Side by Side on Sundays

Daniel Souza

I’m just not getting fed at church.
The music doesn't really connect with me.
I wish the preacher would use more stories or illustrations.

Have you heard those statements before? Or maybe, like me, you’ve even said them yourself — or something like them? After all, isn’t that the purpose of our weekly corporate worship gatherings — to be fed? Sadly our preferences too often shape our perceptions of worship, and blind us to its corporate-ness. It is important, even…

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The Peril and Potential of Youth Athletics

David Mathis

Remember, it’s only a game.

That’s an important prompt in youth athletics — not just for the kids, but even more so for coaches bent on winning and parents pressing to live vicariously through their children.

Against the backdrop of our societal obsession with sports is the craziness that has become youth athletics. Once it was just a game; the goal was a good time. Now it can feel like life or death. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for kids to…

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When Wasting Your Life Is Worship

Jon Bloom

We all are happiness hunters. We are all treasure seekers. And as Judas and Mary illustrate, there’s one sure way to measure what we treasure: what we’re willing to spend to obtain it.

The dinner table was buzzing with happy conversation. As Lazarus fielded a stream of questions about what it was like to die and Martha cleared empty plates and filled empty wine bowls, Mary quietly slipped away into another room.

When she returned she was carrying a large…

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Partnering with People in Their Pain

Dave Zuleger

My sweet wife has struggled with chronic pain just about every day for almost three and a half years. As it became clear that this could be a long-term struggle for her, I was struggling myself with how to walk with her through it. There were lots of scary tests, new doctors, and frightening scenarios. And, of course, there was the pain! It was hard to adjust to this new normal. But God is good, and through the real pain…

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Brooklyn’s Bridge

John Knight and Stefan Green

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1)

Adam and Corrie Hull were given Brooklyn, an amazing little girl.

For 118 days.

She was born with a rare disease — a third 18th chromosome in every cell of her body that wouldn’t allow for a long life on this earth. That is how God knit her together (Psalm 139:13).

Her short life provoked…

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Too Scared to Cry: Social Media Outrage and the Gospel

Russell Moore

A friend of mine posted on Facebook about what he called a “parenting fail.” His son stubbed his toe, and squealed with tears. My friend wanted to toughen him up, and told him that only girls cried like that, not boys.

Later that day, this dad and his son were talking about another playground injury, and his son told him how he avoided crying. He said he held off tears by getting very angry and blaming the person standing closest…

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God Will Give You Everything You Need

Jonathan Parnell

Jesus wants us to live an anxiety-free life.

He says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“All these things” include what we eat and drink and wear — all the practical needs of this present world (Matthew 6:25). Jesus tells us that we don’t have to worry about them because we have a sovereign Father in heaven who cares for us. Just look at the…

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The Ethos of Christian Hedonism: Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing

John Piper

Defending Christian Hedonism exegetically is one thing; helping people feel the ethos of it is something else. The latter is harder. That’s what I want to try to do here.

But first, what is it?

Christian Hedonism is a way of life rooted in the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. The branches and fruits of this root are all-encompassing and thrilling. They include the stunning implication that all true…

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Remember

Jon Bloom

Memorial Day, as Americans have come to know it, began in the years immediately following the Civil War. But until World War II, most people knew it as “Decoration Day.” It was a day to decorate with flowers and flags the graves of fallen soldiers and remember those who had given, as Lincoln beautifully said, “the last full measure of devotion” to defend their nation. It was a day to remember what the honored dead had died to defend.

A…

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Five Benefits of Corporate Worship

David Mathis

Worshiping Jesus together may be the single most important thing we do. It plays an indispensable role in rekindling our spiritual fire, and keeping it burning. Corporate worship brings together God’s word, prayer, and fellowship, and so makes for the greatest means of God’s ongoing grace in the Christian life.

But thinking of worship as a means can be dangerous. True worship is fundamentally an experience of the heart, and not a means to anything else. So it’s important…

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