Blog


Senior Adult, You Are Loved and Needed

By Tim Counts
June 09, 2021

In our world that so often prizes and idolizes youth, it can be hard to sense that “Gray hair is a crown of glory” (Prov. 16:31). As I’ve talked over the years with those who are retired and beyond, I’ve noticed that many think they’ve lost their pla...

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Contending for the Faith in a Confused Culture

By Justin Dillehay
June 02, 2021

We live in a time of great theological confusion. According to Ligonier Ministry’s latest State of Theology survey, 30 percent of professing evangelicals reject the deity of Christ, 46 percent believe people are good by nature, and 22 percent think gender identity...

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We're Hurt, and Healed, in Community

May 26, 2021
Many of my close friends who’ve left the church have suffered real disappointment and hurt at the hands of Christians. Some have suffered tragic spiritual abuse by ministry leaders. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve moved away from Christian community. I mour...

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To All Who Need Rest: How Jesus Welcomes the Weary

By Jon Bloom
May 19, 2021

  Life is hard. There is so much that makes us feel weary: our vocational labors, our parenting labors, our ministry labors, our relational conflicts, our sudden or lingering illnesses. Almost everything we do can at times exhaust us. But what makes us most weary aren&rsquo...

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The Danger of Being Driven by "Distant Drama"

By Trevin Wax
May 12, 2021

In a world with ever-present access to news and commentary, it’s no wonder we find it difficult to keep the Christian story front and center in our day-to-day lives. Our phones have become news devices, and the amount of time we spend online can make “the news” ...

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6 Daily Commitments to Make for a Good Marriage

By Paul David Tripp
May 05, 2021

Daily Commitments of a Reconciliation Lifestyle   You can have a marriage that is mutually satisfying while being honoring to God. You really can! Accepting who you are, resting in who God is, and living as he calls you to live will produce a harvest that is far better tha...

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God Hasn't Forgotten You

By Vaneetha Rendall Risner
April 28, 2021

  “God has not forgotten you.”  As I heard those words, I was flooded with emotion. I hadn’t realized how much I needed them. As tears streamed down my face, I understood how lonely and forgotten I had been feeling. I was in the darkest time of ...

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Will I Ever Change? Fresh Hope for the Spiritually Stuck

By Stephen Witmer
April 21, 2021

Years ago I got stranded with a few friends and strangers in the elevator of a tall building. We waited for help to arrive, chatting awkwardly and laughing nervously. I’m not claustrophobic and don’t remember feeling terror. But I definitely felt helpless. It was clea...

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Hope Means Resting

By Paul David Tripp
April 14, 2021

God’s Reigning   If someone asked you, “What is God doing right now?” what would you answer? I am afraid that many of us are confused when it comes to the present benefits and activity of Jesus. We get that we have been forgiven and we understand that we ...

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Anxious About Nothing: How the Promises of God Calm Our Fears

By Steven Lee
April 07, 2021

As the horrible scene unfolded before me, my worst nightmares threatening to become reality, I held my baby boy — born just seconds prior — and wondered silently what it would be like to raise three young children without their mother. Half-a-dozen doctors and nurses ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 60

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
April 03, 2021

 Day 60:  Read: Revelation 18-22

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 59

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
April 02, 2021

Day 59: This World Is Not Our Home Passages found in Revelation are some of the hardest to decipher in the Bible. A person could read and reread these passages several times and not understand what may be hidden within the symbology. I can hardly attempt to understand these s...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 58

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
April 01, 2021

Day 58: The One True King To me, this set of verses is a bit unsettling and hard to understand. The symbolism and weighty content can be intimidating for the everyday reader. Thankfully, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us understand things when we sometimes don&r...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 57

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 31, 2021

Day 57: Worship is Important to God In this reading, we see the actual letters Jesus dictates to each of the seven churches. Imagine an elder getting up on Sunday morning about 90 AD to say to the church, “Jesus, who has been dead 60 years, has just written us a letter ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 56

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 30, 2021

Day 56: Jesus Knew All About Stress I can’t imagine what Jesus must have been feeling leading up to His death. How could He bear it? How could he remain so patient with his disciples when they were still so clueless?  Something that amazes me about the events le...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 55

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 29, 2021

Day 55: Only One Thing is Needed The story of Mary and Martha has always made me cringe just a little. Mostly because I sympathize with Martha. She was working hard. She had every good intention in the world. For goodness sake, someone had to feed Jesus some dinner! But Jesus...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 54

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 28, 2021

Day 54: Don’t Put Your Faith in Anything Except Jesus, The Christ These five chapters continue John’s demonstration of the divinity of Jesus. Chapter 6 begins with two miracles of Jesus’ creative power and control over nature. He first takes five barley loav...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 53

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 27, 2021

Day 53: The Many Emotions of Jesus The Gospel of John begins in a different way from the other Gospels. It does not detail Christ’s birth, but instead we learn about Jesus being one with God and how He was with God since the beginning. Jesus became man and came to earth...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 52

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 26, 2021

Day 52: Our God Will Fight For Us “Tolerance” is a hot topic in today’s culture. Christians live in a constant tension between the Bible’s standards of morality and loving the lost. This tension jumps out in this short book of Jude. There are some pret...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 51

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 25, 2021

Day 51: You Can’t Do It Alone This letter reminds me of a father writing to his children. John gives encouragement, advice, and shows his love and admiration. And like a father might, he cuts the letter short as he decides to save the rest for the next time they are tog...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 50

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 24, 2021

Day 50: Choose Love The repeated phrase, “love one another” throughout the Bible, let alone in 2 John, might seem almost overstated, but I’m thankful God spoke through people like John for gentle, yet pointed reminders to in fact, yes, love one another! Find...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 49

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 23, 2021

Day 49: Living in the Light A lot of people think that if you are a Christian you must be completely without sin. We tend to keep score with ourselves, and even with others, and add a checkmark for each sin we commit. What I love about 1 John is that he seems to make the case...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 48

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 22, 2021

Day 48: Interested in Having Less Negative Consequences in Your Life? The book of Second Peter is a reminder to me that there are absolutes in this life, some are absolutely good and some are absolutely bad. This is Peter’s second letter to these churches reminding them...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 47

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 21, 2021

Day 47: Take a break. Use this day to reflect on what God is revealing to you through your time in His word.

