Weekly Blog

I want to take a moment to encourage you today. I know you are fighting a battle with something in your life. It might be temptation, or illness, or maybe it just seems like nothing is going right. But it will get better. You will persevere and thrive. I’m positive! God helps us cope with trials by offering us encouragement. Here are some messages of Encouragement from His Word: Psalm 31:24 says, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Proverbs 18:10 tells us, “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” He tells us in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” In Isaiah 43:2 He assures us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” We are called to praise Him for His comfort in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,...

What does it mean to be a witness? The common definition says a witness is a person who has information useful in a case being heard in court. You might be surprised to find that Jesus’ meaning of the word isn’t far off. Our Lord calls all of us Followers of Jesus to take the information we know about Him and share it with those who need to hear it. Their salvation, and whether they are found guilty or innocent on judgement day, depends on them having and accepting that information and Jesus into their lives. Jesus’ last words—His COMMAND to all of His followers—were, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). His disciples took up that command and passed it on to all believers. They said: “We were eyewitnesses from the beginning” (Cf. Luke 1:2); “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16); and, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20). So how can you witness to those around you? Share The Gospel - “For what I received I passed on to you as of...

What do you do when you face temptation? Temptation is a part of our everyday lives, but thank the Lord we never have to face it alone! The truth remains, however, that we do face it. So what do we do? It is important that you never underestimate temptation. It is a snare that catches you when you least expect it. It may appear small, but even the smallest temptation can grab hold of your life and open the doors to larger temptations. Having said that, it is also important  that you never overestimate temptation. There is no temptation you will face that cannot be conquered by God’s grace! As Romans 6:6 tells us, because our old self was crucified with Christ, we are no longer enslaved to sin. When you face temptation, even the smallest temptation, here are four actions you can take. Pray. For any trial we face, the first action we take should always be prayer. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5) Take time to look at the outcome, the consequences of your decision. If you give in to the temptation,...

“You are NOT to do whatever you want” (Gal. 5:17). To Do or Not To Do? “Do whatever you want.” Those words usually come after you have asked someone’s advice or input and they know you aren’t going to follow it. Or maybe your spouse says, “I would rather … but do whatever you want.” I would guess that most of the time those words mean the exact opposite; that person truly thinks you are making the wrong choice. Our culture, however, has taken those words and run with them. We live in a time of “Do whatever you want.” Advertising, sitcoms, movies, music, and even our politicians tell us that our happiness comes from buying, listening to, watching, and doing what we want. Impulse buys come from “doing whatever you want.” Eating that second serving, even though you are already full, comes from “doing whatever you want.” Listening to music that is offensive or hurtful to those around you comes from “doing whatever you want.” Opening our mouths and saying hurtful things happens because we decided to “do whatever you want.” Are you seeing a trend here? Very little that is fulfilling, enriching, and gratifying to God comes from making that decision...

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!  ...

You have a purpose, a God-given purpose. And God has given you the gifts you need to fulfill that purpose! Not sure what your purpose is? We’re not put on this earth without guidance, and we are not left to wander around lost. God has given us a manual explaining why He created us, what our lives should look like, what we should absolutely avoid, and what our future holds! Turn to God’s Word. Build your life on eternal truths. Ready to live your God-given purpose? Ask these five questions, pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you answer them, then live your life with purpose!   What is the center of my life? Is it yourself or God? Your center determines your strength, and God is your unshakable center! Keep Him there on a daily basis.   What does the character of my life look like? What kind of person do you want to be? Do you recognize the fruits of the Spirit in your life and use them for God’s work? Your character is a testimony to others of God’s work in your life!   What contribution do I want my life to make?  How will you use your spiritual gifts and abilities to make...