James: Faith and Action
Overcoming The Holidays
James, the brother of Jesus, lived long ago, but he left us with a guide to understand Faith in this epistle with the same name. He communicated in his letter that Faith isn’t just an internal idea, but a concrete, visible state of mind that is evidenced by what we choose to do with our lives.
Faith leads to Action.
Fear, Love, and Politics
It’s Christmas-time and the holiday season is in full swing!
Have you noticed that Christmas has become a very in-your-face holiday? It seems like everywhere I look there is red and green, lights, jingle bells, and cheer. There are 24 hour Christmas radio stations, racks of Christmas attire in every store, and enough Hallmark and Netflix original Christmas movies to fill up a whole week.
Walking Before Talking
But how did we go from two sided politics to the depth of angry rhetoric that is defining each election cycle in our country? Everywhere I look, it seems as if people are trading the common decency of treating others like themselves in order to point fingers, vilify, and hurt. The examples are endless, from our national leaders right down to our neighbors across the street.
1, 2, 3 John: Walking In Truth
I had a friend the other day tell me I should read a book he was reading about the Bible, but his recommendation was encapsulated by a warning:
“You’ll probably hate it. It will make you mad,” he said. “But you should still read it.”
The Lament of the Confident
Join us in this seven week study of the books of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and we will learn: That God wants us to be assured in our salvation and eternity. To identify light from dark, sinfulness from righteousness. How to be a confident believer. That God is love, and He wants us to love others. What it means to have a testimony. To look out for deceivers and their lies. How to walk in the Truth of the Gospel.
Are You Living Victoriously?
For me it is comfortable to rely on myself, my successes at work, my family and friends, my home, and all it holds. It’s comfortable but also fleeting. My confidence in myself can feel as solid as steel one moment and then slips through my fingers like that sand on the beaches of the Gulf.
Honestly, I get tired of the fleeting. The unreliability of my own flesh is exhausting in a way. That’s why trading my perspective to that of Paul’s has been an exercise in freedom.
How To Own Your Right Now
I don’t know about you, friend, but I tend to approach my life like I’m living through several movies back to back. As the hero of course (ha), I’m living life, and then a difficult circumstance hits like the climax of a film. I’m then thrown for a while. I may wallow in my emotions, complain, search for an escape, live in denial - you name it, all the bad ways of reacting.
Esther Video Blog!
It may be a bad day or week or year at work. Or I might get some terrible news about someone I know - sickness, death, loss, rejection - it all comes. Or maybe I am just in a time of personal suffering, where I don’t know what to do or where God is in it all.
It is then I begin to question my place and time in the world. Why me? Why now? Why this? And I lose sight of the idea that I am here on purpose, that God made me exactly for my right now.
In fact what I would rather do is abandon my right now and run in the opposite direction towards anything else. The last thing I want is to be made “for such a time is this”.
Esther: For Such A Time As This
Our resident creative genius Sarah Kate took over our blog today! Watch the video below to see how beautifully she conveys truth about the book of Esther!
How Horror Can Be A Mirror
Have you ever found yourself at the brink of decision? Maybe you’ve felt pushed and pulled by the demands of many, and confusion and fear have paralyzed you from action. Or you’ve felt the pressure of having to have your life totally figured out, while, ironically, your expectations keep being unfulfilled.
The Joy Of The Lord [Video!]
There was a horrific school shooting two weeks ago in Florida, the details of which are hard to swallow for even the most desensitized or indifferent.
It was extremely hard for this teacher to hear as well. I found myself reading every article I could find, pulled into the black hole of the internet, scouring every detail.
Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
Our resident creative genius Sarah Kate took over our blog today! Watch the video below to see how beautifully she conveys truth about this incredible passage in Nehemiah.
While You Wait...
The lies within us partner with our personalities or internal wiring and lead us right into sin. That gravitational pull to sin then paralyzes our hands, and we become ineffective for the kingdom, stymieing the work God has led us to accomplish.
The defense that we need, then, must be internal as well as external. We must combat our own selves, and Nehemiah gratefully gives a picture of where it must start.
Dealing With Sin When It Shows Up
In the Fall of 2014, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to pray a specific and uncharacteristic prayer.
Before I lay it all out, I probably need to communicate what makes the prayer uncharacteristic. First of all, you need to know that I am not a visionary. Meaning, I’m not the one dreaming big dreams of the future with pie-in-the-sky aspirations. I'm more of a doer. I’m going to be the one in the trenches working hard to make someone else’s ideas happen. Second, I am perfectly happy with that. I like “the doing” just fine.
Who Is Ezra? [Video!]
Self-realization comes in many forms but always seems to pop up when I am the least aware. I feel like I’m at a point where I feel comfortable understanding “me.” But then I deal with some unforeseen circumstance, and then something new surfaces.
Where Community Goes Wrong
Check out this amazing new video on the book of Ezra!
Satan's Playbook and How To Fight Back
Whether it is making sure you have a solid group of Christian friends, accountability partners, the right-fit small group, etc., the overwhelming message is a Biblical one. We’re meant to be a small cog in the wheel of doing life together, unified to the same goal.
But I wonder if after we’ve found our community and checked that box on our godly to-do list, we neglect an equally Biblical understanding of the role of the believer as part of the body - that of correction and instruction of each other in the faith.
I feel like a lot of Christians have the heebie jeebies when it comes to Satan.
It’s like when the abused puppy rescue commercials come on, and everyone immediately turns the channel. People get squirmy when it comes to discussing Satan’s reality in our lives. Most would rather just turn the channel.