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 46

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 20, 2021

Day 46: Our Room is Being Prepared in Heaven The book of 1 Peter is a passage of instruction and hope. Reading this passage is sort of a slap in the face to me. Peter speaks about obedience to God and faithful living. As I survey the two and a half years I have spent at Oklah...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 45

By OC's 60-Day New Testament
March 19, 2021

Day 45: James: Consistently Practical Christianity The Bible’s book of James addresses how first-century Christians were to live—and how succeeding Christians should live—amid anti-Christian cultures. Certainly, Christians who first received James’ cor...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 44

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 18, 2021

Day 44: Christ is Coming and Will Not Delay When I read through Hebrews chapters 10-13 I view it as a helpful guideline on how a holy, God-centered life should be lived. Each chapter offers different advice on how to live in order to honor our Creator.  Starting out w...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 43

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 17, 2021

Day 43: Now is the Time for Change I like to think of myself as a person who likes change. Of course, the kind of changes that I like are things that do not inconvenience me at all and are completely on my terms – like changing the throw pillows on my couch or picking a...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 42

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 16, 2021

Day 42: I Want To Rest If we were to poll all of the people whose hearts have become hardened, how many of them do you suppose would already be aware of that condition in themselves? My suspicion is not many. How does this happen, that the very people of God begin to ignore H...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 41

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 15, 2021

Day 41: Endless Grace I am beyond blessed by God’s endless grace. Paul’s letter to Philemon is a more intimate letter than the typical epistles Paul wrote to churches. In vs. 6 Paul says, “ I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 40

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 14, 2021

Day 40: God Always Offers a Way Out In the few short verses of Titus, the author provides us with one of the two major passages in the New Testament about the qualifications of elders. Since this passage has been taught over and over—especially when a church decides to ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 39

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 13, 2021

Day 39: The Gift of Mentorship 2 Timothy is a letter written from mentor to mentee. It’s a letter from Paul to Timothy, and when I read it, I can picture the faces of my mentors who have raised me up and offered both advice and straightforward discipline to me in both t...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 38

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 12, 2021

Day 38: Prayer and Character The book of 1st Timothy is rich and multi-layered, but the verses that really speak to me at the moment are tied to prayer and character. In 1 Timothy 2:2, Paul encourages Timothy to pray for kings and all those in authority in order to live a pea...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 37

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 11, 2021

Day 37: Stand Firm and Hold Fast It is possible for the reader of 2nd Thessalonians to come to some epic eschatological conclusions. Chapter 2:1-12 sounds like the premise of Hollywood’s next billion-dollar flop. It describes destruction, a “Man of Lawlessness,&rd...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 36

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 10, 2021

Day 36: Sometimes You Have To Encourage Yourself In Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica, he seems to be very focused on one centralized theme - encouragement. In the first few chapters of the book, Paul discusses how he, Silas, and Timothy came into contac...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 35

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 09, 2021

Day 35: You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear; However, You Can Always Believe the Bible. If I were to list my top 5 favorite books of the New Testament, Colossians would definitely be one of them. I LOVE it! One of my favorite things about it is how direct and up front...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 34

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 08, 2021

Day 34: Paul: A Proud Father My wife’s father passed away almost 20 years ago and since then there have been so many times when we have remembered how much joy he took in every good choice we made and in every success we enjoyed. We often remember him and know that he w...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 33

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 07, 2021

Day 33: Ten Truths To Live By The book of Ephesians is, in all honesty, a quite remarkable book. This letter was written to Roman civilization, yet has a profound amount of truths, which apply to us today. While other letters written by Paul deal with specific problems or add...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 32

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 06, 2021

Day 32: Jesus Wants Our Hearts It’s easy to let rules and laws take over our lives. We often want to be sure we’re doing exactly the right thing all the time, especially when it comes to our faith. We ask: Am I serving enough? Am I worshiping the right way? Am I d...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 31

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament
March 05, 2021

Day 31: His Grace is Enough The reason I love Paul so much is because the man made some pretty huge mistakes in his life and never once used them as an excuse not to lead. And he didn’t just struggle before his miraculous conversion. He battled with sin and Satan for hi...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 30

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
March 04, 2021

Take a break. Use this day to reflect on what God is revealing to you through your time in His word.

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 29

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
March 03, 2021

Day 29: Saved By Grace In 1 Corinthians, we are given a picture of the church in Corinth. The Corinthian church at the time of Paul’s first letter was involved in so many different types of vile sin. Paul’s first letter clearly brought many of the Corinthians to t...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 28

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
March 02, 2021

Day 28: God Gives the Ultimate Comfort These 5 chapters have come to mean a great deal to me over the past year. In the spring my wife and I found out that our unborn son had Down Syndrome. For any parent, an unexpected diagnosis can be a faith-rocking event. The wind was tak...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 27

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
March 01, 2021

Day 27: I’m Significant I love how these passages talk about the different kinds of gifts the Lord gives us and how each of them is important. There is no reason for me to wish to be anyone other than who I am, because God created me for a reason. We were all created fo...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 26

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 28, 2021

Day 26: How Does Love Act? I have heard it said that freedom is not the right to do whatever we want, but the opportunity to do what’s right.  I have a tendency to avoid tough passages that don’t apply directly to my everyday life but, rather, I choose to ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 25

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 27, 2021

Day 25: Do My Actions Reflect the Spirit Living in Me? As a speaker, sometimes you put pressure on yourself by spending time trying to figure out the perfect thing to say that will convince somebody to let Christ into his or her heart. Even those of us who aren’t speake...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 24

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 26, 2021

Day 23:  The Cost of Discipleship If you need a reminder of what Jesus Christ has done for you and examples of how believers have responded to Christ’s love, try chapters 21-24 of Luke. What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ? Luke starts chapter 21 as some of...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 23

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 25, 2021

Day 23: How to Pray Like a Tax-Collector In the time of Jesus, a servant had no rights as a citizen. They worked and worked with no expectation of praise or recognition. Jesus is our Lord, Master, and Savior. He has called us to follow and serve him. Of course the incredible ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 22

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 24, 2021

Day 22: God Loves the Lost There are a number of “big” stories and parables in these chapters that are some of the most well known in the gospels. But for me, it is a few of the little things (that are easy to slip right past) that really inspire me in this sectio...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 21

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 23, 2021

Day 21:  Teaching and Miracles Luke 5-10 can be divided into two major parts: Jesus’s teaching and Jesus’s miracles. Jesus teaches in a way that isn’t too earth shattering, but it was shattering for that time. The religious leaders of the time had go...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 20

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 22, 2021

Day 20: This Changes Everything In Luke 1, the image of (embryo) John the Baptist leaping at the presence of the unborn Jesus stands out as a beautiful image for the new world order that comes with Jesus. John comes from a priestly line, and even in the womb fulfills the prie...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 19

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 21, 2021

Day 19: Our Spiritual Act of Worship Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Paul makes it abundantly clear: God is faithful. Throughout the book of Romans, Paul has affirmed that we are all in the same boat. No one can claim dibs on any special favors from God because of whom we are or ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 18

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 20, 2021

Day 18: Breaking The Chains Sin is a complicated struggle. Paul describes the relationship we have with sin as slavery. We must break free from the incarceration of sin and openly become slaves to Christ. I understand this imagery; it’s simple enough to grasp. And yet, ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 17

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 19, 2021

Day 17: There’s Good News and Bad News The bad news is the entire human race stands condemned as sinners deserving God's wrath and punishment. And guess what? It doesn't matter if you are a religious law keeper or a God curser--we have ALL sinned. And because God is mor...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 16

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 18, 2021

Day 16: Why We Live I love chapters 12-13 because they shed light on Jesus’ role as a teacher. The chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders asked Jesus questions and challenged his credibility. Yet, each time, Jesus graciously and patiently answered their question...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 15

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 17, 2021

Take a break. Use this day to reflect on what God is revealing to you through your time in His word. To access full Bible.com content, click HERE.

