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Parental Survival Guide for a Pandemic

Parental Survival Guide for a Pandemic

Right when I thought I had heard every crazy thing possible with regard to COVID 19, a few weeks ago I read a mind-numbing article online pertaining to an amusement park in Japan. According to the article, this amusement park began telling patrons that they had to wear a mask at all times and especially while riding the roller-coaster. They posted a sign at the beginning of the ride which read: “IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO SCREAM, YOU MUST SCREAM IN YOUR HEART, NOT OUT LOUD”.

9 Bible Verses That Can Encourage Your Heart

9 Bible Verses That Can Encourage Your Heart

It is natural to have seasons of discouragement as you deal with life’s challenges – especially in the midst of COVID. You are not alone and God has given you His Word to encourage and equip you to deal with what you are facing. The Bible is full of encouragement to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus so that you can find hope, peace, and joy.

Week 4 | Take Off the Mask + Enjoy the Ride

Week 4 | Take Off the Mask + Enjoy the Ride

Right when I thought I had heard every crazy thing possible with regard to COVID 19, a few weeks ago I read a mind-numbing article online pertaining to an amusement park in Japan. According to the article, this amusement park began telling patrons that they had to wear a mask at all times and especially while riding the roller-coaster. They posted a sign at the beginning of the ride which read: “IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO SCREAM, YOU MUST SCREAM IN YOUR HEART, NOT OUT LOUD”.

Week 3 | Son, Read Your Bible + Pray

Week 3 | Son, Read Your Bible + Pray

A young man was in prison. While he was incarcerated he reached out to his mother and asked her for some money. “Mom, life in here is very difficult. I could really use $500 to help me get the things I need to survive this ordeal.” His mom responded by saying, “Son, read your Bible and pray.” The young man was excited the next week when he received a package from his mom but he was very disappointed by the contents…a Bible with a note attached: “Son, read your Bible and pray.”

Week 2 | God is Willing + Able

Week 2 | God is Willing + Able

Dallas Theological Seminary opened its doors in 1924. Shortly thereafter it almost had to close them, for good! The school was out of funds and the creditors were ready to foreclose on the land. The very day that DTS was scheduled to be foreclosed on the founding fathers of the school gathered for a time of prayer. They, “humbled themselves” and pleaded with God to forestall the foreclosure. One of the men who was present that day, Dr. Harry Ironside, prayed a bold prayer. He made a “big-ask” of God.

Week 1 | If We Humble Ourselves + Pray

Week 1 | If We Humble Ourselves + Pray

The first person to invent the wheel was a genius. But he only copied what God had already designed into the universe, for the Lord created things in circles. The stars and planets are round, they move in orbital circuits, and life, as a result, moves in cycles. Every one-hundred years, we have a new century; every 365 days, we have a new year; every 24 hours, we have a new day; every 60 minutes we have a new hour. God designed the potential for a new beginning into the very fabric of the universe in which He placed us.

What the Bible Says About Fear and Anxiety

What the Bible Says About Fear and Anxiety

God understands what fear and anxiety does to us, but he has so much more that he wants for us. That’s why he tells us over 100 times in the Bible “do not fear” or “do not be anxious.” Just as God knows what anxiety does to us, we have an enemy who studies our weaknesses and seeks to use them against us. Fear and anxiety are tools of the enemy.

Do Not Lose Heart

Do Not Lose Heart

John 9 tells of Jesus’ encounter with a man who was blind from birth. Jesus mixes his own saliva with some dirt and spreads the muddy mixture on the man’s eyes. He instructs him to go wash in a pool and the man miraculously goes home seeing. Having been trapped in darkness his entire life, Jesus grants him sight while proclaiming, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).

Driving Out Fear

Driving Out Fear

Waves sweep dangerously over the bow of their boat as the disciples straining at the oars to keep afloat. Stormy winds rage all around them. Jesus, who stayed ashore to pray on a mountainside, sees their struggle from afar and walks across the swirling waves to be with them in their struggle.

