A Living Hope: I am secure

Life is unpredictable. In the span of three decades, I’ve already lost more than I care to lose: family, friends, a job, dreams and health.

When you’ve experienced recurring loss and grief, it can create a cycle of anxiety and fear over what else you could lose.

Salvation, for one.

Many times I have been gripped by the panic that I could lose my relationship with God. Or that Jesus will forget me when death darkens my door. Could I do something to jeopardize my eternity? Will my faith be enough?

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A Living Hope: I am forgiven

I know Jesus has forgiven me. But too often I live like this forgiveness isn’t full or free. I allow my past to define me. When I fail, I fear God will be mad at me. And though I don’t admit it, I’m still trying to prove my worth so that God will accept and approve of me.

But the resurrection proves I am forgiven.

The resurrection proved that Jesus died, not for his own sins, but ours alone. “For death has rightful claim only over sinners” but death had no hold over Jesus (Acts 2:24). The resurrection proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and showed that God not only accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and payment for sin, but He declared Jesus innocent by raising him from the dead.

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A Living Hope: rediscover the power of Easter

I caught her gaze and she looked at me. She mustered a smile, but her eyes betrayed her. To others, she looked happy. But I knew better.

Her shoulders hunched from the shame she carried; that nagging guilt that told her she was useless, worthless, and a burden to others. The lines etched in her forehead revealed the anxiety and pain that plagued her on a daily basis. Fear of present and future circumstances hovered over her like a dark cloud.

She looked discouraged. Overwhelmed. Burdened. Weary.

Dejected, I tore my gaze away from the mirror. Continue reading

13 Mind-Blowing Facts about Jesus’ Birth You Might Not Know

Every year we celebrate the familiar story of Jesus’ birth with pageants, movies, carols and greeting cards. Manger scenes are decked out with all the proverbial characters, as baby Jesus smiles sweetly from the manger.

But if you think you know the Christmas story, you may want to think again.

Buried under years of tradition and translation, the historic and cultural details surrounding the events of the nativity are no longer common knowledge.

If you want a deeper understanding of the Bible that will blow your mind this Christmas, take a gander through these profound yet often missed details.

Here are 13 fun facts about Jesus’ birth you probably won’t hear from the pulpit this year! Continue reading