All is Grace

God's outpouring of grace

It’s easy to see the grace of God and be thankful for it in all that is good in our lives. But can we recognize His grace and be thankful in our trials? In the midst of uncertainty and pain? Can we see that everything––the good, the bad, and the ugly––all of it, is grace? Like many of you, my story is not one I would have chosen for myself. For years, I found it difficult to embrace the life I found my self living. But over the course of the last few years, God has opened my eyes to…

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{A guest blog from Anthony, my dad’s Murderer} The End is Where We Begin

Keeping your focus on Christ

Anthony wrote and sent something last week that he felt God placed on his heart for the blog. I don’t think it needs much of an introduction, and so here it is. … I’ve been listening to a new CD I got by Thousand Foot Krutches titled “The End is Where We Begin.” It’s a great CD, and the title has been stuck in my head. As a Christian, I know that at the end of this life, our eternal and perfect life will begin. But for me, this title took on a new meaning two months ago. I had just finished reading…

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At the Very Heartbeat of Jesus

Humility

Moment by moment, I’m kept in His love; Moment by moment, I’ve life from above; Looking to Jesus, the glory doth shine; Moment by moment, Oh Lord, I am Thine. – Andrew Murray I started reading a book––well, I guess it’s actually more like a long essay––written by Andrew Murray called Humility. Murray was a pastor, evangelist, educator, and writer during the nineteenth century who was educated in Europe but primarily lived in South Africa. Honestly, if you have a chance to get your hands on any of his writings, I highly recommend them, but I do have to admit, they can…

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Choose Life

Printable, Choose Life

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. – Deuteronomy 30:19-20 We don’t often like to talk about obedience. It’s simply not a popular topic to address. Quite honestly, I…

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Fail Fast and Forget about It

The Imperfect

I recently heard a pastor say, “Fail fast and forget about it.”* It made me smile and think about what Paul wrote to the Philippians, the scripture I used in my last post, where he said, Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward…

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{Fight for Faith} Sanctified Stubbornness

I press on

If you’re anything like me, your faith is not static. You may have times of great faith––faith so strong you’re absolutely convinced your unwavering trust in Jesus will quite literally move mountains. But oftentimes, that very faith seems to diminish over time. It goes out from you, like the air of an untied balloon when let go. Seasons of great faith are simply amazing, and I always think I ought to stay there. I seem to measure my level of Christian-success by how audacious my faith is, but I’m starting to think I have it all wrong. Downswings of our faith can be…

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What Do We Do With Our Freedom?

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Are you ready for a history lesson? Alrighty here we go. Stick with me. I promise, I’ve got a point coming! Heroes or Criminals? On July 4, 1776––two hundred thirty-eight years ago today––56 colonial men signed a document challenging Great Britain’s rule over the thirteen colonies. The Declaration of Independence declared these “United Colonies” to be free, independent states. But the war had not yet been won. In fact, it had just begun. Touted as heroes by many colonials, yet deemed criminals by the British crown, the signers “pledge[d] to each other [their] Lives, [their] Fortunes and [their] sacred Honor,”…

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{Guest Post} Loving Your Enemies as Yourself

Overcome evil with good

Loving Your Enemies as Yourself Written by Sophia Reed I cannot tell you how many times I have been deemed weird or seen as too forgiving because of my Christian ways. The natural, human thing to do when others do you wrong is for you to come right back at them and treat them the same way they treated you. I am not ashamed to admit that this is how I use to be. If you had something to say that I perceived as mean, I would fire back at you and bite your head off. I behaved this way…

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{Orphan Advocacy} Children in Families First Bill (CHIFF)

Children in Families First

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 Everyone of us wants to be wanted. We all want to belong. But all around the world, there are children left to fend for themselves––orphans. Over 147 million of them, not to mention countless others who live on the street. My family and I have been in the process of adopting from Ethiopia for close to four years now. The process has been an incredible one,…

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{Anxiety and Depression} Losing Your Life to Save It

Anxiety and Depression Losing You Life to Save It

I think my anxiety was brought on by the many years of heightened stress I experienced after my dad’s murder. It seemed the stress built up slowly over time until my body simply couldn’t take it any more, and I just sort of fell apart. But it wasn’t just the murder. I think it was a combination of many things––my type-A personality, my need for control, additional stress caused by a high-risk pregnancy, and the normal stresses of daily life––that contributed to my downfall. I was confused when the physical symptoms of anxiety finally came to a head. I didn’t understand…

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