“We may be little, insignificant servants in the eyes of a world motivated by efficiency, control and success. But when we realize that God has chosen us from all eternity, sent us into the world as the blessed ones, handed us over to suffering, can't we, then, also trust that our little lives will multiply themselves and be able to fulfill the needs of countless people?”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
Church planters are some of the great heroes of the faith. Especially when you realize how many church plants fail within the first few years.
But I wonder, how many failed churches might still be alive and well today if we didn’t pressure them to reach numerical goals that most churches, even after decades of existence, fail to achieve?
What would happen if, instead of sending one church planter to start a church, hoping for it to reach (to pick an arbitrary number) 5,000 attendees, we sent...
Today, after a feverish couple of days, I woke up to sunshine, feeling well again! I think bouts of illness or pain, big or small, serve as reminders to embrace the euphoria of an everyday, average, normal day without sickness or pain.
Feeling under-the-weather reminds me to pray for my very brave friends who are battling health issues that go on for weeks, months, years. And to use my good health to do good things in this world, not to take it for granted or waste the privilege.
This comes from Jim Burns' HomeWord blog.
Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage Alive
It has often been said that the best thing you can do for your children is to love your spouse. At times, this means putting your spouse’s needs before your children’s. Many children who grew up in a home where the parents had a child-focused marriage say they have a difficult time knowing what a good marriage looks like exactly. In other words, your greatest family investment may be your...
I have a faded cartoon clipping in my Bible that depicts an operating room. A female patient is seen lying on a table, surrounded by a medical team. At her side is a shocked surgeon holding up a small book by a pair of forceps.
“What do you know?” he exclaims in the caption. “Mrs. Brown did have a book in her!”
While it pokes gentle fun at everyone who claims to have a book in them, I keep the funny as a reminder that I must plant myself in a chair and do the hard work of mining the...
One of the oddest passages in the New Testament is Hebrews 13:2, which charges Christians not to “neglect hospitality since through it, some have shown hospitality to angels without realizing it.” There are undoubtedly many good reasons to be hospitable: to please God, to reflect Jesus’ command to love our neighbors, to make the world better, to increase our own happiness, to inspire reciprocal actions in others, to learn from people different from ourselves and probably others less...
To be blessed is not an end in itself; we must be a blessing to others. All people have a talent in one way or another to touch and inspire other people's lives. Let us not only look inward and proudly say 'all is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth' (2 Ne. 28:21), but let us be a light unto a chaotic world.
Hans B. Ringger
My wife and I are foster parents to a fantastic 18-month-old girl we will soon adopt. This season has been filled with incredible blessings, but it has also been the most trying season of our lives. Having talked with other foster parents, I’m convinced our experience is not an anomaly; it is the norm. Struggle is interwoven with fostering because as much as God loves and supports orphan care, the enemy hates and opposes it. This is why the people of God must step in and serve as the hands...
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded peeled zucchini
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of a small orange
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
We’ll start by combining a half cup of sugar, a half cup of peeled and shredded zucchini, a third cup of almond milk, one egg and a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Now, in a separate bowl, we’ll add two teaspoons of baking powder to a cup of all-purpose...
Keith Getty was recently honored as an "Officer of the Order of the British Empire" by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Christianity Today was able to talk with him about the award, his contribution to modern hymn writing, and his new book.
Ed: Give us some background on the award you just received.
Keith: It's called the OBE and it’s an Order of the British Empire. It happens each year on New Year’s Day and on the Queen's birthday, during which they honor people who have enriched the...
2 T. olive oil
6-7 boneless chicken thighs
grill or steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
1/2 c. chicken or vegie broth
1/4 c. aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. peach preserves or jam (or try orange marmalade, cherry or apricot jam/ preserves if you prefer)
1 T. grainy mustard (or hot Chinese mustard)
1/3 c. chopped green onions for garnish
Lightly season both sides of chicken pieces with your favorite seasoned salt. In a hot large skillet with about 2 T. olive oil,...
When her parents divorced, Tessa Afshar found herself in a strange new world. Growing up as a child of nominal Muslims in Iran, she’d vaguely believed in God, but had never been particularly religious. Yet here she was now, attending a girls’ boarding school in England—and, as with most such schools, that meant that on Sundays, she went to a church.
The congregation’s rules weren’t too stringent: During the service, foreign students were even invited to sit in the balcony and...
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 dozen eggs
4 ounces feta cheese
4 ounces Monterey Jack
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped onion, pepper, celery blend
1/4 cup milk
Salt and Pepper
We’ll begin by melting a couple tablespoons of butter and stirring in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. We’ll use this to saute a cup of vegetables from a frozen blend of chopped onions, peppers and celery. When they’re soft,...
As someone who went on not one, not two, but nine blind dates, I know how awkward and nerve-wracking the experience can be. Although I’ve hung up my blind-dating career now that I’m married to a wonderful man (and yes, I met him on my ninth and final blind date!), I frequently find myself talking to other people in that awkward territory of first dates, and I wish I could spare them from some of the angst I went through myself. I’m not sure if there’s any way to...