Publications / Articles / Devotionals
TODAY daily devotional
Daily bible readings and devotions published by Back to God Ministries International
Writing by Pastor Mark Brouwer
Here are some articles and resources about spiritual growth from pastor Mark Brouwer. Mark is author of the Solid Foundation Journal, contributing author of The Christian Handbook of Abuse, Addiction, and Difficult Behavior and The Ministry Essentials Bible, and of the forthcoming Thriving Leaders: spiritual essentials for changing the world without wrecking your life.
- Five Spiritual Practices That Will Change Your Life — long article, with lots of quotes about five core spiritual practices that form the basis of Loop Church's vision.
- Some Thoughts about Ministry, Church, and Faith: Am I the Only One Who Thinks This? — something like a personal manifesto, outlining some of the questions that led me to a deeper understanding of the spiritual life, and different understanding of church ministry.
- “The Friendless Pastor” (from Leadership Journal) on why isolation is so common and dangerous for spiritual leaders
- “Interactive Preaching” (from Reformed Worship) on the experience at Jacob’s Well of having sermons with discussion
- Overcoming Overwhelm in Ministry – which led to further research, and eventually the book I’m finishing up now
- The Danger of Putting Spiritual Leaders on Pedestals – part 1
- The Danger of Putting Spiritual Leaders on Pedestals – part 2
- Is it Time to Remodel How We Live? – more background to the “Not so Overwhelmed” book
- The Work of Giving Spiritual Care and Direction — what is and why pastors so seldom do it
- Some thoughts about Race and Racism — some personal reflections about this important issue
- Thomas Kelly on Living a Centered Life, in the Midst of Busyness — this is the FIRST part of a very important article that outlines Kelly’s approach, with extensive quotes from him.
- Thomas Kelly on Staying Centered and Spiritually Connected Throughout a Busy Day — this is the SECOND part of a very important article that outlines Kelly’s approach, with extensive quotes from him.
- Contemplation, Silence, and Meditation are Christian Practices, and are the Need of the Hour — the title says it all. We must not cede meditation and contemplation to Eastern religions … it is part of our heritage, and incredibly important.
- What the World Needs Now: Mysticism — What mysticism is, and why we need it so badly in the church today.
Articles about Addiction and Recovery
- How to Deal with Someone You Love Who is an Addict — Short article on this topic, with information about the “prayer of releasing” process.
- How Memory Works, and How Memories / Trauma Are “Healed” — Important article about an important topic, based on teaching from people who have scientific understanding and credibility about this issue.
- Why Being "Normal" is a Ticket to Depression, Disease, and Addiction -- Core underlying issues that give rise to addiction are not just found in early family trauma ... it's important to critically assess how we are living today
- How to Tell if Someone is Really Serious About Recovery -- Stop being manipulated and misled by addicts in your life
- What Addiction and Recovery Taught Me About ‘Believing in God’
- Just Fix my Addiction, and Leave the Rest of My Life Alone! — Facing the biggest hurdle for many people in recovery from addiction — and many other problems as well — the fallacious idea that the problem is small and isolated … that it is possible to be “fixed” without changing other parts of life.
- Grief, the Essential – and often Missing – Ingredient for Recovery — This article talks about our tendency to deny grief, and how damaging this is to our emotional health, and to the recovery process.
Worship Grant Proposal
Because we are moving into a permanent worship space, we will lead a year-long study of the centrality of the Lord's Supper in worship as well as design and create a communion table, communion ware, and liturgical art to help focus worshipers' attention on God.