God Most Nigh Understanding the mystery of God with us December 10th, 2018 Ann-Margret Hovsepian
God Most Nigh
God Most Nigh Understanding the mystery of God with us December 10th, 2018 Ann-Margret Hovsepian
God Most Nigh
December 10th, 2018

God Most Nigh

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

As the calendar ticks closer to Christmas, one of the first carols we sing at church is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” It always gives me goosebumps, not only because the tune is so beautiful, but because I’m reminded that this name (also spelled Immanuel), assigned to Jesus about ...

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Feeling Down This Season? Find Hope in God’s Word
December 6th, 2018

Feeling Down This Season? Find Hope in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

You wonder how you used to do it all: the presents, the Christmas parties, the holiday lights. What once was a delight now feels like a chore. You find yourself looking at your calendar and dreading the jam-packed weekends, the get-togethers you can’t get out ...

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Good Food and God’s Goodness
December 3rd, 2018

Good Food and God’s Goodness

Suzy Silk

Growing up in New England, my family would drive out to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, each year for our two weeks of summer vacation. I have many memories from decades of these vacations, and most of them are “sense memories”—the smell of the salty breeze, the feel of the sand ...

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Scripture in Winter Light
November 26th, 2018

Scripture in Winter Light

Rosalie J. Karjala

As autumn moves along, do you find yourself bracing for the dark days to come, as I do? Encroaching darkness It’s early December in northern Minnesota. I love this state, but its bleak landscape seems to mirror my dread of the coming winter. The relentless flatness ...

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The Power of Thanksgiving
November 19th, 2018

The Power of Thanksgiving

Rosalie J. Karjala

The word “Thanksgiving” has taken on a whole new meaning since the Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated together in 1621. Since that first Thanksgiving, we Americans have layered the word with thoughts of turkey roasting in a warm kitchen, pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream, and families gathering. ...

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5 Verses to Cope with Dwindling Finances
November 15th, 2018

5 Verses to Cope with Dwindling Finances

Hannah DeMarco

You pinch every penny. It feels like your even pinching half pennies. Before payday, you think of all the extra money you’ll finally have to pay off bills and invest in your savings account. But it seems like the ...

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What Happens When You Choose Silence Together
November 12th, 2018

What Happens When You Choose Silence Together

Catherine Ricketts

“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain, ” the LORD said to [Elijah]. Then the LORD passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the LORD was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, ...

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Para vivir quieta y reposadamente
November 6th, 2018

Para vivir quieta y reposadamente

Hoy en los Estados Unidos es el día de elecciones, un buen motive para orar. A través de los tiempos, la iglesia de Jesucristo ha tenido una relación paradójica con los gobiernos de este mundo. Por un lado, la iglesia nace a consecuencia de ...

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How Can Reading Scripture Strengthen Your Faith?
November 5th, 2018

How Can Reading Scripture Strengthen Your Faith?

Rosalie J. Karjala

Cruising along in Hebrews 11, the famous “faith” chapter, I am struck by verse 6: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (NIV). Now that statement stops me in my tracks. If faith is that important to God, it should be important to me. Is faith something more ...

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Long to Escape? Find Joy in the Bible
November 1st, 2018

Long to Escape? Find Joy in the Bible

Hannah DeMarco

It’s that time of year again. The days get shorter, the air gets colder, and I get the urge to escape from the bleakness of winter. Hunched over my computer screen, I find myself researching warm places to fly to during the frigid January cold. ...

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Ways to Advocate for the Suffering
October 29th, 2018

Ways to Advocate for the Suffering

Kendell Borkowski

Part of our Christian call is to care for the vulnerable. In this three-part series , Kendell Borkowski explores how to live out Scripture engagement through her call to adoption and foster care. Find out how you too can act on God’s Word through discerning and responding ...

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Learning Forgiveness through Indivisible
October 22nd, 2018

Learning Forgiveness through Indivisible

Michael Foust

A survey of American adults , done a few years back, found that 62 percent of people believed they needed to forgive more. 58 percent said some things are never forgivable,  and 60 percent said the other party would have to apologize and make changes in order to ...

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Never Enough Sleep? Find Rest in God’s Word
October 18th, 2018

Never Enough Sleep? Find Rest in God’s Word

More than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough shut-eye. Are you one of them? Maybe you can’t remember the last time you had a good sleep. You find it hard to fall asleep every night. And ...

