Palm Sunday Intrigue The back story of what was really happening while the palms were waving April 6th, 2020 Gary Wiley
Palm Sunday Intrigue
Palm Sunday Intrigue The back story of what was really happening while the palms were waving April 6th, 2020 Gary Wiley
Palm Sunday Intrigue
April 6th, 2020

Palm Sunday Intrigue

Gary Wiley

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! This past weekend we celebrated Palm Sunday. We looked on at the celebration from the outside, as we still cannot gather publicly for worship. Ironically, that may have been a fitting reality this time—seeing this from ...

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4 Verses to Find Joy When You’re Stuck Inside
April 2nd, 2020

4 Verses to Find Joy When You’re Stuck Inside

Hannah DeMarco

I’m writing this, hunched over my keyboard at the dining room table. I’ve been seeing this table in my city rowhome a lot lately. Every morning, I drink the same coffee, eat the same breakfast, and sit in the same rickety wooden chair. I notice the same kitchen cabinet ...

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Oración por la restauración en nuestro sufrimiento
March 31st, 2020

Oración por la restauración en nuestro sufrimiento

Gary Wiley

Estimados lectores, nos encontramos en un momento difícil como nación. El brote de COVID-19 puso patas arriba nuestras vidas. Algunos de nosotros no podemos abandonar nuestros hogares, algunos han perdido el empleo, algunos están enfermos y algunos de nuestros seres queridos han muerto. No podemos asistir al culto público. ...

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Prayer for Restoration in Our Suffering
March 30th, 2020

Prayer for Restoration in Our Suffering

Gary Wiley

Dear readers, we find ourselves in a challenging time as a nation. Our lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of us are unable to leave our homes, some have lost employment, some are sick, and some of our loved ones have died. We can’t ...

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Only 9 Months ’til Christmas
March 23rd, 2020

Only 9 Months ’til Christmas

Gary Wiley

It’s too early to think about Christmas! If you are observing the season of Lent, you know that we are in the fourth week of Lent with less than three weeks until the great celebration of Easter. Celebrating Christmas is probably not on your radar at all. And ...

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Our Wisdom Is Foolishness to God
March 16th, 2020

Our Wisdom Is Foolishness to God

Gary Wiley

Boy, we don’t like to hear that! All of our accumulated wisdom from over 7 billion people multiplied over millennia adds up to a bunch of foolishness. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:18-19a, “Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, ...

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5 Verses to Calm Anxiety Over the Coronavirus
March 13th, 2020

5 Verses to Calm Anxiety Over the Coronavirus

Hannah DeMarco

Hi, I’m Hannah, and I’m a recovering germaphobe. When I was a kid, I worried about catching diseases from touching other kids’ toys and locker doors. I washed (and still wash!) my hands diligently and thoroughly. I took every single one of my vitamins. For me, this ...

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Memorization: Getting God’s Word Inside You
March 9th, 2020

Memorization: Getting God’s Word Inside You

Peter Edman

Memorization has been on my mind and on my task list recently, including preparing a list of the top 10 Bible passages everyone should memorize. One candidate for that top-ten list of memory verses is Paul’s reminder in Philippians 4:8 to “fill your mind with those things that are ...

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5 Verses to Help Trade Stress for Peace
March 5th, 2020

5 Verses to Help Trade Stress for Peace

Hannah DeMarco

I just can’t catch a break. I remember hearing my mom utter these words at her most stressful times when I was a kid. I also remember thinking, “Could it really be that bad?” Now that I’m adult, I better understand how my mom sometimes ...

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Journey with Jesus in the Desert
March 2nd, 2020

Journey with Jesus in the Desert

Christina Miller

The season of Lent is upon us, beginning last week with Ash Wednesday. In many churches, clergy traced ashes across recipients’ foreheads, reciting the words, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.” This somber reminder led us into a 40-day journey, mirroring Jesus’s time of ...

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
February 24th, 2020

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Gary Wiley

Marked for all to see I’ll never forget the first time I received ashes on my forehead on Ash Wednesday. I was part of a non-denominational church in New York City, a church that, although it was a relatively new church plant, was committed to be grounded in ...

