“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
There is something utterly precious about quiet. Having grown up in the city and lived in cities for most of my life, there is always noise of some kind---traffic, sirens, dogs, trains, loud music, and the far off roar of airplane engines. Even in the mountains and forests, noise is everywhere---the noise of the wind in… Continue reading The Need for Quiet in a Noisy World
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?
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.
Note from Elihu: I'm sure many of you have already made your goals, but if you're like me, the goals get re-evaluated frequently. This post applies to any time we make plans or goals or even dream dreams. I hope your year is off to a lovely start! May God bless you with grace and… Continue reading The One Thing You Need to Do Before You Set New Year’s Resolutions
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.
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
The sink is overflowing with dishes and more have migrated to the countertops. Piles of laundry wait expectantly to be washed, folded or put away. Your kids seem to think that their outdoor behavior works indoors. Suddenly, you hear glass shatter nearby as the dog's tail makes contact with a vase. The phone is pinging.… Continue reading When You’re On Sensory Overload
So many families have no choice but to be dual-income. With the cost of living rising faster than wages and divorce rates elevated, many parents are unable to volunteer in their kids' classes. Some parents have to put their kids into after-school care with people they don't know all that well. Homeschool parents also get overwhelmed, particularly if they have children with developmental, physical or behavioral disorders. Grandparents, retired from full-time work, can play a valuable role in the lives of their grandchildren while providing some much needed help for their children.
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