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Responding to the Call to Care for the Suffering
October 15th, 2018

Responding to the Call to Care for the Suffering

Kendell Borkowski

Part of our Christian call is to care for the vulnerable. In this  three-part series , Kendell Borkowski explores how to live out Scripture engagement through her call to adoption and foster care. Find out how you too can act on God’s Word through discerning and responding to ...

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Look to Jesus for Strength to Endure Your Trials
October 9th, 2018

Look to Jesus for Strength to Endure Your Trials

Jason Malec

Every one of us has experienced a parental fail. If you’re a parent, you can point to those times when you messed up. (Maybe as recently as this morning!) If you’re not a parent, there are likely times when your own parents made bad decisions or ...

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5 Verses for Peace When Big Changes Overwhelm You
October 4th, 2018

5 Verses for Peace When Big Changes Overwhelm You

Hannah DeMarco

Why do things seem to happen all at once? Last week, I moved into a new house. This week, I leave for a foreign country. Yesterday, I waved goodbye to my sisters family as they drove away to their new home in Tennessee. In two ...

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Understanding the Call to Care for the Suffering
October 1st, 2018

Understanding the Call to Care for the Suffering

Kendell Borkowski

Part of our Christian call is to care for the vulnerable. In this three-part series , Kendell Borkowski explores how to live out Scripture engagement through her call to adoption and foster care. Find out how you too can act on God’s Word through discerning and responding ...

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Find Sure Footing in the Bible During Big Changes
September 24th, 2018

Find Sure Footing in the Bible During Big Changes

Rosalie J. Karjala

How often have you heard this? “Oh, if only my life could get back to normal.” Or … “What a crazy year this has been. I can’t wait until things get back to normal.” We wait for the dust to settle, and when it finally ...

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Psalms of Assurance When You Have No Money
September 20th, 2018

Psalms of Assurance When You Have No Money

Hannah DeMarco

On my 13 th birthday, I saved up enough money to buy myself a treasure I always wanted: a (microscopic) diamond ring. The day I bought my ring, I woke up early, carefully applied blue eye shadow to match my baby blue dress, and ...

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Discover Your Ancestry in the Family of the Bible
September 17th, 2018

Discover Your Ancestry in the Family of the Bible

Catherine Ricketts

Last Christmas, my mother wrapped a stack of antique books and gave one to every member of my family. Each was a different edition of a book that was first published in 1840, written by my paternal ancestor, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Each had a different binding: crimson with ...

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How to Understand the Paradoxes in Biblical Poetry
September 10th, 2018

How to Understand the Paradoxes in Biblical Poetry

Michael Dechane

The psalms are poetry, and understanding poetry often happens in stages as we grapple with its language, images, forms, and rhythms. If a poem expresses paradox, or communicates the reality of living with ambivalence, or traces the hazy outline of mystery—we are likely to be put off, confused, or ...

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5 Psalms of Peace for Your Busy Life
September 6th, 2018

5 Psalms of Peace for Your Busy Life

Hannah DeMarco

As you begin reading this, perhaps you’re overwhelmed with a sense of urgency. Maybe you feel guilty for taking time out of your busy schedule to read a blog. But you’re desperate for relief from it all. Knots in your ...

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How the Bible Can Make Us Kinder People
September 3rd, 2018

How the Bible Can Make Us Kinder People

Amber Parker

Kindness seems to be a lost art these days. Our culture puts an emphasis on self-promotion and achievement rather than on caring for others. Often showing kindness is not seen as a priority, and for some, it is viewed as a weakness. Even for those of us who believe ...

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Unveiling the Glorious Spectacle of the Gospel
August 27th, 2018

Unveiling the Glorious Spectacle of the Gospel

Lydia Sheldon

Last May, the fashion world’s interpretation of the divine promenaded up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Bearded prophets and winged angels ornamented a singer’s gown. Celebrities balanced golden halos and sported embroidered crosses. Sarah Jessica Parker propped a Dolce & Gabbana nativity scene ...

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Encountering God in the Daily Rhythms of Life
August 20th, 2018

Encountering God in the Daily Rhythms of Life

Annelise Jolley

The Christian liturgical year is built around feast days, seasons of fasting, and the ordinary time in between. How do we faithfully structure our eating rhythms, and how might they lead us deeper into Scripture? In this three-part series , writer Annelise Jolley explores the spiritual implications ...

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How to Give Yourself Grace When You Don’t Feel Good Enough
August 16th, 2018

How to Give Yourself Grace When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

Hannah DeMarco

I inherited many wonderful things from my father: his olive skin, his love of music, his zeal for learning. But one of the more challenging things he bequeathed to me is my unrealistic concept of time. Overly idealistic, I try to cram 47 activities into a ...

