I'm sitting on a wooden bench inside a brothel in Mumbai, India. Just like me, the women in this house wake and get dressed and eat breakfast. Just like me, they brush their hair, put on makeup, and get ready for the day. Unlike me, they are not free to make their own to-do lists this morning. . . .
You took the dare to change. You made a specific decision. You were sure about it. You were excited about it. You were serious about it. Then you left the crowd and went home to a house that felt big, quiet, and empty. And suddenly you’re not so sure.
Each morning leading up to the Revive '13 Conference I’ve been reading Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitzpatrick (a Revive '13 speaker). You know what phrase keeps jumping out at me in Romans? "The righteousness of faith." Our righteousness is not based on our works. Watch these two short videos by Elyse to be reminded of why the Good News is such good news!
I wish you could’ve joined me. Every August our staff gets together for one week to re-focus on Jesus before we launch into a new year of ministry. Every morning I head for the front row in the tabernacle, just underneath the podium, where I can take it all in without distraction. This past week, I captured lots of great quotes, but didn't tweet them for fear I'd miss something better. So, now that it's all over, I thought I'd invite you to read a few of them. Enjoy!
In addition to Big Macs and French fries, we have grown accustomed to ready-made, pre-packaged Christianity. However, the give-it-to-me-now-the-way-I-like-it spirit that flows through the veins of our world is something you and I must be on guard against.
Second Chronicles 7:14 has been quoted by many who look at the condition of our culture and long for God to come and "heal our land." What is often ignored, though, is the other promise God made to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7.
This week's Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 are much on my heart, as I'm sure they are on yours. A few days ago, I stumbled across a message I gave in 1999 at an annual Michigan Prayer Breakfast. I was struck by how timely this message—given in the wake of the Columbine school shooting—is today, fourteen years later.
Hostility against Christianity proves Christianity's threat to the kingdom of darkness. Persecution confirms God's reality. I mean, think about it for a minute . . . Does it even make sense that world powers, rulers, dictators, and religions would see Christianity as some kind of threat?
I could have said no. I could have kept my mask of perfection firmly glued on my make-up free face. But the pull of a breakfast I didn't have to cook on dishes I didn't have to wash was too much for me. The result was a steaming pile of pancakes loaded with butter and maple syrup, and a morning of ministry to my heart that filled me back up when I was empty.
Our time together was filled with tears, laughter, and many "Yes, Lord" moments. What a wonderful 60th birthday this was for me, celebrating with ninety-two friends, learning how to be true women of God!
Charles Colson is now Home with the Lord that he loved and served so earnestly. I wanted to share this brief video tribute of a dear friend whose life and ministry have left an unforgettable mark on our generation.
All the pushing, nagging, screaming, yelling, badgering, manipulating, whining, and shaming in the world won't solve your problems. Those tactics may help you get your way in an immediate sense, but they will not win victories for the Kingdom of God . . .
A once-in-a-millennium event, you say? A story from another time that is far removed from the life you lead and the day in which we live? Thankfully, the wondrous acts of God are not limited to by-gone days. . . . Our minds cannot fathom all that He is able to do in and through the lives of those who trust Him!
While the whole running away from God ordeal was pretty embarrassing, I’ve think Jonah's temper tantrum with God in chapter four tops even that. Much to his chagrin and our entertainment, we get to observe the whole thing! It’s almost humorous, until we realize we’re not really all that different . . .
I’ve known something for a while now that has had me really scared, and it’s this: I’m terrified of sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. So terrified that I’ve started telling God “No, I won’t—I can’t—tell them about You.”
How are we as followers of Christ to respond to those who insist that their faith is equally (or more) valid than ours? And how are we to present the gospel of Christ to a world that views Him as something different or less than we believe Him to be, simply another in a pantheon of religious figures?
Samaritan’s Purse teams on the ground in Japan are working with Japanese churches to hand out blankets, water, hygiene kits, and other assistance—showing the compassion of Jesus Christ to people who are hurting and grieving.
"I cannot begin to express to you how Jesus has changed my life. I am so filled with love and joy that I am
unrecognizable to even my husband. There literally is not one aspect of
my life that has not been completely changed. I didn’t know joy until I knew Jesus."
