What's In Us Comes Out of Us

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." -Luke 6:45 What are you filled up with? The Bible says, "out of the heart the mouth speaks." What do our words say about the condition of our hearts? Sometimes hurtful things happen to us. An event happens that triggers us back to an earlier negative situation. Ouch, it still hurts. It's an area that hasn't been dealt with yet, perhaps an area of unforgiveness. God uses our current situation to expose what's in our heart. We work hard, striving to achieve everything that God has for us. We don'

We Are the Church

“Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord." -Ephesians 2:20-21 It seems there is a lot of confusion today about what is the church and what isn't. Often we get confused about the church building where we meet versus the people within the building. But when Jesus references the church in the New Testament, He is referring to the body of believers, His disciples, that believed in Him and the power of the resurrection. A man I know had a life-threatening disease at the age of 17. Someone learned about it, and came to pray for h

A Culture of Honor

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." -Romans 12:10 I love seeing how Asian cultures treat their elders. Honor in their culture is a big part of respecting someone who has lived life longer than you, (and hopefully has more wisdom, too!) That may be why they have the highest life expectancy! (Ephesians 6:2&3) Honor is also a trademark of military life. Honor is very much a kingdom idea. In our American culture, honor is rare, while idolatry is rampant. It is very fitting to honor people for their achievements and service. But in everyday life, we should learn to honor people wherever we are. Honor isn't conditional; rather we honor people because they ar

The Work Behind the Scenes

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." -Matthew 6:5&6 J. John, a gifted and creative Christian speaker told a story once about preparing the way for a sermon he was going to preach. He felt the Lord impress upon him to pray fervently the night before the meeting. In the morning, as he began to think about what he would share, the Lord told him, "The work is already do


"May He equip you he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen." -Hebrews 13:21 Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a book called, The Dip. In it he describes the natural lull we experience after beginning a project, changing a habit, or beginning something new. He examines the difference between "the dip", and something that is not worth pursuing. His recommendation is if you're not the best at something, quit while you're ahead and find something in which you can excel! This is good advice. Think about it: No body looks for a product or service

Avoiding Judgments

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned." -Luke 6:37 Have you ever felt judged? It's not the best feeling. Sometimes, with even the best of intentions, we fall short in being Christ-like in this area. We feel we have a right to proclaim God's justice to the world, and to other believers. The world already tends to think of Christians as judgmental - but we are supposed to be known for Christ's love, healing, and grace. How sad! Mother Teresa once said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." The even more dangerous part of this is that we open ourselves up to judgment if we aren't careful.

Leading with Love vs. Leading with Fear

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." -2 Corinthians 13:14 In many organizations, the driving force is fear. Workers are afraid of losing their job, so they work themselves to the bone. People fear failing, or not being accepted, so they do whatever is asked. Perhaps there is a fear of authority, due to past experiences. Whatever type of organization, fear can be a powerful motivator, but it is often not the best one. When speaking of unhealthy fear, where people feel afraid to express themselves openly or feel fairly comfortable and appreciated, love goes much further in motivating people and keeping them with

Spiritual Tact

“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us." -Titus 2:6-8 Have you ever been around someone who believed slightly different than you? Every day we encounter those with different beliefs that us. In an age where the idea of relativity and absolutes co-exist, it is essential that we speak other people's language. If we act in an inflexible or graceless manner, we can easily turn people off to the gospel. Likewise, we cannot speak "Chr

Not My Will, But Yours Be Done

"He walked away, about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.' Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him." -Luke 22:41-43 Have you ever prayed the prayer above? Have you ever said to God, "Not my will Father, but Yours be done." What an amazing statement by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It may seem like quite a dangerous statement. Do we really trust God enough to completely give our lives over to Him? Are we really willing to do anything? However, I would argue that it is even more dangerous to get to the end of our lives, stand before God, and fa

Think Great Thoughts

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." -Philippians 4:8 & 9 Jesus asks us in Matthew 6:27, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" We know the answer is "no", but so often we get caught up in the drama or the negative in life and forget this one thing: in the grand scheme of things, love is all that will remain. When people or things bother us, such as workmates, politics, family, friends, institutions, policies, and schools, what should we do? Certainly if it's in our power to change so

Overcoming Anxiety

"Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God." -Philippians 4:6 In our world today, anxiety and depression are two of the most common unseen ailments we face. Does God have anything to say about mental health? Can Jesus help us with these struggles? Absolutely! My husband Justin struggled with intense anxiety and claustrophobia after a medical event where he felt his throat swelling up, making it difficult for him to breathe. Months and years after, he wrestled with debilitating fear that made travel, being in traffic, going to an event or eve

