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Month: November 2017

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 24, 2017)

A Beautiful Table and a Bitter Heart (Melissa Kruger, The Gospel Coalition) As we quiet our hearts before the Lord, offering up the sacrifice of praise for his goodness in our lives, we prepare our hearts to experience the joy of giving thanks. Counting our blessings instead of counting our […]

Thankfulness

Thankfulness in the Mud Pit

Are you, or is someone you know, in a season of trial this Thanksgiving Day? In times of despair, Scripture is medicine for the soul. God has also gifted the church with worship hymns that are biblically motivated from the hymn writer’s personal experience. Both inspired Scripture and spiritual songs […]

Perfection

Expecting Perfection or Explaining Grace?

“You expect perfection.” My mom’s well-timed words stung, but I knew she was right. I stood on the brink of “losing it” with my oldest daughter at the local fast food joint. I was struggling to maintain a calm exterior. Inside I was screaming. My mom’s words melt deeper into […]

Repentance

Bible Q&A: Why Are We Called to Repentance If We Remain Sinners?

Question: Pastors tell us to repent, but then they also say that we all sin.  So, which is it – repent or sin? Answer: That is a very good question! Notice what the apostle John says: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed […]

pray without ceasing

Three Practical Steps to Pray Without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17) To “pray without ceasing” means to have our minds always on the things of God, to be in constant communication with him, so that every […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 17, 2017)

The Flesh is Weak: Pastoral Reflections on Self-Control (Aaron Menikoff, 9Marks) It’s good to remember the fight for self-control. I must fight more. But the fight isn’t the whole story. Self-control is both a call to action and a gift to be received. Self-control is a piece of the fruit of […]

Proclaim

Salvation and Purpose in Five Little Words

“But” is my favorite word in the Bible. Throughout Scripture we see “but God,” or “but Christ,” or “but when…” Something was lost, but now it’s found. Someone was dead, but is now alive. A person was blind, but now can see. There was no way, but God made a […]

Angry

Why Christians Should Not Get Angry with the Lost

Imagine for a moment that you are responsible for parking at the Super Bowl. The cars are jammed in, bumper-to-bumper, and when the game is over, your job is to clear the parking lot as quickly and as safely as possible. Your strategy is simple: As soon as the drivers […]

Panic Attacks

Gospel Gratitude Through Panic Attacks

In a hotel gym while on vacation with my family, I stepped down from the treadmill to stretch, and found myself flat on my back—vision blurred. I reached for my phone to ask for help—thankfully I could. My sister helped me unglue from the ground and wobble to the elevator. […]

God Gives

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

“It’s all too much,” I cried into my coffee. “I can’t do it. I’m not enough.” Sitting in that quiet coffee shop, reality hit with force. Every day is filled with one reminder after another that I am not sufficient. I am not enough for my small group girls; I […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 10, 2017)

Do You Excuse Your Own Sin? (Don Straka, Desiring God) Instead of owning our sin, we excuse it. Instead of killing sin, we explain it away. Our sins become nothing worse, on our minds, than the kind of errors kids make playing soccer. You Are Not Too Young (Jaquelle Crowe, Revive Our […]

Counterfeit Gospels

Beware These Seven Counterfeit Gospels

A friend of mine worked in a bank overseas for about a year, handling large amounts of money. During training, she studied various bills and learned their details, so she could easily discern counterfeits if they came along. She studied the real thing so she could identify distortions. The same […]

Selfessness

Selflessness in a Selfie World

I am dealing with how to be selfless when I feel like someone is invading my space. Annoyances pop up, one after another, making my frustration level run high. Why won’t they go away? Can they not use their own stuff? Sinful thoughts like these fill my mind as I […]

Give Thanks

Give Thanks, For the Lord is Good

Psalm 100:4 says, Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Why are we to enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and his courts with praise?  One reason given in this psalm is, “for the Lord is good” […]

Perfectionism

Freedom from Perfectionism

Have you ever re-folded the towels because someone put the laundry away badly? Are you silently judging other parents when their children throw tantrums? Do you feel like you’re always behind, frustrated when you don’t complete a project to your own impossible standards? If so, you may be suffering from […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 3, 2017)

The Pastor and Pathological Self Criticism (Jonathan Parnell, The Gospel Coalition) The greatest victory ever known was accomplished by the greatest humiliation ever seen of the greatest man to ever live. Because that’s how God designed it. Jesus Calling: How Well Are You Listening  (J.A. Medders, Desiring God) Today, we can hear […]

Word God

Is the Word of God a Quick Fix?

When you come to God’s Word, are you looking for a “quick fix”? I was struck by the following quotation, as I read through one of Pastor Colin’s sermons from the radio series “The Anatomy of Faith”: God may be saying to you, “Instead of looking for a quick fix […]

Prayer

A Roadmap for Prayer

When I pray, I’m less distracted if I have a course to follow. There are several prayer plans out there. Such an aid is easy to remember and follow under various circumstances and pressures. Having a roadmap for your prayer time can help redirect misguided prayers and focus meandering prayers. […]