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4 Prayers of Joy to Fight Winter Doldrums
February 20th, 2020

4 Prayers of Joy to Fight Winter Doldrums

Hannah DeMarco

I haven’t seen the sun in four days. OK,  I’m being a bit dramatic. But I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to wake up to sun shining and birds singing. I wake up instead to wintery rain tapping my window. And it makes me want to do what ...

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Corrective Surgery from the Bible
February 10th, 2020

Corrective Surgery from the Bible

Randy Petersen

Truth has taken a beating in the last few years. From the White House to the Vatican, the concern for “fake news” is talked about, but the reality of deception is as old as Genesis. We can blame the Internet for getting falsehood out faster than before. We ...

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Failure can be a pathway to success
February 10th, 2020

Failure can be a pathway to success

Josh Lawson

Like it or not, failure is an inevitable part of life. We face it at work, at home, and in ministry. Unfortunately, society doesn’t place a high degree of value on failure, so people are not often equipped to deal with it when it comes. But failure can be ...

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5 Verses to Find Joy in What You Have
February 6th, 2020

5 Verses to Find Joy in What You Have

Hannah DeMarco

Often, scrolling through Instagram offers a nice check-in on what my friends are up to. I sit nestled on my comfy couch, sipping coffee and smiling at all the fun the world has to offer. Sometimes, though, when I’m having a blah day, Instagram feels like ...

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2 Ways to Animate Your Bible Reading
February 3rd, 2020

2 Ways to Animate Your Bible Reading

Randy Petersen

Many Bible readers get into a certain rhythm—reading 5-10 verses of the Bible text and asking certain questions to dig into the meaning. Perhaps they read an entry from a devotional booklet. This is a fine model for Bible study, no need to change it. Unless ...

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Does Social Media Make You Anxious?
January 27th, 2020

Does Social Media Make You Anxious?

Kari E. Randall

My friends are railing about politics on Facebook again. I’m exhausted. My social media feeds brim with news of violence, incivility, and decidedly un-neighborly behavior with no end in sight. And that’s just in the United States. Does it feel the same for you? ...

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You Can Engage Scripture on Your Way to Work
January 20th, 2020

You Can Engage Scripture on Your Way to Work

Davina McDonald

The sun has just come up and already I’m feeling anxious, flustered, even exhausted. Not only do I have noise all around me, but I also deal with noise within me. The hustle and bustle of commuting only makes this worse. If I’m not careful, I will allow things ...

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4 Bible Verses to Help You Feel Your Feelings
January 16th, 2020

4 Bible Verses to Help You Feel Your Feelings

Hannah DeMarco

I’m sitting at a stop sign, warm Chick-fil-a chicken strips sitting in my front seat as I listen to my favorite song. And then— WHACK!— another car hits me head-on. As much as I hate to admit it, my first thought is, NO! My ...

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Make 2020 Your Year of the Bible
January 13th, 2020

Make 2020 Your Year of the Bible

Carolyn Wildermuth

If I had a nickel for every time I said, “I don’t have enough time to do that, ” I would be rich. For me, and I suspect most people, not enough time is an automatic excuse for things I have not thought through or prioritized. The bottom line ...

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Scripture for every season of life
January 6th, 2020

Scripture for every season of life

Dottie McLoughlin

I recently reached Senior Citizen status and was having a little trouble celebrating the event. It seemed a bit unreal—after all, wasnt I just 35 a year or two ago? Then I remembered: Oh yeah, the kids are married with families of their own. My husband and I downsized ...

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Start the New Year Fresh in God’s Word
January 2nd, 2020

Start the New Year Fresh in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

We’re all sitting around the Christmas dinner table, rattling off our New Years resolutions: I’m going to lose 20 pounds! I’m finally going to write that novel I keep dreaming about. I’m getting a boyfriend, ...

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The Bible for the World in 2020
December 30th, 2019

The Bible for the World in 2020

Alasdair Wallace

Alasdair Wallace – Bible Advocacy Campaign Manager, Scottish Bible Society I can sometimes forget that when I’m reading the Bible: what I’m looking at is a translation. And not just a translation into English from the original languages of Hebrew ...

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 23rd, 2019

Join in singing a 280-year-old Christmas Carol

Bryan Park

I have a particular fondness for old hymns of the faith. A good hymn allows us to sing Scripture, and when we sing Scripture, we’re interacting with the Bible, which shapes our choices and transforms our relationships. And since we are just a few days away from Christmas, I’d ...

