Being a parent is not easy. It takes time, dedication, effort, strength, love, patience, and so much more. But having access to both parents or having strong parental role models can be vital to a child’s development. As we approach Father’s Day, I have a special message for all of the Dads out there and for those who fill that role for children who need a father figure. #DadsMatter! I can’t think of a single part of my life more difficult and rewarding than being a Dad. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it! This weekend, I would like to ask you to join me as we honor those men who step up and accept the call to be a Dad! In Ephesians, Paul notes that the command to honor your father and mother is the first commandment with a promise. Children honor their parents so “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” As Followers of Jesus, we do not need to be told about the importance of fatherhood. Scripture is filled with dozens of verses on fathers and the responsibilities of fatherhood. Fathers are essential to the well being of their children. You...

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage” (John 14:27). We take this time each year to celebrate the hard work and dedication our graduates have put into their academic pursuits. What an accomplishment! They are entering a new season of life, ready to take on new challenges and step into new opportunities. When you look at being a graduate that way, aren’t we all graduating into new opportunities and seasons of life? Just as I would say to each of those graduates, I want to say to each of you: Live a Life that Matters. Seize those opportunities and embrace the season you are entering. Here are three ways you can live a life that matters: Live with Passion Jesus says in John 10:10, “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Embrace the awesomeness of our world, enjoy yourself, and share that passion by living the life Jesus calls you to. Live Life with Humility Paul writes in Philippians 2 that even though Jesus was God’s Son He took on the very nature of a...

I EXPECT miracles from God. I don’t just hope for them. I don’t just pray for them. I believe in faith that God can do anything, remove any roadblock, and turn any situation around, even things I would never think of! I’m defining a miracle here as “an intervention in the natural universe by God, a phenomena that transcends natural laws, or a divine act by which God reveals Himself to people.” God created everything, and He has the power to change that creation. Natural laws do not constrain Him, they are His laws! Perhaps the greatest miracle is when He chooses to reveal Himself to people directly. What a blessing! The Bible is full of miracles. Look at Daniel and his miraculous protection from the lion. God used Moses for a whole string of miracles: the plagues that led to God’s people being released from slavery, drawing water from stone, the parting of the Red Sea, miraculous provision in the desert, and the gifting of the Ten Commandments. During Jesus’ time we see healing and casting out of demons, water turned into wine, Peter walking on water, and thousands fed by bread and fish that would barely feed a family. Scripture is...

Did you know that almost a third of the Bible is prophecy? In the Old Testament, prophecies were given as guidance to the people. God used prophets as His messengers to His people. Through them, He warned of what would happen if the people didn’t stop worshiping other gods. The prophets told of the trials the people would face for turning away from God. And in the darkest times, they foretold the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus, messages of hope for the people. But prophecy didn’t stop after Jesus returned to Heaven. In the New Testament, the word of prophecy was a positive word that people could run to, not something they were afraid of. The power of the Spirit inspired (and still inspires) messages intended to edify and encourage the Church. According to St. Paul, prophecy is given to confirm and encourage and can only occur in a place and at a time that Jesus is known as Lord and honored as such (1 Cor. 12:1-3). So why did the New Testament Church need prophets, and why do we need prophecy today? For guidance and direction. Face it, we get busy and sometimes we neglect the need to listen for...

We are called to honor our parents every day of our lives. In fact, it is one of the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20:12, God tells His people, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” This weekend is Mother’s Day, a holiday we’ve celebrated in the United States since 1914, and we have the opportunity to love and honor our mothers by dedicating a whole day to her! This year, take time to thank your mother for all she’s done for you. Thank her: For the sacrifices she’s made. For allowing you to make mistakes, but always being there after. For making you do chores and teaching you responsibility. For always being your biggest cheerleader. For always listening. For showing you what love is. Your mother is a precious gift from God. So call the mothers in your life, or if you can go visit them. Take this opportunity to tell your mom how grateful you are for everything she’s taught you, and how she helped shaped you into the person you are!  ...