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Listening as a Way of Loving Others Like Jesus
August 13th, 2018

Listening as a Way of Loving Others Like Jesus

Sarah Zaske

A typical Manhattan morning is noisy, crowded, and busy, and this day was no exception. Like the thousands of individuals I shared the sidewalk with, I had somewhere to be and was running late. As I hurried down Fifth Avenue, I heard a noise that stood ...

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How to Find Strength and Nourishment Through Fasting
August 6th, 2018

How to Find Strength and Nourishment Through Fasting

Annelise Jolley

The Christian liturgical year is built around feast days, seasons of fasting, and the ordinary time in between. How do we faithfully structure our eating rhythms, and how might they lead us deeper into Scripture? In this three-part series , writer Annelise Jolley explores the connection between ...

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5 Verses to Overcome Your Financial Fears
August 2nd, 2018

5 Verses to Overcome Your Financial Fears

Hannah DeMarco

You pull into the driveway, turn off the engine, and sit there—frozen. You don’t want to move. You dread opening the mailbox to see more bills. You hate the thought of going inside and seeing your leaky fridge you can’t afford to fix. You don’t ...

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Are You Longing for Something More?
July 30th, 2018

Are You Longing for Something More?

Laura Gish

Why does a pervasive longing and restless disquiet fill our lives, despite brief moments of fulfillment? How can we satisfy this ache that is so profound it leaves us wanting something we cannot name? In The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, ...

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Feast on Scripture in Preparation for the Great Feast
July 23rd, 2018

Feast on Scripture in Preparation for the Great Feast

Annelise Jolley

The Christian liturgical year is built around feast days, seasons of fasting, and the ordinary time in between. How do we faithfully structure our eating rhythms, and how might they lead us deeper into Scripture? In this three-part series , writer Annelise Jolley explores the connection between ...

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Unsure of the Next Steps? Find Sure Footing in God’s Word
July 19th, 2018

Unsure of the Next Steps? Find Sure Footing in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

I have no idea where I’ll be living in seven weeks. I love my room, my neighborhood, my roommates, everything. I cherish my walks home after work—and how easy it is to visit my friends who live close by. But a few months ago, I ...

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How to Start Reading the Bible with Friends
July 16th, 2018

How to Start Reading the Bible with Friends

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

Every weekday morning, after I’ve gone for my walk, had breakfast, and tidied up my living room, I unlock my front door and wait for Lilit to come over for morning devotions. About 20 years younger than me, Lilit has lived next door since our church helped her move ...

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How to Unlock the Bible’s Poetry
July 9th, 2018

How to Unlock the Bible’s Poetry

Michael Dechane

Philip Yancey’s book, The Bible Jesus Read , was a helpful and inspiring guide for me when I began reading the Bible and found myself struggling to engage with the Old Testament. His reflections helped me find a foothold to begin reading the prophets and wisdom literature. One ...

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3 Prayers to Fight Gnawing Anxiety
July 5th, 2018

3 Prayers to Fight Gnawing Anxiety

Hannah DeMarco

The rain splashed across the window next to the cozy couch in which I sat, nuzzled up in a warm blanket. I finally had a night all to myself. The movie I’d been waiting to watch all week was just beginning. But as the opening credits rolled—a sight that ...

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The Unexpected Delight of Listening to the Bible
July 2nd, 2018

The Unexpected Delight of Listening to the Bible

Lydia Sheldon

I used to read my Bible every morning with a cup of coffee and a journal full of notes and prayers—a scene worthy of Instagram. That habit of consistent Bible study filled my heart with God’s voice. But I’m not there right now. After a ...

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Paying Attention to the Bible’s Important Messages
June 25th, 2018

Paying Attention to the Bible’s Important Messages

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

“To be honest with you…”  “To tell you the truth…” “As a matter of fact…” “Honestly…” “To be frank…” How often have you heard or uttered these words, or some similar phrase? Have you ever wondered why anyone would preface a ...

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Feel Like You Don’t Belong? You’re Not Alone.
June 21st, 2018

Feel Like You Don’t Belong? You’re Not Alone.

Hannah DeMarco

I don’t belong here , I thought. My acceptance letter was a fluke. I walked through the ancient university building. The sound of posh British accents filled my ears, making me feel insecure about my uncultured accent. I tip-toed through the hallways, ...

