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.

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Knowing God

My best thought for Thanksgiving, and always.

Today, many of us will be gathering with family or friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. To be candid, I approach the holidays like a soldier living in a war zone---I just want to survive. The pressure to meet expectations, make people happy, shop frugally, cook perfect meals (or sides), make… Continue reading My best thought for Thanksgiving, and always.

Thankfulness

Recounting God’s gifts

The Thanksgiving holiday fast approaches here in the United States. Thanksgiving recipes abound, turkeys are running for cover, and plans are being made in earnest for that fourth Thursday of November. I love the trend of the past few years of posting one thing to be thankful for each day in November, as it puts… Continue reading Recounting God’s gifts

Christian Living · encouragement

Short-term memory loss.

Sometimes I read Bible accounts and have a face-palm moment. How could these people be so dense?! And then I realize something---I am just as foolish at times!

Christian Living · Thankfulness · Trust

Acceptance: what it is and what it is not. (Comparison Cure#2)

So often we think we've been dealt a bad hand. We see God as unjust and unfair---though I daresay we only think it in our heart. The truth is, Satan is trying to pull us away from God by any and every means possible. Satan will use wealth and prosperity to create pride, apathy and complacency. He inspired concentration camps to create despair and hopelessness. He destroys families, feeds loneliness and abandonment so that people will seek help outside of God, falling deeper into his clutches. God is not unaware of what goes on, and we are never beyond his reach. God is able to transform any agonizing trial into something glorious if we accept the situation and allow Him to work.

Christian Living

Comparison Cure #1: Contentment

Our high-powered culture tells us that if we apply ourselves and work hard, we can have the American Dream---2 (or more) new cars, a fancy-schmancy house in a good neighborhood, highly talented children, a fat 401(k) and all the latest and greatest toys. If you fall short of this dream, the unspoken assumption is that you are unmotivated and lazy. You should have more, you deserve more, you need more. But is that contentment?

Forgiveness · Thankfulness

Day 30: Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Jesus has so many names: The Messiah, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Immanuel, the Word, the Light. Jesus came into the World to give us life, grace, and truth. For the last 29 days, I've been writing about things I am thankful for. I saved the one of greatest import for last. Why am I thankful for Jesus? I don't think I could write enough posts to cover that answer completely...

Faithfulness · Thankfulness · Trust

Day 29: The Bible

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search it out...

Faithfulness · Thankfulness · Trust

Day 28: Hope

The situation is desperate. The men quake with fear but stand ready to fight. The stench of death surrounds them. Despair is palpable.

Thankfulness

30 Days of Giving Thanks Weekly Roundup (week 4)

Good morning, my friends! Week 4?! Already! I can't believe it's almost over! Well, ok, I guess I can. We put up the Christmas tree yesterday, so we are swiftly rushing into the getting giving season. (You may see a few posts on giving in the coming weeks). A heart that is full of thankfulness will share willingly… Continue reading 30 Days of Giving Thanks Weekly Roundup (week 4)