Christian Living · encouragement · Knowing God

When All the News is Bad News

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27.13-14, ESV I typically try to limit my consumption of "the news" because being prone to depression, it interferes with my ability to… Continue reading When All the News is Bad News

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Christian Living

Perfect Freedom

Our U.S Holidays such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran's Day, always cause me to reflect on the price of freedom. Many men and women have put their lives and livelihoods on the line to give themselves and their descendants what we have this day---an imperfect, but cherished, freedom.  I am grateful to be a United States Citizen, but I am even more grateful to be a citizen of Jesus' kingdom. In His kingdom, we have perfect freedom. The above quote from Ronald Reagan is, of course, referring to the U.S., but it also reflects the pursuit of a Christian---we are "Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well."

Prayer · Thankfulness

If You’re Overwhelmed With What You Should Pray

“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

Christian Living · Marriage and Family

When Your Plans Are Constantly Interrupted

We never like to address the inconveniences of parenting. We don’t like to tell expecting moms and dads, “Sleep now, because you won’t be sleeping for the next few years.” Or, “Enjoy that pre-baby vacation because it’ll be awhile before vacations are relaxing.” It all sound so “glass-half-empty,” doesn’t it? Here’s the reality: Raising children is inconvenient, but it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. When the Lord blesses us with children through adoption or birth, He has entrusted a young soul into our care for teaching, training, and affection. Your plans are going to be interrupted, and at what seems like the worst moments! How do we react to these interruptions?

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.

encouragement · Knowing God

Does God allow us to face the “impossible?”

"God never gives you more than you can handle." Have you ever heard this phrase? I hear it frequently applied to difficult circumstances, but I believe it is untrue. It is a misuse of 1 Corinthians 10.12-13: Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you… Continue reading Does God allow us to face the “impossible?”

Christian community · encouragement · Marriage and Family

To The Parents with the Squirmy Kids at Worship

  I saw you on Sunday morning. I watched you walk down the aisle at least three times. On the first trip, you held a squirmy baby in one arm and a diaper bag in the other. Your second exodus involved a recalcitrant toddler, howling like a wolf at the moon. You made your last… Continue reading To The Parents with the Squirmy Kids at Worship

Prayer

When Prayer Feels Counterproductive

What do you do when your prayers feel ineffective? Maybe you've had this problem. Maybe you haven't. I'll be honest. In my time as a Christian, there have been moments of doubt as to the productiveness of praying because the enemy kicked me back down as soon as I stood up to fight. Imagine having… Continue reading When Prayer Feels Counterproductive

encouragement · God's Love

Beautiful Blessings

We often hear people say, "I am blessed." Often, this is expressed in reference to prosperity, health, children, or peace. Indeed, our "blessings" come in diverse and unexpected shapes. In the book of Numbers, Aaron and the priests were instructed to bless the people in this way: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to… Continue reading Beautiful Blessings

Christian Living · encouragement

What a Marine Taught Me About Jesus

When asked, “Would you die for someone you love?” most would answer affirmatively. If you ask a Christian, “Would you die for Christ?” you will again get a hearty “yes!” And yet, how often do we fail to sacrifice our little wants, needs, and desires for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our God?