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Turn to Scripture to Learn How to Pray
June 18th, 2018

Turn to Scripture to Learn How to Pray

Lydia Sheldon

I went to bed last night in that oh-so-familiar pre-bed state. You know the one. Contrary to every health guru blogger, doctor, and grandmother’s advice, I did not wind down. There was no long bath with salts, no cello music drifting through lavender oil-scented air. Light glared from bulbs ...

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Engage Kids with the Bible Before They Can Read
June 11th, 2018

Engage Kids with the Bible Before They Can Read

Michael Foust

The first time I read the Bible to my oldest child, he tried to eat it. Mind you, he was barely a year old and was teething, and the colorful Bible board book I was holding did resemble every colorful object in his ...

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Run out of Money? Fill up on Peace in God’s Word
June 7th, 2018

Run out of Money? Fill up on Peace in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

Notice: Your Account Has Been Overdrawn. When you opened your email, these were the words you were dreading you’d see. And there they are, right in front of you. Your chest tightening, you will yourself ...

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Embrace Your True Freedom in God
June 4th, 2018

Embrace Your True Freedom in God

Amber Parker

Have you ever read something that shook you? Words that you couldn’t get away from? Words that played over and over in your mind? That is what happened when I read Galatians 5:1. Even though I had seen the words many times before, this time was different. ...

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Engage Your Heart and Mind with Scripture While at Work
May 28th, 2018

Engage Your Heart and Mind with Scripture While at Work

Michael Dechane

When I imagine Jesus working alongside Joseph, learning his father’s trade as a carpenter, I wonder how much they talked. Woodworking has always been a noisy business, and that makes conversation hard. Imagine, though, how important those times of working and talking together must have been as Jesus was ...

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Reading Scripture with all the Languages of the World
May 21st, 2018

Reading Scripture with all the Languages of the World

Bryan Park

Several weeks ago, I visited the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. As I walked through an exhibition hall full of historical Bibles and replicas, I heard recordings of Scriptures being played through the speakers. To my surprise, they were in many different languages—I heard psalms in Hebrew ...

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Can’t Handle One More Thing? Find Peace in God’s Word
May 17th, 2018

Can’t Handle One More Thing? Find Peace in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

“I can’t take one more thing.” You hear yourself say the words to your spouse, kids, coworkers—and you feel like no one quite gets it. You say them over and over and over again, but the work and the commitments and the needs keep piling on. ...

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How to Find a Companion for Your Scripture Reading
May 14th, 2018

How to Find a Companion for Your Scripture Reading

Michael Dechane

One afternoon around lunch one of my oldest and best friends walked up to my desk at work with a book. Without preamble, he handed it to me, already opened to page 8, and said, “I think you should read this.” I did. In the space of the next ...

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How to Lean on the Bible to Make Wise Decisions
May 7th, 2018

How to Lean on the Bible to Make Wise Decisions

Veronica Podbury

We’ve all been there—in the midst of all the pressures of your life, a situation arises that calls for you to make a decision.  Is it time for a career change? Which school should my child go to? Or is that person “the one” I’ve been waiting for? ...

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Longing for a Mother’s Love? Find Comfort in Scripture.
May 3rd, 2018

Longing for a Mother’s Love? Find Comfort in Scripture.

Marissa Rumpf

Around this time of year, sweet cards fill the aisles of your local Rite-Aid or CVS, decorated with butterflies and flowers. Mother’s Day is on its way, and it seems like everyone in line has a bright bouquet of flowers and note to tuck into an envelope. ...

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Do You Believe in the Resurrection of the Body?
April 30th, 2018

Do You Believe in the Resurrection of the Body?

Rosalie J. Karjala

Just when we New Englanders thought that we would not outlive winter’s grip, signs of spring begin to appear. It’s subtle. You have to watch for it. The bare willow trees turn sunny and golden. Crocuses and tiger lilies poke up through the dark earth, rising ...

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Words are Powerful. When is the Right Time to Speak Up?
April 23rd, 2018

Words are Powerful. When is the Right Time to Speak Up?

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

My neighbor must have been in a good mood—or maybe a spectacularly bad one—because, for the first time since I’d moved into my apartment five months earlier, I could hear music blaring from next door. Only the bass tones reached my home office, but it was distracting. Do ...

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Worried About Your Legacy? Trust Jesus Day to Day
April 19th, 2018

Worried About Your Legacy? Trust Jesus Day to Day

Laura Chan

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more.”   “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” by Louisa M. R. Stead The world is moving too fast, you think. You ...