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 14

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 16, 2021

Day 14: Mark, The Master Story Teller Mark’s Gospel is narrative, it is story. Describing the Gospel as “story” does not imply that it is fiction; it does, however, require us to pay attention to its literary features, its structure, images, characters, and ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 13

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 15, 2021

Day 13: Who Gathers At Your Door? In Mark 1-5, Jesus has just begun his ministry; he is teaching, he is preaching, and he is healing. In chapter 1, we read that Jesus just had a long day of ministry. He taught in the synagogue, drove out an evil spirit, and then healed Simon'...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 12

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 14, 2021

Day 12: Trust Him on Your Journey Paul was radical. Crazy, even. "...content whatever the circumstance" (remember that extreme statement Paul writes in Philippians 4:11?). Really, Paul? Content "whatever" the circumstances? What about laying your soul bare before a Governor a...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 11

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 13, 2021

Day 11:  There is No Legalism When We are Free in Christ Acts is an incredible book that allows readers, centuries later, an inside look at Paul's life and the early church. It's a book of history and a continuation of the beauty that is found in the gospel. In chapters ...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 10

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 12, 2021

Day 10: Paul’s Missionary Journey: The Spirit Runs the Show The power of the Holy Spirit is made so clear in passages like Acts 16-20. It’s, like, alive and active and can’t be denied. At times I read passages like these, where the Holy Spirit is changing li...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 9

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 11, 2021

Day 9: Christian Is a Way of Life As we look back we remember Jesus’ final command to his disciples was to “Go” into the entire world teaching them about Jesus and his Gospel. Up to this point in Acts, the gospel message is primarily a Jewish movement. Howev...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 8

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 10, 2021

Day 8: No Regrets Paul, formerly known as Saul, may be the second most influential person in the entire New Testament. Without him, we would be missing 13 of the 27 New Testament books.  In this passage, Saul is miraculously converted. When a light from heaven strikes...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 7

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 09, 2021

Day 7: How to Live in Real Community The beginnings of Acts are beautiful chapters filled with truths about what following Christ and clinging to community should truly look like. You see, after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit. With t...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 6

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 08, 2021

Day 6: Do You Love “The Least of These?” Matthew 25 contains three familiar word pictures concerning the final judgment: The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), and the parable of the "sheep and the goats" (...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 5

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 07, 2021

Day 5: God’s Love is Unconditional Ironically enough, after reading Matthew 20-24, the first and last paragraphs stood out to me the most. The first paragraph is about the parable of workers in the vineyard. The landowner goes and finds workers and regardless of how man...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 4

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 06, 2021

Day 4: Take a Chance on Jesus  “Who is this man?” Right after Jesus explains that the secret to the Kingdom of God is found in small hidden ways, his disciples, and for that matter the readers of this gospel, are confronted that question. And this question be...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 3

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 05, 2021

Day 3: God's Kingdom - A Real Home  These are chapters of encouragement for me. First, God wants me to trust his way even when my natural instinct pushes me in the other direction. "Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life (because of Jesus) will find...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 2

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 04, 2021

Day 2: Jesus Sets Us Up For Success When I read the Sermon on the Mount, it just makes me so thankful that we have a God who is so thoughtful. In chapter 5, He told us, "Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of t...

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How to Go Deep Into Bible Study Without Getting Lost

By Ryan Martin
February 03, 2021

  Bible professors, local church pastors, and faithful church members all share a common desire to better understand Scripture. We want depth in our Bible studies and prefer sermon series that walk through the Bible verse-by-verse. We believe God’s Word is full of tru...

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The 60-Day NT Challenge: Day 1

By OC'S 60-Day New Testament Challenge
February 03, 2021

Day 1: Jesus Knows Where You’ve Been and He Wants to Help You Get to Where You’re Going Matthew is a book about the life of Jesus. For some, Jesus may seem like a person that you can’t relate to at all. He lived forever ago, He never screwed up His life like...

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How to Find Joy Amid Tension With Other Believers

By Trevin Wax
January 27, 2021

The church is the family of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. And, like many families, sometimes we get along great, and sometimes… not so much. Many pastors today are concerned about rising tensions among church members with various cultural concerns, political...

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We Are Family: John Condit and Paul Wilson

By John Condit and Paul Wilson
January 20, 2021

  Want to know what it looks like when church is family? Take a minute to read from John Condit and Paul Wilson about their friendship and brotherhood. From John: "I met Paul Wilson in January of 2000, one of the first Sundays we attended Cibolo Creek Community Church. Wi...

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We Are Family: Rick Scheel and Tom Patterson

By Rick Scheel and Tom Patterson
January 13, 2021

   Want to hear a true story about what it looks like when church is family? Take a minute to read about the brotherhood of Rick Scheel and Tom Patterson.  From Rick: "My friendship with Tom Patterson started around eight years ago. I was new to Cibolocreek and ...

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Not Greener Grass, But Sturdy Hope for 2021

By Clarissa Moll
January 06, 2021

  Last New Year’s Eve, my four children and I huddled around our annual Christmas tree bonfire on a cold New England night. As sparks flew into the dark sky, I breathed a deep sigh; our horrible year was coming to a close. 2019 had brought my husband’s sudden, u...

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3 Reasons Why Jesus is Our Only Hope

By Paul David Tripp
December 23, 2020

The Way, the Truth, and the Life was in the manger, causing angels to rejoice, Mary to wonder, shepherds to worship, and us to have hope. Hope Is a Person The Christmas story clearly shows that the hope of the universe is a person. Hope was what the angels sang about. Hope lay ...

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What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas

By Nancy Guthrie
December 16, 2020

“Happy Thanksgiving!” “Merry Christmas!” “Happy New Year!” As the end of the year approaches, everywhere we turn someone is telling us we should be happy. But for those who’ve recently lost someone they love, the holidays can seem more l...

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The Name God Gave His Son: 3 Reasons We Call Him 'Jesus'

By David Mathis
December 09, 2020

What if the weight fell to you to name the Christ child at his birth? Not only would the boy’s name precede him, and stay with him, wherever he went in life, and follow him all his days, and long after, but this child, of all children, as the angel said to Mary, would be th...

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Advent in a Global Pandemic

By David Mathis
December 02, 2020

These have been dark days in 2020, even in the light of spring and summer. Those spared great personal suffering and pain haven’t lived under such ominous clouds since the aftermath of 9/11. And the anxieties of a slow-moving pandemic, in a highly contentious election year,...

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What Quarantine Rhythms Should Families Make Permanent?

By Will Anderson
November 25, 2020

At some point in 2021—depending on the coronavirus situation—parents will transition their families from quarantine back into more regular routines (Lord willing). It’s an attractive prospect, given the limitations and frustrations that sequestered life has crea...

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Follow Me

By Wyatt Marchant
November 18, 2020

“Follow me.” Whether you’re a regular churchgoer, avid reader of the Bible, or have little interest in Christianity, I am sure that you have heard this line before, perhaps ad nauseam. This is for good reason. This is the invitation that Jesus extended to His ...

