Jesus

Jesus Is Not a Life Coach

BY CHAD BIRD

People say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. But there are other certainties. Like the daily rising and setting of the sun. And like the fact that life itself has its risings and settings as well. We all have times when the sun of hope rises. We are swimming in light.

Jesus Is Not a Life Coach

Saint Chrysostom on John 3:16

BY JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

What He says, is this: Marvel not that I am to be lifted up that you may be saved, for this seems good to the Father, and He has so loved you as to give His Son for slaves, and ungrateful slaves. Yet a man would not do this even for a friend, nor readily even for a righteous man…

Saint Chrysostom on John 3:16

Sleeping Ugly

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

Do you remember fairy tales? Tales of magical creatures and far away fantasy lands? They were legends of lore that included dragons, magic, a moral to the story or a hero saving the day. I am a history nut and love the old stuff. I am willing to bet that when you reflect on what are considered to be a fairy tale classics…

Sleeping Ugly

You’re In Good Hands

BY JAKE ALLSTAEDT

I'm firing on all cylinders when my head hits the pillow. Does that happen to you? I’ll replay my failures from the day, especially the embarrassing ones. I shouldn’t have said that. What was I thinking? Was I too rude to that person? Was that the right response? I hope they didn’t take what I said the wrong way.

You’re In Good Hands

Joy Is Coming

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

Seasons of prolonged suffering have a way of beating your spirit down into the dust. Relational suffering. Physical suffering. Emotional suffering. Financial suffering. All of it can leave you feeling hopeless. We find ourselves looking up at the sky and wondering where He went or if He was ever there to begin with.

Joy Is Coming

Speak His Name

BY VALERIE LOCKLAIR

Shazam, the newest superhero rebooted by DC Comics, comes into existence through the power of one name—a name so powerful that, if uttered by one who is pure of heart, will allow the speaker to transform into the ideal man displaying the paragon virtues of wisdom, strength, stamina, courage, and speed.

Speak His Name

The Christian Polytheist

BY CHAD BIRD

God doesn’t believe in atheists. As they reject his existence, so he rejects their rejection. They may not believe in the true God, but they do fear, love, and trust in Some Thing. And that Some Thing is the deity enthroned within their hearts. All atheists are closet theists.

The Christian Polytheist

Fearless Thomas Apart From Christ

MARTIN LUTHER

Thomas was the most fearless and courageous of all the disciples, in that he said when Christ wished to go again into Judea to Lazarus who was dead: “Let us also go, that we may die with him,” Such fine characters were the disciples of Christ and especially St. Thomas…

Fearless Thomas Apart From Christ

Not Today

BY BROR ERICKSON

One of the great themes of the Game of Thrones is the personification of Death, most concretely in the form of the Night King, supreme commander of the blue-eyed nightwalkers. Arya Stark, Eddard Stark's third child, is catechized early in the cult of Death by her fencing instructor, Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos.

Not Today

The Divine Drama

BY PAUL DUNK

If I don't preach Christ, then there's really no reason anyone should roll out of bed on Sunday to hear anything I have to say. Everything about "church," apart from Jesus, can be found elsewhere. Music that gives you the feels? Make a playlist. Kids programs? Get out and explore your city

The Divine Drama

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

BY SCOTT DAVIS

Luke tells us that Jesus told the parable to “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt.” It is important to remember that that isn’t two groups of people- such as: Over here are the people who are self-righteous and over here are the ones who treat others with contempt.

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

I Believe In Yesterday

BY BRANDON HANSON

For many, “Yesterday" by The Beatles is a poignant and powerful song. It is one of, if not the most, covered songs by the Beatles. It brings back memories of regret, remorse, heartache, and heartbreak. Why do we like this song so much if it seems to cause us such pain?

I Believe In Yesterday

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

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

The Truly Good Shepherd

BY MARTIN LUTHER

You have heard that after his sufferings and death Christ our Lord arose from the dead and entered upon, and was enthroned in, an immortal existence. Not that he might sit up there in heaven idly and find pleasure in himself, but that he might take charge of the kingdom

The Truly Good Shepherd

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

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?

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