When the World Turns Upside Down

When the World Turns Upside Down

As we’ve experienced in the past few weeks, life can be wildly unpredictable. It seems that our world turned upside down in a matter of days as the coronavirus spread across the globe. How do we find peace in the midst of such turbulence and uncertainty? Horatio Spafford was no stranger to life’s unexpected challenges. As a successful Chicago lawyer, Horatio started a family with his wife Anna. They had five children.

A Living Hope

A Living Hope

Spoken by two of Jesus’ disciples as they departed from Jerusalem after Jesus’ crucifixion, these dejected words reveal their hopelessness. Instead of rescuing Israel from Roman’s iron grip, Jesus had died shamefully at their hands. And so the hope that they had pinned on Jesus seemed completely lost.

Embracing a New Future

Embracing a New Future

“I have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!” protests Bilbo Baggins when an uninvited and rather odd wizard appears at his doorstep one fine morning. As the main character of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo, like most hobbits, views adventures as unwanted nuisances and disruptions to his comfortable and rather sedentary lifestyle.

Facing Change Courageously

Facing Change Courageously

“I wonder how long God wants us to stay here.” These words tumbled out of my mouth while walking with my wife around the neighborhood where we had moved to just a few years earlier. Even now, more than 15 years later, I still remember the quizzical look she gave me. 

After moving to a new town a few years earlier, we had settled in. We had a close community of friends, a church we loved, and good jobs that we enjoyed. We even bought our first place and poured hours into fixing it up. Why would we move again? 

Waking Up to a New Reality

Waking Up to a New Reality

Imagine waking up. But rather than your typical experience of slowly opening your eyes as you gradually wake up, imagine that you are jarred awake suddenly. 

You sense a queasiness in your stomach as you realize that your bed is swaying. Disoriented, you realize that books and pictures are unexpectedly falling from shelves. You hear glass shattering and a low, unrecognizable rumble, but you can’t quite identify the source. As a racing heartbeat quickly replaces the fog of sleep, you realize that you are in the midst of an earthquake. 

An Invitation to a Journey through the Gospels

An Invitation to a Journey through the Gospels

On New Year’s Day, I started a new tradition with our family. We all gathered on the couch and reviewed our past five years by looking through the annual calendars my wife creates each year. Each calendar features personal photos that we had taken from the previous year. We had fun seeing how much our kids had changed and grown over the past five years. Of course, there were the standard family photos from holiday gatherings and pictures from our kids’ school and sporting events.

December Family Challenge

December Family Challenge

I want to make December a magical month for my family, but also instill new traditions that will remind others of God’s love this season. I want my boys to lift their eyes out of the toy catalogs long enough to notice others in our village that we couldn’t do life without. I want our family to actively seek the ones in our community that serve us each week of the year and bless them this Christmas!

November Family Challenge

November Family Challenge

November is my favorite month, with my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. We find ourselves repeatedly taking life for granted. What a great time to slow down as families and ponder what we are grateful for this year.

October Family Challenge

October Family Challenge

Fall is my favorite (said with the same enthusiasm as Buddy the Elf when he is talking about Christmas)! My love for fall runs deep with cooler temperatures, stunning colors in nature, football season, and all my favorite foods.

September Family Challenge

September Family Challenge

Several years ago there was a video on social media of a man getting all dressed up for a date. He was talking to a buddy about how excited he was for the date and how special this girl was to him. Despite the excitement he was a little nervous, you could see it in his face as he took several deep breaths and straightened his tie in the mirror and as his hands were shaking as he reached up to ring the doorbell.

August Family Challenge

August Family Challenge

Think about the last time you sat down and played a game. Has it been in the last month? Last year? Two years? Maybe not even since you were a child? There seems to be a correlation between the rise of technology and the decline of games. I don’t mean the games on all our devices…but I’m talking about board games, card games, and with-other-people games.

July Family Challenge

July Family Challenge

As a kid, we never went camping but we went fishing all the time. I had never slept in a tent, cooked meals on a camping stove, or tried to brave the elements in nature in such a way . . . fast forward a few years and my love for the outdoors has increased even more than when I was younger and now . . .