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The Work That Pleases God

“Use it or lose it” is a principle we can observe in our everyday life. An athlete continually practices to maintain a certain level of performance and grow better in his sport. A musician devotes time to practicing his instrument and learning the music in order to walk on stage and play a concert. Speaking […]

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Heeding God’s Warnings in Our Spiritual Life

“Ma,am, they won’t let you in with a purse that size,” the security officer said to me. My husband and I had just parked our vehicle and left the parking lot to walk to a stadium for a NFL pre-season football game when an officer stopped me to warn me about the size of my […]

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Stopping the Drift Into Spiritual Apathy

“Why are so many Christians finding it difficult to hold fast to their faith?” I looked up from the remote I was holding, my jaw agape. In the wake of a thunderstorm, our cable had gone out. When I tried to turn on “Paw Patrol” for my 3-year-old, I saw instead a blue screen. When […]

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Conquering Fear to Do the Will of God

As believers, we’re called to serve God and offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” for His glory (Romans 12:1). However, real obstacles threaten us in being faithful in living out His will for us. One of the major obstacles Christians face is fear. As I explained in a previous post, Matthew 14:28-32 gives us a good illustration of what […]

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The Best Thing to Do When We Face Trials

“Don’t turn away.” The pastor spoke these words while I stood at the altar. Though there were a few other people standing there with me, I knew these words were for me. I had been a Christian for as long as I could remember and had never questioned the existence of God or wanted to […]

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Serving God in the Midst of Our Trials

Have you ever said, “Not today, Lord. I am too stressed, tired, or worried to do anything for you today?” There have been days or seasons when I felt too pressured or sorrowful to want to serve God. Certainly, there are seasons where we need to grieve, and I am not advocating we ignore our […]

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A Reason To Rejoice in Our Trials

“They are not going to be able to deliver it until next week,” my husband said to me as he hung up the phone. Hearing my husband’s words, I sighed in frustration. The store had called him and left a message letting him know that our dishwasher delivery had been pushed back to the following […]

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The Knowledge That Will Make You a Better Mom

When my youngest daughter was born, we were relieved to discover she was such an easy, compliant child. We marveled over her sweet temperament. She played quietly with toys by herself. She gave sweet hugs to her brother and older sister when they were upset or cried. She went to bed without much fuss. Generally, […]

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What It Means to Train Our Children

“Put your shoes on,” I instructed my 2-year-old as I watched her rip off her shoes and toss them on the ground. I had taken my two youngest children to the playground to play while their sister was at her dance class, and my toddler had decided upon arrival that she didn’t need her shoes. […]

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Your High and Holy Calling as a Mom

When I was growing up, my family took a two-week camping trip along the Oregon coast, and we visited many scenic parks and landmarks — including several beautiful lighthouses. While these lighthouses were no longer functioning lighthouses, but had been turned into tourist destinations, I was enchanted by the idea of a lighthouse warning ships […]

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Why Your Work as a Stay-at-Home Mom Matters

When I left my teaching career to become a stay-at-home mom, I thought that I would stay at home for a short time and then jump back into working outside the home. I planned to find a part-time teaching or editing job and pursue the new direction in music God had called me to follow, […]

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Growing in Our God-Given Calling

Years ago, the phrase “No pain, no gain” gained popularity in the fitness industry. The meaning was that if you wanted to make progress, you were going to have to go through some personal hardship and physical pain. In doing some quick research into this phrase, I discovered that the phrase became popular after Jane Fonda used […]

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3 Lessons From Paul About Walking in Our God-Given Calling

We hear the word “calling” thrown around in both the church and the secular community, but what exactly does it mean to walk in our calling? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, calling is defined as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” I find it so […]

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Being Bold in Our God-Given Calling

“I don’t think she likes me,” I thought to myself as I surveyed the expression of a woman in my Bible study. Whether this dislike from the other woman was real or imagined, I found myself feeling conflicted about sharing during our discussion that day. I had a specific story that popped in my mind as […]

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A God Who Loves Us

God doesn’t love me. If He loved me, He wouldn’t let me go through this. How many times have we muttered a similar phrase or pulled back from God when our circumstances were disappointing, heartbreaking, or just plain hard? Rather than step aside and let us alone until we’re up to the task of spiritual […]

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How God Helps Us Overcome Obstacles

My kids love the animated movie Trolls, and they recently discovered the cartoon version on Netflix. In one episode, Branch, a major character, helps out another character learn how to win the affections of a lady. However, when said character puts his advice into practice around Poppy, Branch’s love interest, Branch begins to fight for […]

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How God Comforts and Nourishes Our Souls

Chicken Soup for the Soul has sold more than 100 million books in the United States and Canada and has been translated into more than 40 languages. After the first book was published 23 years ago, it was so successful that more were written. And now, there are over 250 titles in what has become […]

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Work That Truly Matters

The English poet John Keats had the following written on his tombstone: “My name was writ in water.” Some mystery surrounds these words, but his epitaph most likely indicates a concern that plagues us all: We want our work to matter, and we want to be remembered and leave a lasting mark. Though the world views […]

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How Trust in God Can Alleviate Anxiety

“I can do it myself!” my daughter announced as she raced ahead of me down the sidewalk. My heart did a little sideways flip-flop as I watched her neon shoes hit the pavement, causing her Lalaloopsy backpack to bounce against her narrow frame. It was the second day of kindergarten. At my oldest daughter’s pleading, I had allowed […]