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Trade Winter Blues for God’s Joy
December 19th, 2019

Trade Winter Blues for God’s Joy

Hannah DeMarco

In just two days, we’ll live through the shortest day of the year. And I will hate every second of it. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. But all this winter cold and darkness makes me long for 9 pm sunsets, ice cream, boardwalks, and the ...

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What are we waiting for?
December 16th, 2019

What are we waiting for?

Christina Miller

I often wonder how Mary felt in the days leading up to Jesuss birth. What did it feel like to nurture and carry the Messiah? What physical pain and spiritual peace did she experience? When she received news of her unexpected pregnancy, Luke tells us, Mary treasured up all ...

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Get ready: Scripture practices for Advent
December 9th, 2019

Get ready: Scripture practices for Advent

John Skillen

Every year at Christmas time my family looks forward to watching the “Service of Lessons and Carols” televised from King’s College in Cambridge, England. The singing is exhilarating, and so is the beautiful reading of the passages from Scripture that foretell and narrate the birth of Jesus. The readers’ ...

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God’s Free Christmas Gifts to You
December 5th, 2019

God’s Free Christmas Gifts to You

Hannah DeMarco

Wait, how is it Christmastime already? you ask the calendar in front of you. While you’re looking forward to the Christmas celebrations, you’re also overwhelmed with anxiety. Christmas is expensive. With all the gifts and décor and parties, your bank account quickly drains down ...

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Success and Love Wrapped into One
December 2nd, 2019

Success and Love Wrapped into One

Tara-Leigh Cobble

In Part 1  of this series, we talked about three common mistakes I have made when reading the Bible and how my relationship with God benefitted when I corrected those things. The first mistake I made was approaching Scripture with a lens for myself ...

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God Welcomes Your ‘Messiness’
November 25th, 2019

God Welcomes Your ‘Messiness’

Heather Drew

Where did all these feelings come from? All of my life I have been called an “emotional person.” But here is a fact: everyone is an “emotional person.” Emotions are natural and normal, and there are a variety of ways we can express them. Our emotions are created ...

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4 Verses for Joy During Thanksgiving Stress
November 21st, 2019

4 Verses for Joy During Thanksgiving Stress

Hannah DeMarco

All you want to do is gather with family around the Thanksgiving table and eat good food. But you’re already feeling the stress of the holiday season. You dread fighting for the last turkey at the grocery store. You’re worried about that one relative who ...

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What Paul Never Prayed For
November 18th, 2019

What Paul Never Prayed For

Jennifer Duncan

Last week was Veterans Day and I couldn’t help but remember that day by honoring a late neighbor and reflecting on how our lives intersected at a critical time in his life. The encounter also helped me to find a theme in Scripture that I had not noticed before.   ...

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Sunday Morning Time Travel
November 11th, 2019

Sunday Morning Time Travel

Sherri K. Edman

We try valiantly to limit media consumption in our home, but as any parent knows, it’s incredibly difficult. And as any stay-at-home parent knows, it’s especially difficult when your kids are operating at maximum “twerpitude” and driving each other—and you—crazy. Sometimes, when we are in each other’s faces, the ...

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Love Yourself the Way God Loves You
November 7th, 2019

Love Yourself the Way God Loves You

Hannah DeMarco

I smiled at my little nephew, heart swelling with pride.  There he was on the school stage, tie askew, singing “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” loudly and badly. He didn’t know the hand motions. He got carried away and sang the closing note for too long. And ...

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Five Questions to Guide Your Bible Reading
November 4th, 2019

Five Questions to Guide Your Bible Reading

Tara-Leigh Cobble

Though I’d grown up in the church and had earned my share of Scripture memory badges in Sunday School, I was an adult before I realized I didn’t actually understand much of the Bible. I knew how to pull out a verse of encouragement when I needed ...

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Why bother?
October 28th, 2019

Why bother?

Anne Kennedy

The Bible is usually the last thing I want to face in the morning. I lie in bed in the early dawn, that netherworld between darkness and light, my phone in my hand, teetering between clicking on Facebook and clicking on my Bible app.  I grew ...

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What would Jesus talk about at the table?
October 21st, 2019

What would Jesus talk about at the table?

