Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child When I was growing up, most churches had some sort of a Christmas pageant every year. The average-sized church could pull together enough grammar school-aged kids to be the cast and fill all the roles: shepherds, wise men, angels, the innkeeper, and the various animals that we assume were in the stable that eventful night. The plum … [Read more...] about Children and the Joy of Christmas
In a letter to a friend, the eighteenth-century English poet Alexander Pope wrote his own beatitude: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” It’s not Scripture, but anyone who survived 2020 can probably relate to this statement. When COVID-19 entered our world, it jolted our expectations and eroded the hope of many. Even Christians have … [Read more...] about 5 Christmas Promises to Build Your Faith
We often think of the Nativity as the “first Christmas.” But was it? It depends upon what is meant by the word Christmas. If we mean the birthday of Christ, then no other day is the first Christmas. But that’s not what the word Christmas actually means. It comes down to us from a Middle English term, Christemasse, the “Christ mass,” or Christ’s service of worship. But … [Read more...] about Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on December 25?
According to one survey, the average person will spend approximately 43 days waiting on hold in their lifetime! That’s more than a month of our life that will be spent waiting for questions to be answered, problems to be solved, flights to be rebooked, or items to be ordered. But 43 days on hold seems insignificant compared to all the waiting 2020 has held. In the midst … [Read more...] about Moving Beyond Fear With Thanksgiving
With COVID-19 continuing to limit our gatherings, Thanksgiving will look different this year. Protecting family members with health concerns has taken priority over booking flights and hosting big dinners. Expectations for a day typically celebrated in the-more-the-merrier fashion will have to be reconciled with guidelines for social distancing and slowing the spread. … [Read more...] about Gratitude for Christians: A Thanksgiving Bible Study
Americans spent $9 billion on Halloween in 2018 with more than a third of that spending allocated to costumes. Top costumes for adults included witches, vampires, zombies, pirates, and Avengers characters. Children dressed as princesses, superheroes, Batman, Star Wars characters, and witches.1 Did you notice the costume that appears on both lists? Witches. With its … [Read more...] about 4 Strategies for Confronting Spiritual Darkness on Halloween
Our nation is facing unprecedented uncertainty. Health, finances, politics—every aspect of life seems to be hanging in the balance. Each solution put forward seems to raise new questions. Yet there is one source of true hope and healing, and that is Almighty God. He has promised, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn … [Read more...] about A Prayer for America
According to the Pew Research Center, a father’s role has changed in America. In 2016, the amount of time dads devoted to childcare was about three times the amount they provided in 1965. Despite this increase, 63 percent of fathers feel they still spend too little time with their children.1 The demands of juggling a career, a household, church commitments, and more are … [Read more...] about 5 Ways for a Father to Love His Family
Every year Memorial Day comes and goes and is often marked by parades, backyard picnics and the onset of warm summer days. But this Memorial Day, the pageantry will be limited with many of us around the United States still sheltering in place. Nevertheless, I want to remind Americans that it is still a day to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of those who have made us … [Read more...] about Celebrating Memorial Day in the Wake of COVID-19
When children misbehave, everyone seems to have an opinion about the best remedy—spank them, hug them, ignore them, bribe them, appease them… and everything in between. Motherhood is a gift that comes with a great deal of pressure and responsibility. God’s Word doesn’t offer any defenses. King Solomon wrote, “A child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). … [Read more...] about Everyone Needs a Mom Who Does These Two Things
If anyone ever lived in a day when people were blind to the meaning of life, it is today. That is one explanation for our culture’s inclination toward the many self-destructive activities that are prevalent in our world. The other reason, of course, is they are blinded by sin and have not found their purpose for living through Christ. Recognizing that this is the kind of … [Read more...] about The Undeniable Proof of Jesus’ Resurrection—Bible Study
The typical image of Easter is a pretty spring morning in the best matching pastel outfits mom could find, all while celebrating our Savior’s resurrection and hunting for eggs later that afternoon. This year, everyone from all walks of life has been finding a new normal, one where the phrase “social distancing” defines every decision. In this new normal, churches have … [Read more...] about The Resurrection Through the Lens of Hardship
Why Mary? Mary herself must have wondered, Why am I a “favored woman”? Why me? Indeed, the reasons she was chosen are known only to God. But it is clear that she was no random selection. Though an ordinary small-town girl, she must be obedient and courageous. From her song (see Luke 1:46-55), we know that she was a woman of Scripture, a woman of faith. She must be a virgin, … [Read more...] about Why Did God Choose Mary?
Bethlehem played host to the Nativity, an event that the world hardly noticed, yet changed the destiny of every human creature. As Ralph W. Sockman once phrased it, “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” We imagine a silent night—but remember, the inns were full and celebrants must have roamed the streets. We imagine an obscure town—yet Bethlehem … [Read more...] about Why Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem?
Every year thousands of people travel to the Italian Alps to ascend a mountain which passes through the “stations of the cross.” Eventually they come to the foot of an outdoor crucifix, and there they meditate on their faith. One day a tourist noticed a trail leading away from the cross. Determined to find out where it would lead, he fought through all the … [Read more...] about The True Meaning of Easter and Seven Signs That Jesus Rose From the Dead
To give thanks is an action and rejoice is a verb and these things are not mere pulsing emotions. While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. —Ann Voskamp1 Through the Lens of Thanksgiving We enjoy clearer vision when we look at life through the lens of … [Read more...] about In Everything Give Thanks