Hebrews 11:1, 6 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
They say that faith is believing without seeing. In the book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, My sister Sara said that she believes that faith is believing without seeing, but it is also believing without feeling. It’s believing in those moments when our hearts ache and our tears betray us by spilling over when we know better but feel the pain anyway.
It’s not about always being in a happy place, as much as we should try to live there. It’s about believing even when the happy place isn’t ours to have. It’s about those times when we can’t see or feel the promise, but we...
Some of you may be wondering about your personal calling in life. Being married or not being married can indeed be a calling. So can having children or having no children, working outside the home or being a full-time mom, traveling on a job or staying in an office, working out of your home or being president of something, sewing drapes, cooking at the school cafeteria, finding a cure for cancer, or creating a better meat thermometer. Dare I say, your calling in life lies not in what you do but in who you are?
Remember this. Scripture says God created us for the express purpose of giving himself the joy of loving us. In being loved, we return that love. That is who we are: persons loved by God. When we return his love, we do it in a spirit of response that produces service to him. That is what our relationship with him is all about. If we do things for God because we are trying to pay him back, we miss the point of the relationship. We are not asked to earn the...
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. —Proverbs 21:23
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“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be.” Psalm 42
I remember sitting in my daddy’s lap while we watched Bo and Luke Duke outfox Boss Hogg on The Dukes of Hazard. Yee-haw! I recall my parents moving me into the dorm and saying to my mom, “Well, you aren’t just going to just leave me here, are you?” Yes. I think that was the general idea. I remember the first time I talked to my husband on the phone while sitting on my parents’ bed, twirling the phone cord in my fingers. And I can still hear my babies’ first cries and think back upon weeping as I held their tiny bodies. I recollect times when I felt so close to Jesus that I was literally surrounded by Him.
Warm, fuzzy memories are great. They usually bring a smile to our face and a little pep to our step. But oddly enough, there are times when remembering the good ol’ days can also break our hearts. Can you relate to this part of Psalm 42: “My heart is breaking...
In 1897, Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote the words to a simple yet profound hymn. It was written for young people to help them learn what is really worth counting and also to remember who can be counted on. In particular, Johnson wanted people to learn that they should count their blessings when times were hard. His song begins with these words:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
My daughter Hope sits down to play a hymn on the piano. She keeps the rhythm of the song, she keeps harmony, by doing nothing less than counting – that is what she does. She counts. The music teacher of a friend once said this to his students about how to keep the right beat of a song: “When you are a musician and you stop counting, it’s like running around in the forest,...
It is amazing how a movie can touch your life. I remember watching the powerful film Rocky just after I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, followed by Rocky II a couple of years after that. I remember that overwhelming feeling as I left the theater of just wanting to go run up some stairs somewhere and throw my hands in the air. That feeling that I could do anything. That I could conquer the world.
The funny thing was, I had conquered the world—or at least a small part of it. I already had a Rocky moment in my real life. I had already accomplished more than anyone else ever dreamed I could. Like Rocky Balboa, I had proved all the naysayers wrong. I won. In my own way, on my own path, I won. Me! A stocky, messed-up kid from Joliet, Illinois, whom some people doubted would graduate high school, had gone on to play for the University of Notre Dame football team and to earn myself a top-notch college education.
And I was just getting started.
All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.—2 Timothy 3:16-17
Psalm 119 describes God’s Word as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Below you’ll see some options for Bible studies that will help light your way along life’s path. Some are books, some are videos, and some are a combination of the two. There are even some free online options for you to check out, including Christian blogs with Bible studies as part of their posts. You’ll find studies you can do alone and studies you can do with a group. Many (but not all) were written by our lineup of Christian women speakers; some are specifically Bible studies for women while others are studies men would enjoy, as well. Some studies have versions for adults, teens, and children so...
A group of us from Good News Church got together to go to the 2014 Women of Faith conference in Orlando, FL. It was a very mixed group—from as young as teenagers to women in their seventies; from first-timers going to a conference to veterans who had been to many. We weren't a very large group and so we were able to connect with ladies that we had never previously connected with even though we went to the same church every week. If that wasn't enough of a blessing in and of itself, what continued to happen really impacted me, a veteran of women's conferences and studies.
First was the seventy years-plus first-timer who sponsored a child before the end of the conference and is stillon fire with a burning for volunteering and inspiring others to volunteer that came from Matthew West's performance of "Do Something."
But the story doesn't end there: You see, here at Good News Church we have a Women's Prayer Group that meets every Friday, which I facilitate. I had already...
You’ll get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or naïve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.
You fear you won't make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten?
God Will Carry You Through is the gift book version of Max Lucado’s bestselling You’ll Get Through This. It includes an abridged version of Max’s You’ll Get Through Thismessage plus personal testimonies by everyday people who discovered that “God had carried them through” as well as quotes and Scripture passages for meditation. This special Women of Faith Edition includes a...
What does your age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seem mind-numbingly monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of (hopefully) collected wisdom.
Your age also represents mounds of memories. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the higher the number on your birthday card, the more wealth you have in your little treasure trove of reminiscences.
In our culture, our age is viewed as some kind of disease that, if we just keep treating it, might be defeated or go away altogether. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. The only thing we’re pushing back is the edges of our acceptance of the gifts of time and the physical limitations that make the interior gifts more precious.
So you’ve got a year or two on your friends. So you’ve got a wrinkle or two. So your hair is changing color...