A courtroom, a wooden sawmill, and a farm. Those are the images that come to mind as I read Matthew 7:1-6. What do they share in common? They teach brothers and sisters in Christ how to encourage and counsel one another in killing sin. They teach us how to be avoid becoming graceless judges, how to be merciful siblings, and how to dodge vicious dogs and trampling pig.Read More
Decision-making can fill us with anxiety. What if I make the wrong choice? Sometimes we extend the necessary time to make a decision out of fear. But what if I told you decisions shouldn’t cause us so much stress? What if I told you that as believers we have God’s Word as a perfect standard to bring our questions to? What if I told you that despite what you choose, it is still entirely in God’s hands? What if I told you that we are blessed with the gift of wisdom for the decisions that don’t have black-and-white answers? Would any of this relieve your anxiety, friend?Read More
God commands us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger—we are to study God’s Word with eagerness, patience, and diligence before teaching it to others, and accept what it teaches us rather than rebel in anger. We are to seek to live righteously and humbly obey what we learn. This is not to frighten you away from teaching the Word, but to encourage you to spend more time understanding it. Unsure how to do that? Here are a few steps you can take each time you prepare to teach on a passage of Scripture.Read More
I was weary that night. I expected joy and excitement as I prepared for my newborn. I longed for those sweet kicks and a rounded belly. But when I finally got it, it wasn’t at all what I had hoped for—instead of excitement, I had the miseries of anxiety. My pregnancy seemed to be filled with hospital trips for unknown bleeding, random cramping, unbelievable backaches, and all the worries that accompany those.
I believed that when Levi finally came, my worries dissipate. Finally freed from my fragile womb, and I could know if and when something was wrong. I could finally have some kind of knowledge and control over this little life.
But that wasn’t the case.Read More
Though my husband never seemed bothered, I cried and apologized daily for the messy floors and my excess sleep. I knew I needed rest, but the amount I was getting overwhelmed me. I wanted to force myself into my old routines, but my body wouldn’t allow it. My husband would try to pick up the slack, but that only made me more sad and frustrated.
Tired and exhausted momma, can you relate to what I experienced? First time pregnant wife, do you know the struggle of perfectionism and tiredness? It doesn’t need to stay this way. I want to offer you true change and hope from the Bible that I had to work through in those early months of pregnancy as a housewife.Read More
My dear sister who loves theology, I must ask: Has this knowledge and theology changed you yet? Has your abounding comprehensionfound its way to your heart so as to shape your life? Do the words you speak, the thoughts you think, the actions you commit represent the information in your mind?Read More
What’s wrong with self-sufficiency? Why is this a sin? Why should I strive to put off my desire to be self-sufficient? The problem is that we are far from capable of doing it all on our own. Not only were we created for community, we were created as weak and feeble people in need of a truly self-sufficient and all-powerful God. This misplaced desire to be self-sufficient causes a number of problems: legalism, broken community, and idolatry.Read More
Though I now laugh at my childhood (and adulthood) paranoia, many of us fear our own death. We consider this a normal fear—and if someone didn’t share in this fear, we may consider them odd. It’s instinctual to want to live and see death as only bad. But does the Bible promote this attitude? Perhaps we should consider our fear and see what God’s Word has to say about it.Read More
Frustration coiled in my heart like a snake ready to lunge. It felt like I could never find a moment to myself since Levi was born. I couldn’t help but envy all the people around me who I imagined sitting in their homes, showered and clean with nicely styled hair, who didn’t have this problem. The often repeated words of this culture made the snake in my heart rattled it’s tail: You need more time for yourself—how can you love others if you aren’t loving yourself first? Is this true, even for us Christians? Where does self-care fit in the biblical worldview?Read More
We want hope that will help us persevere in the suffering that will inevitably come. But for our hope to do this, it needs to be set on something. Hope doesn’t come alone—though hope may seem like an ambiguous concept, it needs to be placed on something sure if we are to persevere. Friend, which kind of hope do you have? Is your hope sure, or does it only lead to more pain and anxiety?Read More
