Devotional

Category Archives: Devotional

Crossing Explainer: What is Advent?

If you’ve spent much time around a church during the holiday season, you’re probably heard the term “Advent” several times. But beyond associating the word with the Christmas season, many of us might not have the clearest idea of its significance.

Our English word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which is a translation of the Greek term parousia, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Western Christians have historically observed Advent during the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

But what specifically are we observing? To sum it up briefly, Advent is a season of expectation. In it, we turn our attention to the coming of Christ. And to do so, we look both backward and forward.

Black Friday Eve (aka Thanksgiving)

At dinner this evening, a friend of mine pointed out the irony in Black Friday following just one day after Thanksgiving. So we all sit around cozy tables surrounded by friends and family on Thursday, eating turkey and dressing, and relaxing the afternoon away either watching football or chatting with relatives we see twice a

Praying With The Psalms – Psalm 111

I often will turn to a Psalm in the Bible to help my prayer time with God in the morning. Like anyone, I find some Psalms more applicable to my life at the moment than others. For example, some Psalms are rather intense pleas for God’s deliverance from and judgment of the psalmist’s “enemies” (see

Seven Quick Thoughts on Praying with Your Kids

Most of us probably think it’s a good idea, at least in theory, to pray with our kids at bedtime. But we may be unsure of what we should pray with them about. Or we may think we sound like one of those particularly annoying toys that repeats the same phrases over and over again. Not to mention all the times when we’re dog-tired or the kids are on the verge of meltdown because they’ve stayed up way too late for one reason or another. And in my house at least, there’s three of the little buggers, which in itself can make the hill look that much higher to climb. So yes, there are plenty of things that might discourage us from turning something good in theory into our actual practice.

With all that in mind, here are a few things to remember as we consider praying for our kids. I’ve thought of bedtime specifically as I’ve written these, but I think they’re relevant for most other times as well.

More on Worry: A Simple Children’s Lesson at 3:30 a.m.

3:30 a.m. glows the green clock on my bedside table. I shift positions and let out a sigh. One quick glance at Nathan sleeping peacefully next to me reminds me of how alone I am in the dark with my thoughts. Then, the stream of irrational worrying begins. “Not another one of these nights!” I

A Modern Day Parable

It shouldn’t be surprising that some of the most popular parts of the Bible are Jesus’ parables. After all the stories are interesting and the spiritual truth they convey profound. In Sunday’s New York Times, Sam Polk, a former Wall Street trader, shared part of his personal history. It’s a story that I would classify

Who’s Fighting for You?

July 3, 2017. It’s a beautiful, sunny day in mid-Missouri, but I woke up today feeling sad and heavy-hearted, a frequent occurrence of late. After a long season of peace, I have found myself being led back down into a darker valley in recent months, a season of more trying times. If you haven’t yet

Will God Ever Give Up On Me?

We’ve all been there. You give in to a temptation you’ve struggled against for years. Maybe it’s lust, or an eating disorder, or greed, or anger. After a flood of guilt and self-loathing you find yourself wondering: Will God ever give up on me? Is this the final straw? Am I really a Christian? When we start wondering

What Does Wrestling with God Actually Mean??

I hope I’m not the only one who’s asked this question. I hear people throw around “wrestle with God” in about every imaginable context: doubt, unbelief, sin, suffering, pain. We say, “I’m wrestling with…” “You need to wrestle with God on…” “I’m just wrestling with God through…”And when I hear it (perhaps because ambiguity discomforts

‘Wish Fulfillment’ or ‘Wish Fulfilled?’

John 14:1-7 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come