Corporate Worship: A Lifting of the Gaze

Matt Boswell
Corporate Worship: A Lifting of the Gaze

I had preached the funeral of their baby just a few days before. Some of our best friends laid to rest their little girl, marking one of the most difficult days of my life. While preaching graveside, my eyes rested on my wife, dressed in black, who we knew was in the process of miscarrying a child.

Now, the Sunday after had come. I had chosen songs to remind them, to remind me, of God’s faithfulness and goodness in the midst of suffering. It is difficult to sing with... Continue Reading

Blessings Too Big

Toby J. Sumpter
Blessings Too Big

Recently, my son (age 2) looked up at his big sister (age 5) sitting on the bathroom counter next to the sink, raised his little arms and said confidently, “Jump my arms! My catch wu!” [Let the reader be aware that my son says “wu” instead of “you.”] When my daughter laughed and told her little brother that she was too big, he insisted confidently, “Wu not too big. My can catch wu!”

When God said that children were a blessing, he wasn’t kidding (Psalm 127:3). I’ve got blessings doing... Continue Reading

Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep

Jonathan Parnell
Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep

Life is short. Stay awake for it.

So goes the tagline for the second largest coffee franchise in America. It’s catchy and practical. Drink our coffee, it suggests, not merely for its taste, but for its benefits, that is, to be awake to life. And the reason being — here comes the resonating connection — life is short. The clock is ticking. Our days are numbered. And we Christians agree (Psalm 90:10; 103:15–16; James 4:14).

Life is too short to sleep all the time.

But life is... Continue Reading

Who Is the Church?

Marshall Segal

Many are asking, “What is the church?” Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt believes we're asking the wrong question, because the Bible uses that word to describe a group of people, not a gathering or event. So we really should be asking, “Who?” not what.

His answer? “The church is the regenerate people of God saved by the power of God for the purposes of God in this world.” This means we don’t stop being the church when we walk out of the building on Sunday morning. Instead, everything we do, we do as... Continue Reading

Don’t Miss the True Bread

Jon Bloom
Don’t Miss the True Bread

One of the strangest things Jesus ever said is recorded in chapter six of John’s Gospel, where Jesus stated that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood.

These words are disturbing. Almost everyone, including his most loyal disciples, misunderstood them at the time. Many disciples stopped following him after he said them (verse 66). They have been the subjects of much debate for centuries in the church. And because of them, Christians have even been accused of... Continue Reading

Same-Sex Attraction and the Wait for Change

Nick Roen
Same-Sex Attraction and the Wait for Change

Few concepts are more foreign to our culture than waiting. Now you can take a picture of a check with your phone and deposit it instantly into your bank account without even leaving your Lay-Z-Boy. “Instant,” it seems, has become the new “relatively quick.”

This has been highlighted in my own life as I have wrestled with the issue of change in regard to my same-sex attraction (SSA). When I began counseling several years ago, I thought that if I followed a set of... Continue Reading

The Love of God’s Power

Jonathan Parnell
The Love of God’s Power

God is faithful. We’ve all heard these words.

We’ve read them, said them, and sung them. And we’ve felt them.

God’s faithfulness is a palatable experience of his love. It’s his love tasted and seen in our history. It’s the mechanics of his love wired to fulfill his promises for our good. In fact, God’s faithfulness and his steadfast love are so closely intertwined that in Psalm 33 they’re basically the same.

The word of the Lᴏʀᴅ is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He... Continue Reading

Backslap Death in the Face

Jonathan Parnell

Cadenced descriptions of Christ’s work have always characterized the voice of his church.

“He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,” the old creed says, “he suffered death and was buried, and on the third day he rose again.” Straightforward as they are, these words are actually worlds, each one inhabited by more meaning and wonder and — for the poet — endless depths to be mined.

Jackie Hill shows us in this one-minute spoken word about hearing the gospel:

[The preacher] lets... Continue Reading

The Effect of Your Life in 1,400 Years

John Piper
The Effect of Your Life in 1,400 Years

Do you think God has purposes for your life that will be realized in 1,400 years?

I do. Your life and mine.

Yes, the new heavens and the new earth may be here by then. I hope so. If so, there are things that are happening to you now that will have reverberations then for your good.

I say that because Paul says, “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When Paul speaks of “light momentary... Continue Reading

Stay-at-Home Moms with Missionary Hearts

Lindsey Carlson
Stay-at-Home Moms with Missionary Hearts

Have you ever watched someone else living your dream, the thing you really, really wanted for your life?

As I cut the crusts off my kids’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I listened to my young, single friend talk passionately about her upcoming trip back to Cambodia. Before her furlough she’d worked with children in an orphanage and discipled teenage girls. Now, she’ll use her nursing degree in a medical clinic, building relationships, and sharing about Jesus.

As... Continue Reading