Being a Bigger Person

“But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too." -Matthew 5:39,40 More than we'd like we are faced with situations where someone may have taken advantage of us. These types of situations can happen between friends, relatives, associates, or strangers. When we get the short end of the stick or the bad end of the bargain - or we are mistreated - it is easy to want to retaliate. But this isn't the way Jesus wanted us to respond. He wanted us to "be the bigger person." It's amazing to me how these types of situations happen with people you think should

Encountering the Supernatural in Our Everyday Lives

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in my name, and I will do it!" -John 14:12-14 Have you ever had something happen to you that had no logical explanation, or that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had to be God? I hope you have had this kind of experience. In fact, I hope it's something that becomes a part of your daily life! A life lived with God is a walk of faith. It's not a stop of faith - it's a walk of faith. Faith requires a belief


“God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty, and firm in His purpose." -Job 36:5 Each of us has a call, an assignment from heaven for our lives. We may or may not know what it is, but all of us have one thing in common. We have time - a finite amount of it. Whether or not you've decided on your path in life, God certainly made no mistake when He made you. It says in the Bible through the example of Jeremiah that He fashioned us before we were born, and has a plan for each of us. (Jeremiah 1:5) The place where our gifts, talents and God's dream for our lives collide is called Convergence. Experts say that just 20% of us will every reach this point in our lives. That is why it i

Raised By Culture

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." -Proverbs 22:6 Do you have a child? I do not have children yet, but I have served in kids ministry long enough to know that children are both a blessing and a huge responsibility! The Bible says that children are a blessing. (Genesis 17:6, 22:17; Deuteronomy 7:14; 1 Samuel 2:20; Psalm 127:3) The fact that Proverbs 22:6 is true can be both good and bad. If a child is raised well, generally speaking, he or she will turn out alright. If he or she is brought up in an abusive environment, then there is a greater likelihood that the child may be at risk. But what about situations where there is no parentin

How to Hear God's Voice

“Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track." -Proverbs 3:6 It was Monday morning, during our staff Bible study time. My dad asked, "How do you hear God?" Out came a myriad of responses. "A thought pops into my mind of someone, and that's how I know I'm supposed to pray for them." "I get a sense of His Spirit, then I get a word or a phrase." "I hear Him when I'm driving in the car. It mostly comes in pieces throughout the day, but then all the pieces link together to form a picture." "When I'm talking to someone, I get a certain emotion. It's like God gives me empathy for that person and I know what to pray on their behalf." Have y

Speaking Only God's Message

"But Balaam replied, 'I will speak only the message that the Lord puts in my mouth.'" -Numbers 23:12 How many times are we faced with a decision to please the crowd, or to please God? In these types of situations, it can be stressful. But God calls us as believers to speak his words and to do the right thing - even if it may result in negative consequences. When we make decisions based on principle versus logic or emotion, God will honor that decision in the long run. In the Old Testament, there was a Moabite king who was terrified of the Israelites. His name was Balak son of Zippor. He was frightened because of what the Israelites had done to the Amorites, and because of how numerous

Our Perfect Father

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" -Matthew 7:11 I didn't have the best relationship with my dad growing up. He seemed cold, aloof, and distant. When I asked for attention in my own little way, his lack of affirmation (he had a VERY introverted personality) seemed like pure rejection! My parent's relationship didn't help much either - it was a constant war zone. Although we had a lot of junk in our family when I was young, my dad and I have a much better relationship now than we ever had before. We can talk openly and I can tell that he cares for me. Before my re

Known By Our Love

“By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." -John 13:35 What must it like to be famous, or to be known for something? Oprah is known for her talk show, and for overcoming many obstacles to make her life a success. Lady Gaga is known for being bizarre. Politicians are known for cutting down their opponents, and Thomas Edison is known for inventing the light bulb. But what about us? What are we known for as Christians? Ghandi once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Too much of the time, we're known more for what we're against than what we're for. But Jesus said, "...everyone will kn

No Fear In Love

“No, the Lord's delight is in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love." -Psalm 147:11 There was a girl in one of my college classes who expressed her concern about the future. She was pretty honest. She said, "I'm just afraid about the future. Afraid about not getting a decent job; afraid about not finding my way in the world." We Christians can get afraid too. The future on earth is uncertain, that's for sure. But what's certain is that Jesus is alive, God is working, and His Holy Spirit is with us here and now, helping us tackle whatever comes our way. We have a certain destination! But, without His direction, we can live haphazardly. The world is a tough p

What Is My Purpose?

“But He said, 'I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." -Luke 4:43 Do you know your purpose? Did you know that God made you with a specific idea in mind? There is no doubt that each of us is unique. But have you ever asked yourself why? Sometimes it is baffling to try to figure out specifically why God made each of us. But, it is a wonderful, lifelong journey of self-discovery. Our gifts and talents collide with our passions, relationships, and an assignment from heaven. Once we choose God, the journey doesn't end there. It is only the beginning. The Bible says He has great plans for each of His children. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The God-Squeeze

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved." -Matthew 9:17 Occasionally God will bring us to a place where he squeezes the life out of us. Yup, that's right. We don't actually die - although it sure can feel like it! God does this to move us forward, help us realize something about ourselves, or put His finger on sin in our lives. Often it could be a combination of all of these. When we feel uncomfortable in our walk with God, it might be an indication that God is trying to move us forward, out of the mediocre, out of the desert, out

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