Gary Wiley

I have been thinking a lot about Jesus’s encounters with people at the dinner table. I wonder what it would be like to have him as a mealtime companion. What would he talk about? Would he walk the path of least resistance, trying his best not to bring up ...

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4 Verses to Overcome the Shame of Rejection
October 17th, 2019

4 Verses to Overcome the Shame of Rejection

Hannah DeMarco

The first time a good friend “broke up” with me in middle school, I ran home crying to my mom. She patiently listened as I detailed every aspect of our friendship, everything we said, everything that happened the last time we had a sleepover at ...

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A Practice of Gratitude
October 14th, 2019

A Practice of Gratitude

Rachel Dawn Hayes

The Bible tells us to rejoice. All the time and in everything. I spend my days juggling a toddler, freelance work, volunteer positions, a husband, friends, and a household. I cook meals that are too complex. I regularly overschedule my days. I am not continuously mindful of my very ...

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Learn From My Bible-Reading Mistakes
October 7th, 2019

Learn From My Bible-Reading Mistakes

Tara-Leigh Cobble

For years I struggled with Bible reading. Not only was Scripture challenging to understand, but that challenge also left me with a lack of desire to read it. Every day I felt defeated before I even started; and most days I didn’t start at all.  I ...

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3 Verses for Hope During Hard Transitions
October 3rd, 2019

3 Verses for Hope During Hard Transitions

Hannah DeMarco

Put away your pumpkin spice, autumnal gourds, and freshly picked apples. I’m the one woman in all of America who hates the fall. Well, actually, I don’t really hate fall. I just hate what it represents: the descent into shorter days, colder nights, more ...

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 I’ll Say a Little Prayer For You
September 30th, 2019

I’ll Say a Little Prayer For You

Gary Wiley

Early in my marriage, my wife used to ask me to “whisper a prayer” whenever a situation would arise. I thought her expression was quaint, maybe even lacking a degree of seriousness. However, it was not like her to take prayer lightly. In those early years of our marriage, ...

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Why Read Matthew’s Gospel?
September 23rd, 2019

Why Read Matthew’s Gospel?

Mark Giacobbe

There’s something I’ve noticed when I get together with old friends to talk about days gone by: we remember the same events differently. Sometimes these differences involve discrepancies that beg to be resolved. But usually they involve different perspectives; different angles on the same event, with ...

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4 Prayers for Guidance When you Feel Trapped
September 19th, 2019

4 Prayers for Guidance When you Feel Trapped

Hannah DeMarco

I never thought I’d watch a movie about a man cutting off his own arm. But there I was, eyes glued to the screen, watching James Franco stab himself. The movie, 127 Hours , is based on the true story of a climber ...

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The Cross On Which Jesus—and Our Old Self—Died
September 16th, 2019

The Cross On Which Jesus—and Our Old Self—Died

Joseph Bentz

The cross, the central symbol of the Christian faith, holds such power for believers that they are often willing to go to great lengths to display it. In a remote field in Lithuania tens of thousands of crosses of every imaginable size and design have been planted on a ...

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The Feast of Lady Wisdom
September 9th, 2019

The Feast of Lady Wisdom

Joy Clarkson

There is an image in my mind which was planted in the earliest dawn of my memory, and which I hope will remain with me into the twilight of old age. It is of my mother reading her Bible. She sits enthroned on her overstuffed blue chair, ensconced in ...

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Giving God’s Love to Those Who Hurt You
September 5th, 2019

Giving God’s Love to Those Who Hurt You

Hannah DeMarco

As a kid, I longed for the day when I’d be free of the heartache and horror of middle school politics. I yearned for adulthood. Adults always get along! I naively thought. I was told by teachers and parents that things would get better. You’re all ...

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The Most Famous Embrace
September 2nd, 2019

The Most Famous Embrace

Joseph Bentz

One clue that a fictional character has become truly influential in a culture is when that character is known by people who have never read the novels or seen the films in which that character first appeared. Many people know who Sherlock Holmes is even if they have never ...

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The Truth That Sets You Free
August 26th, 2019

The Truth That Sets You Free

Mike Anderson

“Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to do that? God tells us not to. You know better.” Growing up around church but frequently found breaking the rules, I was used to appeals like these to correct my behavior. There was a measure of truth in them that resonated with ...

