As parents, how often do we sit down and think about the kind of people we want our children to be? Most of us have the same basic goals of wanting our kids to be successful in life, happy with what they have, and people who love God… but how much time to we devote to teaching our kids to be kind? So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… -Colossians 3:12 If we want our kids to be kind, it’s up to us to show them what kindness means. Read on →

Whether something occurs in our homes, our schools, our country, or our world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with frustration or even depression. It’s easy to find ourselves caught up in political debate or arguments, disillusionment or disappointment in leaders, and apprehension or fears of global turmoil. It’s a natural time to question God’s presence in the midst of the unrest. And it’s very human to ask ourselves who’s right, who’s wrong, and which issues really matter. Read on →

You may have heard the statistics–fewer millennials are going to church, and more young people are completely unaffiliated with any church. That includes people who grew up attending church as a child with their family. Does that mean today’s young adults are done with the church and disinterested in God? In our experience, young adults and millennials are very much still interested in God. It is after all, the millennial generation that has embraced the phrase “spiritual but not religious.” These are the people who have dug especially deep into discussions of loneliness, the struggle to better oneself, and that ineffable ache for a sense of meaning and purpose. Read on →

It’s not uncommon that we as parents encourage our kids to volunteer and engage in acts of service to others within our community, but how many of us wait until our kids are teens before we begin encouraging the benefits of volunteering? The start of grade school is actually an excellent age to get our kids to embody a servant’s heart. Children as young as 5 can begin to develop lifelong skills and character to grow up to be active and dedicated members of the church. Read on →

There comes a time in most any Christian’s life when they find themselves faced with disappointment in someone they deeply admired. Perhaps it is a family member, close friend, mentor, teacher, or spiritual leader whom we discover has concealed sin in their life, or been revealed to have lived a sort of double life where they didn’t practice what they preached. This occurrence tends to be a wide door to extreme disappointment, bitterness, resentment and uncertainty. Read on →

It’s a fact of life today that we’re busier than ever before. We go to work, we take work home, we stay glued to our phones and plugged into social media in ways that were unheard of even a decade ago. Most of us rush from one appointment to the next with little time to think about what we’re doing, or what this moment truly means. Far too many of us are too busy with life to actually engage in it. Read on →

One of the most interesting things about the Apostle Paul, both in terms of the Jewish tradition he inhabited as well as the larger Greco-Roman (Greek and Roman influence) world within which he spread the gospel, was his emphasis on “thinking.” “Have this mind among yourselves which was also in Messiah Jesus…” (Phil. 2:5) “But those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Rom. Read on →

For so many Christians, the central symbol of the Christian faith is also the most enigmatic. What exactly happened at the “theological level” when Jesus was crucified? God is apparently taking out His wrath for the whole human race on His beloved Son—the great penal substitution—the righteous and just wrath of God, and so on. Right? And yet, somewhat surprisingly, the gospels say very little about this particular, shrunken way of telling the Christian story. Read on →

Israel’s Scriptures were crystal clear–the opening of Genesis, the books of Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Daniel–there was only one God in and over the whole universe, and He was the good Creator God, Israel’s God, the God of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, and so on. This long and rich tradition of Jewish “Monotheism” persisted up through the time of Jesus Himself and on through the early Church. It provided the context within which, and in relation to which, the earliest Christians first formulated the doctrine of the “trinity”: one God in three persons. Read on →

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Gal. 5:21). There are several remarkable things about this passage worth reflecting upon. For one thing, this verse comes within one of Paul’s densest arguments about how you know who truly belongs to the people of God. In other words, this description of the “fruit of the Spirit” does not come within a larger discourse about nice, but essentially optional, emotional feelings which the Christian might have. Read on →