Last summer our family visited the Columbus Zoo. With our double-stroller packed high, we trekked...Read More
With Christmas behind us, January brings a chance to settle into the slump of normal workdays and winter blues. The first month of the year is one of what the box office calls a “dump month.”
Despite the slump, horror movies generally continue to bring in the audiences during this time, prompting a big release in the first week to start the New Year off with a bang (or perhaps a scream).
Between Hollywood and the litany of streaming services, the constant availability of horror movies confronts Christians with a question: Should we watch horror movies?
The subject brings passionate defenders, discussion, and debates. As one who spent my childhood watching Michael Myers marathons for fun and having scary movie nights with my girlfriends, it’s a topic that hits close to home—especially since I’ve changed my mind.Read More
It’s Christmas season. Nativity scenes have begun popping up in our homes, churches, and stores.
They’re usually the same—an angelic scene of a peaceful Mary holding her baby. That depiction is so common that it likely affects our own views of that first Christmas night.
How perfect and calm it seems . . . Together we sing, “Silent night, holy night / All is calm / All is bright”—but I’m not so sure I buy silent.
With a history of difficult labors turned C-sections quite literally under my belt, a silent birth seems like an enigma. After my labor experiences, the movie-perfect hospital scenes I grew up watching were replaced by pitiful screams and a bloody mess.
It’s been five years since my last labor, but I can still feel the sharp hits of pain in that hospital room. I can hear my pleading cries, feel my wet tears, and I can vividly hear my whispers to my husband: “I’m just ready to meet him . . .”Read More
I have five small scars on my stomach. They might not hurt, but my heart does each time I catch a glance.
A doctor’s cuts can offer us the end of pain, healing from disease, even the hope of a new child. Yet some cuts don’t cash in on what was promised. Some—like those that made my five scars—are just another step in an unending search for a cure. They lead to more tests, more questions, and the nagging feeling that nothing will work.
You may never be wheeled into a cold operating room, but as followers of Christ we are never free from the surgeon’s cut. When the Holy Spirit descended into our hearts, he came with a scalpel. As saints justified by Christ’s blood, we are constantly being sanctified while we await the presence of Christ and the glorification of our souls.
This sanctification in the middle is not always easy, and certain periods of our lives often feel too burdensome. Does God know what he’s doing? Why is my growth so slow? Is this pain doing something? In these times, we find hope in understanding the work of the Spirit and his purpose in our lives….Read More
“I can’t eat what?”
My eyes scanned the list of foods on the sheet in front of me as my stomach twisted into knots. Surely, this was a joke. I had reached the end of the road with doctors, unable to find an answer to the stomach issues plaguing me. For the next year, I’d turn to various diets eliminating food groups, allergens, and certain carbohydrates in an effort to heal the unknown. My complicated diet continues today, but though I’ve said no to countless sweets and junk food, I find that I’m just now learning what it means to have self-control.
Of all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, the final one seems the most difficult to me. Virtues like goodness or joy sound enticing, but the ring of self-control strikes feelings of condemnation in my heart. My head fills with visions of throwing out our ice cream or taking a mallet to our phones and tvs.Read More
Our world equates success with more. More influence. More opportunities. More audience. Algorithms, surveys, and analytics push us even further into the obsession of how much influence we have compared with what we used to. The world screams that we must not stop climbing the ladder of success.
This line of thinking, unfortunately, can spread within the church. As Bible teachers, small group leaders, or disciples that make disciples, we can be caught measuring our service for the kingdom by the level of influence within it. Despite readily acknowledging the importance of humility and servant leadership, we can easily get sucked into linking our spiritual growth with our upward mobility. But when it comes to discipleship in the church, we may need to rethink whether the world’s ladder is ours as well…Read More
Google “robots” and you’ll discover dozens of articles forecasting the future of our economy. One study projects a potential 800 million global jobs lost to automation. We can see the trend already in the self-service lines at stores, the rise of chatbots, and the touchscreen kiosks sweeping the country’s fast food chains. Though the changes leave some hopeful about the possibilities of automation, others are uneasy at the prospect of being replaced.
Whether or not you fear that your current role being taken over by a robot, the truth is many of us go through periods when our work feels unneeded. Our workload is filled with dead-end projects, our tasks feel monotonous, or there is enormous competition in our field. It leaves us wondering: Does my work matter?…Read More
After a few minutes of scrolling through social media or flipping through the news, it’s easy to feel overcome by evil in our world. It attacks us on all fronts—politics, natural disasters, crime, injustice, disease—all the way down to our own sin-scarred relationships.
As we leave the safety of our slumber each morning, we’re jolted to the reality that sin is not only present and working to make us weary but is entirely against us.
In moments like these, Psalm 123 is a welcome reminder to our tired hearts. When faced with difficulty, these four short verses reminded the Israelites of their true hope and shifted their eyes to the Lord, their Master…Read More
As a pastor in Bristol, England, George Müller made it his mission to begin and maintain an orphanage for thousands of children sustained only through prayer. Reading through his story, my kids and I have marveled at God’s provision for this man and the orphanage.
Stories like George Müller’s are incredible and inspiring, but it’s so easy to remove them from our daily lives. We believe God can sovereignly do all things, but we realize we shouldn’t expect every single prayer to be answered by faith. Yet this well-meaning reminder can cause us to minimize one of the gifts we are promised as children of God…Read More
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