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The Cry of the Oppressed
August 19th, 2019

The Cry of the Oppressed

Brendan Michael

Can getting angry ever be a good thing? That depends on how we think about anger. What is the purpose of anger? American theologian Tim Keller defines anger as “love in motion toward a threat to that which you love.” 1  This is the “righteous anger” of which we often speak. One ...

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4 Prayers to Get Through a Horrible Day
August 15th, 2019

4 Prayers to Get Through a Horrible Day

Hannah DeMarco

As a kid, one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’d giggle and groan as my mom read to me every awful thing a boy named Alexander experiences in a single day. First, Alex’s ...

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Dealing with Distraction
August 12th, 2019

Dealing with Distraction

Lydia Sheldon

Excerpts from Thoughts on Religious Experience , adapted by Lydia Sheldon Have you ever wondered if you’re the only one who can’t seem to concentrate when you sit down to pray or study God’s Word? Have you asked yourself why you ...

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Take Hope from the Lamp Shining in the Darkness
August 5th, 2019

Take Hope from the Lamp Shining in the Darkness

Gary Wiley

I confess I am afraid of the dark. Especially when it is very dark—I mean really dark—like pitch black. I used to live in New York City and went through the blackout of 2003 when all power was out for more than 24 hours. It was dark, but not ...

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4 Verses to Overcome Guilt About Finances
August 1st, 2019

4 Verses to Overcome Guilt About Finances

Hannah DeMarco

You pull into your driveway, turn off the car, and lower your head onto the steering wheel. You dread getting out of the car. At least on the way home, you could zone out and listen to music. Walking up your driveway and seeing the shutters that need to ...

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The Delight of a Repentant Life
July 29th, 2019

The Delight of a Repentant Life

Matt Cohen

The first words of the Lord Jesus Christ’s public ministry were, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We tend to focus a lot on the “believe the gospel” part of that charge. But how often do ...

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Roots to Weather Any Storm
July 22nd, 2019

Roots to Weather Any Storm

Sarah Berthely

When I lived in Mexico, one of my favorite spots was a park with a long path lining several small lakes. The lush getaway was hidden amid the chaos of the city. A few older, gigantic trees lined the path, their roots partially exposed. People often climbed the banks ...

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5 Prayers for Peace When You’re Sick
July 17th, 2019

5 Prayers for Peace When You’re Sick

Hannah DeMarco

I’m writing this from my doctor’s office. While I’d rather be anywhere but here, I’m thankful I have a doctor I can go to when I’m sick. But I’m not thankful for all the money and time spent talking to doctors with dead ends. I’m ...

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A New Resource to Unlock the Old Testament
July 15th, 2019

A New Resource to Unlock the Old Testament

Suzy Silk

The Bible is not merely a magnificent book written over hundreds of years by a variety of people in a variety of literary styles. It is God’s Word and it teaches us about his character, how to live according to his laws, and how his redemptive plan makes sense of ...

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Do You Need To Be Free?
July 8th, 2019

Do You Need To Be Free?

Mike Anderson

Everybody wants to be free, right? America was founded on the principle that every human being has a right to life, liberty (freedom), and the pursuit of happiness. The theme shows up all throughout American songs, literature, and movies. The cry of William Wallace at the end of the ...

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4 Verses to Handle Being Stressed Out of Your Mind
July 4th, 2019

4 Verses to Handle Being Stressed Out of Your Mind

Hannah DeMarco

Why do bad things like to happen all at once? I imagine all my greatest fears huddled together in a dimly-lit basement, plotting their coordinated attack. I’ll make her feel unsafe by making her have to find a new place to live , one cackles. ...

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How To Get Your Kids Engaged in Scripture This Summer
July 1st, 2019

How To Get Your Kids Engaged in Scripture This Summer

Margi McCombs

Adapted from “Now Is the Time Parents’ Guide” by Margi McCombs. If you’re a parent, you might not share in your kids’ joy as you anticipate weeks and weeks of no school. By mid-summer, you’ve gone through an untold number of ice pops. ...

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Everything You Need To Know About Luke
June 24th, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Luke

Mark Giacobbe

The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts together make up more than twenty-five percent of our New Testament—more than the letters of Paul. These books, a carefully crafted two-part account of Jesus and the early church, were written by a single author, traditionally identified as “Luke the ...

