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BLOG––Encouraged by Faith

Toxic or in Need of Grace?

Posted by April Bumgardner on

We frequently hear about the dangers of toxic people. The internet seems full of warnings, reassuring us our happiness is more important and we do not need such people in our lives. If we believe the memes featuring people gazing peacefully from mountain peaks, we do not need that kind of...

Job is a Martyr

Posted by Scott Kenney on

The story of Job begins with a scene in God's courtroom. God talks to a prosecutor who has accused Job of duplicitous falsehood. "Job doesn't actually love you," the prosecutor says to God. "He just knows better than to bite the hand that feeds." By accusing Job as God’s faithful servant...

Enjoy or Rejoice?

Posted by Scott Morris on

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:4-5) Someone dear once told me that I would feel better if I smiled. I did, and she said, “No, that’s a sneer. Smile like you mean it.” I tried that and it...

Fear and Faith

Posted by Scott Morris on

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) I mean to trust God in all things, and yet I fear many things. How can this be? What do I fear that is beyond God’s control? Is there really anything that is...

The day I let God

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

My father had a serious accident that nearly took his life this year. He spent a month in intensive, acute and skilled nursing care located four hours from my home. His hardship taught me how to pray with more audacity than I have ever dared. I begged for unity in our family in making...

How old are you?

Posted by April Bumgardner on

“How old are you?” She usually runs most places, as if her intended destination is ephemeral, as if she might miss a second of its treasure if she were to arrive a moment too late. Then, she is off elsewhere. Sometimes there seems to be a randomness to her movements, but always...

Mountain Top Experiences in Matthew

Posted by Stephen Kenney on

The expression “mountain top experience” actually comes from Matthew (and the other gospels) which relate the joy and amazement of the disciples when they saw Jesus being transfigured, but then found themselves in immediate conflict when they descended. It occurs to me that...

The Thanksgiving Feast

Posted by April Bumgardner on

Nearly every culture has a day of thanksgiving. It may be a day closely connected to the autumn harvest; it may be a religious holiday, or a day to gratefully honor the dead, or namesakes. Still, it is nearly universal, regardless of whether or not it involves turkey. Gratitude is not only...

The Joy of the Lord

Posted by Stephen Kenney on

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) And from Psalm 126: When...

Jonah and Jeremiah

Posted by April Bumgardner on

Much of my fatigue is emotional. Although my days are full and sometimes I don’t allow myself enough sleep, mostly I am tired from worry and stress. There isn’t an overwhelming tragedy in my life, but several hefty worries that feel oppressive. Can you relate? I act as if I can and...

 

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