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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

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A common suggestion in the world is to avoid the topics of religion and politics, yet Jesus called His followers to go forth and spread the Gospel. Where then does this leave followers of Christ, especially in the workplace?It can be tempting to want to keep work-life and personal-life separate. Should we close our mouths and stay silent to abide by the status quo and to not rock the boat, or should we loudly proclaim? What is the best way to be professional, but above all else do as Jesus called for?Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise... – Psalm 100:4Each year around the Thanksgiving season, a small group of friends on social media repeat a tradition to share each day, over 30 days, something they're thankful for. I've joined in some years, and it's a wonderful practice! One of the things I love about seeing all of my friends posting what they're thankful for is that I know some of these people are facing hard things.So behind the smiles and thanks are also tears and heartache.The Bible has a lot to say about “giving thanks.” A common phrase in the book of Psalms is “enter His gates with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 100:4) As we dive deeper into this idea of “entering His gates…” let’s remember one truth: We can give thanks in any circumstance.No matter our season of life, there can always be a reason to enter God’s gates and give thanks. How? I think Psalm 100:4 tells us exactly why we are always welcome to enter with praise.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Tonktiti
There are heartbroken parents everywhere, who are lamenting the fact that their children don’t want a relationship with God.Some have raised their kids to know, love, and serve the Lord, only to see them pull away and seem to forget everything they were taught. Others are new Christians themselves, and desperately want their children to join them in the most important relationship they could ever have.Yet, more and more young people are deciding they want to find their own way, do their own thing, and believe what they want—without Godly influence. While this is a difficult thing to go through, all is not lost.There are specific things you can pray for your children, in hopes they will realize their need for a Savior, and walk in fellowship with Him.Here are 5 prayers for children who don’t want a relationship with God:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Zinkevych
Here’s a question for you to consider: Has there been any point in your life, where you felt alone? I mean truly alone; as in, you experienced a disconnection from God, others, and even from yourself.No matter how much you prayed, you felt like God did not deliver you from your sorrow. When you called out to family or friends for support, they didn’t understand, or worse, they criticized you.In their eyes, you were to blame for all of your suffering.If only you knew what to do, but sadly you didn’t. And neither did they. And to you, God wasn’t answering. There was seemingly no way out.Many troubles in life can leave us in a state of despair, and one of those likely culprits is the feeling of loss.Death, divorce, breakups, a ruined friendship. Each of these is indicative of loss. The feeling is not limited to relationships, however, property can be lost, as well as confidence, security, or physical mobility.As despair creeps in, we can easily find ourselves succumbing to fear that looks inescapable. But looks can be deceiving.One of the saddest, and yet, victorious stories of the Bible occurs in the Book of Job. Here we have a devout believer who not only has strong faith, but has a large family and vast earthly wealth (Job 1:1-3). He was all-around blessed. With his seasons of prosperity though, came a season of severe loss that devasted everything he had.At the hands of the devil, Job lost almost everything: relationships, children, property. He was even stricken with sickness. Somehow, in some way, Job was sustained through all his trouble.The reason? He trusted God.If you are going through a season of loss that seems to overwhelm you, take heart. Here’s what the Book of Job reveals about trust during loss.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/valio84sl

Pastors

Pastors / Leadership

Pastor Features

We hear God’s people spouting these four shallow oversimplifications from time to time. These are not all, of course. The enemy is creating new half-truths even as we speak. In all things, we should use discernment, act in love, and not sin.
Christ lives in his believers and, as such, the strongest evidence for his existence is all around us. Christian faith is not blind faith, and God invites us to use the minds he gave us.
The doctrine of the Triunity of One God is a mystery to be embraced. However, the Trinity is the logic of God, not the calculation of man. Therefore, we will see it but never see through it, to fully comprehend the mystery. If we did, it wouldn't be a mystery, would it?
The Cain and Abel story of 'firsts' teaches so much about our moral compass and the consequences of sin—but it can also inspire us to love one another well.

Parenting

Parenting

Parenting Features

Do my prayers for protection make any difference? Are my prayers powerful enough to change the present or the future? Does God want to hear them? Yes. A thousand times yes.
There are heartbroken parents everywhere, who are lamenting the fact that their children don’t want a relationship with God.Some have raised their kids to know, love, and serve the Lord, only to see them pull away and seem to forget everything they were taught. Others are new Christians themselves, and desperately want their children to join them in the most important relationship they could ever have.Yet, more and more young people are deciding they want to find their own way, do their own thing, and believe what they want—without Godly influence. While this is a difficult thing to go through, all is not lost.There are specific things you can pray for your children, in hopes they will realize their need for a Savior, and walk in fellowship with Him.Here are 5 prayers for children who don’t want a relationship with God:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Zinkevych
Pregnancy is an exciting time--you’re about to embark on the journey of parenthood and you are probably busy preparing to meet your little one. There are many ways we prepare to welcome a baby into our lives--by choosing a care provider and place of birth, by creating a baby registry, by decorating a nursery, packing a hospital bag, installing a car seat, and the list goes on.All these are important (and usually fun!) milestones we go through as new parents to prepare for the day we will get to meet our little one. What can easily get overlooked amidst this exciting and busy season, however, is preparing for our baby spiritually.I know I have found myself sending up hurried prayers for the health and wellbeing of my baby sporadically throughout my busy days. Although your prayers certainly don’t need to be elaborate for God to hear them, a more focused, intentional approach to praying for your baby can be grounding and lead to greater peace and trust throughout the pregnancy journey.Here are five beautiful Scripture passages that you may want to use to pray over your little one while you eagerly await their arrival.These passages are certainly not only for expecting moms, either. I encourage you to share them with your partner, parents, friends, and family so they can pray through them during your pregnancy as well.Photo Credit: ©Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash
In my years as a pediatrician and a parent of four, I’ve recognized two common mistakes parents make that seem like a good idea but are actually detrimental to their children: protection and praise.