As well as we know the sting of the unfaithfulness of others to us, we also know of our own unfaithfulness. Hurtful words we have spoken to others we were supposed to love. Promises we made that we never fulfilled. Times when we were supposed to stand strong to hold another up but ran away and let them fall. Just as others have left their marks of unfaithfulness on us, we have likewise left our own wounds of unfaithfulness. Who can be trusted? Can we rely on anyone? If even those who love us most will still be unfaithful due to their sin, and we ourselves cannot be trusted because of our sin, is there anyone who we can look to that will be steadfast?Read More
In a perfect world, social media would be a place of smiles as we connect with friends and share memories. But we don’t live in a perfect world—we live in a world tangled in the thorns and thistles of sin. And in this world, social media can be a place where anxiety flourishes through comparison, knowledge of the turmoil and terror that surrounds us, envy as we worry why God hasn’t given us what he has given someone else, and anxiously checking stats and “like” counts.Read More
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar place. Perhaps you are a mother facing post-partum depression feeling guilty for her sadness because at least she has a living child. Or a wife trying to cover up her sobs because at least her husband’s cruel words don’t leave bruises. Or a woman hiding her grief over her latest diagnoses because it’s not as bad as that lady in church. And so the comparisons continue, and so suffering is minimized, and so true sorrow is neglected.Read More
What we don’t think about is the possibility that we may not always enjoy motherhood. That motherhood isn’t all bliss and sloppy kisses. Or how we will cope when the postpartum depression kicks in. Or how we will survive those endless days trapped in our home breastfeeding a baby going through a growth spurt. Or how we will make it through the colic. I experience days like this, and I know the only thing sustaining me is the grace of God. If motherhood has taught me anything, it is that God will hold me fast.Read More
Though I told people I lived a healthy lifestyle in order to tame my anxiety and to make me feel better, that wasn’t my true motivation. I was motivated by idolatry. Any motive or desire left unchecked, whether godly or vain, can become an idol--something more important than loving and obeying God.Read More
Though I am only a few weeks into my supervised counseling for ACBC, I have already learned one major lesson on counseling and discipleship: It is not for the prideful heart. Discipleship and counseling require humility—a humility that we are not capable of on our own. When we are teaching and guiding others, we need humility that only comes from being submissive servants of Christ.Read More
Of all the Holidays, Christmas may present the best opportunity to be anxious. Frantically running from store-to-store (or clicking through online store to online store) to buy last-minute gifts you forgot about, throwing together colourful sweets for all the friend and family get-togethers, frequently checking your online banking to see how the budget is holding up, dinners with the not-so-friendly family members, stepping onto the bathroom scale each day to see if you have added any pounds from the Christmas treats, and wondering if anyone will like the gifts you bought. But what if this year, we silenced our fears? What if we chose to set our minds on something greater this Christmas than these worries and chose to meditate on the joy that has come to the world? As we do, let’s begin in a place maybeyou didn’t think of this Christmas—Philippians 2:1-11.Read More
Momma, are you afraid that you don’t have it “together enough” to be a mom? Do you already feel like a failure when you see the put-together moms around you? Do you look at their perfectly still children sitting in the pews and feel like giving up? Aside from my fears of throwing up, I have many other reasons to feel like a failure compared to my fellow mom friends. But God is giving me a new hope in him, and teaching me to stop looking around at others and start looking at him.Read More
In the universal church and the local church we are going to come across fellow believers that we clash with. People will annoy us, hurt us, and make us angry. It’s part of living in a sinful world. Thankfully we know that one day in Heaven we will not be faced with such conflict because we will all be finally free from sin. But what do we do in the meantime? We are called to not only love some of our fellow brothers and sisters, but to love each and every one.Read More
It takes us by surprise—the cringe-worthy memory of a past sin we wish we could forget. Maybe you were picking out clothing to wear the next day, packing a lunch, doing housework, watching TV, or playing with your children. One thought quickly connected to another, and suddenly a horrible memory was resurfaced. The pain, the regret, the shame, and disgusting feelings all returned as if you had just committed the sin again. The memories are so vivid you could shutter. Each of us will battle the memories of sin. Not one person can say they have no memory of sins they have committed. So what do we do with these memories that make us cringe? How do we face the memories in Christ?Read More