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Planted in the House

Similar to a tree needing fertile soil to survive and grow, it is essential that as believers we are planted in a place that will feed and nurture our soul. The reality is that we are only as strong as we are planted. The Word of God is our source of strength as a believer. It is our spiritual food that strengthens us as we hear and feed on it. Most trees loose their leaves in winter. Bitter cold weather is not conducive to growth. However, that is not how it is for those who are planted in God’s house…

Chasing the Right Things in 2017

Spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. It has to be pursued. At times this means we must flee from some things to pursue the best things. Pursuing the best things helps us to grow in righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace. When we chase after the right things, our lives change. We see growth as employees, as a friend, as a spouse, and as a parent. If we are going to pursue the right things in 2017, if we’re going to see God’s power in our lives in a the way He wants to move, we must commit to a deeper relationship with Him above all other activities.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Half of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution this year, but only about 8% will keep them. Not only will the majority of resolutions fall by the wayside, but nearly half of the resolutions made will be dumped before February 1. So, it’s very understandable for someone to wonder if making resolutions is even worth it. What’s the point in having a New Year’s resolution if it is going to fail? Perhaps the better question is, how we do make our resolutions stick?


The Story Behind: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

One of the things that makes Christmas such a memorable time of year is the music. The same songs, year after year, get stuck in our heads and we can often recite the words without even thinking about it. Recently, I attended an incredible performance by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra which was a dedicated to the music of Christmas. As the program came to a close, the Conductor asked the audience to join the musicians and sing a few lines of some of the most well-known Christmas carols, including several verses of “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing!” Many of the carols we sing have a rich theological tradition, and “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing!” is no exception.

Why I Love When Christmas Falls on a Sunday

When Christmas falls on a Sunday, and the doors of the church open, it’s one more reminder to a watching world that it’s all about Jesus. During Christmas time, people’s interest is piqued in all things Christmas, including the true reason for the season. With all the talk of joy, faith, goodwill, and peace, there may not be a better time to invite someone who has yet to experience life transformation power of the Gospel message.

How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Experts call fear an “illusion that’s neither tangible nor visible.” We often don’t even realize why we are fearful. Fear is an autonomic response, meaning we don’t choose to trigger fear or even know it’s happening until we are consumed by it. Once it has started, we try to rationalize our anxiety, replaying what happened that day, week, or month… Rationally the event that triggered the anxiety seems small in comparison to how we are feeling, but our emotions are often not rational. However, our lack of choice when it comes to being fearful doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to move through it. There is a decision that has to be made: will I trust God, or will I allow my fear to control me?

Santa Claus: Defender of the Faith?

Santa is nearly inescapable this time of year. He’s in the mall. He’s giving away Coca-Cola and selling cars on TV. And he is even on street corners collecting money for the Salvation Army. Santa is really busy! Santa also seems to find himself in the midst of cultural collision as secularists seeks to parcel out how Christmas can be celebrated without the “Christ” part in the mix, and for many, Santa Clause is a figure who has come to be considered safely secular. But is Santa safe for secularists? Did someone come up with the story of Santa just distract people from the true reason for the season? And what should parents say about Santa?

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