7 Baby Steps for Saving Money, Getting Out of Debt and Building Wealth

By | Stewardship | No Comments

If you’ll take that first step, you can go anywhere you want to go. The “7 Baby Steps” won’t be easy, but they’re guaranteed to work if you follow them. They go beyond simply treating the symptoms of money problems like debt and lack of savings, and focus on changing your behavior—the real cause of those issues—through a proven, step-by-step plan. But it’s up to you to get started. Are you ready? Read More

Settling Your Identity

By | Spiritual Formation | No Comments

The way you see your life shapes your life.

I wrote those words 16 years ago in The Purpose Driven Life, and I still mean them today. We’re tempted to see ourselves as everyone else does. You know the way it goes. You see yourself as broken and beaten up. You see yourself as an addict or former addict. You see yourself as a failure.

If that’s what you believe about who you are, you’ll never become who God wants you to be. How you define your life determines your destiny.

That’s one of the reasons why, when John Baker first started Celebrate Recovery®, he didn’t ask people to identify themselves by their addictions. Read More

A Biblical Model of Grieving: Hope in the Midst of Your Grief

By | Healthy Living, Spiritual Formation | No Comments

The Big Idea: In just 1,000 words we contrast the world’s way of grieving with the Word’s way of grieving and growing.

How Do We Face Suffering?

How do we face suffering face-to-face with God rather than turning our backs on God during the grieving process? What does the journey with God look like as we find hope when we’re hurting?In finding God’s healing for life’s losses, we have two basic options. We can turn to the world’s way. Or, we can follow the way of God’s Word. Read More

Fight For Your Marriage…Even If Everyone Tells You Not To

By | Family, Relationships | One Comment

Do you want your marriage to work, but you don’t know how? You know staying together is the right thing to do, but everything about our society makes it easier to give up and move on. Even the way people talk about marriage makes you question whether staying together is worth it:

“It’s just a signed piece of paper.”

“If you don’t like being married, just get a divorce. It’s that simple.” 

It is easy for someone else to tell you to quit when the going gets tough, but only you are responsible for your decisions. And if you’ll choose to fight for your marriage, God will fight with you.

Throughout the Bible, God is described as our help, our shield, our fortress, and our strength. And in Psalm 33, the Bible promises that “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love…” Read More

To See Him Who Is Invisible

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the fourth article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” —Psalm 16:8-9, 11

It’s always about what we’re seeing, isn’t it? Read More

Nothing To Keep Us Out

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the third article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I have no idea when it happened, because I thought I had been paying closer attention. But when I looked over at my oldest daughter, with her legs crossed, her hair tucked, and her cheeks thinner than they used to be, I could almost feel the wind blow across my face from the years that have somehow flown by.

I can look into a mirror and count the lines on my forehead, and recount the years that put them there. How can faces change like that? How can the years evaporate just. like. that? Read More

I Will Make Myself Remember

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the second article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint, you kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of my past; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked you:

“Will you reject me forever? Will you never show your favor again? Has your unfailing love vanished forever? Has your promise failed for all time? Have you forgotten to be merciful? Have you, in anger, withheld your compassion?”

Then I thought, “I will make myself remember the years when you stretched out your hand. I will remember what you’ve done, I will remember how you’ve helped me. I will remember all your works and meditate on all your mighty ways.”

Because your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? (Psalm 77:1-13, NIV, author’s paraphrase)

There are lines of demarcation in every life—before and after something happened—that mark and divide our years, making a life feel split in two. Read More

As If Nothing Had Yet Been Done

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the first article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”

As if nothing had yet been done.

As if we didn’t feel like we’ve failed at this whole thing.
As if we hadn’t ripped a soul apart with what we said.  
As if we weren’t carrying the pain that has made us heavy and tired. Read More

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