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Don't Put Your Hope in Princes

By Julie Simpson
November 11, 2020

Election day has come and gone. We’ve gotten some results, whether you think they’re legitimate or not, about who will most likely be our next president. Some of us are disappointed, frustrated, or afraid, while others are hopeful about the next 4-8 years.  Ev...

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3 Causes for Political Tension Between Christians

By Jonathan Leeman and Andy Naselli
November 04, 2020

Heart-Affecting Disagreements   What are some disagreements that affect your heart’s posture or that hinder fellowship with another person in your church? Maybe you feel scorn. Maybe you are angry that they support a cause that you are convinced is unjust. You might ...

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How to Master the Art of Disagreement - in the Church and on Social Media

By Bobby Jamieson
October 28, 2020

Let’s say you’re in a conversation with fellow church member about an issue you disagree over. How environmental ethics play into what foods you choose to eat. How a president’s ability to nominate Supreme Court justices factors into your vote. How you’re ...

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There's More to the Person Behind the Profile Pic

By Trevin Wax
October 21, 2020

Scrolling through social media brings endless surprises, many of them unwelcome. Maybe you’ve experienced this: you come across a post from an acquaintance at church or a distant family member, and the person’s opinion is either uninformed or inflammatory, and their ...

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Kill Whatever Kills Your Love for God

By Garrett Kell
October 14, 2020

A tragic headline surfaces in the news every so often. It reads something like “Unsuspecting Owner Killed by Pet Anaconda.” The story goes on to describe how a naive owner purchased a pet snake. Everything is fine until the snake escapes, slithers into the owner&rsquo...

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Stop! Think Twice Before Switching Churches in 2020

By Ivan Mesa
October 07, 2020

The one thing we didn’t need at the beginning of the year was more time online and less time in church, but that’s exactly what has happened. And it hasn’t helped. Over the past few months, I’ve heard from pastors across the United States, from Ugand...

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6 Ways Christians Can Be Wiser in Political Engagement

By Case Thorp and Dave Strunk
September 30, 2020

Christians can and should pursue wisdom and political engagement concurrently. But in this deeply polarized, reactive political climate, is it possible? We think so. It’s important believers don’t simply mirror a broken world when engaging politics. Here are six idea...

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Alone Against the Mob: Crowds, Cancel Culture, and Courage

By Greg Morse
September 23, 2020

Possessing the power to make the timid brave, the good better, or the bad devastating: crowds. When passions are shared, they swell, exciting actions to the status of legend or infamy. The power of assembly can build a better society or destroy it. We have already witnessed (and...

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Are Christians More Confident in Politics Than in Christ?

By Eugene Park
September 16, 2020

Just as the pandemic has exacerbated the problem of Christians being more shaped by online pundits than in-the-flesh pastors, it has also intensified political tribalism. With few places to converse other than our online communities, the levels of vitriol and contempt have r...

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What Do My Entertainment Habits Reveal About My Soul?

By John Piper
September 09, 2020

The following is taken from an interview with Pastor John Piper: Today’s question is about quarantine habits. We’ve all had a lot of time at home this year. And this is a searching question from a young woman who wants to know what her quarantine entertainment habits...

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The Quiet Power of Ordinary Devotions

By Scott Hubbard
September 02, 2020

As Christians, we are not interested in merely reading our Bibles. We want to be moved, inspired, changed by what we read. We do not wake up early simply to pass our eyes over the pages of Scripture. We come to meet God (1 Samuel 3:21). We come to taste honey and gather gold (Psa...

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Suffering and Hope in the Time of COVID-19

By Mark Talbot
August 26, 2020

Where Is God in Suffering?   Suffering usually ambushes us. Things seem fine, and suddenly we get a bad case of the flu, we're thrown into grief over the loss of a loved one, or we start a series of painful treatments for cancer. This coronavirus pandemic and the anxiety ...

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The Back-to-School Supplies Parents Need

By Jen Pollock Michel
August 19, 2020

In the pandemic journal I’ve been keeping, it’s easy to trace the waves I’ve been riding: waves of optimism and loneliness, waves of resolution and resignation. Uncertainty is universal, especially as students look to the new academic year. To stare past Se...

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Jerks for Jesus?

By Jared C. Wilson
August 12, 2020

Why the Temple Cleansing (Etc.) Isn’t Your Permission to Always Be Fighting It’s becoming a common trope on social media — certain figures who spend an inordinate amount of time arguing, picking fights, insulting other Christians or mocking them with scathing...

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Make Your School Decision. Then Trust God.

By Glenna Marshall
August 05, 2020

I never thought I’d add “face masks” to our school supply list. I never thought I’d have to decide if it’s safe to send my kids to school. I never thought I’d have to consider teaching seventh-grade math or learning how to conduct therapy techn...

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How to Pray When You're Feeling Anxious or Depressed

By David Murray
July 29, 2020

Five Helpful Words   Prayer is hard at the best of times, but it’s hardest during anxious or depressed times. During such seasons, most of us find it hard to concentrate, we feel God is far away, and we despair of God hearing or helping us. All of this makes prayer s...

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Don't Quit the Everyday Work of Marriage

By Paul David Tripp
July 22, 2020

Here at CIBOLOCREEK, we are aware that current events have had a negative impact on many marriage relationships. We hope this blog post, and perhaps the book from which it is excerpted, might offer a starting place for some improvements in your marriage.    Couples Ca...

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How to Root Out Apathy With the Power of Habit

By Glenna Marshall
July 15, 2020

Legalism or Laziness   For every article or book you read praising the practice of spiritual disciplines, you’ll find another decrying a regimented spiritual life for fear of legalism. It’s true that legalism—thinking we can attain a righteous standing be...

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Is God Judging the World? How the Book of Revelation Explains Our Crises

By Ben C. Dunson
July 08, 2020

Is this the end? Our world is in turmoil. Civic unrest is occurring across the world. We are still facing a pandemic that is frightening as much for what we don’t know about it as what we do. The world economy is shattered. Visions of apocalypse dance in our heads...

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4 Ways Not to Be a Jerk Online

By Matt Smethurst
July 01, 2020

The internet can be exhausting. And that’s on the good days. The pull of our screens—and the interactions they mediate—is often more spiritually taxing than we realize or care to admit. I have yet to hear someone return from a digital fast and say, “Wow, ...

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Multi-Directional Leadership and Racial Reconciliation

By Trevin Wax
June 24, 2020

One of the remarkable aspects of our current cultural moment is the consensus that has developed regarding the need for reform in our criminal justice system and in better police training. From the First Step Act that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last yea...

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If Father’s Day Is Hard for You, You’re Not Alone

By Christi Donaldson / Life.Church
June 17, 2020

  While others are celebrating what a great dad they have, you may be feeling lonely, hurt, or resentment for the relationship you have—or don’t have—with your father. Your father may no longer be around, or maybe you have never had a father in your life. ...

