4 Purposes of Illustrations in Faith Conversations

Most of us can regurgitate Christianese taught in church, but what is not always easy is engaging in deeper, spiritual conversations.

Sometimes we tend to listen just long enough to find a point in the conversation where we can interject with our own ideas. But conversation with our children, family, & friends requires attentive listening, as well as thought-filled answers. Continue reading

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Book Review: From the Grave

From the Grave: A 40-Day Lent Devotional features selections from the works of A.W. Tozer. With its simple format, this new devotional adapts easily into a daily routine. Each day starts with a short Scripture verse followed by words of inspiration on topics such as suffering, discipleship, obedience to Christ, etc. Continue reading

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7 Outreach Ideas for Valentine’s Day

It’s no secret—humans crave love, even to the point of creating a holiday to celebrate it. A holiday where, per the National Retail Federation, American spending soared to 19.7 billion dollars last year!

Just what are we spending our dollars on? Jewelry, an evening out, and flowers are the big-ticket items.

Valentines Day Average Spending by Category | Fundivo

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Why the Gospel Matters in 2017

As 2016 came to an end, several of us found ourselves grieving over the harsh realities of our fallen world — mass shootings, Zika, civil unrest, terror attacks, Aleppo, corruption in politics, the refugee crisis in Europe, and lives over far too quickly.

To sum it all up one woman made a “dumpster fire ornament” and tweeted “Dear 2016: I made you this ornament. It’s a dumpster fire.” People identified with her sentiments, and it went viral. Continue reading

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9 Life Changing Truths about Eternal Life

  1. Eternal life was promised before time began — “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2).
  2. Eternal life is a gift from God — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).
  3. Eternal life means our debt against God is paid in full — “…It is finished…” (John 19:30).
  4. Eternal life comes with forgiveness for all our sins: past, present, and future — “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).
  5. Eternal life means we are new creations — “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
  6. Eternal Life means Abundant life — “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
  7. Eternal life comes with the promised seal of the Holy Spirit — “…having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13–14).
  8. Eternal life means we are ambassadors for Christ — “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).
  9.  Eternal life cannot be taken away — “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).

(Note: This originally appeared here on EvanTell’s blog.)

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Christmas Movie Lessons: Home Alone

The comedy Home Alone stars 8-year-old Keven McAlister (Macaulay Culkin), who accidentally gets left at home when his family goes to Paris for Christmas. Sounds a little improbable, right? But if you’ve watched the movie, you know that it only gets more improbable from there.

Kevin fights off Harry and Marv—two dimwitted burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern)—with death defying booby traps. We all winced when Marv stepped on a nail barefoot and probably begin to wonder if they were really human after Harry’s head got burned by a blowtorch. But in the midst of all its farcical humor, some spiritual elements creep in. Continue reading

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Christmas Movie Lessons: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Over the years, I’ve come to see Christmas in a new light. Magical to me as a child. Mixed feelings during parts of my adulthood. Now, a time of hope and waiting.

The people of God have long been familiar with the concept of waiting. After the prophet Malachi concluded his message from the Lord, it was 400 years before the advent of Jesus the Messiah. Continue reading

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3 Things the Life of Daniel Teaches us about Troubled Times

From foreign rulers invading his home to keeping company with lions, the life of Daniel showcases God’s sovereign control. As the book of Daniel begins, King Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem and takes many of the young men back to Babylon, including Daniel.

Fast forward a few thousand years and we may not all face lions or invasion, but we do still struggle with a chaotic world.

How can believers learn from Daniel’s actions? Continue reading

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What Christ’s Incarnation Means for Today

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While rereading the Christmas story, I’ve considered current events. The first Christmas wasn’t a pretty time either.

When the King of Heaven poured Himself into the womb of a virgin, He didn’t choose the richest mother. He chose a young girl whom Scripture suggests was among the poorest of the poor in Israel. A girl from Nazareth, the town where it was said “Nothing good comes out.” Continue reading

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God’s Glory Found in Nature & Poetry

leaf_cropWhen the Old Testament speaks of God’s glory, it usually refers to a visible manifestation of God. For example, the stories of the tabernacle in Exodus or of Ezekiel’s vision of the temple, both expressing God’s intent to dwell among men.

But it’s also related to God’s self-disclosure to humanity. For example, the psalmist wrote, “The Heavens declare the glory of God” (19:1). Continue reading

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