The Pursuit Of Happiness According To HGTV

If years of watching HGTV shows has taught me anything, it's that our society perpetuates an expectation of getting more than we are willing to work for. So many future homeowners set out on their way to finding the house of their dreams with a long list of the features that they believe to be non-negotiable (open floor plan, granite countertops, a large backyard for the dogs to play...), and confidently smile at their real estate agent when they announce that the amount of money they would like to pay for their new space is not much more than the total of an average grocery receipt.

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The Lord Fights For You

Don’t be afraid? Stand still? Stay calm? I can imagine the looks on the peoples’ faces upon hearing this from Moses. There were probably a few dropped jaws, involuntary guffaws, and shouts of disbelief. The Israelites were ex-slaves and refugees. They left behind everything they owned and knew to follow a man who claimed to have the word of God and currently faced a terrifying unknown future. I’m quite certain that I wouldn’t have been eager to trust Moses’s exhortation at this point.

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Awake & Sober

I’m one of those people who loves doing Bible studies. I enjoy completing the homework and always opt for the longer in-depth studies because I love studying the Bible. I actually enjoy diving into the original Hebrew and Greek text and trying to discern the author’s original meaning. But our enemy is always one step ahead, trying to figure out what might trip me up next. You see, an unexpected problem with my love for Bible studies is that there are so many to choose from. Way too many. 

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What Do I Do Now?

For many of us this question might be one we ask after completing a task, like when we graduate, finish a work project, finally move, or maybe when we land our dream job. But how do we answer it? How do we know when or how we take the next step? How do any of us even know what the next step is? I guess the simple answer is, we don’t know. No one, not one of us really knows what the next part of our lives looks like. We don’t even know what tomorrow looks like. And maybe, just maybe, that is a beautiful thing.

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How Dating Humbled Me

Godly, socially adept men seem to be extinct, which makes dating hard. Too many disappointments, let-downs, or occasions of being “ghosted” have left their mark on the masses of Christian women and the general response is despair or cries of, “Where have all the good men gone?” I’ve even done this. I’ve been embittered and hopeless after one too many heartaches. I’ve blamed men for being too cowardly, too selfish, or, in some seasons of my life, too elusive

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Battling Spiritual Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Do you find yourself constantly worried that you don’t deserve the life you have and someone is going to call you out on it? I’ll be the first to tell you that I often question my self-worth and God’s ability to use me. I’m currently knee-deep in the job-hunting trenches, and while I know that I am qualified for the positions I’m applying for, I still find myself doubting my abilities and feeling like a fake.

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Following God Rather Than The World

As I grow up, some of the parts of my faith that seemed so simple and clear at first have turned out to be more complex than I initially realized. If you, like me, grew up in a Christian church environment, you probably remember some of the messages and stories that were directed towards children. One that I particularly remember was based on Matthew 5:13, which my very young brain at the time paraphrased as meaning that as “the salt of the earth,” Christians were meant to stand out from the crowd and make the world better. Of course, to a child this seems like such an easy task, but it turns out that standing out from society as a Christian does not happen without intention.

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Desperation For God

There are two types of desperation that you will face in your life. The first kind of desperation is to feed your own insecurities. This is when you throw yourself at the first guy that pays attention to you because you think he’s all you’ll ever get. This kind of desperation is a lack of faith that will cause you to justify your reasoning and make decisions that can affect you for the rest of your life: from friendships, finances, marriage, kids, and most importantly… your relationship with Christ. This kind of desperation will cause you to give up your dreams and the calling God has placed on your life. You will think it won’t, but it will. 

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Is It A Sin Not To Go To Church?

The convenience of a streaming church service can be a double-edged sword. Indispensable to those who cannot leave their bed, but a tool of temptation for the devil. I heard that whisper this morning: Why get up so early? It's cold and you deserve a break, and who will notice you anyway? Whether you go or stay won't make a difference. You're still going to watch the sermon online, it's not a sin to miss one week…

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3 Verses For When You Feel Stressed Out

Some days we feel like we have it all together, and other days we live life moment to moment. For a teacher, like myself, the end of the year is always an overwhelming time. The only thing I can really compare it to is the last week of college finals. Maybe you’re not a teacher or college student but you probably still have to work around deadlines, work obligations, home life, and maintaining your relationships. All of this can become extremely demanding and approaching these hectic periods is never easy. 

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When We Must Raise A Hallelujah

When my sister and I were growing up, we played many sports and took some nice tumbles and hits through the years. My dad’s number one rule: we were not allowed to cry on the field or court. We may have broken that rule a time or two, but we always remembered it. This made us tougher opponents then and, to this day, has made us strong. One of my dad’s favorite sayings about us nowadays is, “I didn’t raise no sissies,” and I love the fact he believes my sister and I are strong women who will not cower and can take on anything.

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How To Create A Godly Relationship With Your Mental Health

The weather is warming, and it is time to kick off our shoes, throw our hands in the air, and celebrate summer, right? For some, that may be the case, for others — specifically those struggling with mental health challenges — the season of sun may not be bringing increased feelings of happiness; the opposition of our minds does not take a summer vacation. You may be one of those people. If so, fear not, because you are never alone (Matthew 28:20).

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A System Of Seeking God

When a small, scrappy nonprofit throws an event for 300+ people, things are bound to get a little bananas. In the weeks leading up to the event, our small team was feeling the pressure. Not only was I trying to develop all of the visuals for the evening, but I was also trying to wrap up my own programming with local kiddos. And plan a movie premiere. And make sure that our newly acquired event planner had all of her ducks in a row. And make sure that all of our email campaigns went out in a timely manner. And edit videos to embed in the email campaigns. And sleep. And eat. And just, in general, take care of myself. The day after the event, I went hiking.

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Loving Those Who Hurt You

Love is the unconditional commitment to the well-being of others. It is a gift from God and He has given us the perfect picture of love through the sacrifice of His Son. God’s grace is a result of His love for us. We are called to love one another regardless of our differences or if we feel we have been wronged. We are called to commit ourselves to loving others. This is a hard concept to comprehend sometimes. It’s easy to say that I love people, but when it comes to those who have hurt me, it can be so hard.

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Grace All The More

This past week, I sat in a courtroom looking into the eyes of the two defendants responsible for breaking into my car, stealing my identity to commit fraud, and causing such stress, anxiety, and fear for me these last few months. While panicking, waiting for the judge to address the courts, I was reminded of the words Jesus prayed on the cross for the very ones crucifying Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

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