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A Prayer for Racial Reconciliation

By Mark Vroegop
June 10, 2020

How Do We Make Progress?   I think most believers agree that biblical unity is something to pray for and work toward. You probably know that reconciliation between a diverse group of people is a beautiful dream. But is the church marked by a compelling ethnic unity today? ...

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Help For Thinking Wisely About Healthcare

By Bob Cutillo
June 03, 2020

Health Care Can’t Save You   When I think about how healthcare is perceived wrongly, it’s not so much that we pursue health as if healthcare is not good. It is good. We think wrongly when we think it’s too good. If we put all of our h...

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L(amen)ting With Hope

By Matt Boga
May 27, 2020

The church where I pastor has now gone more than two months without seeing each other in-person for a worship service. The indefinite nature of the COVID-19 quarantine seems to be pressing people into a place of unique misery. Whatever novelty there was for video Bible studies, Z...

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You Cannot Keep Your Life

By Tim Keesee
May 20, 2020

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because . . . it is the quality which guarantees all others. —Winston Churchill A few weeks after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, I was in Washington for meetings at the Capitol. At the end of the day, I ...

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Big Thanks for Little Things

By Trevin Wax
May 13, 2020

Every now and then, I am overcome with gratitude for little things that bring a rush of happiness that far surpasses their cost. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, I’ve been on grocery duty. Every Saturday morning, armed with a face mask, an ink pen, and a list of items that ...

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What Is True Worship?

By Bob Kauflin
May 06, 2020

A Deficient View of Worship   It’s a sweltering, dusty day somewhere in the Middle East, and Jesus is thirsty. He sits down at a well to wait for a woman from Samaria he’s never met. Give me a drink. It’s a simple request. But those four words cross rel...

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Our Idols Are Exposed in Times of Crisis

By Eugene Park
April 29, 2020

As COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill, we have seen both the beautiful and also ugly sides of humanity. Stories of sacrifice leave us inspired, like a priest giving up his ventilator for younger patients at the cost of his own life. Others expose the uglier ...

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Uncertainty is Certain: Trusting God for Every Tomorrow

By Marco Silva
April 22, 2020

As the sun brightens with every new dawn, our view of what the day will bring can dim. We often cannot see what the coming hours hold for us. Sure, we can fill our calendar down to every quarter hour, and our own intuition may sneak glimpses of what lies ahead. But when we strain...

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Don't Waste Your Ruined Plans

By Gaye Clark
April 15, 2020

Three days before the Apollo 13 made its tortuous trip into space, NASA astronaut Ken Mattingly learned he’d been scrapped from the team. “I’m driving up the road, turning the radio on and heard . . . NASA announce that they have substituted Jack Swigert for me...

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The Easter Experience - Day 6

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 11, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 6   Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.  Your browser does not support iframes. Read...

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The Easter Experience - Day 5

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 10, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 5   Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.  Your browser does not support iframes. Read...

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The Easter Experience - Day 4

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 09, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 4   Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.  Your browser does not support iframes. Re...

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The Easter Experience - Day 3

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 08, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 3 Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.  Your browser does not support iframes. Readings: ...

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The Easter Experience - Day 2

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 07, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 2 Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.  Your browser does not support iframes. Readings:&...

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The Easter Experience - Day 1

By https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3948-the-easte
April 06, 2020

The Easter Experience - Day 1   Let's experience Easter together as a church family. Watch the video and prayerfully read the scriptures and let the power of God move you to see that Easter changes everything.    Your browser does not support iframes. &n...

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The Easter Experience - Preview

April 05, 2020
Starting to tomorrow! We would love for you to join us as we all take time out of our day to read The Easter Experience together. Each day will have a special video message from our Senior Pastor, Paul Wilson along with a tailored reading that will leave you thinking Easter...

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Plan for Death: A Cancer Survivor's Perspective on the Corona Crisis

By Jim Risk
April 01, 2020

Except for official business of essential personnel and your trips to the gas station and grocery stores, can you believe our elected officials are shutting down entire States to limit social interactions and prevent the spread of the Corona Virus?  While I believe such acti...

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The Coronavirus and the Pony

By Paul D. Miller
March 25, 2020

There’s something antiquated about our enforced #coronacation. Like peasants in the 14th century warding off the plague-ridden and the unclean, we have abandoned human contact. Handshakes are out; elbow bumps are in. Our cities are empty, our marketplaces abandoned, ou...

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Social Distancing, Up Close

By Matt Snellings
March 18, 2020

So here we are. At least, there you are and here I am. Due to COVID19 we are all washing our hands furiously and resorting to the fist bump or worst…the elbow bump. I don’t know, maybe the air high five is worst. It doesn’t matter. The fact remains, we have bee...

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'I Shall Not Be Shaken': How God Removes Our Greatest Fears

By David Mathis
March 11, 2020

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 Real confidence is in rare supply. Playing it cool is one thing. It’s easy to straighten your shoulders, arch your back, stick o...

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Christian Hope Changes Everything

By Jen Oshman
March 04, 2020

  We Have Every Spiritual Blessing   We who are rooted in Christ also have every spiritual blessing in him in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). We need not fear because we already have every blessing. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that before the world was e...

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King Jehoshaphat and the Coronavirus

By Jason Seville
February 26, 2020

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  As I sit in my apartment in coronavirus-laden China, I’m hard pressed to think of a better prayer than that one, uttered by a desperate but confident Judean king named Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:12). Th...

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4 Things to Pray Before Opening Your Bible

By Marr Smethurst
February 19, 2020

I might as well begin with an ironic confession: I tend to ignore articles on prayer. Which means if you click away from this one, I’m in no position to blame you. If anything, I get the feeling. What’s left to be said about the topic? The importance of prayer i...

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Seven Ways to Sabotage Your Prayer Life

By Greg Morse
February 12, 2020

Unanswered prayer will test our faith. Weeks, or months, even years, of waiting on some particular request can tempt us to despair. Jesus, our compassionate Lord, knew this and told a parable to encourage us to endure in prayer and not lose heart (Luke 18:1–8). All of us ne...

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The High Stakes of How Christians Approach Power

By Brett McCracken, Scott Sauls, Jamin Goggin
February 05, 2020

Power is one of the most pressing issues facing the evangelical church at the beginning of this new decade. How do we steward it in Christlike ways? How are we tempted to adopt the world’s (usually corrupting) approach to it? How can we avoid the many ways power and platfor...

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Why We're Upset When a Celebrity Dies

By Julie Simpson
January 29, 2020

On the morning of Sunday, January 26, a helicopter carrying NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and 8 other people crashed into the side of a hill, killing all aboard. Social media and all news outlets instantly flooded with expressions of grief and shock over the unt...

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As You Start That Diet: 3 Truths About Body Image

By Kendra Dahl
January 22, 2020

Goals related to health, fitness, and weight loss top New Year’s resolutions year after year. There’s something about the first week of January that convinces us: This’ll be the year I’ll fit back into my college jeans. Sales on gym mem...

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What's Your Primary Story?

