“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV In the chaotic frenzy of life it is our nature to forget. We forget that person we said we would pray over. We forget God’s answered prayers in the… Continue reading If You’re Overwhelmed With What You Should Pray
After two years of living in ag-lovin' West Texas, I finally had my first brush with a rodeo. My son tried out for an event called "Mutton Bustin.'" If you've never heard of this little rite of passage, I'll sum it up for you: young kids get plopped on the back of a sheep and… Continue reading Are you chasing death or seeking life?
We take so much care with driver’s training, yet so little care with technology training. Our electronic devices provide children access to one of the most powerful and dangerous tools of our age—the internet. Occasionally, we are lulled into a false belief that parental controls will prevent our children from being “one of those kids”—those who post inappropriate pictures, suffer from bullying, or get lured away by predators.
Recently, I was having a nice chat with a friend of mine when she admitted to struggling with regular Bible study. She read her Bible daily but said she rarely sat down to dig deeper. She asked me, "How do you study and stick with it?" What an excellent question! Studying the scripture on our… Continue reading How to Get Started (or Re-started) With Personal Bible Study
Several years ago B.K. (before kids) my spouse and I hosted a "Singing in the New Year" party. We invited people to enjoy food, games, and offering praise to God as the new year ushered in. Out of the forty people we invited, only half showed up. We had a fantastic time and the twenty that showed up suggested we do it again the following year. The other half that didn't come said the invitation had not been sent early enough and they already had plans. It seemed a plausible excuse, so the following year, we sent out the invites immediately after Thanksgiving, requested RSVPs, and sent out a reminder about a week before the party. We still had a great turn out, but the people who didn't come the first time still didn't RSVP until a few days before, saying, "oh, I already had plans." If they already had plans, why didn't they send their regrets when the invitation was sent a month before? Oh, the sting of weak excuses...
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?