Month: June 2016


A Biblical View of Patriotism

So many people have great affection—even pride—for the place they live. Often, all other peoples and places are found lacking in comparison. Others love their country, but have anxiety and fear about the direction they see their governments heading. Finally, some have never had a sense of belonging, a sense […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (June 29, 2016)

The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life (Colin Smith) Pre-order Pastor Colin’s newest release for your Fall small group study! Thank God He Judges (Phil Moore, Think Theology) If the Lord is truly holy then he cannot turn a blind eye to all the sin that is in the world. If he […]

when life is hard

Three Things to Remember When Life Is Hard

Disoriented. Numb. Somber. There are few words to describe where my heart has been lately. I feel inadequate to describe all the reasons why or how I have gotten to this place. But even if was able, the circumstances aren’t the point. The point is that even as Christians, we […]

20 Verses About God’s Plan for Your Welfare, Future, and Hope

Who doesn’t want a happy and successful life? It’s what we love about the American Dream. Work hard enough and you can enjoy many prosperous and comfortable days. While there is nothing wrong with hard work and nice things, many who have faith in Jesus Christ have confused the plans […]

pray with faith

What Does It Mean to Pray with Faith?

God’s Word provides a rich catalog of amazing promises of what prayer can do. One such Bible verse is James 5:14-15, which says, Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of […]

God's calling

The Mysterious Nature of God’s Calling

It had to happen in a classroom filled with students. The difficult question was asked: “What should I look for in a personal call?” This question is important because we often are attracted to profound stories of God calling people. In that moment, I honestly stuttered. The question was real, […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (June 22, 2016)

NEW book: Women of Faith in a Culture of Fear (Colin S. Smith) Why are there so many fearful Christians? Why are we not more obviously different from the culture of fear in which we live? Waiting on the Prodigal Spouse or Child You Love (Betsy Childs Howard, The Gospel Coalition) The […]


When Sin Doesn’t Wash Away So Easily

Have you ever wished that God would make it so you could never sin again? Maybe there is a sin in your life that you keep coming back to, and you feel like you will never break free from its tight grip. You know you are truly saved, but feel that […]

Be Strengthened by Grace

While I often know that I am weak in the light of God’s strength, it is a very different matter when I taste this reality. It is in these moments that God breaks me of selfish pride and carefully crafted plans that are rooted in the false belief that I […]

stand firm

How to Stand Firm in Gospel Shoes

His bare feet stuck out of the passenger window. We live in a seaside town, and feet like his are a fairly common sight during our long, hot summers. Sunburned on top, cracked and callused on the bottom, his feet give us a glimpse of the day this man just […]

god of our fathers

The God of Our Fathers

In Moses’ great hymn of thanksgiving after the waters of the Red Sea washed over the Egyptians, he exalts his heavenly Father. But have you ever noticed that he pays tribute to his earthly father as well? I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse […]

Seven Truths to Fight Anxiety About Your Salvation

Do you even notice how often in Scripture God has to reassure his people? He’s constantly saying things like, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you.” Variations of “don’t be afraid” are often cited as the most frequently repeated command in all of Scripture. God tells us over and over […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (June 15, 2016)

Visit our booth at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference this week in Indianapolis! We would love to meet you. Keeping Your Balance in Prayer (Zach Barnhart, For the Church) Could it be that, in our well-intentioned drift towards praying wherever we are, that we’ve forsaken the necessity, and the reverence, […]


Impossible Circumstances Are Where God’s Glory Shines the Brightest

Some days I feel as if I’m in the front lines of a battle where I’m outnumbered 1,000 to one. I’m fighting for truth, hope, and joy, but the fiery arrows of affliction continue to fly from every angle. I’m fighting the temptation to grumble, get angry, and stomp my […]

fearful Christians

Why Are There So Many Fearful Christians?

This article is adapted from Pastor Colin’s booklet Women of Faith in a Culture of Fear, to be released in e-book format mid-June. The booklet format will be available at The Gospel Coalition’s women’s conference this week. Visit the UTB booth to get your copy! Sometimes it seems that there is […]

Four Things to Remember When You’re Uncomfortable

One of my favorite temper tantrums of Scripture is found in Jonah 4 – perhaps because I can closely relate to it. In this final chapter of Jonah, we find him back in the city of Ninevah. After spending three days in the belly of a fish, he goes to […]

the law

Three Benefits of the Law for Those Under Grace

As Christians, we champion grace. Rightly so. We read, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14), responding with an emphatic, Amen! The law is a great burden, one that you and I could not fulfill. Praise God […]

marking up your Bible

Five Blessings of Marking Up Your Bible

I love the feel of a new Bible: turning those crisp pages, enjoying the feel of something so new and precious in my hands, even sticking my nose in a book and admiring the scent of the fresh-off-the-presses pages. It sometimes pains me to “ruin” the pristine-ness of a new […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (June 8, 2016)

Are you attending The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference next week (June 16-18)? We’d love to meet you! Stop by our booth to get a copy of Pastor Colin’s new booklet, Women of Faith in a Culture of Fear, and to sign up for our Dessert Gathering on Friday night! 5 Ways to Read […]

Christian marriage

Three Ways the Gospel Impacts Christian Marriage

I’m not proud of what I am about to reveal. I am an expert in bad marriages. Some people want to get married, but never get the chance. I, however, have been fortunate to get a couple of opportunities at marital bliss. In fact, I was married and divorced twice […]

Devotional App

Four Can’t-Miss Features from Our New Devotional App

What if you could access your Bible reading plan and daily devotional all in one place…and take it with you? Now you can with our LifeKEYS Daily devotional app, available for free download in the App Store and Google Play. LifeKEYS Daily Mobile App is a digital devotional that takes you through […]

wandering from the truth

Four Warning Signs You May Be Wandering from the Truth

Some have wandered away… (1 Timothy 1:6) It’s very rare that anyone ever decides to abandon the truth. What happens much more often is that people wander. It happens gradually. It happens when you do not have any particular goal. You lose your moorings and you drift. You don’t want […]

women in the bible

10 Examples of Feminine Courage from Women in the Bible

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. (Proverbs 25:11) Have you ever wondered what a word fitly spoken looks like? The Old Testament has many examples of women who spoke words of courage and help and displayed a kind of God-confidence that is […]

Abundant Joy Is Found In the Presence of Christ, Not In the Absence of Pain

“Oh Lord, for years I have prayed for answers, healing, and understanding in this suffering you have allowed. Yet they have seemed not to come. Many have prayed to you on our behalf, as we have sought wisdom from the doctors you provided, and have longed for redemption of what’s […]