By Trevin Wax
January 15, 2020

Every new year we’re reminded of the importance of disciplines, habits, and resolutions. We resolve to do this or that­—more exercising, less eating, more Bible study, less Twitter. When we step into a new calendar year, we take stock of the past and look to the futur...

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You Are Set Free From Self-Improvement

By Lydia Brownback
January 08, 2020

Christ’s Power in Us   When our goals begin and end with ourselves, frustration and discouragement are sure to set in, and we’re likely to wind up looking for relief in some other way—a new method or program or book or teaching through which the Lord migh...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 25

December 25, 2019
Devotional: Day 25   Christmas has arrived—the day we celebrate the advent of our Savior Jesus Christ. Reflect on how this reading plan has helped you experience the Christmas season differently. Make a point to help friends or family members download the Bible App t...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 24

December 24, 2019
Devotional: Day 24   So Loved Exposure: Christmas Eve is the last day of Advent. One verse sums it up the best. Read John 3:16. Make a really huge poster or sign of it like you see at sports events or stadiums and post it outside your home. Exploration: Do you feel s...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 23

December 23, 2019
Devotional: Day 23   He's Coming Exposure: Read some parables Jesus told about when He would return. Exploration: What do you think is the main point of the chapter? You've done a lot to get ready for Christmas. What can you do to be ready for the Second Advent? E...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 22

December 22, 2019
Devotional: Day 22   Joy Exposure: Read the passage from Psalms. Get a group together and go Christmas caroling. If you don't know all the words, print out copies of the lyrics before you go out. You can go through your neighborhood or revisit one of the people you've m...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 21

December 21, 2019
Devotional: Day 21   The Greatest Story Ever Told Exposure: Christmas is getting closer! It will be easy to lose focus on Him as the season gets busier. Read the last verse of the Gospel of John. Gather some friends or family and watch the 1965 movie classic The Greates...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 20

December 20, 2019
Devotional: Day 20   The Word Exposure: Read the first chapter of the Apostle John's account of Jesus' life. If you made an Advent wreath spend some time just reflecting and looking at the candlelight. Exploration: This chapter is known for being written in almost a ...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 19

December 19, 2019
Devotional: Day 19   Pray Exposure: Read the passage about Jesus teaching His followers how to pray. Use the Lord's Prayer as a pattern to write down a prayer that has some of those same ideas in it. Exploration: What parts of Jesus' prayer pattern do you often leave...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 18

December 18, 2019
Devotional: Day 18   Fast Exposure: Read the passage about fasting. Christmas is generally a time of feasting. Take at least a day to fast from something. Exploration: Why do you think Jesus asked us to fast? What kind of fasting does Isaiah say the Lord requires? ...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 17

December 17, 2019
Devotional: Day 17   Adopt a Family Exposure: Read the passage about how we have been adopted as children of God through Christ. Many people adopt a family to help during Christmas. Find someone who needs a family this Christmas and make plans to be that family for them...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 16

December 16, 2019
Devotional: Day 16   The Nativity Exposure: Read about the kings who came to worship Jesus. Look at the pieces of a nativity set and consider the features the artist used to show that the scene is centered on Christ. Exploration: What do you think it would have been ...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 15

December 15, 2019
Devotional: Day 15   Impossible Exposure: Read the passage about the arrival of an improbable baby and an impossible baby. God is setting the stage in this dramatic way for the advent of Jesus Christ—who would be characterized by doing the impossible. Explorati...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 14

December 14, 2019
Devotional: Day 14   Christmas Cards Exposure: Read the passage about an encouraging letter. Most of the New Testament is made up of letters. Buy or make a Christmas card for someone who has really been a blessing to you this year. Spend some additional time expressing ...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 13

December 13, 2019
Devotional: Day 13   Concert Exposure: Read the passage. Make arrangements to go watch a Christmas concert or play. Go outside your normal circles and attend one at a church you've never visited or in a part of town you don't often drive through. Exploration: What pa...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 12

December 12, 2019
Devotional: Day 12   True Love Exposure: Read the warning against turning from your first love. Look up the lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Find at least one other person to sing it with you. Exploration: Who is your first love? Think back to how your feeling...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 11

December 11, 2019
Devotional: Day 11   Snow Exposure: Read the account of creation from Genesis. Create a snowman. Use real snow if you have it, or find a creative way to make a snowman. You can use cotton balls, wadded up paper, or just draw one. Exploration: How is shaping a snowman...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 10

December 10, 2019
Devotional: Day 10   Immanuel Exposure: Read the passages about Immanuel. Make a sign that reminds you that God is with you and hang it up somewhere that you see often. Exploration: Immanuel means "God with us." How is Jesus still "God with us" even now that He's not...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 9

December 09, 2019
Devotional: Day 9   His Names Exposure: Read the passages about Jesus' first coming and His second coming. Listen to the "Hallelujah Chorus" or "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" from Handel's "Messiah"—both are easy to find online. Exploration: Notice how prominent...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 8

December 08, 2019
Devotional: Day 8   The Least of These Exposure: Read Jesus' teachings about the final judgment. Think of someone you know of that probably falls into the category of "the least of these." You may have to think outside your normal circles. Invite them to a meal with you...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 7

December 07, 2019
Devotional: Day 7   Decorations Exposure: Read God's detailed instructions for the decoration of the Tabernacle. Go though your home and examine the Christmas decorations you have. If you haven't decorated, take this time to decorate to celebrate this important season. ...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 6

December 06, 2019
Devotional: Day 6   The Gift Exposure: Read these verses about giving. Go Christmas shopping for someone that is not a part of your immediate family like a patient in a nursing home or hospital, your mail carrier, your garbage collector, or a foster child. Exploratio...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 5

December 05, 2019
Devotional: Day 5   Lights Exposure: Read these passages about Jesus being the light. Research the beginnings of the tradition of Christmas lights. Drive around town with a group of friends or family and look at the different expressions of lights. Exploration: How i...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 4

December 04, 2019
Devotional: Day 4   Servant of All Exposure: Read Jesus' remarks to His disciples about being a servant. In the next 24 hours, live this out by serving someone. Especially think of a way you welcome a little child in Jesus' name. Exploration: Why do you think Jesus t...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 3

December 03, 2019
Devotional: Day 3   Terrified Exposure: Read the account of the shepherds who became witnesses to Jesus' arrival. Exploration: Wonderful and terrifying at the same time! What do you think was going through the shepherd's minds when the angels appeared? Expression:...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 2

December 02, 2019
Devotional: Day 2   The Announcement Exposure: Read the opening chapter of the New Testament—the account of Joseph, the earthly father God chose for His Son. Exploration: Consider how the weight of generations of expectations affected Joseph's ability to step i...

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Rediscovering the Christmas Season: Day 1

December 01, 2019
Devotional: Day 1 A Preface to This Adventure What Is Advent? Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning arrival or coming. The Hebrews looked forward to the coming of a Savior or Messiah—the First Advent. Now, we are waiting expectantly for His return to sweep H...

