Many individuals have grown up in the church associating Thanksgiving with the opportunity to volunteer. It’s a beautiful thing to be inspired to serve others in need, and it is equally important to make sure your desire to be of service is truly helpful. In recent years, there has been some buzz on social media about somewhat misplaced efforts to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day which do more harm than good. Every Thanksgiving, there are folks who, wishing to serve others show up at charities unannounced and ask if they can give a hand. Read on →

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a powerful way to enrich our lives. Studies have repeatedly shown that individuals who make a conscious effort to live with thanksgiving experience better emotional well-being and physical health than others who don’t. Practicing gratitude also helps us to see ourselves and others through the eyes of our Creator. When we are more aware of our blessings and grateful for what we have been given, we are in a better position to love God and others. Read on →

The holidays are coming soon and now’s the time when many of us are beginning to think about Thanksgiving, Christmas and shopping! But do you know what it’s also a good time for? Serving others! Pretty soon, the weather around us will be chilling down and there will be plenty of people within our community struggling to stay warm. So if your small group is thinking about taking on a service project this fall, you might want to consider a community coat drive. Read on →

For most of us who have been in a church for some time, the words “living sacrifice” are quite familiar. Paul writes: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2 But what exactly does it mean to become a “living and holy sacrifice”? Read on →

In the Bible, Jesus seems to have a lot to say about judging others, although His message is pretty simple–don’t do it. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” -Matthew 7:1-3 Throughout the gospel, we repeatedly see Jesus chastise religious leaders for standing in judgment over the people, and it’s obvious the He wasn’t happy with the habit. Read on →

Years ago, N.T. Wright gave a presentation regarding his interpretation of certain biblical texts which have been used to suggest that women cannot take part in ministry. Here’s a brief overview of some of his thoughts. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:28 According to Wright, Paul is declaring that God has one family, not two, and that God’s family consists of all those who believe in Jesus. Read on →

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 →