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Month: July 2016

The Cure for Perfectionism

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit. (Romans 7:6) Romans 7 is the cure for perfectionism. Some of you live under a crushing burden. Let me try to describe what […]

forgiveness

Of Serial Killers, Hidden Sins, and Forgiveness in Christ

“How can you not know your own father was a serial killer?” That question fueled the lunchtime discussion between my coworkers and me. A coworker’s friend met the daughter of a famous serial killer. The killer’s daughter confessed to having no idea that her father was regularly killing people during […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (July 27, 2016)

The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life Article Series Enjoy a series of articles by our writing team, centering on the 10 Commandments and Pastor Colin’s book: “10 Questions for Examining Your Life,” “No Other Gods Before Our God,” “Little Children, Keep Yourselves from Idols,” “Two Common Misuses of God’s Name.“ […]

making tough decisions

Three Steps to Making Tough Decisions

We all follow leaders. The question is, who’s leading? Most of us follow some combination of our peers, people we admire, advertising, media outlets, and most importantly for Christians, Jesus. As a Christian, my desire is to follow Jesus more closely and to let other influences fade. I don’t kid myself that I can […]

misuse god's name

Two Common Misuses of God’s Name

When I was growing up, we were taught that to exclaim “Oh my God” was wrong, but that saying “Oh my gosh” instead was fine. At the time, this was my only notion of taking the Lord’s name in vain. I think, as a child, I remembered this commandment most […]

Kinds of Hope

Could There Be Two Different Kinds of Hope?

“We have run out of options. Your ankle will continue to get worse and you may eventually be unable to walk on it. In order to prolong your use of it, you must avoid all running, jumping, and stress on your leg…to the best of your ability, even avoid gaining […]

throw stones

Love Doesn’t Throw Stones

Jesus’ statement pierced the heart of every person present, though he addressed his words to no one in particular. If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7, NIV) From the self-righteous Pharisee to the humiliated adulteress—each one […]

15 Bible Verses for Every Christian to Memorize

Memorizing God’s Word is a vital, joy-producing discipline of grace for every Christian—but where to begin? With so many thousands of verses to choose from, memorization can feel overwhelming, and we often don’t know where to start. Why Memorize Bible Verses? Many of us have asked several clarifying questions about […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (July 20, 2016)

3 Reasons Why Reading the Bible Feels Like a Chore (Aaron Armstrong, Blogging Theologically) …why is it that reading the Bible seems like such a chore? While there are, no doubt, many reasons, here are three that I’ve seen crop up most frequently in my own life. When a Christian Feels […]

suffer well

Suffer Well by Trusting God

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15) God sovereignly intervened in my sister’s life […]

miracles

Bible Q&A: Can Miracles Like the Resurrection Happen Today?

Question:  I have been kind of questioning the Bible. I read every day and study it. I have been thinking lately that I don’t think any of the stuff in the Bible could happen today, like dead people coming back to life, a virgin having a baby, one man killing 6,000 […]

keep yourselves from idols

Little Children, Keep Yourselves from Idols

With the re-release of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life next month, our writing team continues with a series of articles on each of the Ten Commandments in July and August! Helicopter parents are everywhere. Their children are never allowed to fail, make mistakes, or be anything less than perfect. That is, not […]

How to Get Closer to God

How to Get Closer to God and Others

This year I’ve spent several Wednesdays dreading the evening’s small group. We have a group of amazing prayer partners—and that’s just the problem. Our group has come to expect the real, troubling prayer requests, not the easy ones about grandmothers’ colds and work travel. I get prayer request paralysis. It’s […]

no other gods

No Other Gods Before Our God

With the re-release of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life next month, our writing team continues with a series of articles on each of the Ten Commandments in July and August! “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (July 13, 2016)

Three Questions for Bible Journaling (Cary Hughes, Desiring God) If you’ve never experienced the benefits of Bible journaling, perhaps you find yourself asking the question, “How do I write my thoughts about what I am reading in my Bible?” We like the idea, but have no idea what to write. What […]

preparing for suffering

The Secret to Preparing for Suffering

“It feels like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” I sat on the edge of our bed with tears in my eyes, attempting to describe to my husband the silent, simmering fear that had been plaguing me. I was in perpetual dread of the possibility of getting re-injured […]

questioning salvation

Are You Questioning Your Salvation?

Mountain climbing is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Yet, each year thousands of thrill-seekers attempt to scale the largest mountains in the world for a few precious minutes at the summit. Climbers face many obstacles for their 15 minutes of fame, from altitude sickness to […]

examining your life

10 Questions for Examining Your Life

With the re-release of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life next month, our writing team begins a series of articles on each of the Ten Commandments in July and August! Examining your life is essential to your growth as a Christian believer. Seeing your own sins and failings will make it possible […]

marriage

9 Ways Married Women Manipulate Their Husbands

It is no secret that women and men communicate differently and, thus, often misunderstand one another. By God’s design, men thrive best when they feel respected by others, especially their wives. Wives flourish when they feel protected and cherished by the men they love. Unfortunately, due to sin, not only […]

why was Jesus baptized

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

The matter of Jesus’ baptism can be confusing for some people. If Jesus was perfect, and John was baptizing with water for repentance (Matthew 3:11), then why was Jesus baptized? He didn’t have anything to repent of! Yet, in Matthew 3:15, Jesus says to John, “Let it be so now, for thus it […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (July 6, 2016)

Win a free copy of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life by visiting our Facebook Page! What About Your Desire to Do Something Great for God? (Kelly Needham, True Woman) We’d like to have some say in how we are used by God, but frankly that is none of our business. 3 […]

untold Bible stories

Three Untold Bible Stories (and What They Tell Us About God)

The Bible is God’s Word to us; God is the main character, and the Bible tells God’s story. His supporting cast inhabits about 2,200 years of human history, starting with the people of Israel and ending with the first century development of the church. The Bible, by necessity, focuses on God’s story through […]

Scripture

Speak Scripture into Suffering

When my first daughter went to be with the Lord, one friend wrote to me, “There are no words.” There are no words to describe, quantify, or eliminate the pain of child loss—it was a depletion of my person in nearly every possible manner. There are no words for the […]

Freedom

How to Use Your Freedom

“Freedom” means that you have the ability to do something different. When Henry Ford rolled his cars off the production lines in 1909, he declared, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.” That was not freedom. I have a friend who says that he was […]

freedom

Something More Important Than Your Freedom

What is the most amazing story you’ve ever heard? This one is at the top of my list, and it is anything but normal: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that […]