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A Closer Look at the Bible’s Epistles
April 16th, 2018

A Closer Look at the Bible’s Epistles

Randy Petersen

Genres are categories of literature, each with its own tone and techniques. The Bible uses a handful of genres—narrative and law, prophecy and letters, wisdom literature, and apocalyptic literature. Understanding the genre in which the passage is written can help guide our reading. Follow the  Biblical Genre Series  to ...

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The Bible’s Simple Truth of How to Love My Neighbor
April 9th, 2018

The Bible’s Simple Truth of How to Love My Neighbor

Rosalie J. Karjala

My son the linguist never met a word he didn’t love. And he delights in sharing his etymological treasures with whoever will stop and listen. Recently we celebrated my birthday with breakfast at a little restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. As we watched the morning sunlight ...

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Overwhelmed by Being Busy? Find Peace in God’s Word
April 5th, 2018

Overwhelmed by Being Busy? Find Peace in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

You’re too busy to think about how busy you are. Every time you think you’ll have a moment of peace, something comes up—a deadline gets pushed up at work, someone at church needs you to fill in for Sunday School, your kids ask for your advice and ...

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Why You are Never Too Broken for God to Use
April 3rd, 2018

Why You are Never Too Broken for God to Use

RahShell Hemphill

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to color. I was a perfectionist. I had to stay inside the lines at all times. Crayola was my favorite brand of crayon because they color the best. You couldn’t bring me cheap crayons because I wouldn’t use ...

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The Powerful Art of Storytelling in the Bible
March 26th, 2018

The Powerful Art of Storytelling in the Bible

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

A lion used to prowl about a field in which four oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by ...

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Meeting the Apostle Paul on the Big Screen
March 19th, 2018

Meeting the Apostle Paul on the Big Screen

Randy Petersen

While Paul: Apostle of Christ covers events just after the New Testament’s coverage ends, it is richly informed by Scripture. It draws us into the ancient world, where those who follow Jesus are exploring how to live out their faith in critical situations. Viewers will ...

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Finding Hope After a Loved One Dies
March 15th, 2018

Finding Hope After a Loved One Dies

Hannah DeMarco

You wonder when the pain will stop—the crushing weight of the world’s emptiness. You wonder when you’ll stop picking up the phone only to realize there’s no one to call. You wonder when a song or smell that reminds you of that person won’t clutch at your throat and blind ...

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How to Pray Before You Read the Bible
March 12th, 2018

How to Pray Before You Read the Bible

Lydia Sheldon

When I first started reading the Bible regularly, I read in energetic bursts. I read because I felt I needed to. It seemed that every few verses, God was speaking to me. I would press my finger to the page, running it over a line of text, as if ...

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How to Read John 6 Through a Jewish Perspective
March 5th, 2018

How to Read John 6 Through a Jewish Perspective

Suzy Silk

Shortly after graduating from college, I had the opportunity to study and live in Israel. Although I had grown up studying the Bible, there was nothing like living in the land where Jesus and the patriarchs walked. During that time, I read the Scriptures with fresh eyes, seeing old, ...

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Afraid of What Comes Next? Trade Your Worries for Peace
March 1st, 2018

Afraid of What Comes Next? Trade Your Worries for Peace

Hannah DeMarco

My throat tightened as my feet inched their way forward on the diving board. “Hurry up, honey, ” my swim instructor kindly commanded, checking her watch. My toes slid across the bumpy, slimy plastic and the board wavered under ...

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Discovering Jesus’s Indiscriminate Love in the Gospels
February 26th, 2018

Discovering Jesus’s Indiscriminate Love in the Gospels

Rosalie J. Karjala

The Ignatian spiritual exercise of Gospel Contemplation lets you use your imagination to interact with a passage of Scripture. The reflection below delves into Luke 7:36-50. Feel free to try it on your own! Read the Gospel passage twice slowly. Close your eyes and reflect: What do ...

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How to Become One of the Bible’s Scribes
February 19th, 2018

How to Become One of the Bible’s Scribes

Davina McDonald

My friend Denny writes out Scripture, word for word, into the pages of his journal. He’s been doing it for some time. As he writes, he pays attention to the sentence structure and dwells on the passage’s meaning. The process has helped to shift his focus while engaging the unfamiliar, and ...

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Never Enough Money? 5 Verses for Peace
February 15th, 2018

Never Enough Money? 5 Verses for Peace

Hannah DeMarco

You remember the days when things were simpler. And cheaper. When you were a kid, you were content to play with a hula-hoop and silly putty. Now kids can’t seem to live without expensive video games, iPads, and smartphones. You used to be able to go ...