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4 Verses to Overcome Daily Anxiety
June 20th, 2019

4 Verses to Overcome Daily Anxiety

Hannah DeMarco

You wake up, hopeful and ready for a new day. But as you check the time, you see you’re already late for work—and you haven’t even showered yet! It’ll be okay , you tell yourself. You’re determined to have a good ...

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The Bible’s Hope For Your Anxiety
June 17th, 2019

The Bible’s Hope For Your Anxiety

Liz Wann

Anxiety is close to home for me. In fact, it’s right under my roof. Though I’m not typically an anxious person, I’ve had my own dark season of anxiety. And my husband has struggled with it on a sometimes daily basis—even to the point where it has affected our ...

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When You Don’t Have Words to Pray
June 10th, 2019

When You Don’t Have Words to Pray

Alex Miller

A striking pattern in the Gospels is the way Jesus’s disciples often seem jarred by his creative teaching style. They struggle to interpret him so much that when, late in his ministry, Jesus drops his metaphorical language and begins to tell them directly that he is going to die, ...

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5 Bible Verses to Overcome Exhaustion After Work
June 6th, 2019

5 Bible Verses to Overcome Exhaustion After Work

Jennica Stevens

It’s 6 o’clock. You shuffle into the house, not even bothering to take off your shoes before plopping down on the couch. Is too early to go to sleep? you ask yourself. But then you remember all the things you still have to ...

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The Bible’s Guide to Dating
June 3rd, 2019

The Bible’s Guide to Dating

Matt Cohen

What does the Bible say about dating or courtship? It can be difficult to know how to date in a godly way. After all, you won’t find the word “dating” in the Bible. Much of the Bible was written at times and in cultures where arranged marriages were the ...

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Be An Onlooker in a Gospel Story
May 27th, 2019

Be An Onlooker in a Gospel Story

Joy Clarkson

Legend has it that when Saint Bonaventure received the news that he had been elected a cardinal, he was washing dishes in the monastery kitchen. Never very impressed with the prestige of this world, he requested that the cardinal’s hat (a symbol of honor and authority) be hung on ...

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Cry in the Right Direction
May 20th, 2019

Cry in the Right Direction

Matt Cohen

“Matt, I think you’re depressed.” The statement shocked me because my wife is not given to exaggeration. Thankfully, because I was shocked I was also speechless, so she was able to continue. For about an hour or so, my wife helped me to see things that, as a pastor, ...

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Trade Your Nagging Fears for Peace
May 16th, 2019

Trade Your Nagging Fears for Peace

Hannah DeMarco

You’re having a wonderful time, watching your kids play in the sand at the beach. But then, almost audibly, something tells you, What if they drown? What if they die right here, right now? It doesn’t matter if the event is unlikely. Your heart ...

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Always Learning, Never Knowing
May 13th, 2019

Always Learning, Never Knowing

Mike Anderson

This is the fifth installment in a series of blog posts addressing Jesus’s promise that his followers who abide in his Word will know the truth (John 8:31-32). Shortly after I became a Christian, the leaders in the ministry ...

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Can the Bible help you be a good mom?
May 6th, 2019

Can the Bible help you be a good mom?

Liz Wann

As I scroll through Facebook, I see blog posts for potty training your toddler over the weekend, how to get your kids to listen, and how to get your kids to eat right. I read one post that tells moms to cloth diaper their babies and feed them homemade ...

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4 Prayers to Overcome Financial Hardship
May 2nd, 2019

4 Prayers for Financial Hardship

Jennica Stevens

“Hey, want to grab a bite to eat tomorrow night?” These words often send me into spirals of dread during times of financial hardship. There have been times when even spending $3 to get ice cream with friends caused a well of anxiety ...

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Engaging in Scripture with our hearts and our hands
April 29th, 2019

Engaging in Scripture with our hearts and our hands

Catherine Ricketts

Scripture, Animated It was January, dark by five, and bone-cold. I arrived at the party early, shivering as I slid off my coat. Inside, the tree was lit, the candles blazed, and the children pleaded for me to try their game. “We’re journeying to the Christ Child!” a ...

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The Death of Death
April 22nd, 2019

The Death of Death

Rosalie J. Karjala

It’s Easter morning, and I’m tucked in between my mother and father on the church pew, shivering a bit from the walk through the spring rain. I feel the swell of the organ as the voices of the congregation rise around me in rich harmonies. The joyous fervor of ...

