All in Spiritual Growth

Intimacy with God

My husband and I put our home on the market, and it sold in three days. We were restoring my grandmother’s home as a place for family and friends to gather. Because of the quick sale of our home, we moved into the home we were restoring. I have spent a lot of time scrubbing, scraping, and sorting. The move and restoration process has not only made me do a lot of physical organization and inventory, but spiritual inventory as well. 

Winning on Our Knees

I never participated in sports while growing up, but by nature I am a very competitive person. I like to win and be a part of the winning team. When I face spiritual competition I want to be victorious as well. In order to have spiritual victory we must fight through prayer, and sometimes those prayers should be offered while on our knees.

The Storms of Life

How many of you can relate to the feelings of the disciples in our passage? Have you ever been caught in a storm in your life? Have you had a time when your problem seemed too big and your faith was too small? Have you ever felt threatened by the storm and its uncertainty?

Thrive!

As I read this verse in Ezekiel, I thought, Wait a minute. No one takes a shoot from the top of a tree and plants it. The shoot would surely die! Yet, God declares, On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches (Ezekiel 22:23).

Watchman

Words are powerful. Words can ignite or extinguish relationships. Words generate global outcomes of war and peace. Words bring tears of emotion. But words can also make us laugh until our sides ache. Teachers’ words can establish everlasting motivation to live in the souls of students. Mighty prayers uttered in every language bring revival. Beautiful lyrics sung bring healing and joy. The precious gift of salvation resonates through sweet and simple word stories of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. (John 3:16; John 14:6, Romans 10:9)

Stand Firm

Last year was one of the most difficult years of my life while enduring ongoing and worsening health issues surrounding my beloved husband and brother. Several months before the medical journeys began, God led me to a Bible study on spiritual warfare. I tried to wiggle my way out of it, but my Savior knew I was on the threshold of experiencing new types of brokenness and vulnerability—new enemy territory.

The Shepherds: Go and See

God interrupted the commonplace. The glory of God shattered darkness. A message from an angel broke the silence. The Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born! As shepherds in the field beheld the angel, their initial response was fear. But with the announcement of the birth of the awaited One, fear turned to determination. The shepherds said, Let’s go…and see...(Luke 2:15). They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the heralded baby lying in a manger.

A Christmas Puzzle: Day 2

The first step of puzzle assembly is finding and putting down the four corner pieces, 90 degree angles out. In our Christmas puzzle, the corner pieces represent God’s nature because the real Christmas story doesn’t begin with the angel’s appearance to Mary, but in the eternal plan of God.

Leaving your Legacy . . . Be Purposeful

Last page, last letter—the time has come. Paul gives his protégé, Timothy, a stirring charge. At the beginning of this letter he told him that he, Paul, was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:11). Now he places his ministry of the gospel in Timothy’s hands. In effect, he endows his son in the faith with his legacy. He solemnly offers to Timothy, before God, what is tantamount to a binding oath. The Message translation is pretty onerous: I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder.

Who Me?

I cannot even begin to guess how many times I have read this scripture. “But what about you?” he asked, “Who do you say I am?” This time, however, when I read it something hit me like a ton of bricks. Something that made it much more real.