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Author: Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Keep Calm and Let Jesus Be Born in Your Heart

Keep Calm and Let Jesus Be Born in Your Heart

This is the time that we all are frantically preparing for Christmas. The lists are mile-long for what to do, what to buy, what to wish for. And what not to forget. We want to make our Christmas better than last year, maybe even perfect. All the hustle and bustle that is going on can be very stressful. But I’m here to bring some grace into your preparations. My advice for you this season is: Keep calm and let Jesus…

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Self-Righteousness Is Ugly

Self-Righteousness Is Ugly

Ecclesiastes advises us not to be too righteous (Ecc.7:16). What do you make out of that? Righteousness is a good thing, isn’t it? Of course, it is. Righteousness by God’s grace is the best thing ever. But this verse doesn’t talk about that kind of righteousness but unhealthy kind. Yes, there is such a thing. Self-righteousness is ugly. Be not [morbidly exacting and externally] righteous overmuch, neither strive to make yourself [pretentiously appear] overwise—why should you [get puffed up and] destroy yourself [with presumptuous…

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Dialog with God

Dialog with God

Prayer is a dialog with God. Or that’s how it is meant to be. But in reality, too often we just spill out what’s on our heart and then run off before God has a chance to respond. So prayer becomes a monologue instead. But even just as a monologue prayer is important and powerful but as a dialogue, it becomes life-changing and empowering. How can we then dialogue with God? Having a dialogue with God is simple but prayer…

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Only God Can Satisfy Your Heart

Only God Can Satisfy Your Heart

Have you had enough of shallow experiences, ready to look for something deeper, more substantial? Do you have a deep yearning for God? Good for you. It is a universal experience of emptiness that often drives people finally to God. Nothing but God satisfies our hearts but he truly does. Only Jesus can fill our emptiness but he does it beautifully. First, he cleanses our inner being from webs of harmful substitutes and then he fills us with his peace…

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Grace to Do Good

Grace to Do Good

God did not send Jesus to the world so good people could be rewarded. He sent Jesus so everyone – also hopeless has-beens – could be saved by grace. None of us deserves any grace. It is not given for good people but for desperate people in need of salvation who want to receive grace upon grace. First grace to be saved and then grace to do good. Augustinus has said, “For grace is given not because we have done…

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The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory

The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory

Do you value the Lord’s Prayer? It is a fixed part of worship services and also a regular part of my family’s evening devotions. Jesus himself taught it to us. It is wonderful that we can approach God as our own Father and we can address him informally, ask him whatever we need and surrender to his care. As a friend of my youth once said ‘if something has been forgotten when prayed in our words, the Lord’s Prayer will cover…

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Thankfulness Brings Blessings

Thankfulness Brings Blessings

Thankfulness might seem like a waste of time but it’s not. Quite the opposite, actually. Thankfulness blesses us more than we can imagine. How do I know this, you ask. I know by experience. Also, the Bible tells us so. Thankfulness welcomes God into our life. And when that happens, everything changes. Because the power of God is more than we can imagine. And this is the power that is not forceful. Instead, when invited, it brings peace and joy. And…

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God Is Still the One

God Is Still the One

By grace, I came to faith early. And, by grace, God is still the one whom I choose. Nothing has taken his place in my life over the decades. I have experienced heartache and loss but they did not turn me away from God. Instead, they made me run into God’s arms. Everything but God was taken away from me but God was more than enough. I was healed and made whole again. And the best part of the whole thing:…

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No Add-Ons to Faith

No Add-Ons to Faith

As Western culture becomes increasingly more secular, we are facing the same problems as the Israelites in the Old Testament. My heart has been breaking for quite some time now for Christians who start to dabble with angels cards, crystals, manifesting, you name it. They look for anywhere but Christ to get answers or fulfillment for their yearnings. Why do they do that? Because they are not familiar with the power of God or the fire of the Holy Spirit. Somehow they…

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How to Handle Burdens

How to Handle Burdens

Don’t you just love those days when you feel light-hearted and happy? Seize those days. Enjoy them and don’t worry then about darker days. When life is easy, give thanks. And when life sometimes shows darker shades, do not despair. As Christians, we know how to handle them. Our God is bigger than our burdens and nothing is strange to him. We can trust and lean on him on our good days and our bad days, until the end of…

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