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What is Courage: Self-Confidence or God-Confidence?
February 12th, 2018

What is Courage: Self-Confidence or God-Confidence?

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

If a child fell into the deep end of a pool, a trained lifeguard would not hesitate to jump in and rescue him. That’s confidence . If I was the only adult nearby, I’d have to momentarily forget that I am terrified of being in water past my ...

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How to Uncover the Delight of Bible Reading
February 5th, 2018

How to Uncover the Delight of Bible Reading

Rosalie J. Karjala

In September, I embraced the inevitable. Summer was ending—the light narrowing and slanting toward autumn. Each year we New Englanders welcome the change while bracing for another winter. We look forward to the first nip of frost, the crunch of a freshly picked apple, the sweet aroma of wood ...

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Feel Unwanted? Find Where You Belong in God’s Word
February 1st, 2018

Feel Unwanted? Find Where You Belong in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

It’s been this way ever since you can remember. You’re the kid who got picked last in gym class. The friend they forgot to invite to the birthday party. The daughter or son who went unheard. Overlooked. Unwanted. Alone and cut off ...

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Finding God in Life’s Ambiguity
January 29th, 2018

Finding God in Life’s Ambiguity

Catherine Ricketts

In this 3-part series , essayist Catherine Ricketts walks us through the spiritual practice of writing our stories. This practice draws on a long tradition of courageous Christians and truth-tellers. Find out how writing your story can help you better understand yourself and God’s ...

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Meeting God at the Edge of Our Understanding
January 22nd, 2018

Meeting God at the Edge of Our Understanding

Catherine Ricketts

In this three-part series , essayist Catherine Ricketts walks us through the spiritual practice of writing our stories. This practice draws on a long tradition of courageous Christians and truth-tellers. Find out how writing your story can help you better understand yourself and God’s presence in your life, ...

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Making Goals that Reflect God’s Character
January 18th, 2018

Making Goals that Reflect God’s Character

Hannah DeMarco

So, what’s your New Year’s resolution? a friend asked me at a New Year’s Eve party. Uhhhhh, I responded, and lunged toward the chip bowl to stuff my face. No one expects me to answer uncomfortable questions with ...

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Courage to Write: Seeing God, Self, and Neighbor
January 15th, 2018

Courage to Write: Seeing God, Self, and Neighbor

Catherine Ricketts

In this three-part series , essayist Catherine Ricketts walks us through the spiritual practice of writing our stories. This practice draws on a long tradition of courageous Christians and truth-tellers. Find out how writing your story can help you better understand yourself and God’s presence in your life, ...

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What is the Gospel? Uncover A ‘Thicker’ Reading
January 8th, 2018

What is the Gospel? Uncover A ‘Thicker’ Reading

Jennifer M Buck

Lisa Sharon Harper’s understanding of the gospel was transformed when she took a trip to the Cherokee Trail of Tears memorial and the former slave plantations of Georgia. As she walked in the physical location of some of America’s greatest atrocities—when people were forced off their land, enslaved, and abused—she ...

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Ask God for a Fresh Start This New Year
January 4th, 2018

Ask God for a Fresh Start This New Year

Hannah DeMarco

What were your dreams for 2017? Did they come true? Whether 2017 was filled with laughter or tears (or both), God wants to walk by your side in 2018. Maybe you’re facing the new year with expectations of newfound happiness and success. ...

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The End of the World as We Know It?
January 1st, 2018

The End of the World as We Know It?

Ginger Kolbaba

Were living in the end times. My friends eyes matched her tone: fearful. Why do you say so? I asked. She listed reason after reason: political crises, world events, cultural climate, devastating hurricanes and wildfires, immorality. It was a list ...

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Feeling Blue this Christmas? You are Not Forgotten
December 25th, 2017

Feeling Blue this Christmas? You are Not Forgotten

Anna Panzo

It’s that time of year again: evergreen trees, gingerbread, carols, holiday cheer, family, and gifts. Christmas is here! But as people are hanging up stockings, children are making gift wish lists, and relatives are coming to town, I can’t help but think of those for whom Christmas is a ...

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This Advent Pray for Jesus to Come Quickly
December 18th, 2017

This Advent Pray for Jesus to Come Quickly

Lydia Sheldon

The year has been dark. As I write this, the headlines announce that someone has driven a truck into a group of pedestrians, killing eight people. Hurricanes, fires, war, refugees, political turmoil—a succession of loss. Haunting photos capture the starvation of children besieged from within and without the ...

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Empty This Christmas? God Wants to Fill You with Life.
December 15th, 2017

Empty This Christmas? God Wants to Fill You with Life.

