure the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? At Agave Sozo in Chandler, AZ, we strongly believe every Christian can learn to decipher the voice of God. Just as sheep discern the voice of their master and listen to his commands, so can we believers hear the voice of God. And when we tap into this conversation with God, it brings a level of clarity to our lives we may have never experienced. Does God really speak to us? From cover to cover, the...

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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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