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Month: November 2015

Christmas gift idea

The Complete Christmas Gift Idea Guide

While you make your lists and check them twice this Christmas, consider the gift of God’s Word for your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors. From Bibles to devotionals to books to studies and more, our Online Store has a wide selection of biblical resources for all your gift-giving needs. […]

empty chair

The Empty Chair at the Table

This weekend was tragic for my community. If you’re a parent of a middle school child in my area, you are holding your kids just a little bit tighter and whispering “I love you” just a little more frequently. Late last Friday afternoon, my phone buzzed, indicating that I had […]

What Does It Really Mean to Be Blessed?

I often hear statements such as, “I am so blessed to have three healthy children!” or “I received the promotion that I’ve been waiting for…I feel so blessed!” or “We just bought the home of our dreams. We are incredibly blessed!” or “We are blessed to live in a country […]

thankfulness

Thankfulness in the Mud Pit

In October, my father-in-law suffered a stroke. Rehabilitation will be a lengthy process for him. His body will need to adjust to its new limitations. Such a physical trial can lead a person either to worship or into a state of despair. Are you, or is someone you know, in […]

Lessons from Little-Known Women of the Bible: Anna

It’s almost Thanksgiving, a day when we will give thanks around a table overflowing with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and other goodies. No gifts. No hype. No countdown, unless you’re the one hosting a large crowd for the day, and even that is a joy. It’s a bit distressing to wake up the day after Thanksgiving, with memories […]

A Mephibosheth Dinner Invitation

The air was a balmy 75 degrees, hardly autumn weather. Our dinner guests enjoyed the beautiful day sharing a meal around folding tables pushed together on our covered patio. The dinner table didn’t look like a magazine picture of Thanksgiving, but we were celebrating this favorite family holiday surrounded by […]

Thankfulness

A Lifestyle of Thankfulness

Every night after I get into bed, I thank the Lord for three blessings. Sometimes, the items tumble out quickly: a friend’s encouraging letter, an unexpected source of income, a doctor’s favorable report. But after an exhausting day of disappointments, I struggle to name my blessings — even three of […]

the world

Making Sense of the Newspaper and the World

If this is God’s world, how can it be filled with pain and suffering on such a massive scale? How can we connect the words of the angels about “peace on earth” with the reality of conflict and war? At the inauguration of his public ministry, Jesus announced that he […]

The Gospel Is More Powerful Than You Think

I was sitting in a weekend class this past Friday night when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the news about the bombings and shootings in Paris. During our dinner break, I sat down at a McDonalds and watched CNN as they reported on the ongoing hostage crises […]

Let’s regard the Lord’s discipline, not lightly, but with humbly submissive attitudes and searching thoughts, with the desire to bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness

Do Not Regard God’s Discipline Lightly

I’ve never met a person who said that discipline was pleasant. Parents battle their kid’s temper tantrums with heavy hearts and tears, athletes break their bodies in order to build strength and train for victory, and reckless drivers receive expensive tickets so the roads are kept safe. Discipline is often […]

misplaced identity

The Remedy for our Misplaced Identity

That’s all he wanted – one look at his Santa hat. It had been a rough December night. At dinner earlier that evening, and against my better judgment, I had let our kids choose between drinking Sprite and Mr. Pibb. (Yes, I know the caffeine content, hence the bad night.) […]

evil

Evil Predestined by God’s Hand and Plan

There is nothing new under the sun. What can be said when terror strikes yet again? I find myself deeply disturbed and yet uncomfortably familiar with the hatred and death that is ravaging our world. Another attack, another groaning. “How long, O Lord?” Our comfort is this: the cross. In […]

the gospel

What Acts Teaches Us About the Advancement of the Gospel

Jesus said this to his followers before his ascension: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) This promise provides the structure for the book of Acts, […]

Looking Death in the Face

Looking Death in the Face

Birth and death are the brackets of life which enclose us in the present. They are, however, quite different — birth exudes potential; death offends it, bringing life to a bitter and abrupt conclusion. Try as we may, even the best embalmers fail to restore the beauty of life. It […]

freedom

When Freedom Is Actually Slavery

In many ways and on various holidays, our nation celebrates freedom. Freedom to worship God in public places without restrictions, freedom to believe various worldviews, freedom of speech, freedom to vote and participate in democracy – the list goes on and on. Praise God for the United States of America, […]

Staying the Course When You’re Tired of the Battle

What battle is making you weary right now? If you work in an environment where everything is affirmed except faith in Christ, you may find that, over time, the ongoing erosion of an increasingly hostile culture begins to wear you down. If you are going through a stale time in […]

Devotional App

Announcing the New LifeKEYS Daily Mobile App

We’ve heard your feedback and have been encouraged by your letters. The Lord is using LifeKEYS Daily devotional in amazing ways! And so, we are excited to announce the newest addition to our media “family,” coming in late December 2015: LifeKEYS Daily mobile app! The devotional app is still being created, […]

Three Helpful Truths About Mental Illness

With the holiday season approaching, I have mixed emotions. I love the decorations, pumpkin-flavored everything, Christmas music, and candles with scents like “Frosted Snowflake” and “Fireside Flannel.” But along with the excitement comes a twinge of dread. For the roughly 20% of people affected by mental illness, namely anxiety and depressive […]

the gospel

The Urgency of the Gospel

Today, Jesus is transforming life, and he is able to transform even death. Pastor Colin Smith preached a brief message at our fundraising event, Today 2015, on the urgency of the gospel, why “today” is the day for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope this encourages you, […]

Don’t Just Follow Your Dreams

“I don’t really have any dreams.” My friend spilled this confession as we tried to piece together future possibilities and life directions one lazy Saturday. I had long been embarrassed that I was in the same place, hiding my cultural heresy of dreamlessness. “I don’t have dreams either!” I said. […]

in exile

Four Keys to Living Faithfully in Exile

We have all known seasons of exile, in one form or another. Perhaps you’ve found yourself stuck in a geographical location, and every circumstance — no matter how hard you’ve tried to escape — seemed to hold you there. Maybe you’ve seen all your hopes, dreams, and plans go terribly awry. […]

God's will

God’s Will for Your Life

Many of us are desperate to know the will of God for our lives. There are so many decisions to make and none of the answers seem clear. Where should I go to college? What kind of career should I pursue? Should I keep the job that I have? Should […]