Hannah DeMarco

Christmas used to fill you delight. You remember the joy of your kids waking up at 6 am on Christmas morning, sneaking down the stairs to spy on their gifts. The smiles and hugs with cherished family members during Christmas parties. Laughing with dear friends as you celebrate the ...

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How to Pray the Psalms During Advent
December 11th, 2017

How to Pray the Psalms During Advent

Lydia Sheldon

The season of Advent in the church calendar marks the days leading up to our celebration of Jesus’s birth. During this time, churches and individuals await Jesus’s coming and coming again. It is rife with anticipation, preparation, and expectation. Follow this three-part series to enrich your Advent ...

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Not Enough Money for Christmas? Rediscover Joy
December 7th, 2017

Not Enough Money for Christmas? Rediscover Joy

Hannah DeMarco

Christmas used to feel magical. You remember the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning as a kid. The magic of tinsel and lights on your neighbors’ houses. The simple joy of baking cookies. The warmth of gathering with family and friends. Now Christmas fills you with dread. ...

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Advent: How to Find God in the Holiday Bustle
December 4th, 2017

Advent: How to Find God in the Holiday Bustle

Lydia Sheldon

The season of Advent in the church calendar marks the days leading up to our celebration of Jesus’s birth. During this time, churches and individuals await Jesus’s coming and coming again. It is rife with anticipation, preparation, and expectation. Follow this three-part series  to enrich your Advent season ...

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How to Read the Bible’s Apocalyptic Literature
November 27th, 2017

How to Read the Bible’s Apocalyptic Literature

Randy Petersen

“Revelation, ” they said. “We want to study Revelation.” My Bible study group was insisting that I lead them through the last book of the Bible. They hoped that I would be able to explain it all for them. Ha! I had been avoiding Revelation all ...

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Can God Give You Strength With a Chronic Illness?
November 20th, 2017

Can God Give You Strength With a Chronic Illness?

Anna Panzo

In May of 2008, everything seemed to be going my way. I had just graduated from college and accepted an internship with a Christian mission organization, planning to subsequently join one of their teams in Asia. Over the summer months, I raised enough money to fully fund the internship. ...

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How to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think
November 16th, 2017

How to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

Hannah DeMarco

Do you feel overwhelmed by other people’s judgment? Like you’re always the one who gets blamed for everyone’s mistakes? Like everyone expects you to anticipate their every little need and resents you when you can’t live up to their impossible expectations? Maybe you feel like ...

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The Formation of the Bible: Where Did It Come From?
November 13th, 2017

The Formation of the Bible: Where Did It Come From?

Dr. Kara Lyons-Pardue

After seventy years in exile, the exiled people of Judah were permitted to return to their ancestral home in and around Jerusalem. Did they come singing and celebrating? Or did they come with some trepidation—their long-held hopes finally materializing? Some may even have dragged their feet, lamenting the life ...

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¿Qué dice la Biblia sobre el sufrimiento?
November 7th, 2017

¿Qué dice la Biblia sobre el sufrimiento?

Gary Wiley

Aunque el sufrimiento nos rodea no es un tema que entendemos bien, ni lo queremos experimentar. Si tú eres como yo, si hay una manera de evitarlo, haré todo lo posible para que «me libre de ese trago amargo». ¿Cuántas veces he postergado una visita al dentista para evitar ...

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How to Sustain an Ongoing Conversation with God
November 6th, 2017

How to Sustain an Ongoing Conversation with God

Lydia Sheldon

Recently I lamented to a friend that even though I want to memorize Bible verses, I can’t work up the willpower to do it. I don’t understand this disconnect in myself, because the times that I’ve intentionally worked on memorizing a passage of Scripture, I’ve experienced ...

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5 Verses for Hope When You’re Suffering Alone
November 2nd, 2017

5 Verses for Hope When You’re Suffering Alone

Hannah DeMarco

My friend seemed on top of the world. From where I was standing, it looked like she had the perfect life. At church, she was always joking and laughing. Whenever anyone asked how she was doing, she’d boom: Oh, I’m great. ...

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El perdón del Padre Nuestro
October 31st, 2017

El perdón del Padre Nuestro

Iris Quintana

¿Cuál es la condición para poder perdonar? Día y noche nosotros oramos el Padre Nuestro, palabra más, palabra menos, cuando nos acercamos al Padre para entablar conversación con Dios. Podemos enfatizar en algunas peticiones personales, familiares, de amistades, pero siempre reconocemos que le amamos y queremos que se ...