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Finding Who You Are in God’s Word
April 18th, 2019

Finding Who You Are in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

Growing up in the 90s, I was bombarded with messages of self-worth 247. Almost every pre-teen Disney movie or Nickelodeon TV show bedazzled itself with the same tried-and-true message: Be yourself! Don’t let anyone dull your shine! It all sounded nice, but it seemed ...

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Why Did Jesus Want to Eat That Last Supper?
April 15th, 2019

Why Did Jesus Want to Eat That Last Supper?

Suzy Silk

Almost every Sunday, churches across America remember Jesus’s “Last Supper” as they take communion together. Eating bread or wafers and drinking grape juice or wine, they recount Jesus’s words: “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. … This cup ...

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The One-Another Approach to Bible Reading
April 8th, 2019

The One-Another Approach to Bible Reading

Matt Cohen

I became a runner when I was twenty-one. I tried running several times before, but it never stuck. I would go out for a run by myself, start way too fast, and give up with a painful side stitch after only five minutes. It was incredibly discouraging. Everything changed ...

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Finding Hope When Your Life Falls Apart
April 4th, 2019

Finding Hope When Your Life Falls Apart

Maria Wolf

Kim didn’t feel close to God anymore. But she thought she was OK. She was alone, yes, but she felt she could handle everything on her own. And then her life fell apart. Her heart was broken through the pain of divorce. Twice . ...

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When Jesus cried for help
April 1st, 2019

When Jesus cried for help

Mark Giacobbe

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesuss cry of dereliction from the cross recorded in Mark 15:33-34 haunts us each Lenten season. Traditionally, the church sets aside this season to ponder the deep mystery of God sundered from God, the eternal Son cast out from the ...

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Do I have to know things to follow Jesus?
March 25th, 2019

Do I have to know things to follow Jesus?

Mike Anderson

“Why are we wasting our time studying? What really matters is doing what Jesus said.” I’ve been a Christian for 12 years now, and in that time, I’ve heard countless sentiments like this—and for good reason, too. Jesus himself said, “If you love me, you ...

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3 Verses to Help You Love Friends Who Let You Down
March 21st, 2019

3 Verses to Help You Love Friends Who Let You Down

Hannah DeMarco

It was Friday night, and I was alone. I began the day envisioning a night full of laughter, deep conversation, and good food. But three minutes earlier, my friend had texted me to cancel our dinner plans. At first, I felt like ...

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What happens when you read the Bible in an art museum
March 18th, 2019

What happens when you read the Bible in an art museum

Catherine Ricketts

Sometimes in my Bible-reading, I desire to slow down in order to imaginatively enter a single scene or to deeply consider a single theological idea. In moments like these, visual art is a welcome companion, for it captivates my imagination and slows me to a meditative pace. ...

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What Is Truth? And Can We Know It?
March 11th, 2019

What Is Truth? And Can We Know It?

Mike Anderson

Shortly after I became a Christian, I was encouraged to memorize Bible verses. I remember deriving great comfort from memorizing Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (ESV). Then one ...

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6 Verses for Strength When You Long to Escape
March 7th, 2019

6 Verses for Strength When You Long to Escape

Hannah DeMarco

How am I feeling? Hold on. Be right back. Gotta go watch 37 episodes of TV and do a little online shopping and bake some cookies and plan a vacation I’ll never go on real quick. That’s an actual quote from me this winter. ...

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How to Cultivate a Habit of Delight
March 4th, 2019

How to Cultivate a Habit of Delight

Alex Miller

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of trying to get quickly in and out of a bookstore. Perhaps it’s the recent proliferation of online book shopping options, and my tendency to use them instead of the walk-in variety over the past few years, that made me foolish ...

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How Marriage Changed the Way I Read the Bible
February 25th, 2019

How Marriage Changed the Way I Read the Bible

Catherine Ricketts

Before I was married, I read the Bible nearly every morning. It was a ritual I had developed as a teenager that carried on into my adult life. I often woke looking forward to God’s company, found in the words of Scripture. I thought of God as my friend, ...

