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Why Forgive?

Forgiveness isn’t easy, especially when it seems you are continually forgiving the same person over and over again. If you’re like me, you may forgive, sometimes grudgingly, but you wonder, When will that person ever change? Shouldn’t there be a limit to my forgiveness? And the act of forgiving can be even more difficult when […]

Shepherding the Emotionally Destructive Marriage Webinar

Pastors, counselors, and ministry leaders at all levels are often the first responders couples turn to when struggling in their marriages. Unfortunately, ministers are often overwhelmed and not well trained to discern when the issues they are drawn into are normal marital conflict or emotional abuse. Leslie Vernick and Chris Moles joined us on April […]

Jesus Loves You!

Some of the finest and dearest people I know struggle with believing that God loves them. They believe that they are far too sinful, too unlovable, or too unworthy to be loved by God. They have received Jesus as their Savior but still doubt that His love extends to them. They have no trouble believing […]

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Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith?

Doubts are a common struggle for many who have embraced the Christian faith as well as for those who are still considering faith. Doubts are those nagging questions that plague us when life’s struggles push us to wrestle with the hard questions about what’s true and good and really matters. On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, […]

When We Doubt . . . Then What?

Ever had doubts? I sure have. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I wrestled with all kinds of doubts. I had doubts even after making a decision to follow Jesus as a young child. I was haunted by questions like: Was I sincere enough? Did I really believe? Did I say the […]

Does God Really Care?

  Nature’s Tranquility/flickr/Creative Commons/judecat (ready to ring in the New Year) I believe in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. I hold to the promises of the Bible, and nothing can sway me from those beliefs. But I admit that sometimes I’ve doubted God’s love and His motives. I’ve wondered […]

Blah Days

Photo by Kevin Burkett

Blah Days

I live in Midwestern Michigan, where the weather can be extreme. In the winter, temperatures can reach the balmy 40s or plummet to -20°. But mostly we get temperatures ranging …

Growing In Grace & Truth Webinar

Growing spiritually isn’t something that just happens naturally, even for faithful followers of Jesus. It must be cultivated. And frankly, in the frantic and hurried pace that most of us live, it’s simply not easy. Even when we say we want to, knowing what to do to grow consistently in our faith is a struggle. […]

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s 2014—a perfect opportunity to make a new start. The beginning of a new year often is a time of reflection, of thinking over the past year and imagining what might happen in the new. It’s also a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to give up […]

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

There are many ways for us to get into the Christmas spirit. Some of us listen to and sing along with our favorite Christmas tunes. Others of us watch Christmas movies or send out Christmas cards to family and friends. Many of us bring out the Christmas spirit by decorating. We put up a Christmas […]

Needs and Wants

In a world where Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become proper nouns, it’s hard to distinguish between needs and wants. Every year I have the same conversation with my mother. Mom: “What do you want for Christmas?” Me: “I don’t know.” Mom: “Do you need anything?” Me: (long pregnant pause while I think) “I […]

A Grinch, a Grouch, or Joyful?

I look forward to Christmas . . . and yet I don’t. I like listening to and singing along with the mostly cheery-somewhat melancholic music I hear on the radio and in stores, and I enjoy the tinsel, bright lights, and other festive decorations. I like decorating the tree and wrapping gifts. I love family gatherings […]

A Christmas Carol

I recently rewatched the 1984 made-for-television film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. It was at a movie night that I host for the men at my church. We watch movies and then discuss the issues raised by the films that challenge, encourage, or discourage our journey into becoming the men […]

Santa: A Myth Worth Perpetuating?

I recently heard a woman’s compelling story of victory through Christ over a persistent sin in her life. One thing she stated stood out in light of the upcoming Christmas holiday. She shared that when she learned as a young girl that there was no such thing as Santa, she also began to wonder about […]

A Feast for the Senses

There are few things that provoke memories more quickly and deeply than when our senses are stimulated by a sound, a smell, a sight, a touch, or a taste. The images that involuntarily rush to the forefront of the mind are powerful and poignant. And they are so individualized for each of us because our […]