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How to Pray for Unbelieving Family Members

By William Philip
November 27, 2019

God Cares for Us   One of the greatest concerns—and heartaches—for many Christians is with the members of their families who have not come to faith in Christ, or who perhaps have abandoned the faith they grew up with. Many, many of us are burdened in our prayer...

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8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable

By Brett McCracken
November 20, 2019

In many parts of the world today, it can be easy to live a comfortable life as a Christian. Certainly where I live—in Orange County, California—this is the case. But is that a good thing? I’d like to suggest that the Christian faith is inherently ...

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Creating Space to Say Yes

By Ryan Richey
November 13, 2019

My wife and I attended the Stronger Together Marriage conference this past weekend. Many things stood out to me throughout the two-day event, but God definitely showed me something else beyond just learning about my strengths in marriage. Specifically, He told me something about ...

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Steps for Lonely Christians

By Julie Simpson
November 06, 2019

During our weekly LifeGroup meeting Sunday night, one of our members broke down in tears. She admitted that the "I Got Your Six" sermon series had recently made her depressed, because a series on deep friendships brought into stark contrast her own lack of close friendships. Seve...

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Building Loving Relationships Among Church Family

By Marci Ferrell
October 30, 2019

Our lives as Christians in this fallen world are a battle (Eph. 6:10–20). The devil doesn't want to see our churches thrive with loving relationships that are filled with godliness, grace, encouragement, and forgiveness. He desires to see us torn apart, waging war against e...

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Reclaiming Friendship in the Social Media Age

By Brad Merchant
October 23, 2019

Augustine once wrote that there are two things essential to existence in this world: life and friendship. Yet, as Drew Hunter insightfully points out in his book on friendship, “Friendship is, for many of us, one of the most important but least thought about aspects of...

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4 Ways Your Faith Should Shape Your Friendships

By Kelly Needham
October 09, 2019

Friends are the new family. With the traditional nuclear family on the decline in America, people are still searching for some form of stability—and for many, their gaze is turning to friendship. With the largest population of singles our nation has ever seen, we shouldn&rs...

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The Conversation About Sex You Need to Have With Your Spouse

By David White
September 25, 2019

Years ago, I was eating in a restaurant with a friend. As our meal progressed, the conversation devolved into a lament over the state of his marriage, particularly their sex life. He grew increasingly animated, finally exclaiming loudly: “I knew marriage would be hard, but ...

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Want an Extraordinary Marriage? Be an Ordinary Christian.

By David J. Ayers
September 11, 2019

Christians seeking ways to strengthen and improve their marriages aren’t suffering a shortage of advice. Much of it is good, even excellent. But how often are married believers told that the foundation of every successful marriage is an ordinary Christian life—pe...

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Fighting for Your Marriage: Day 5

By YouVersion
September 05, 2019

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6 For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts...

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Fighting for Your Marriage: Day 4

By YouVersion
September 04, 2019

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation... James 1:9 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak... Ecclesiastes 3:7 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4...

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Fighting for Your Marriage: Day 3

By YouVersion
September 03, 2019

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men... Colossians 3:23 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 Devotional Content: Thomas and ...

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Fighting For Your Marriage: Day 2

By YouVersion
September 02, 2019

  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thi...

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Fighting For Your Marriage: Day 1

By YouVersion
September 01, 2019

  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 The man answered, “‘You...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 4 Reflection Questions

August 30, 2019
Philippians 4 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labo...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 4:14-23

August 29, 2019
Philippians 4:14-23 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonic...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 4:10-13

August 28, 2019
Philippians 4:10-13 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be conten...

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Choosing Joy:Philippians 4:8-9

August 27, 2019
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and&n...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 4:6-7

August 26, 2019
Philippians 4:6-7 ...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Chr...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 4:1-5

August 25, 2019
Philippians 4:1-5 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who h...

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Choosing Joy: Week 4 Memory Verse

August 24, 2019
Week 4 Memory Verse Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.&nb...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3 Reflection

August 23, 2019
Philippians 3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, ...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3:20-21

August 22, 2019
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. ...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3:15-19

August 21, 2019
Philippians 3:15-19 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those ...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3:12-14

August 20, 2019
Philippians 3:12-14  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behi...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3:5-11

August 19, 2019
Philippians 3:5-11 ...circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But wh...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 3:1-4

August 18, 2019
Philippians 3:1-4 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision,&nbs...

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Choosing Joy: Week 3 Memory Verse

August 17, 2019
Week 3 Memory Verse Philippians 3:8  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...

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Choosing Joy: Reflection on Philippians 2

August 16, 2019
Philippians 2 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. Do nothing fro...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 2:19-30

August 15, 2019
Philippians 2:19-30  I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Chr...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 2:14-18

August 14, 2019
Philippians 2:14-18 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fas...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 2:12-13

August 13, 2019
Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for&nbs...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 2:5-11

August 12, 2019
Philippians 2:5-11 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness ...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 2:1-4

August 11, 2019
Philippians 2:1-4 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. Do nothing...

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Choosing Joy: Week 2 Memory Verse

August 10, 2019
Week 2 Memory Verse Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

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Choosing Joy: Reflection on Philippians 1

August 09, 2019
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in e...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 1:19-30

August 08, 2019
Philippians 1:19-30 Yes, and I will rejoice,  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with f...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 1:15-18

August 07, 2019
Philippians 1:15-18 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking t...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 1:12-14

August 06, 2019
Philippians 1:12-14 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  And most of the br...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 1:7-11

August 05, 2019
Philippians 1:7-11 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I...

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Choosing Joy: Philippians 1:1-6

August 04, 2019
Philippians 1:1-6 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance ...

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Stopping the Stigma: How the Church Should Respond to Mental Illness

By Kristin Davis
July 31, 2019

Looking back, I can see God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout my life: a wonderfully supportive husband of almost 22 years, 3 kids who I’m crazy about (even when they drive me crazy), close ties with my parents and brothers, many genuine friendships, and fulfilli...

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Addiction - The Richeys

July 24, 2019
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Grief - Michelle Douthitt

By Michelle Douthitt
July 17, 2019

They say that grief and love go hand in hand. That has been the case for me. On my husband’s 60th birthday, December 20, 2012, we were told he had stage IV pancreatic cancer. I'm a nurse, so I didn't need Google to tell me the statistics. It’s pretty much a deat...

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My Divorce Journey - Tammy Hill

By Tammy Hill
July 10, 2019

This week, our own wonderful Tammy Hill has graciously offered to share a little bit about her journey through divorce. Thank you, Tammy, for your bravery, your honesty, and your wisdom.    I never thought in my wildest dreams that after 20+ years of marriage and two ...

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My Cancer Journey - Mike Spell

By Mike Spell
July 03, 2019

Mike Spell, worship team keyboardist and CIBOLOCREEK elder, was gracious enough to share the story of his recent cancer journey with us this week. Please keep Mike, his wife Cathy, and their kids and grandkids in your prayers and give Mike a pat on the back when you see him on Su...

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Learn How to Disagree Agreeably

By David George Moore
June 26, 2019

Imagine you’re at your favorite coffee shop. Everything about the place is great, except the tables are a bit too close to one another. This makes it difficult to avoid eavesdropping. Your reading tends to zone you out from the conversations of others, but not today. You ca...

