Do you have a pet peeve? That one irritation, often outside of your control, that gets you every time. For some it’s grammar mistakes. For others it’s not putting the toilet seat down. For others it may be bad driving behavior on the roads. Whatever it is, we all have at least one. For me,…
As I drove to work one morning, surrounded by six-foot piles of snow on either side of the road, while the rain simultaneously fell and hit my windshield, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of joy! Joy because we’d hit the time of year where the seasons collide once again, and the much-awaited spring…
Encountering God in the Stories That Move Us
I believe that approaching stories (and other works of art) this way can be fruitful in our walk with Jesus. As you listen to that song, watch that movie, read that novel, or tune into that audiobook, be mindful. What part of God’s story is this echoing? How do I resonate with the pain being dealt with here?
Do You Hear What I Hear?
I’ve understood some of the Scriptures in different ways, I have heard a large section of Scriptures at one time, and I have caught themes and context throughout a larger section of scriptures. Therefore, I want to introduce you to this nearly forgotten practice (insert drum roll…) HEARING the Word of God.
Gratitude and Perspective: Home (sick) for the holidays
This is our second Christmas, third major holiday in a row that we’ve been home sick. It seems the closer we get to gathering with family, the more congestion sets in, then a fever and bam! Suddenly all the baking and bustling, the planning and purchasing, are pointless. We’re home sick for yet another holiday….
Stop the Hectivity
One of my favorite words to describe this time of year is the word hectivity. It is a combination of the words hectic and activity, and it describes what many of us are involved in during the month of December as we add parties for work, family gatherings, special church events, shopping, planning and more,…
For the last several months, my LifeGroup has been going through the Friendship Church Bible study curriculum on the life of Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 24-35. Throughout these chapters we see a cycle of God’s promises to and through broken and sinful people. We see these promises put into jeopardy due to the sinful…
I get excited when Fall feels “official”, because in youth ministry that means a Fall Retreat is right around the corner. I also get filled with anticipation, because I start to think about all the ways God has, can, and will work in the lives of the students that attend the retreat.
Fall for Jesus
Fall reminds us that this earthly life and most of what we toil for and focus on are temporary. Like the summer green gives way to falling amber hues, this too shall pass. Falling leaves are a reminder to hold unswervingly to Jesus, the one who will never fall away.
Because I Live
When we are stuck in our own image and relying on self for what we know only the Lord can do, it’s an understatement to say that we’re at a loss. I would say that I personally became outright powerless. And the more I fixated on my lack of being able to see God for who He is, the more inward focused I became, and my inability became a source of real pain.
Hurt People, Hurt People
During hurtful situations, whether we have been hurt by someone or we are feeling hurt from life circumstances, we have a choice. We can allow that hurt to create a cycle in our life. A cycle of hurt people hurting people.
Both of us were born in 1973, the year of the Roe v. Wade ruling. We were among the first children born during this 50-year period when abortion on demand was the legal position of our country. Our hearts break at the fact that over 63 million abortions have taken place in the United States…
The Freedom Question
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…– Galatians 5:1 What is it about freedom that both inspires and terrifies us? Since the dawn of humanity, we have experimented with harnessing and loosing freedoms again and again. History shows…
Epic Poetry: The Book of Psalms
. The psalms encourage us to praise God for who He is and what He has done. Psalms affirms God’s faithfulness to us in times of trouble and reminds us that He is our Provider. The portrayal of worship in the Psalms offers us glimpse after glimpse, of hearts and lives utterly devoted to God.
Choosing Music For Congregational Worship
The Bible has a lot to say about worship. Whether it’s concerning our hearts (Matthew 15:8-9; Exodus 29:13) or the types of songs and instruments used in worship (Psalm 150:1-5; Psalm 98:1-7). I personally enjoy the Psalmist’s call to use clashing cymbals and ram horns in worship. The world needs more of that. All said,…
The Smile of God
Did I just see a snowflake? Wait, what month is it? That’s right it’s the month of May! Butterflies and sunshine. Trees in full bloom and green grass to be mowed. Yeah, that’s the May I remember. This Spring has been very cloudy, and the temperatures have not been very warm. In times like this you could almost assume the sun did not exist anymore.
Declaring His Praise to the Generations
hen you have a heart for spiritual parenting, it doesn’t matter if you carried babies in your own womb or carried them in your heart as they grew in someone else’s womb. The story of redemption and restoration beckons us to share with future generations whether they are in our immediate family or not!
“Friend, please hear me today: the degree to which your sin is forgivable is dependent not on the weight of the sin but on the magnitude of the One who forgives. He is bigger, greater, good-er…and more faithful, more true, more gracious, more pure, more perfect, more merciful, more loving, and more compassionate.”
The wedding vows. Whether or not we’ve sat and tried to write them ourselves with the intention of saying them to another person, or if we have been attendees at a wedding ceremony where we’ve sat and listened, as third-party witnesses, to two other individuals say vows to one another, most can agree that it is a particularly sacred moment during the service.
Tears From the Other Room
prepare you for what it’s like to be a parent. I had so many people give me advice, tips, tricks, cautions, etc., which were all so helpful in their own way! But none of them could fully prepare me for what was ahead. Probably one of the most unexpected things about becoming a parent is how much it’s taught me about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It has brought to life so many characteristics of our Heavenly Father and caused me to experience them in a whole new light.
Life In View of the Cross
There are a variety of faith practices, spiritual disciplines and behavior that help us to walk nearer to Christ. An example may be our daily devotions. Daily devotions are where we spend time in the Bible, studying the Word and praying. This is a very helpful faith practice for the believer to calibrate their day and prepare for God’s plan. Fasting may be a spiritual discipline that allows for many things not the least of which is to put our body under control of the Spirit (denying the body’s natural urges to submit to spiritual authority). There is another faith practice, and that practice is found in living a life in view of the cross.
“While I believe marriage is a supremely important relationship in this life and different than just hunting for love, it can do the same thing to our mentalscape. A hostage takeover. But isn’t marriage beautiful, God-created, and all the things? Yep, and if we’re married, we should be honoring the choice we made, investing in our marriage, working for it, believing in it, enjoying it.”
Get Back on the Bike
Recently in a sermon, I told the story of how my daughter learned to ride a bike. In case you missed it, here are the essential details. When my daughter was five, she received her first bike. It was pink and green with tassels on the handlebars, and it had “Girl’s World” written in big…