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Month: April 2016

anxiety

Renouncing Anxiety

A beloved relative is dying before your eyes; the syncopation of an EKG monitor punctuates each heartbeat. Bleep… Bleep… Bleep…. It’s not the sound of hospital equipment, however, that is dragging your soul into despair; it’s the conflicted thoughts and emotions swirling within. Beautiful memories from the past, tender and […]

self-control

The Eternal Importance of Exercising Self-Control

I am a habitual nail-picker. If I’m nervous, I play with my nails. If I’m distracted, I play with my nails. Whether something occupies my attention, or I have nothing else to do, guess what? I play with my nails. By the end of all my fiddling, I’ve practically worn […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (April 27, 2016)

Consider attending these two great conferences: The Gospel Coalition’s 2017 National Conference (Indianapolis) and the True Woman 2016 National Women’s Conference (also in Indianapolis). Should You Stay or Go? (Mark Dever, 9Marks) I want to suggest 12 factors for you to consider when deciding whether to stay in your present church or move […]

The Joy of the Lord and the Playfulness of Man

Play is something that we do for the sheer love of the activity. Playing a game, going dancing, enjoying a dinner party with friends, and going hiking can all be wonderful, playful pursuits. What does God think about our playfulness? Is God playful? As I was preparing to speak about play at […]

sinful nature

10 Cravings of the Sinful Nature

What are the cravings of the sinful nature? What kinds of strong desire does the sinful nature produce? What does the intense longing that comes from your sinful nature look like? Here are 10 examples. You’ll recognize them immediately. 1.  When you are blessed, the sinful nature produces pride: The […]

mission trip

Three Reasons to Go on a Mission Trip

A few years back my wife and I took our first mission trip to Romania. Before we departed we were filled with expectations, uncertainty, and more than a little trepidation. What if we failed to live up to our call to minister to our Romanian brothers and sisters? What if […]

Three Truths to Fight the Temptation to Glorify Self

One thing that I long for in my eternal dwelling with Christ is to be set free from the endless battles with my flesh. Oh to be free from the desire to please others, the subtle trap of idolizing things in this world, the attempts to take control of what […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (April 21, 2016)

Welcome back to Key Connections, a new midweek article connecting you to key biblical resources around the web! How to Help the Broken (Melissa Danisi, Self Talk the Gospel) In our brokenness, we often feel unseen, unloved, unwanted by God and others…So it is with those who might be hiding in pain […]

authority

A Gospel Vaccine for the Authority Virus

The Zika virus has been a popular topic in the news lately. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that, if contracted, the virus causes a fever, rashes, even joint pain. In addition, infants have acquired deformities, citing the virus’ strain in their systems. This is horrible! Yet, the destructive […]

while you wait

While You Wait, Do These Three Things

Genesis 37-50 tells the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. God blessed Joseph richly and used him powerfully, but only after Joseph had been in slavery and prison for 13 years. The Bible gives us many examples of people who had to wait for God, but I have chosen […]

How to Inherit: An Allegory from Downton Abbey

My husband and I have enjoyed watching the PBS show Downton Abbey, which finished with its final episode in March. The season finale culminated in the glamorous and happy news that characters Edith and Bertie would finally marry. When the viewers meet Bertie, he is the agent of the Brancastor […]

contentment

The Wasteland of More What

More. Within each human spirit, a whispery voice urges, “More.” And the chronic itch that we can’t reach is more of what? Philosophers say more knowledge. Hedonists say more pleasure. Scientists say more answers. Merchandisers say more stuff. King Solomon asked that question: More what? And he tried all those […]

10 Practical Tips for Memorizing Scripture

For some reason God made it easy for me to memorize. When I was a boy, I memorized a lot of meaningless stats on the back of baseball cards and the nutrition information on the side of cereal boxes. Why? Because I liked numbers and could. Now that I’m following Jesus, […]

the future

A Good Relationship with the Future

On moving day, I mostly reclined, having been barred from packing heavy items, lifting boxes or furniture, and reaching to hang pictures or put items in tall cabinets. This was a benefit of making the move late in the third trimester of pregnancy. Watching, I thought to myself, This is […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (April 13, 2016)

Welcome to Key Connections, a new midweek article connecting you to key biblical resources around the web! The Psalms as Prescription for Depression (Nick Murray, For The Church) When the darkness is heaviest, it is hard to go to the Word. But I believe that those are the times where the Word […]

the Power of God

Strengthened with All the Power of God

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:11-13) One of my many part-time jobs in college was working […]

thinking

The Key to Thinking Differently

The human brain is arguably one of the most complex organisms that God has ever designed. Did you know: The human brain is composed of approximately 78% water, 10% lipids, 8% protein, 1% carbohydrates, 2% soluble organics, 1% inorganic salt? From the time of birth, a baby’s brain will grow […]

Three Subtle Differences Between Dead and Living Faith

I have a deep love for the kids that I have the privilege of ministering to. They bring me so much joy…even when they’re running around the church like tiny crazy people. I also have a deep sense of the weighty task I’ve been given. The Lord has entrusted them […]

Two Reasons to Draw Near to God in Suffering (Rather Than Reject Him)

Picture David laying prostrate before God in a dank, dark cave, the sweat of suffering coating his brow, as he cries out for comfort and deliverance from his enemies, who hotly pursue him. How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?    How long will you hide your face from […]

waiting

Worship in the Waiting

I recently made a plan to leave my job. In April of 2015, the Lord deeply stirred in our family’s heart that there was something next for us. Over time, we began to feel and see that this stirring was creating a sense of longing for a senior leadership role […]

glory of God

Are You Seeking the Glory of God or the Glory of Man?

As I’ve watched the last several weeks of political debates, caucuses, and interviews, I’ve been struck by the number of presidential candidates who claim some form of faith in God, while talking and living in a way that seems far more about pursuing their own agenda than living under the […]

The Dangers of Anger (and What to Do Next)

Recently, anger seems an overwhelming part of our cultural, political, and personal rhetoric. Should we be concerned, or is anger an appropriate response to perceived injustices? The Anger of the Lord I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end […]

faith

10 Distinct Differences Between Faith and Unbelief

I’ve been thinking about what it means to live by faith. Saying that you believe in Jesus is one thing. Exercising faith in Christ through the challenges of life is another. It’s easy to confess faith but then to speak and act in unbelief. I’ve caught myself doing that a […]

survey

Please Take Our 2016 Reader Survey!

Did you know that our writing team prays for you? We care deeply about serving you with written content that is nourishing for your faith. We want to be a resource for you and point you to Christ! But we need your help. In order to serve you better, your […]

be silent

Knowing When to Speak and When to Be Silent

Welcome to the new millennium, when we are provided constant opportunities online to voice our opinions and slay any opposition. But what happens when our beliefs and opinions are challenged? We prepare for defense, we prepare for verbal retaliation. And when we do this, we ultimately disregard Christ’s commandment to […]