How often do I get so bogged down in my own struggle that I fail to really notice the struggle of the people next to me? I may glance their direction and see them in a moment of triumph only to miss the next moment when they fall flat. We have a tendency to walk as though in a tunnel, not seeing the wider world around us. We focus only on who or what is in front of us (usually through the small screens of our phones) while running the risk of ignoring—or even injuring—the souls beside us.
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.
Some would say blame-shifting is a popular trend these days. It does seem as though our society promotes this idea of abdicating accountability. Despite what we think, people have been making excuses since the first man and woman. Apparently, nobody ever likes to be caught doing something they shouldn't, or failing to do something they… Continue reading Why are you making excuses?
According to the popular YouVersion Bible App, “the bible verse that was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted most often by the global Bible App community in 2017” was Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you… Continue reading For those who are struggling with fear
This idea of walking with God comes up again and again in the scriptures. Noah walked with God. Moses commanded the people to "walk in all [God's] ways." The apostle John commanded Christians to "walk in the light as [God] is in the light." The apostle Paul wrote "walk by the Spirit" and "keep in step with the Spirit." We know we are supposed to walk with God, but what does this look like in our lives?
On this New Year’s Day, we begin a new trip around the sun, full of expectations, hopes, and goals. Is one of your goals to draw nearer to God? He longs for each of us to know Him more, to trust Him more, to love Him more. Success comes from joining our small efforts with His great will. It comes as we study His word daily, call on Him daily (sometimes hourly!) and trust Him even when nothing makes sense.
I've been fighting sickness for nearly two weeks. It started with a cough that stole my voice and ended with a sinus infection. I tried everything to get well and stay well, but in the end I needed to go to the doctor. It seems odd that something so trivial could impact my mood, but… Continue reading Does your mind need a little boost?
So you thought we were done with the complaining series, eh? We're getting closer... There are three words every Christian should use when confronted with temptation: It. Is. Written. Of course, it doesn't do any good to use these three words if you don't know what is supposed to come next. Our Savior set an… Continue reading 10 Anti-Complaining Passages to Sharpen Your Sword
In the animated film Cars, Lightning McQueen—a popular rookie race car—does a commercial for his sponsor, Rusteeze, advertising their Medicated Bumper Ointment. He plasters a smile on his face and chimes, “Use Rusteeze… and you too can look like me! Ca-chow!” The humor lies in the irony. It would take a lot more than one… Continue reading If You Wish You Had a Different Story
College has always been (and always will be) awash with challenges and temptations. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either blind or deceitful. High stress, binge drinking, drug abuse, mental fatigue, promiscuity, and financial inducements can lead a naive kid to destruction. Even if you put your nose to the grindstone and focus entirely on your studies, you may find yourself idolizing your career and forgetting God somewhere along the way. So how does one survive the testing ground of college?