Fear is something that can absolutely extinguish the joy in life. It can make the healthiest person sick to their stomach. It can paralyze your ability to think clearly. Those who regularly experience fear know too well its byproducts — discouragement and doubt.
Unity is essential to a healthy team, organization, or even family. Unfortunately, it’s hard to come by. Too often strife rules over peace. We’ve all experienced it: Office spats, family feuds, and church splits. It is dominant in politics and among rivals representing opposite positions. King Solomon had much to say about the cause of dissension…
Jacob carried two problems as he faced the desert: the father-in-law who was outraged about how and when Jacob departed, and the brother who was outraged about how he had stolen both his inheritance and blessing. As God would have it, both men confronted him in the middle of the desert!
At times all our finger-pointing and bickering ends up doing us all in and nothing is accomplished. If we find ourselves constantly amidst controversy and strife, we need to take a good hard look at ourselves. What are we really fighting over? How is God being glorified?
As believers, we know that life is made up of a series of struggles and challenges, all of which help us develop character, patience, and obedience. So, if we know struggles are essential to spiritual maturity, why do we do everything we can to avoid pain? And why do we try to rob others of the opportunity to grow by “rescuing” them?
That’s our destiny and our charge, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life, and grace… If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk, and act as He would. Knowing Him is so much more than simply quoting scripture and going to church. It’s living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
Many of these disheartened people allow anxiety and uncertainty to overwhelm them. For those of us who know God and trust Him, no matter how unstable our environment is or the circumstances surrounding us, we can rest in knowing God is constant and in control. He wants us to remain constant and faithful, also.
Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. Often great memories are built during those special opportunities that the season brings. We thoroughly enjoy whatever time we can spend with our family and close friends. And yes, we love to see the expectation in the faces of our grandchildren and the ability to still surprise the bigger kids. Good food, wonderful music, tasty snacks, gift exchanges, and great fellowship cause us to be thankful for our blessings; however, remembering the Reason for the Season adds so much more value to all the celebration.
Many people are on a quest for “success” and “personal happiness” — at least according to how the world defines them. Our culture sets up for us models of wealthy, famous, well-dressed people and says that if we can just become like them, we’ll be happy. What Hollywood and professional sports project as “winners” are often just really unhappy and unfulfilled people.
We can spend our whole life chasing dreams, toys, and adventure only to end up tired, alone, and empty. If all we’re chasing is our own happiness, we’re chasing after the wind. When we pursue the things of God, we will find lasting joy, adventure, and eternal treasures. I’ve found the greatest pleasures in life often come from giving rather than getting… a simple truth that even a child understands…
Friends, we have a moral and spiritual war going on that is as equally devastating as nuclear bombs being dropped on our country. Men must rise-up and become warriors for God and their families or this culture is doomed. We must lovingly project an agenda of hope, strength, courage, and great character to the younger generation.
This year has been one of the most dynamic and exciting years in our thirty-nine-year history. Thank you for your prayers and support and standing with us. We could not do the things God places in our path without you and the power of the Holy Spirit. We share this year-end update in keeping with Revelation 1:19: “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
Gratitude, you see, is one of the evidences that God is in us and that He is working in our lives. Why do I say that? Because in the world in which we live today, there are so many reasons to be ungrateful. So many reasons to complain. Too many things we experience in the media that can cause us to be disheartened.
Unexpected difficulties — we all experience them. How do you handle your problems? Many people believe that once you become a Christian, all your troubles go away. This illusion is simply not Biblical. What we can count on with absolute confidence is that God is in control and He is with us during times of trouble.
With all the social, political and economic turmoil in our world, it’s no wonder many people struggle with anxiety, rejection, abandonment, emptiness, and depression. Under the mounting pressures of just their daily lives, many are desperate for relief… and peace.