Finances

Finances

Featured Articles on Finances

Sitting Bull, the great Sioux chief, once said of the white man, “The love of possessions is a disease in them.”
While many tragic situations understandably demand our immediate attention, it’s important to not let the crisis pass without spending some time prayerfully considering how well we were (or were not) prepared financially for the emergency. It would be a double tragedy to not learn the lessons God may be trying to teach us in this time of adversity. Here are six financial lessons we should learn from the COVID-19 pandemic:
If you’re a spender who married a saver, you CAN learn how to decrease the amount of conflict and increase trust between you.
While this may seem obvious to you, it is a surprise to many people when they realize that God is generous.

Homeschool

Homeschool

Home School Features

Perhaps because I know too well how technology affects me, I allow my kids very little screen time.
There is good news. If you can tap into the joy that comes from obeying Christ and being in his presence, you can be a happier mom no matter what is happening.
Applying for college is a hair-pulling, nail-biting time of life for both parents and students alike.
The question we must all ask ourselves is this: how will I honor God with this gift of raising kids, and how will my family utilize media for good?

Marriage

Marriage

Marriage Features

Every few months I trotted my daughter to the doctor for a well-baby checkup. As a nervous new mother, I appreciated having a healthcare professional evaluate my baby’s health.She listened to my concerns; peered into my baby’s eyes, ears, nose, and throat; and listened to her heart. After she measured her height and weight, she asked me questions about her eating and sleeping habits. Then she made helpful suggestions. Regular physical checkups are important if we value a healthy body, and regular relationship checkups are important if we value a healthy marriage.If you’d like to evaluate the health of your marriage (without having to step on a scale or say "ahhh"), consider these 5 signs of a healthy marriage.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/jupiterimages
It’s easy to be lulled into complacency concerning premarital sex, casting aside the effects and consequences of premarital sex on marriage. The glorification of it surrounds us, and the warnings are often muffled and chalked up as old fashioned. Ever wonder if that’s deception at work? We may not always realize it or notice the effects until later, but we’re wise to take notice of the consequences from premarital sex. Let’s investigate further.Photo credit: Unsplash/Chein Pham
Society tells us many lies about spousal roles. But when we look back to Genesis, we see the incredible design God has for wives and husbands: equal partners in the gospel.
Is there a “husband's duties list” from the Bible that should guide how we set up our homes? Should your husband be the man of the family?

Careers

Career

Finances - Career

But, do we really know what it actually means to love our neighbors as ourselves? And, could it be, that we actually love some of our neighbors differently than we love ourselves?
Work is not just an opportunity to make money, to bring something of value to the world, or to occupy your time – work, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, is actually an opportunity to grow in Christ.
The work you do now will go on into eternity. It’s a leaf on the Creator’s tree.

Singles

Singles

Singles Features

Some people who claim to follow the word of God may not always practice what they preach. Sometimes a guy or girl who is less mature in the faith, or not part of the faith at all, may claim to be further along in their walk with Christ because dating a Christian is seen as something more sophisticated in our culture.
It’s easy to be lulled into complacency concerning premarital sex, casting aside the effects and consequences of premarital sex on marriage. The glorification of it surrounds us, and the warnings are often muffled and chalked up as old fashioned. Ever wonder if that’s deception at work? We may not always realize it or notice the effects until later, but we’re wise to take notice of the consequences from premarital sex. Let’s investigate further.Photo credit: Unsplash/Chein Pham
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the lovely couple with a baby carriage. For as long as I can remember this has been a part of life’s blueprint for adults, young and old.You get an education that will drive you towards a promising career, you meet the perfect mate, fall in love, plan a family and live happily ever after.But, while growing up, no one is taught that your happily ever after can exist without the benefit of marriage. Maybe it's because people fail to see the splendor of existing in an unmarried state or believe that being single means to be alone and unhappy.For many years I thought being single was a stage of life that was short-lived. I saw it as an interim period that was purposed for preparing one for marriage because I was never taught to see the blessing and the gift of being single.My focus was on what the world and many older Christians thought about a single person. Many believe that going through life without being married meant that you were desolate or unworthy of such an honor.My eyes and ears only focused on having a relationship that could lead to marriage which took an emotional toll on how I viewed and valued myself. Then one day, the spirit came to me and asked the most profound question, “Are you a reflection of the mate you desire”?This question lingered in my mind for quite some time as I was fearful of the answer. After two weeks of intentional avoidance, I decided to give the response to this question which was a hard and loud no!After answering this question I laughed at myself and realized that I was not ready for marriage because I did not know how to be single. I soon realized I didn’t know how to be single because my mind and heart did not allow me to understand what this period in my life was intended for.So I decided that I would take steps towards learning how to live as an unmarried woman and how to reverse what I knew about being single.Here are eight steps I took to turn my head knowledge about being single into heart knowledge."If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." James 1:5-6Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/deniskomarov
Having a roommate is a blessing. However, living with another person comes with its own share of difficulties.