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4 Prayers for Peace When You’re Broke
February 21st, 2019

4 Prayers for Peace When You’re Broke

Hannah DeMarco

You wonder why you even bother building a budget. Because every month—without fail—something breaks or the electric bill runs high or a forgotten bill comes in the mail. You’d almost find it funny if it wasn’t so frustrating. ...

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Looking for Jesus
February 18th, 2019

Looking for Jesus

Liz Wann

When I was a kid, I looked for Waldo. That guy with the red hat, red-striped shirt, and hipster looking glasses. He was elusive, but I was Sherlock. I would scan the overcrowded picture from top to bottom, left to right, and look for anything that was red. Some ...

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Isn’t the Bible Outdated?
February 11th, 2019

Isn’t the Bible Outdated?

Mike Anderson

Jesus promised his followers that if we abide in his Word, it will set us free. But free from what?  And what does it mean to abide? This series of articles explores how the truth of Jesus’s Word can free you. Start from the beginning ...

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Five Valentines from God in the Bible
February 7th, 2019

Five Valentines from God in the Bible

Hannah DeMarco

This Valentine’s Day, you might express your love through chocolates, red roses, or a fancy dinner. You might feel the pressure of getting the restaurant reservation you want. Or maybe you’ll give out pink candies to coworkers. You can give something to God this Valentine’s ...

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Grace for Lapsed Bible Readers
February 4th, 2019

Grace for Lapsed Bible Readers

Catherine Ricketts

For fifteen years, I read the Bible every day. I craved it in the morning like my empty stomach craved breakfast. Then slowly, the cravings stopped. My relationship with the Bible got complicated. Questions arose that I didn’t have the answers for, and the Bible became a source of ...

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The Mark of a True Disciple
January 28th, 2019

The Mark of a True Disciple

Mike Anderson

Surrounded by admirers and enemies, Jesus teaches in the temple. He experiences what most would consider a mark of great success. He proclaims the good news concerning himself, saying, “I am he” (John 8:24, 28 ESV), the one sent from the Father (John 8:16, 29). Then, “As he was ...

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Weighing the Psalms
January 21st, 2019

Weighing the Psalms

Alex Miller

When we’re young, the wealth of time and energy most of us enjoy makes us capable of heroic things. For instance, during high school I can remember getting up every weekday morning at 4:30 to read a little Scripture. Now I am incapable of staying conscious at that hour ...

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6 Verses to Calm Your Anxious Mind
January 17th, 2019

6 Verses to Calm Your Anxious Mind

Hannah DeMarco

Your brain just won’t turn off. You turn on your favorite TV show and minutes go by before you realize you’re still thinking about work or chores or that weird thing you said five years ago. Or you sit down to enjoy a meal with your family, ...

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How to Grow in Prayer in 2019
January 14th, 2019

How to Grow in Prayer in 2019

Lydia Sheldon

I’m going to offer a foolproof suggestion to help you grow in your relationship with God this year. It’s not a resolution you can fulfill on your own, on a treadmill or in your private Bible study. But it is very simple: pray with someone else ...

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The Case for a Physical Bible
January 7th, 2019

The Case for a Physical Bible

Michael Foust

If you’re like most Americans, you’re on the internet once a day or more. A 2018 Pew Research Center study showed that 77 percent of Americans are in that category. That includes 43 percent who are on the internet several times a day and 26 percent who ...

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6 Bible Verses For When You’re Having a Terrible Day
January 2nd, 2019

6 Bible Verses For When You're Having a Terrible Day

Nicholas Hemming

Sometimes minor incidents can turn the best mornings into the worst afternoons. Has this ever happened to you? Maybe you wake up feeling rested, take your time getting ready and get only green lights on your way to work—all the makings of a positive, productive day. ...

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Why You Should Number Your Days This New Year
December 31st, 2018

Why You Should Number Your Days This New Year

Liz Wann

A new year always comes at the heels of Christmas. In the words of John Lennon and Yoko Ono: “And so this is Christmas and what have we done Another year over, a new one just begun.” The end of a year brings reflection and remembrance, and ...

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When the Armies of Heaven Sang for Joy
December 24th, 2018

When the Armies of Heaven Sang for Joy

Suzy Silk

This two-part series explores the mystery and wonder of the Christmas story from the perspective of angels. This Christmas, as we gather with family, sing Christmas songs, and open presents under our trees, we might find an angel ornament hanging from a branch or ...

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