Marks of Christian Unity: Weep with Those Who Weep

Growth in unity as believers is shown in how we respond when others go through joyous moments or are enduring trials. As believers, we know that we will face trials of various kinds (James 1:2). Jesus even warned us with the truth that in this life we will face tribulations but we can take heart because He has overcome this world (John 16:33). Going through trials is nothing new, it is matter of when we will face them not if we will face them. We should not be surprised when we face trials and suffering as though something strange is happening, as Peter reminds us (1 Peter 4:12).

As believers, we know that we will never face trials alone. There is something refreshing and encouraging to know that when we face different trials, we have the Lord, who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We also have the physical presence of fellow Christians, who will weep with us as we weep (Romans 12:15). I am so thankful for the body of Christ! I personally have seen the unity of the body of Christ as they have wept with me as I wept. Their presence and love bring a whole new level of comfort that I did not know. Continue reading

Be…Like Aquila and Priscilla

As a pastor, there are many times that I am thankful for those who have gone out of their way to assist me, and see that their way of serving the Lord is by blessing me and my family. They are special to me and I can say I thank the Lord for them!

God establishes the body of Christ to help one another. Each person in the body of Christ has a part to play in God’s overall plan in this world. Paul wrote, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 esv). We see when hospitality is given in the body of Christ that there is unity. The apostle Paul knew a couple with that trait: Aquila and Priscilla. Continue reading

Marks of Christian Unity: Rejoicing with One Another

 As a parent, there are certain things that I am less desirous of doing than others, such as going to Costco as a family. Don’t get me wrong; I love being with my family and I love spending time with them. But Costco is usually busy, and when you have three young children, it’s just not that easy. I always tell my wife, Alyssa, that it is like trying to herd cats.

There have been successful trips to Costco and that is when we are all moving together with the same goal. We get in, have fun, and get the items we came for. Plus, the kids get to eat all the free samples!

In the same way, the church is made up of more than individual Christians; we are a body of believers that is called a family. We can easily start going our own way and doing our own thing. That is why Paul urges the church to be unified. He writes to the Philippian church, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1–2 esv).
Continue reading

8 Months of Using a Bullet Journal

 

IMG_4061

The beginning of this year I decided to choose a different method to in keeping organized. I usually used an electronic version for keeping track of my appointments or events but I was not as dedicated to that method as I should have.

I am like a kid in a candy store, wanting to try different things and I saw the idea of a bullet journal from watching a YouTube video by Matthew Kent. I was willing to give it a try for 2017.

Continue reading

Be…Like Onesiphorus

The Bible is full of encouragement and direction in pointing the Christian to look to Jesus. One of those ways is through the example of Bible characters. We get to see the good and the bad, the celebrations and the warnings, all which points us to God’s unmerited grace in the lives of the saints.

“Be” is a new series that will focus on different characters of the Bible and will highlight either their Christlike character or we will see the warning from how they lived. It’s easy when one reads Scripture to put themselves in certain texts and want to be like Paul or David or Peter. Though this may not be bad, the Christian’s ultimate goal is to put on the character of Christ (Colossians 3). The “Be” series will focus on those people mentioned once or twice in Scripture that were a help or a hurt to the church. Continue reading

Can Trials Be Our Opportunity?

FIND YOUR REAL PURPOSE IN LIFE. 

I got another e-mail—a friend who is facing a trial. I thought, “Wow, another person, Lord!”

Yes, I know that we will face trials. The Bible reminds us that we will face trials of various kinds (James 1:2). We will face opposition and suffering (John 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12). This is part of living in a fallen world—I know that. But, the question is not so much how to fight through trials but how one can thrive in trials. Throughout the New Testament, we read of apostles who thrived in trials. One particular story is found in the book of Acts and it changes our perspective of trials.
Continue reading

What Not to Read this Summer

old-book-1477665-1599x1022

School is out for most children, vacations are planned and raring to go, and it’s time to encourage our mental growth. What are you reading this summer? If you check out the latest bestseller list, you can be overwhelmed and wonder where to start. Each bestseller has raving reviews, but not all bestsellers are great books to read. Here are some things to keep in mind when picking something to read this summer.

What Not to Read: Continue reading

A Changed Life: Augustine (354-430)

39888_family_worldchangerwed_proof-02

Augustine of Hippo, who stands as a church father of theology, was an intellectual giant whom I must confess I fall short in writing about. He wrote over 100 books, 500 sermons, and 200 letters. Many who read Augustine relate to him because of his rebellious life and the inward struggle with truth. The Bible reminds us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). Augustine as a new creation was able to look at truth, which he passionately pursued, with new, clear lenses. With a clear look at truth, he saw that truth is found in Christ. He is a world changer—he impacted not just those in North Africa in the 4th century, but so many believers throughout history because his writings have been preserved.

Continue reading

A Lesson on Humility

39888_family_worldchangerwed_proof-02

Andrew Murray (1828–1917)

Though Andrew Murray has now been with the Lord 100 years, his life still shows us the closeness one can have with God. The life that he lived is contagious to the believer. Just like an infectious laugh, someone who shows the reality of God’s presence is someone the Christian wants to model after. He penned over two hundred and fifty titles, which include some of his more well-known books, Humility and Abide in Christ. Andrew Murray is a world changer.

Continue reading

Devotion to One

Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

I remember being a freshman in high school and receiving as a gift from one my Christian friends a copy of My Utmost for His Highest. At the time of my receiving this devotional, I had no idea of the impact it has had, nor much about the author. Years later, as I come across the different pages from that devotional, I see nuggets of truth to be mined. I see why this devotional has lasted so long. I am thankful for Oswald Chambers and also for his wife and daughter, who transcribed much of his writings.

What is interesting about Oswald Chambers is that he was little known in the Christian world at the time of his life. Over thirty different titles are attributed to him, yet he only penned one in his lifetime. His most famous work, My Utmost for His Highest, which has sold millions of copies and is written in several languages, is really a result of Oswald’s wife, Gertrude (who was called Biddy by friends), and their daughter, Kathleen. Though the impact of Oswald’s work during his life may have been limited (he lived only to 43), he is a world changer as he has impacted many believers with his writings. Continue reading