There’s just something about the atmosphere the holiday season creates. The world just tends to be happier. People are nicer to one another, and the gift-giving nature of the season awakens a spirit of generosity within us.
This is something we need, especially with the state of our current world. There is so much hopelessness and uncertainty, anxiety and tension, fear and anger. I think it’s good for us to have a season of joy and peace.
Thanksgiving typically marks the beginning of the holiday season, and with it comes various posts across social media platforms about what people are thankful for.
If you would have asked me what I was thankful for a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you. 2017 has been the worst year of my life. I’m aware that sounds super dramatic and petty, but it has sucked. This year through me to rock bottom and created the worst version of myself.
Smartphones and other devices are ingrained in our culture, and it’s a trend that happened rather quickly. I try to be welcoming of change, but I feel like the use of cell phones rose so rapidly, we weren’t able to really focus on the best ways to use them.
In her book, Calm, Cool, and Connected, Arlene Pellicane shares some practical advice on how we can use our devices in more productive ways.
Too often, we find ourselves trying to uncover this mysterious will God has for our lives. There’s nothing wrong with figuring out what God wants you to do, but when we fixate on this, it freezes us into a life of inaction.
Here’s the thing: God’s will for your life isn’t some elaborate Rubix cube you have to solve. God’s will is for you to just live your life while using what you have to love Him and love people.
I was able to read Paul and His Team by Ryan Lokkesme to review for Moody Publishers.I received this book for that purpose, but I chose this book specifically because I had the opportunity to study the book of Acts over the summer with my church. Obviously, Paul laid some amazing framework for the early church, and I was interested in learning about some of the individuals who served in more of a behind-the-scenes sort of way.
True friends are the ones that stay after parties and help you clean up. They’re the ones that aren’t just available for the fun things; they stick around for the messy things. Ruth didn’t bail on Naomi because it would be hard. She stuck around to help pick up the pieces Naomi had left. I’m sure Ruth had thoughts telling her to go home, to let Naomi figure everything out on her own. But she pushed past those and sacrificed. She chose to lay down her life, expecting nothing in return.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we can no longer identify by the names we once held. You are no longer identified as a slave to sin or as a person without love. Instead, you are known as being fully accepted in Christ.
Sometimes I feel like we get so wrapped up in doing things for God that we forget our relationship with Him is the ultimate thing. Serving God is awesome, but we can’t forget the love God has for us and the relationship He desires we have with Him. We let our pride and stress tell us that we need to work harder; our worry that we’re not “good enough” forces us to prove that we are.
But the truth is, we can’t prove that we’re good enough. We weren’t good enough. That’s why Jesus had to step in. And because of the cross and His resurrection, God sees us as being enough.
With a culture that is continually shouting bigger is better and more is greater, it’s important for us to take a step back and make sure our churches are offering programs that encourage spiritual maturity in people, not just growth in the number of people sitting in the pews each Sunday.
While I’m sure many pastors love their jobs, they aren’t necessarily immune from the stress and pressure of their calling. Anytime the well-being of multiple people is present, a one-size-fits-all approach is not going to work, making the challenge of leading and serving a variety of personalities difficult. We can’t always make a pastor’s workload lighter, but we can show them they are appreciated and valued.