Christian community · Christian Living

What’s the Point of Going to Church if I Can Worship God Anywhere?

“Why do I have to go to church?” “I can do “church” on my own.” “I don’t get anything out of it.” I’ve heard all of them. I used to say the last one in my weaker seasons. I once had a friend tell me, "I can worship God anywhere. I can do church in… Continue reading What’s the Point of Going to Church if I Can Worship God Anywhere?

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Christian community

Why we all need accountability partners to keep our faith strong

Near the beginning of 2018, a friend invited me to a small Facebook group comprised of people seeking to eat healthier and be more physically fit. For the month of March, the administrator posted a challenge for us to meet a daily step count or mileage goal. Prior to this challenge, I had been hitting… Continue reading Why we all need accountability partners to keep our faith strong

Christian community · Christian Living · Faithfulness · Forgiveness · God's Love · Knowing God · Study

Does God Need Us to Make Excuses for our Sin?

This is part 3 of the series "Why are you making excuses?" To read the previous post, click here. This is a tale of two kings---two very real kings---from ancient Israel. Both kings made a choice to sin. Both received punishment for their sins. Both made apologies to God. Only one chose repentance. Our first King… Continue reading Does God Need Us to Make Excuses for our Sin?

Christian community · Knowing God

Are you ‘getting nothing’ out of your church service?

Throughout my years of being a Christian, I’ve attended thousands of worship services. I’ve listened to sound and engaging preaching, endured a fair number of confusing sermons, sung countless songs, and watched the behavior of fellow Christians. I am ashamed to admit there are more than a few services from which I leave saying, “I got nothing out of it.” I frequently blamed the preaching, the song leading, the members nodding off, my own exhaustion, the failure of others to acknowledge my existence, but rarely did I do the thing that really needed to be done. Instead of saying, “I got nothing out of it, I should have been asking, “What did I put into it?” When we feel like we are leaving worship “unfulfilled,” it’s time ask ourselves some hard questions.

Christian community · Christian Living · encouragement · Study · The Word of God

Renew Your Mind With the Elevating 8

In the classic children’s game of Chutes and Ladders, the object of the game is to be the first player to reach the finish line. Each player rolls the die to move forward, hoping to avoid the chutes—which slide your game piece downward—or land on ladders—which bring your piece nearer to the finish line. Controlling… Continue reading Renew Your Mind With the Elevating 8

Christian community · Trust

For Those Questioning the Effectiveness of Prayer after the Sutherland Springs Shooting

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, there’s been plenty of blame and finger-pointing. There’s also been something else: People mocking those praying for the situation. This derisive attitude toward prayer is nothing new, but it may stir up doubts as to the effectiveness of prayer or the power of… Continue reading For Those Questioning the Effectiveness of Prayer after the Sutherland Springs Shooting

Christian community · Marriage and Family

Are Educational Decisions Dividing the Church?

Note from Elihu: I had originally planned to share this post on Monday, but in the aftermath of Sunday's tragedy, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Vegas weighed heavy on my heart. I wrote this article for The Courage last week and watched the comments pile up on Kirk Cameron's Facebook post---many of which… Continue reading Are Educational Decisions Dividing the Church?

Christian community · Christian Living · Knowing God · Marriage and Family

What Our Children Need Most

"Mom, I need to get a zipper binder and headphones."  "Dad, my teacher said my pencil box isn't big enough. I need another one" "Mom, I have to have a zipper binder too." My head was spinning. It was only the first week of school, and on top of the lengthy list of supplies we'd… Continue reading What Our Children Need Most

Christian community · Marriage and Family

Prayers for Teachers

Teachers and cops have something in common: a negative perception of the whole is based on the actions of a few. I've known many teachers and many cops, and just like any profession, there will always be a few bad apples. The persistent degradation of good teachers based on the poor performance of a few… Continue reading Prayers for Teachers

Christian community · Christian Living · Marriage and Family · Prayer

Prayers for Parents of School-Aged Kids

As we press through August and into the fall, we will see frequent signs that school is back in session. Gradually, a few parents will develop a worry line or two. Homeschool moms may find themselves sobbing as perfect lesson plans implode in the face of another autistic episode. Another mom may be quietly sobbing in an empty room as their youngest child moves three or three hundred miles away from home in pursuit of a college degree. A dad may be getting stomach ulcers worrying about the safety of his daughter around all those teenage boys. On top of all the back-to-school changes, these parents are still facing life with all it's pressures and frustrations. Are we sensitive to their needs? Are we reaching out to be supportive? Encouraging? Helpful?