16

How Obedience Sets Us Free

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My family and I recently spent a challenging week out of state in order for me to attend a Christian education training seminar.

It was 4 days and nights of intensive workshops, study, testing, and among other things, Bible recitation.

On top of long days, lots of homework, fighting a cold, and restless nights in a hotel bed, we were required to memorize this passage: Continue reading →

38

Imperfect Me

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I wrote this poem a few years ago after watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ for the first time.

While I was moved more than I can even begin to express by the portrayal of Christ’s incredible sacrifice, I was also struck by Peter’s agony at the cross.

I cannot imagine how distraught he must have been to realize that even after Jesus warned him about what he would do, Peter still denied that he knew Christ. (See Mark 14:29-31 & Luke 22:54-62).

As you read the words below, consider them not only from Peter’s perspective but from ours as well. Continue reading →

4

Heart Don’t Fail Me!

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“Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

My first assignment as a first sergeant was on Johnson Atoll, a small strip of “rock” located about half way between the Marshall Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. It is about two and half miles long and about three-quarters of a mile wide. At the time, the Army had a unit of about three hundred personnel assigned there to safeguard and maintain a stockpile of toxic chemical munitions.

The day I arrived, the company commander was off-island and wouldn’t be back for a week or so. I learned that it was his custom to take the entire unit on an “island run” upon his return. Continue reading →

10

A New Lifestyle {The Walking Series – Part 2}

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red-shoes2I recently posted an introduction to this The Walking Series. If you missed my post, How Then Should We Walk?, you can click here to read it. Go ahead, we’ll wait for ya.

Welcome back! Today, we are going to continue with Ephesians Chapter 4. (Click here to read it in its entirety.)

We left off last time with verses 1-3 where we looked at walking worthy of our calling “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

We were encouraged with the reminder that God is the one who does the work in us. We simply need to be a willing vessel for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. (Phil. 1:6) Continue reading →

28

How Then Should We Walk? {The Walking Series Intro}

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Our Pastor recently finished preaching through the book of Ephesians. As I listened, the idea of our Christian walks was at the forefront, especially during Chapters 4-6. I felt compelled to do a series on walking because we so often hear about the need to “walk our talk.”

Jesus said that we believers are light and salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) How can we be a Christ-like example to the world if we do not know in what manner we are to walk?

That is what I would like us to look at during this series. Would you join me? Continue reading →

46

A Day of Giveaways {& a B4AC Update}

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I love gifts!

I enjoy being the recipient of a gift and I really, really enjoy being the giver of gifts.

It must be one of my 5 love languages.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

And while the greatest gift the world has ever known has already been given...

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

…this is a season of giving. Continue reading →

23

7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas

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I’m sure that expressions like the reason for the season and keeping Christ in Christmas have become cliché, but I would challenge us to live these out this Christmas. Cliché or not, they are Biblical and should be the heart of Christians, not only at Christmastime, but throughout the year.

You see, what is meant to be a time of year that we ponder and celebrate the birth of our Savior, can very quickly become a season of stress, overscheduling, and overspending.

While I am not anti-spending, gift-giving, or Christmas-partying, I do think that the gift of Jesus should be at the heart of the ways that we celebrate.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

I’d like to share 7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas: Continue reading →

4

Living On Purpose

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Philippians 1:12-26 

 “…according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” ~Philippians 1:19-21 (NKJV)

One of my duties in Viet Nam was to be part of a sniffer team. As a component of this duty, I had to fly in a helicopter. A sniffer was a machine designed to pick up the scent of the enemy below, traveling at a moderate rate of speed and at tree-top level. As part of my routine before the mission, I prayed. You might think, yeah, I would too! But the substance of my prayer was not to save me from death, but that in the “heat of battle”, I would not dishonor my Lord. Continue reading →

13

How To Find Peace When The Fires Rage

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As the worst fires in our state’s history rage a little too close to home, one cannot help but wonder about the what if’s. 

While I am choosing faith over fear, I cannot help but think practically about what we would do should evacuation, or God forbid, the loss of land, home, or property become a reality for us.

Continue reading →

4

Waiting For Power

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I hope that you have enjoyed this week of Vacation Bible School for grown-ups.

If you are just joining us, you can read the posts from earlier in the week – How Great Is My Faith?, The Result of Great Forgiveness, A Spiritual Rebirth, and The Importance Of Sharing Our Faith.

Today is our last day of VBS with the kids. It has been an exhausting, rewarding, challenging, and blessed week. I am so thankful to God for the opportunity for our community to come together to teach and encourage these children in their faith. I pray that you, too, have been blessed by what you have read here this week.

Today’s lesson comes from Acts 1:1-11. Our focus is that more than just telling others about Christ with our mouths; we need to show His love to others with our lives. Continue reading →

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The Importance of Sharing Our Faith

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The Result of Great Forgiveness

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This week we are looking at the idea that Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids.

While the program is catered to them, specifically, I believe that God has just as much to teach us. Here is how I put it yesterday:  “While I don’t usually stumble upon brand new information while preparing to teach VBS, I am always humbled by the fact that though my head may know all of this stuff, my heart needs to ponder it yet again.” If you missed that post, you can read it here – How Great Is My Faith?

While yesterday’s subject was faith, today’s subject is LOVE.

My Bible titles Luke Chapter 7 as “A Sinful Woman Forgiven”. The lesson of this story is simple, yet profound: the result of great forgiveness is great love. Continue reading →

8

Joyful, Hopeful, Patient, & Prayerful

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A few years ago, my Sister-In-Law gave me a beautiful postcard that I have kept in my kitchen ever since. It has a picture of a big, bright sunflower and the words found in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”

These words have been a source of strength to me over the years as I have read them. It recently occurred to me, however, that perhaps I have become so familiar with these words that I am letting them wash over me, rather than allowing them to really sink in. Come swim with me, will you? Continue reading →

10

How to Not Let the Past Dictate the Future

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I am so thankful that I am a new me. I don’t like everything about the old me.

This isn’t a post where I get bragging rights. I’m not here to boast about how together I am.

In fact, I wrote recently about how we must be careful not to fall into the comparison trap. If you missed that post, you can read it here – Grace, Not Perfection.

You see, I have this wonderful friend who has, on occasion, lamented about how he wishes he had come to faith in Jesus Christ earlier in his life as it would have saved him some grief. I try to remind him that our pasts have made us who we are in the present.

We all have regrets about who we were and the things we have done, but we need to remember that it is the present that dictates how we are affected by our past. Continue reading →

5

Quotes to Live By…The Lessons Corrie Ten Boom Taught Us

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Born on April 15, 1892, Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch Christian, who along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocast during WWII. She was imprisoned for her acts of courage, self-sacrifice, and love. You can read her incredible story of hardships and forgiveness in her book, also made into a movie, The Hiding Place. Corrie passed away April 15, 1983, but she left behind a legacy. Here are some of my favorite quotes and the Scripture verses they bring to mind.

Continue reading →

4

Abiding in Christ’s Love

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Bible-and-cupJohn 15:9-17

It occurred to me this morning that this word “love” too often, I think, rolls off our tongues in order to help us describe a multitude of things, circumstances, and relationships. I wonder if the word has not lost its true definition, and, in so doing, lost its impact. Continue reading →