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Are Your Words Helpful or Harmful?
October 30th, 2017

Are Your Words Helpful or Harmful?

Gary Wiley

I grew up in a home where I learned at an early age that words matter. I remember times when a prohibited word would slip out of my mouth. I would receive “that look” from my mother, a reprimand, and possibly disciplinary action. My mother tells me that as ...

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How to Study a Bible Passage
October 23rd, 2017

How to Study a Bible Passage

Christina Miller

Perhaps you’ve selected a Bible and started reading it. Maybe you’re even setting aside regular times to reflect or pray. You’ve gotten a taste of what’s inside, and a desire for God’s words is growing in you as you recognize the nourishment God offers in these encounters. What comes ...

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Freaking out over Money? Proverbs Give Peace
October 19th, 2017

Freaking out over Money? Proverbs Give Peace

Hannah DeMarco

The knot in your stomach tightens as you pull another bill from the mailbox—a bill you fear you won’t be able to pay. The pain in your jaw aches as you plug the numbers into your budgeting spreadsheet—and, yet again, you come up short. ...

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Wisdom Literature: How to Discern Between Good and Evil
October 16th, 2017

Wisdom Literature: How to Discern Between Good and Evil

Lydia Sheldon

Genres are categories of literature, each with its own tone and techniques. The Bible uses a handful of genres—narrative and law, prophecy and letters, wisdom literature, and apocalyptic literature. Understanding the genre in which the passage is written can help guide our reading. Follow the Biblical Genre ...

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What Did Jesus Really Think of Women?
October 9th, 2017

What Did Jesus Really Think of Women?

Rosalie J. Karjala

How does the Bible view women? At face value, some of its messages and examples can seem oppressive or devaluing. But when you learn more about how Jesus responded to the Bible’s historical and cultural context, you may rethink your first impressions. Christ entered into a specific time and ...

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Trade self-doubt for confidence. Here’s how.
October 5th, 2017

Trade self-doubt for confidence. Here’s how.

Hannah DeMarco

We all sat in silence. Afraid to breathe too loudly. Terrified of being called out. Our third grade teacher scratched her nails on the chalkboard as she wrote this question: What is the largest ocean in the world? “Any takers?” she challenged, surveying our stoic ...

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What is Biblical Self-Care and How Can I Practice It?
October 1st, 2017

What is Biblical Self-Care and How Can I Practice It?

Joanna Mikhail

There is a lot of talk about self-care these days. It comes in all kinds of different forms: “me time, ” “treating myself, ” “boundaries, ” and a multi-billion dollar “self-improvement” industry. Often the mantra of “self-care” just feels self-ish, a tagline to the individualistic self-centeredness of our day. ...

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When You Have No Money, Find Comfort in God’s Word
September 28th, 2017

When You Have No Money, Find Comfort in God’s Word

Hannah DeMarco

I’m sick of thinking about money , the comedian said. The sentence came from my computer screen—I was half-listening to a stand-up special playing in the background while cleaning. But this sentence made my ears perk up. The comedian’s words sounded familiar: I had thought ...

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Hurricane Harvey: How to Remember Alongside Those Who Are Hurting
September 25th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: How to Remember Alongside Those Who Are Hurting

Rev. Carrie Graham

The sun was shining outside my window. But in the area of Texas known as the Golden Triangle, the week was all about survival. “Carrie, I’m scared. We’re on the second floor.” This chilling text from my aunt sent me into high alert. “House flooded. ...

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When You Don’t Want to Say Goodbye
September 21st, 2017

When You Don’t Want to Say Goodbye

Hannah DeMarco

I told myself I shouldn’t be sad. Sure, it’s my last week in England, a place I’ve called home for over a year , I thought. Yes, my dear housemates will soon live thousands of miles away from me, I admitted. ...

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Find Wholeness in God When You Are Heartbroken
September 18th, 2017

Find Wholeness in God When You Are Heartbroken

Katy Callahan

Listening to weeks’ worth of famous break-up albums after you’ve been dumped isn’t necessarily healthy, but amid my own fresh heartbreak, it felt like the most appropriate, and potentially cathartic, thing to do. Get Lonely by The Mountain Goats played as I got dressed in the morning. ...

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Parenting with Confidence
September 14th, 2017

Parenting with Confidence

Dottie McLoughlin

I didn’t know my heart could be so full. One look at my newborn’s tiny face, and I knew all my future choices would revolve around how best to care and provide for that little one. As I studied those little hands and feet, I was struck by ...

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