Grace & Life

A Table For The Broken

BY RJ GRUNEWALD

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he invited a rag-tag group of sinners to have a seat at the table. The table was so important that while Mark described, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost,” Luke suggested, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”

A Table For The Broken

Easter Revival Burnout

BY MARIAH COWARD

Every year they began the revival with the Easter service. Often with the: “I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-once-a-year-church-goers-the-Gospel-because-you-don't-come-often-enough-to-deserve-to-hear-it-and-instead-I'll-tell-you-how-worldly-you-are” sermon.

Easter Revival Burnout

Pastor Of Disaster

BY MATT JOHNSON

How are things at your church? Are people getting saved in droves, are there mass baptisms every Sunday, is giving at an all-time high, and are your members model citizens and pillars of the community? If so, praise God. Keep working hard. Ride the wave and enjoy it.

Pastor Of Disaster

You Can’t Always Outrun The Pain. That’s OK.

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Lamentations? It’s not one of those Bible books that tend to make it too often onto devotional lists, sermon schedules or motivational posters. That's too bad. At first glance, the book seems deeply depressing.

You Can’t Always Outrun The Pain. That’s OK.

Hunger And Thirsting

BY SCOTT DAVIS

I always thought that people who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who are so zealous to do good deeds that they are constantly gobbling up righteousness at every turn. They sort of sounded like a religious Pac-Man- a compulsive eater of good deeds.

Hunger And Thirsting

Christ Is Still Holding Fast

BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE

Most Christians are no strangers to pleading with God to change their circumstances or relieve their suffering. Whether its physical pain/sickness or the despair we feel when we lose another battle with that same old sin we've been fighting as long as we can remember, we are desperate for God to intervene.

Christ Is Still Holding Fast

Un-Joyfully God's

BY DOMINICK SANTORE

I know the inclination should be towards joy and hope, but for some of us, it's not. And I sometimes wonder, if there's enough grace for us? Can grace cover a perpetually sad-sack Christian, who knows what he or she has to look forward to, but has trouble translating that into the here and now?

Un-Joyfully God's

Why I Probably Won't Write A Book On Prayer

BY PAUL DUNK 

Well it's simple really. I don't pray enough. I don't mean "enough" in the chronological sense like there is actually a right amount of prayer. By "enough" I mean that when I waste my brain energy in worry, fear, anxiety, anger and complaint, I should probably clue in and pause to pray.

Why I Probably Won't Write A Book On Prayer

You Can’t Work For Peace

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

Sometimes the hardest part of the day is the time just before sleep. At that time, if struggles or stresses abound, we can be kept up by racing thoughts. This fretting and over-analyzation, the frantic search for options, can leave us exhausted and depleted, feeding the cycle of stress that is already at work in us.

You Can’t Work For Peace

God Shows Up When The Chips Are Down

BY MATT JOHNSON

If everyone would just live by the rules, the world would be a better place, wouldn’t it? Wisdom. Justice. Goodness. Any reasonable person can see God’s good creation and recognize He has ordered the universe in a certain way. Sounds reasonable, right?

God Shows Up When The Chips Are Down

Faith Is Not What Some People Think

BY MARTIN LUTHER

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.

Faith Is Not What Some People Think

Fear & Fruit Bearing

BY JAY SAWRIE

Growing up in the Bible Belt religiosity that I did, there was always an emphasis on fruit bearing. I can remember countless youth rallies where the evangelist would ask sugar high teenagers, "What are you doing for God? Are you a missionary to your school or in the locker room? Is God calling you to the mission field somewhere?

Fear & Fruit Bearing

Jesus Only Gives

BY DONAVON RILEY

When we're under stress, when we're weighed down by responsibilities, and when we feel like nobody cares and no one can help us, we run to God. We ask God to send us a preacher to remind us of his promises. We ask God, like a child asks his father, that he focus our attention on his baptismal grace…

Jesus Only Gives

The God Who Bottles Our Tears

BY CHAD BIRD

One of my jobs in high school was helping local ranchers work cattle. We’d vaccinate, cut off horns, castrate, mark their ears, and brand them. It’s hard, dirty work. By the end of the day, my hat had been sprayed with blood, my shirt smeared with snot, my boots soiled with manure and urine.

The God Who Bottles Our Tears

What If It’s None Of My Business?

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I did not grow up in a church that had a rich understanding of grace. I was spoon fed a strict diet of law served on a bed of threats. I was told that I both could and should be perfect, because God provides all the help, through the Holy Spirit, that I need in order to do so. Therefore, if I do not reach that goal, it is only because I selfishly choose not to.

What If It’s None Of My Business?

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

BY DONAVON RILEY

If I’m going to join your church, there’s some things I’ll need to know first. I need to know whether you practice a Christianity that’s primarily a to-do list. Do you emphasize the Christian and his performance? After all, if I don’t do the right thing and avoid the wrong things how will I know what God thinks of me?

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

BY BRANDON HANSON

He looked me straight in the eye and said these words, almost in a challenging way, “I hate God. I do. I try to love and obey Him, yet whenever I’m alone, when my mind has a chance to think, it constantly and consistently points me to the fact that I am not innocent of sinning against God.

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

I Am A Fake Christian

BY RYAN COUCH

What is a fake Christian? I think the answer depends upon how you define “Christian”…the Bible says that a Christian is one who has faith in the person and work of Christ as his/her only means of salvation; that is that they’ve been put to death and raised into new life with Christ.

I Am A Fake Christian

Grace In The Wilderness

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

God’s children spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Imagine the hopelessness. Imagine the frustration. Imagine the seeds of distrust that were blooming into outright trees of anger and pain. “He brought us out of Egypt for this?” Some of us don’t need to imagine this anger, this pain, this sense that maybe God has forgotten or betrayed you.

Grace In The Wilderness

Begin The Begets

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I am a time traveler now. It all started this past Christmas. My son gave my husband and me DNA kits, and the instructions suggested that, in preparation, you should begin building your family tree while awaiting the results. So, I did. Now, I am...I don't want to say obsessed, but...okay, let's just call it what it is...I'm obsessed.

Begin The Begets

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

BY BRANDON HANSON

Appealing to our religion to push our political and social sensibilities is not what Jesus died for. And when we make it about that, it becomes more exclusive than the very inclusive Gospel. It sets up dividing lines that God never put there; boundaries that He sent His Son to break, walls that were torn down in the death of Christ.

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

BY MATT JOHNSON

Think about it. God’s grace can quickly become theoretical and it plays out in our churchy practices and attitudes all the time. What if a homeless drunk began showing up to church services, but he’s really slow to change? He will need a lot of grace in order to live the sanctified life.

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

How Long, O Lord? Climbing 109 Mountains

BY CHAD BIRD

I finally climbed all 109 mountains. My journey began out of desperation, fueled by anger, fear, resentment. I didn't how long it would take, nor the toll it would take from me. I simply climbed, some days only an inch, other days a few feet. And sometimes I plummeted backwards.

How Long, O Lord? Climbing 109 Mountains

Grace and Peace for Stubborn Sins

BY MARTIN LUTHER

The terms of grace and peace are common terms with Paul and are now pretty well understood. But since we are explaining this epistle, you will not mind if we repeat what we have so often explained elsewhere.

Grace and Peace for Stubborn Sins