All Things Work for Good

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28 If there is any scripture that I could claim as my own, I think it would be Romans 8:28. There have been so many things in my life that should have gone better, but then went sour, many by my own doing. But God is such a faithful God. He took the bad things in my life and turned them into good. Isn't that awesome? A God who turns bad things into good - He's a God who has the ability to perform miracles, like turning water into wine. In the New Testament, Jesus was at a wedding at Capernum. They must have had some great parties back then, because thi

All Work Is Holy

“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering." -Romans 12:1, The Message Do you think of your work as holy? We tend to think of a pastor's or missionary's work as more holy than an entertainer's, a sales person's, and certainly a lawyer's. But is this really true? When Jesus came to the earth, he spent the first 30 years of his life as a carpenter, and only his last three in what we'd call "full-time ministry". I find this fact very interesting. It says in Luke 10:19 He came to reclaim all that was lost. I believe this applies to our work as well! O

Friendships Are Important

"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." -Matthew 22:30 It's important to have an eternal perspective on life, as well as a short-term one. When we're young, there's a lot going on. Some of the things we experience are rather confusing, especially concerning careers, callings, and life partners. Relationships, (or the lack of them), can be a source of heartache and pain or the greatest joy and blessing - i.e., someone likes someone else who doesn't quite like them, someone is with someone else who is not the best match for them, someone breaks someone else's heart, or perhaps Jack and Jill are the perfect match, e

The God Who Provides

“Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, 'In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.'" -Genesis 22:14 When I was 19, two years into my journey with God, I was desperately seeking for answers. I was overweight, I felt worthless, even after my re-commitment to God I still didn't know what was wrong with me. I decided to go on a fast not really knowing how long it would be. I knew I needed breakthrough - in every area of my life. The fast ended up being 40 days. During this time God really challenged me, healed my heart and strengthened my faith in Him. My mom had been praying for a new car for me since my car was on the brink, and near the

Hiding Place

“You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." -Psalm 32:7 We used to sing a song at church called "Hiding Place". "You are my hiding, you are my hiding place..." It was a catchy praise tune, but it was also a great reminder of where we put our trust. Life can be harsh sometimes. When we're going through difficulty or we're experiencing rejection, hurt or betrayal, it's especially essential that God becomes our habitation. From what place do you live your life? Is your heart hidden in God, or do you put your heart out there, unprotected, for all the world to see? There is a great quote for all the single ladies... "A woman's he

God Uses a Reject

“Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute." -Judges 11:1 There is an incredible story in the Bible about a very unlikely leader. Jephthah was a man who was the illegitimate son of his father Gilead. His brothers drove him away and said to Jephthah, "You are not going to get any inheritance in our family, because you are the son of another woman." Rejected and humiliated, Jephthah fled from his family to a place called Tob. During this time, Israel has been unfaithful to God, worshipping other idols. At this the Lord became angry, and he sold them to their enemies the Philistines and the Ammonites. (Judges 10:7) However, after 18

Living Under Authority

"Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit." -Hebrews 13:17 We rarely like hearing about the words "submission", "obedience", and "authority." Mainly perhaps, because they have often been abused by people in positions of power. But, possibly also because each of us struggles with being under authority. It goes against our very nature to follow someone else and serve. However, this is one of the primary ways the kingdom advances. Jesus was an incredible example of someone who lived under authority. The Bible

Right Place, Right Time

"If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises." -Job 5:8, The Message Every so often in our Christian walk we will find ourselves in scenarios we were meant for. Call it what you will - divine appointments, destined moments, fate - it just means we were right within God's plan for that moment in time. Often these moments are unexpected. You are doing something totally normal, or maybe totally out of the ordinary. No matter, God uses these moments for His glory to let His light shine. This is why it is so important to seek God moment to moment, not relying on yest

Changed Into A Different Person

"The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into a different person." -1 Samuel 10:6 One of the most commonly asked questions by non-believers of Christians is, "What makes you different?" Clearly, there is a perception problem in the Christian faith if people are asking this question. Not many people view us differently, nor do they see changes in our lives as a result of our faith. In the "Hypocritical" chapter of the book UnChristian, a survey proved this fact. Eighty-four percent of those polled said they knew a Christian personally, while only 15% said they saw lifestyle differences. Wow! This figure sadly coincides

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