October 22, 2017

Have Events Lost Their Significance?

In this social media age, events either get blown out of proportion or glossed over too quickly. The Great American Eclipse was one of those. How many people do you know who decided to watch the eclipse, either online or in person, just because it had been so hyped up by the media and their friends? And of those who watched it, how many got up as soon as it was over and immediately put it out of mind? It was the cool thing to do, so they did it . . . but once it was over, it was time to move on. I think, as Christians, we should have a more thoughtful way of experiencing things - whether we observe them firsthand or merely read about them online. Social media is great for catching the [...Read More]

Is Spiritual Growth Worth the Work?

Do you ever get tired of striving to grow spiritually one baby step at a time - and sometimes going big steps backwards instead of forwards? Do you wonder if it's truly "worth it" to practice self-control, to be consistent, to love the unlovely? Do you ever think... you're going to heaven anyway, so what's the big deal about becoming a better Christian right now? The day-to-day struggles can be wearying. And when you consider how many commands there are in Scripture about how we are to live -- qualities to develop, temptations to avoid, or good things to pursue -- how can we ever hope to do it all? To achieve spiritual maturity? For example, we have this list in 2 Peter 1 of qualities [...Read More]

New Year’s Resolutions for Every Christian

Have you set any goals yet for 2014? I'm actually still working on mine, taking some time to re-calibrate and pray over them, before sharing them publicly. But in the meantime, here are 5 resolutions that we should all stay focused on in the next 12 months. 1. Delight in His Word Spend time reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture this year. Internalize its truth. Post it around your house so you can meditate on it throughout each day. Think on it when you rise up in the morning, and lay down in the evening. Let it saturate your every thought! "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his [...Read More]

Read the Bible Daily (Part 2)

Should a Christian read the Bible daily? I think so, and so do many of you. But why is daily Bible reading the expected "normal" for Christians? Why do we teach it to our children, and preach it from our pulpits? Why do we strive to master this discipline? Looking through your comments, I found 3 major reasons to read it every day: a relationship, a command, and a benefit.   Read the Bible daily to grow in your relationship. "I try to read daily because it is where I hear God's voice. Direction, peace. Building a relationship with Him. I don't like missing a day talking to my husband. Why would I want to miss a day talking to the Lover of My Soul? It is a habit. But it is a [...Read More]

Celebrating Christ at Christmas: Spiritual Wish Lists

*Note: Today I have the honor of guest posting over at The Deliberate Reader. I'm sharing a few of my favorite books for cultivating intimacy with God, as part of Sheila's "Favorite Books" series.  Make sure you check it out -- then come back here; it dovetails perfectly with today's post! So far in this series: Observing Advent 2. Spiritual Wish Lists (originally shared 12/13/11) What’s on your Christmas list this year? No, not your own wish list, the other one. You know -- the {long} list of things that your kids want, the {really short} list of ideas from your spouse, the {creative} list of things you’d like to get for your friends or siblings or parents… I’m guessing [...Read More]

Grace and peace be multiplied to you!

I just started memorizing 1 Peter 1 with the group at Do Not Depart (also on Facebook at Hide His Word). So far I've learned the first 3 verses. And as I've been reciting and remembering, I've also been meditating, hoping to gain new understanding and fresh application from the chapter. One phrase has already jumped out at me. It's a common phrase, especially within the New Testament epistles. After the usual greeting, which names both the author(s) and the recipient(s), it was customary to offer a blessing. For instance, since I've been learning 1 Peter 1, let me quote those first two verses for you {yes, I'm typing it from memory}: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are [...Read More]

A Spiritual Checkup

Over the past five years, my body has been thoroughly changed by disease. I've gained weight, my hair has thinned, and I bruise very easily. My sinuses run like crazy. My eye constantly waters. Some days I just feel like a total mess. And if I listened to the world's message about beauty, I would curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself. I'd be ashamed to leave home. I'd be lusting after better clothes, better hair, and a better body. But that's not what's truly important. Not in this life, and certainly not in the next life. "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30 From the moment we're born, our bodies start dying. [...Read More]