A.H. was trafficked to Dallas/Ft. Worth and forced into prostitution
when she was just a teen. Like many other girls, she was beaten, raped,
and enslaved not far from Dallas Cowboys stadium, where the 2011 Super
Bowl will be held.
I started noticing that the incredibly encouraging emails my mom regularly sent me were full of Scripture. They weren’t just hopeful sentiments from a mom, but actual promises from God that gave me something sturdy to cling to.
As you know, politics is difficult, and often a “dirty” business. We have to remember that in November we’re choosing the better of two candidates, not the better of two evils. (Why do we not phrase it, “choosing the greater good”?) Someone will indeed get elected, and God wants us to choose wisely.
As a child growing up in a Roman Catholic family during the 1960s, we celebrated Halloween. That is to say, on October 31, we cobbled together homemade costumes of sad hobos, friendly ghosts, and fierce pirates so we could run from one house to another shouting “Trick or Treat!” as we gathered lots of candy.
I was feeling a little under the weather the other day, so my sweet husband decided to take my boys out for breakfast to give me a break. When the hostess asked how many to seat and my husband replied “just the three of us,” she bent in close and whispered, “Did momma leave?”
I’m thankful for the way God uses women who are gifted authors and speakers to motivate, inspire, and encourage, but I am equally grateful for those who serve in the nameless trenches of life–where only God and a few others glimpse their faithfulness.
Meet Stacey Smith, an ex-convict who is now ministering to women in—and out of—prison. As she says in this video, there isn’t a huge difference, as all women have prisons of the heart that they need to be—and can be!—freed from.
Last night I left four pounds of chuck roast simmering in the crockpot
for ten hours. When I woke this morning, a most amazing smell had wafted
around the kitchen corner, up the stairs, under my door . . . and
permeated just about every square inch of the house.
. . . The four creatures who surround God’s throne and the twenty-four elders seated on thrones--well, they look at each other incredulously for a few seconds
and then whisper, “Is that ALL she’s going to ask?!”
Enkelejda describes Albanian women as “used and abused.” Kidnapping, human trafficking, pornography, prostitution, and organ trafficking all run rampant. If you have money, you can buy anything . . . or anyone. Ordering a child seems to be almost as normal as purchasing coffee in a coffee shop.
If we look closely at Jesus' life, we find an interesting pattern. We know that Jesus spent His time on earth serving others. But have you ever considered how often He ministered when it was inconvenient?
As I’ve heard the regular chiming of my wall clock, the Holy Spirit keeps using the musical tones to remind me of the phrase found in Ephesians 5:16. I hear the clock chime, then “Redeem the time, redeem the time” runs through my heart and mind.
Let me tell you--as one who works with them five days a week--they're the real deal. They even scrape the ice off our windshields on especially cold winter days! Not that this video or this post is about them . . .
While the progressive instrumental version of "Joy to the World" blasted overhead, I observed grumbling store clerks, worn out children screaming with gusto, couples arguing, and pushy shoppers shoving. No, it was not Black Friday; this was just a typical shopping day during the holiday season. "Joy to the World" was lost in the Christmas crush. Out of desperation to bring Christ into the picture, a few years ago I started my own shopping tradition.
It's easy to develop an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality toward those who are truly in need. But in the last few years I've been asking God to broaden my vision beyond those who are in my immediate periphery and allow me to have His perspective on the world's helpless.
"As Christians, we have an opportunity to help families around the world by both standing against incredible injustice against women and by preaching the gospel of reconciliation. Let's not lose any ground to lesser solutions."
Where is God calling you? Maybe the people you’re called to are nothing like you. Maybe they disturb your peace by playing their music a few decibels too high and a few hours too long. Maybe they’re antagonistic toward your faith. Maybe they have a different skin color. Political party. Income level. Maybe they just let their grass grow too long.
Your floors can be sparkling, the windows shining, the aromas wafting, but if you don’t know how to connect with your guest . . . well, it’s a flop! Here are a few simple do’s and dont’s I’ve learned along the way.
It’s been a few days since I drove to the nearest polling place, cast my vote, and then claimed my free coffee at Starbucks. It’s also been a few days since I kneeled and prayed as fervently as I prayed in the days leading up to the elections.