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Month: September 2015

Fear Is Not the Final Word

“Hail to Dorothy, the Wicked Witch is dead!” With a simple bucket of water Dorothy slew the dreaded Witch, and it didn’t come a moment too soon. My six-year-old heart was about to beat out of my chest. But thanks to the strategically located bucket, disaster was evaded – that […]

humble ministry leadership

Four Marks of a Humble Ministry Leader

What a person treasures defines their spirituality before God. Such attachment to material possessions is where all Christians tend to live, what author Francis Schaeffer calls “ash heap lives” (No Little People, 228). In his book, Schaeffer writes that human materialism is a sign that personal possession, personal pride, and personal gain have […]

Spiritual Growth

Don’t Wish for Spiritual Growth, Work for It

I am a working mother. I am a steady volunteer for my children’s respective schools and my church. I’m a carpool mom for various after-school programs, a wife of 15 years, a daughter of aging parents, and a mother trying to cook healthy homemade meals at least three times a […]

How to Pray in the Position of a Servant

Learning the art of prayer involves taking the position of a servant. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. […]

The Goat of Your Guilt Is Gone

Sometimes I need a goat. Not just any goat. A scapegoat — like the one described in Leviticus 16. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Israel’s high priest, Aaron, brought two goats into the tabernacle courtyard and presented them to the Lord at the entrance of the tabernacle (v7). […]

golden calf

If Only It Were a Golden Calf

Sometimes when I read the Old Testament, I scoff at the Israelites and the surrounding nations. I think to myself, “O silly Israelites, God just brought you out of Egypt, and you’re making a golden calf to bow down in worship?” Physical idol worship is one of those things that always makes me […]

Can Christian Love Prevent Us from Being Persecuted?

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) With these words, Jesus announces that he is the pinnacle of love. At the cross, we have a Savior who not only died for his friends, but also for his enemies. Romans […]

“Prayer” Twitter Party Highlights

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week at our #AskPastorCol Twitter Party! We discussed the topic of prayer through a question and answer session, and Pastor Colin ended the party by praying over the participants. He also included some helpful tweets about his favorite books on prayer: New […]

Colliding Kingdoms in Kentucky

It was bound to happen. Kim Davis, county clerk in Kentucky, is in the news for appealing to her Christian beliefs as a defense for not signing marriage licenses of any sort. Davis has been in jail, was released, and the news is all over it. Davis feels that marriage was defined by God, and […]

prayers for the new school year

Four Prayers for the New School Year

Our youngest left for college a few weeks ago. For the first time, my husband and I have no one to wake for school, help with homework, or share the car keys. I’m not sure when ABCs became SATs—overnight, it seems. Too quickly, we moved from Play-Doh, training wheels, and […]

be strong in the Lord

What It Means to Be Strong in the Lord

 …be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (Ephesians 6:10) If you have ever felt that you can’t win your battles on your own, I have good news for you: you can’t. You were never meant to fight alone. Paul makes our source of power and […]

spiritual disciplines

Don’t Lose Spiritual Disciplines for Fear of Legalism

This past year, I was given the incredible opportunity of participating in a 16-week course taught by Colin Smith alongside of a few other guest speakers. During one of these sessions, I was struck by a statement made by Pastor Colin. He said, Don’t let the fear of legalism rob you […]

directing acting interview with Tim Gregory

On Directing, Acting, and “Heaven, How I Got Here”

Today’s episode of Working on Purpose features Timothy Gregory, the Founding Artistic Director of Provision Theater Company, based in Chicago, Illinois. Tim is a dear friend of the ministry and the adapter of Pastor Colin’s book Heaven, How I Got Here into a one-man drama for the stage. Provision Theater Company is devoted to […]

evangelism

Empowered Evangelism

Joshua summarized the conquest of Israel with this line: “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45). Years earlier, when Joshua stood at the edge of the Jordan preparing to cross into […]

Praying in the Spirit

Romans 8:26-27 might be the most comforting passage in Scripture. It reads, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts […]

Join Our #AskPastorCol Twitter Party and Giveaway on September 16!

If you could ask any question about prayer, what would it be? Bring this question and others to a Twitter Party all about the topic of prayer! On Wednesday, September 16 at 3pm CT, Pastor Colin will be on Twitter answering your toughest questions, like: Who do we pray to? […]

how to share your testimony

How to Share Your Testimony

September is Listener Stories Month, where we encourage you to tell us how you’ve been impacted by Unlocking the Bible! When preparing your testimony, ask yourself, “How do the details of my story ultimately point to God’s bigger story in the gospel of Jesus Christ?” Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie explains the importance […]

Help me teach the bible with nancy guthrie and colin smith

Help Me Teach the Bible: Colin Smith on Jonah

When we speak the Word of God, then the voice of God is heard. And that’s a wonderful encouragement for anyone who’s a Bible teacher. You speak the Word of God, then when the Word of God is heard, the voice of God is heard. What an incredible truth! Pastor […]

What Does Your Frustration Say About You?

I’ve recently entered a new life stage – the stage of realizing how valuable my parents’ advice is. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I made it eventually. For my dad, this transition means he gets sought out every few months with a big life issue. (Unfortunately for […]

On Sunroofs and Self-Denial

Jesus did not demand his rights but willingly set his face to Calvary, for your sake and for mine. Oh, how I wish I would respond that way to life’s circumstances – especially the trivial ones that pale in comparison to such a weight of glory as bearing sin on […]

biblical womanhood

Three Traits of Biblical Womanhood

Over five years ago, I sat alone in a small, cold, quiet room in the back of the doctor’s office. The doctor shared with me some test results, about which I was rather hopeful and optimistic, when I heard his words: “You have a one to two percent chance of […]