• Impact

    On the Anniversary of Dad’s Death

    “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, “that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Today is the anniversary of Dad’s death. Dad was a complicated man, to say the least. Recently I was talking to a Christian brother and, essentially, said that when we die it might be said for any of us believers: “He was a Christian… and he was a mess in many ways.” We never outgrow our desperate need for Christ. Anyone who knew my dad knew he had struggles, but they also had no doubt…

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    A summons to faith and faithfulness

    Joshua 24:1–3, 14–25 forms part of the lectionary readings for the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, which is November 8th. This book chronicles the way God provided for the Israelites’ entrance into the promised land. This portion of Scripture also reveals much about the character and nature of God. Specifically, the traits of the Lord are portrayed and clarified as this book shows how God interacted with His people—leading them, protecting them, teaching them, loving them, and making a way for them to fulfill His will for their lives. The bulk Joshua falls into two main divisions: the conquest of the land (chaps. 1–12) and the division of the land (chaps.…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Genesis 22:1–14 is part of the lectionary readings for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, which is June 28th. In chapter 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10–20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev (southern Israel), Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself. Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham. For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing Sarah’s name (reputation). The stage was now set…

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    The Mother of All Virtues

     “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point…A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky,” C.S. Lewis What will you undertake this coming year that will require courage? God’s people have always been called to bravery. Obeying God, especially when it’s to our own disadvantage, is the crux of the Christian life. Scripture tells multiple stories of those who demonstrated true bravery in the context of their times. In Joshua 1:1-9, God instructed Joshua to lead His people into the Promised…

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    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    He could have kept a distance, withholding his immanence from the shepherd tending a flock. But, there he was: appearing in a fire that burned, yet did not consume its bushy host. God himself had come. And the shepherd, unable to behold such glory, hid his face while God continued, “’I’ve seen the afflictions and heard the groaning of my people. I know their suffering andI have come down to deliver them out of Egyptian oppression and lead them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey.’” He could have delivered the once-enslaved Israelites from afar. But, there he was: appearing each evening as a flaming fire and each…

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    Heartprints

    When Obedience Isn’t A Product of Faith

    I'm a parent of two beautiful young ladies. My oldest is studying to be a family counselor. My youngest is an RN, working in administration, overseeing the functions of an entire department of a hospital. I am very proud of them and their achievements. I love who they are as sweet caring people and I admire the way they have worked hard to get ahead in life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Desiring to raise our girls in a Christian home, we taught them that God’s Word says for children to obey their parents. We had consequences when they didn’t. Obedience seemed easier for our oldest. Our younger…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

  • Impact

    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

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    The Son’s Transfiguration

    Title: The Son’s Transfiguration Aim: To assess how our devotion to the Savior can strengthen our understanding of His teachings. Scripture: Mark 9:2–13   The mountaintop experience, Mark 9:2–4   Sometime during the last year of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He told His disciples that He would be executed and then rise from the dead (Mark 8:31-32). Not even Peter, one of Jesus’ closest followers, could prevent this series of events from happening (v. 33).   The Messiah stated that those who give Him complete control of their lives are His genuine followers and would be eternally blessed. In contrast, those who reject Him would experience eternal loss (vv. 34–38).    Mark 9:1 records…

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    Living in Obscurity: Am I Missing God’s Plan for Me?

    Today I'm grateful to have guest blogger Seana Scott here to share her heart with you:  Friends from college are abolishing slavery. Neighbors are fostering to adopt. A family’s church planting in Poland, and the mom with a van full of kids is launching a book. Meanwhile, am I missing God’s plan for me? Because I shuffle through my ordinary day—a grocery run, teaching my toddler shapes with a Melissa and Doug puzzle, ready-to-cook stir fry tossed in a pan, bedtime reading of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  And I try to push aside the feeling of missing out on “bigger” things for Jesus.  The kids now lie asleep, and I settle…