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Love Your Mormon Neighbors

By John Divito
June 19, 2019

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as Mormonism. Since my parents were active members of the LDS Church, I went to church every Sunday. And like many of those raised in the church, I had a testimony, was baptized when I turned 8,...

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When Muslims Dream of Jesus

By Darren Carlson
June 11, 2019

In 2007, Dudley Woodberry and others published a study that recounted interviews with 750 former Muslims who had converted to evangelical Christianity. Many of the reasons they gave for their conversion would be expected—the love of God, a changing view of the Bible, and an...

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All You Need Is Love...Really

By Lisa Brown
June 05, 2019

For the next few weeks, CIBOLOCREEK is presenting a series called “Understanding Your Friends’ Faith.” I suspect the importance of learning about the faith of others may be a very foreign concept for many of us. In the fundamental Christian household where I gre...

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Don't Follow Your Heart

By Jon Bloom
May 22, 2019

“Follow your heart” is a creed embraced by billions of people. It’s a statement of faith in one of the great pop cultural myths of the Western world, a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies, and songs.  Essentially, it’s a belief that your...

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12 Characteristics of Christian Friendship

By Rachel Lehner
May 15, 2019

Some friendships start because of a shared interest. Others grow from proximity or common life circumstances. Friendships can be based on many things. But there is something uniquely special about a Christian friendship. A Christian friendship is based upon a shared devotion to ...

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The Grace and Truth Paradox

By Randy Alcorn
May 08, 2019

What if we could reduce Christ’s attributes to just two qualities that we could wrap our minds around? John 1:14 does exactly that. It describes him as “full of grace and truth.” To be Christlike is to be full of what He was full of: grace and truth. ...

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Book Review: The Principle of the Path

By Steven Hill
May 01, 2019

Back in March I was passing through Atlanta, GA and had spent the night at my friend Nathan’s place in Alpharetta.  While I was there, Nathan took me to his church, North Point, where Andy Stanley is the lead pastor.  That particular Sunday, Andy preache...

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8 Blessings We Get From Serving

By Veronica Sexton
April 03, 2019

We all want our lives to matter. It’s the reason we do the things we do. We chase promotions and leadership positions because we want to make a difference. We encourage our kids to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money, in hopes that they, too, will make a d...

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Learning From the Prayer Life of Jesus

By Robert Velarde
March 27, 2019

Luke 11:1 reads, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'" There's much to learn from this passage beyond the significant Lord's Prayer that follows it. For one...

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CIBOLOCREEK Builds Beds for Kids

By Lisa Brown
March 20, 2019

Saturday was one of the last mornings of spring break for most schools around the city, one of the last chances for many kids and their families to sleep in and relax before returning to school on Monday. But there was no sleeping in for the crew at Cibolo Creek Community Church....

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Messiah, Our Passover Lamb

By Jonathan Bernis
March 13, 2019

***This past Sunday, Pastor Paul talked about Communion and its importance for Christians as a remembrance of Jesus. He also mentioned it's deep symbolic connection to the ancient Jewish celebration of Passover. In his establishment of Communion, Jesus was drawing on imagery that...

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Do You Believe These Myths About the Holy Spirit?

By Allison Moore
March 06, 2019

Pictures of God the Father and God the Son line the hallways of churches and fill religious galleries, but the Holy Spirit is like a mystic figure we aren’t sure what to do with. Most pictures of God the Holy Spirit are nebulous light forms or a dove.  It&rs...

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5 Reasons God's Grace is Sufficient for You (Even in the Darkness)

By Stephen Altrogge
February 27, 2019

Why does God say, “My grace is sufficient for you?” And what does it mean that God’s power is made perfect in weakness? Ponder, for a moment, all the ways God displays his power. He controls the raging, torrential storms and the crippling droughts. He causes p...

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Sins We Don't Discuss: Gluttony

By Julie Simpson
February 20, 2019

In his 9:15 Q&A session on Sunday, Pastor Paul mentioned gluttony as one of those sins we never think about as sin. Though it’s talked about in Scripture as something that God hates, we usually make jokes about being gluttons even as we’re pointing fingers at thos...

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Loneliness in Marriage? One Simple Secret to Turn Things Around

By Dave and Ann Wilson
February 12, 2019

He was a good man. A cofounder of a megachurch, Chaplain for the Detroit Lions, inspiring on stage and a leader of men. Everyone loved him and wanted to follow him, but I was left in his dust. My heart felt bruised and cold like the chilling winds that skate over Lake...

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Nothing Brings Parents Greater Peace

By Marty Machowski
February 06, 2019

Shortly after our engagement, my fiancé and I traveled to meet her 104-year-old grandfather. Though our visit with her grandfather lasted no more than half an hour, I’ll never forget those precious minutes.  Grandpa Rausch greeted us with joy and soon began sha...

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8 Ways to Persevere in the Parenting Marathon

By Chap Bettis
January 30, 2019

Earlier this month, more than 50,000 people ran in the New York City Marathon. Last year my daughter participated in this famous race, and she introduced our family to marathon culture. Sharon and I went to cheer her on. Having never attended or run in a marathon, I was sur...

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Busyness, Sabbath, and Work As a Gift: An Interview with Eugene Peterson

January 22, 2019
Eugene Peterson was a renowned minister, scholar, and author of over 30 books who died in October of last year. In connection to last Sunday's sermon on the Sabbath, take the time to listen to Peterson's wise thoughts about work and rest in this short interview.     ...

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How to Reset Your Joy in God

By David Murray
January 16, 2019

You started last year with a tankful of gas — overflowing with energy, motivation, joy, and optimism. Twelve months on, you were empty, running on fumes, joyless, and dreading the new year. You wonder if you can even go another day, far less another year. Three questions ar...

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Making and Breaking Habits

By Life.Church
January 02, 2019

We all want good daily habits. But instead we sleep in, check our email in bed, and have “just one more.” So, how do we start breaking bad habits and start making good daily habits? Isn’t there a simple three-step plan or a good habits list that will set me free...

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Unhappy Holidays

By Julie Simpson
December 12, 2018

Nothing increases the darkness of the heart like being surrounded by joy you feel unable to reach. This time of year, it’s almost as if everyone has an obligation to feel happy, so when you don’t, it makes that sadness even deeper.  Maybe the fact that other...

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The Self-Forgetfulness of Real Love

By Jonathan Leeman
December 05, 2018

Self-Love vs. Real Love  I remember a junior high science teacher telling our class that, were an astronaut to sit somehow on the surface of a black hole and try to signal his spaceship with a flashlight, the black hole would suck the light of the flashlight back into itsel...

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When Blessings Become Idols

By Julie Simpson
November 28, 2018

I was in the hospital on bed rest for nine weeks after my water broke at 23 weeks pregnant. It was a terrifying time, a nightmare of wondering if the next monitoring session would show that my son had died in the womb, or that a sudden fever would mean I had contracted a dangerou...

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