Across the room, I see a group of handsome guys hanging out. In their midst is a brilliantly beautiful girl about my age, laughing and chatting away about how her awesome her summer was.
Even though I’m standing with a group of my own friends and having a good time, I suddenly feel unpopular in the extreme. read more
Life has this annoying little habit of throwing circumstances directly in your path that you were 100% not prepared for. So, go figure, it generally gets bungled and the rest of the day is spent with a pessimistic monologue going through your head about how ridiculously it was handled. The past scenario is replayed a thousand times in your mind, and every replay you find a better way of handling the issue is revealed. read more
Do you ever struggle with the feeling that your life is crumbling into pieces? Everything seems to continually get worse and never improve, falling further apart with every move you make. You watch helplessly, realizing you can do nothing, but yet wanting to change everything. In those moments God seems so distant, either too busy to notice you floundering, or indifferent to your plight.
How are we as Christians to respond when God continually seems to tear your life apart? read more
What is God’s will for your life?
We all have to deal with this question at some point in our lives. Even as a kid, this question would pop up in my life, usually accompanied by a host of other questions (where would I work, who would I marry, etc…). Just recently, I had to grapple with this question again. I experienced, for the first time in my life, what it means to be in love. I entered into a courting relationship with a young lady earlier this year and it was a marvelous experience; but, as we became closer and started getting to really know each other, there were conflicts of interest and ideas that eventually led to us ending the courtship and agreeing to just be friends. read more
My favorite chapter in the Bible is Proverbs 16. Even though the purpose of Proverbs is to share wisdom (rather than God’s promises), it is still full of truth and hope for our lives.
I especially cling to these verses from chapter 16: “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established….When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps…The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:1-3, 7-9, & 33). read more
I was sticky from the African heat and welcomed every rush of soothing breezes that drifted occasionally through nearby windows of the village church.
Quite sometime into the sermon as I was growing fidgety in my plastic chair, the pastor shared a rich remark about life I still haven’t been able to forget. read more
Recently I had the opportunity to go to Ireland for a two-week mission trip. I worked with an organization called OM Ireland (OM = Operation Mobilization), and I participated in their Impact Ireland short term mission. The first week the teams were given training, and the second week we split up and went to six different towns all over Ireland. During that next week, my team worked with a local church doing a variety of outreaches – kids clubs, street evangelism, visiting nursing homes, and doing community outreach events. It was a challenging time for me, as I was stretched and pulled out of my comfort zone in many different ways. However, I came out of the two weeks feeling very encouraged by all that I had experienced and blessed by all the things that God taught me. Here are a few of the main lessons that I learned during that time. read more
This verse is my favorite verse in the whole Bible! It always reminds me to not praise myself or other people or other things, but instead it reminds me to praise God. God created everything, even me. And God gave me the talent to be able to do what I do so He deserves my praise! A lot of times I will say, “Hey, look what I did.” But really I should be saying, “Hey, look what God did through me.” Or “Look at what God gave me.” Everything comes from God and we need to remember to thank Him and praise Him for all the wonderful gifts He has given us. Without God we are living meaningless lives. Actually, without God we wouldn’t even be here because He created us. We also need to realize that through our own power and understanding we control nothing and can do nothing, but with God everything is possible read more
Throughout our lives, we suffer. It’s part of life. But there is a reason behind every trial we endure. Paul, the author of Philippians, writes, “Your pain has a purpose” (1:29). Paul, like many other disciples, knew a lot about suffering and pain, yet he and the others still found joy in it all. One of the other disciples, Peter, writes about suffering in his book 1 Peter. In three short verses, Peter walks us through three reasons and outcomes of suffering in faith. read more
How would you feel if you were aware of grossness in your own heart? And how would you feel furthermore if you meanwhile faced the fact that God Sees Everything? read more
We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul…
Who are you? read more
Did you know there is a war going on? According to these verses there is.
Some people might find that frightening. We are talking about a battle against darkness itself, after all. What can an average person hope to do in such a fight? read more
God’s plan has always been to reconcile people to Himself. That is the story of the Bible––a story of love when He created humanity, His people; a story of pain when sin separated Him from His people; a story of redemption when He restored the connection between Him and His people. read more