Category Archives: Christian Living

Learning to be beautiful reflections of Christ in every area of our lives.

Do Gossip and Negative Speech Grieve Our Hearts Like They Should?

Recently I was talking with someone and they begin to speak negatively about someone we knew. It grieved me and stirred my heart to pray for the person saying these things.

Both the speaker and the person spoken about are made in God’s image. Both are loved by Him—whether they know Jesus or not. Because of this, I want to know the heart of Father God for them because this is what my heart should reflect:

  1. God made them and saw that it was good.
  2. God sent His Son for them as well as you and me, providing a way for restoration and forgiveness of sin.
  3. God wants to do a transformational work in their lives too.

We have all sinned and needed Jesus to redeem us. This is no time to compare failures and sins. All need Christ every day to grow in holiness, and He calls us to love, share truth and pray. Continue reading

The Life-Giving Season of Lent: Giving More of Ourselves to Christ

The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.

Examining Our Hearts

Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.

We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:

  • Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
  • Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
  • Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?

As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading

The Search for a Godly Definition of Success

The winds of the world’s ideas of success swirl around us: the pressure to create and to do, to earn more, to be productive, to be successful. People and families alike have definitions of what it means to be successful: major in that field, get that job, be married by xx age and having children.

When we accomplish only some of these things or feel led by God down a different path, people may deem us unsuccessful or misguided, even pressuring us to do something different. Or perhaps we’ve walked those paths and feel disillusioned by the result. Even the world around us is filled with calls to find our niche, push for popularity, make a six-figure income, hustle unto productivity and more, and it’s everywhere!

How we define success in life is crucial. It affects the trajectory of our entire lives and even colors our moods, mindsets and attitudes. How we define success affects everything! Nonetheless, we who are disciples of Christ should be seeking to walk out our journey with God in His ways of success.

How should a disciple of Christ pursue success? What defines success for those endeavoring to live a godly life? And in discovering a godly definition of success, what should we do to achieve it?

Let’s aim to define success God’s way. Below are three keys to a godly definition of success. Continue reading

How to Truly Live the Christian Life

The Christian life is often very busy, isn’t it? Activity after activity fills the calendars of churches and the agendas of our lives. It can sometimes seem to gravitate to more and more doing, serving and doing some more.

Even our times of prayer–whether together or alone–can veer off from proper focus. For example, instead of first asking the Lord what He might want us to pray, we launch straight away into prayer based on what comes to our minds or is gnawing at our hearts.

Our activities are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. They can, however, help or hinder our Christian life. Continue reading

God’s Answer When We Feel Nothing

Perhaps you’ve experienced seasons where you were feeling little or nothing at all. You may even feel this way now: numb, empty, wondering why.

Maybe this is simply while spending time in God’s presence. Or it could be what you feel most of the time, in every situation. I’ve personally been in such a season recently. Emotions have not been felt as deeply—especially the positive ones such as joy, excitement and enthusiasm.

This has bothered me because—even in this trying season—there is still plenty to be joyful or excited about! New things are on the horizon for our house of prayer; promises we have long awaited are being fulfilled. And when events worth celebrating happen, we all want to share in the excitement, don’t we?

In response, God recently brought a life-altering revelation. I knew that this was something others also needed to hear because this revelation came with the potential to greatly change our perspectives, and even increase our pursuit of His heart.

God’s Answer

Be encouraged, beloved, God has an answer that might just be for you right now.

God impressed upon my heart that feeling nothing can be a good thing. Instead of causing discouragement, a lack of emotion is like a clear canvas awaiting a masterpiece. It is an opportunity that holds great possibilities!

Upon the very canvas of our souls, God can paint our souls with His own emotions and thoughts. All we need to do is ask Him what He is feeling and thinking, and to allow us to feel these emotions as well.

What a beautiful thing! His excitement, delight and other emotions about us and the events of our lives are far deeper, fuller and more alive than any human feelings we could ever have!

Perhaps this is why God allows us to experience seasons where we do not feel as deeply if at all. Now, if we are open to it, He can give us something higher instead–His own thoughts and feelings, His very heart.

My perspective has shifted completely and I pray this revelation shifts yours as you read this. Is this not yet another way He turns ashes to beauty? Our Abba is beyond amazing.

“…He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…” Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)