Tempted by Being Great

Tempted by Being Great

by Bryan Marvel

One of the desires of my heart that I’ve battled throughout my life is the desire to be great. From a very early age, I had dreams of being a professional basketball player who was the star of the team, or a rock star who traveled the world playing to sold-out stadiums, or a stand-up comedian who was loved by all people and could have any crowd doubled over with laughter. When God called me to be a pastor, the desire to be great followed me into the church.

Approved with a New Name

Approved with a New Name

by Bryan Marvel

Years ago I was officiating a funeral for a woman in our church. I had arrived a few hours before the funeral began to greet the family and help them get settled before guests started to show up. In the days leading up to the funeral I had met many different family members, but there was still one I had yet to meet, the woman’s son. When we finally met, I was taken aback by how he introduced himself.

The Best Legacy

The Best Legacy

by Mike Kasdorf

The older I get, the more I wonder if what I’m doing with my life is making any difference in the world. Am I contributing anything meaningful? What kind of legacy am I leaving? We all want to feel as though our lives have had a positive impact. However, we can often confuse the healthy desire to leave a positive legacy with a desire to pursue personal significance through long-lasting recognition.

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

By Kelsey Sorvick

The opening of a new year typically inspires me to start reading through the Bible with a renewed fervor. The plan I chose this year has directed me to first read through the book of John. I cannot help but observe how the author, John of course, refers to himself simply yet profoundly as, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. In fact, six times throughout John's account of Jesus' life and ministry, he refers to himself by this nomenclature, rather than by his given name.

God's Great Love

God's Great Love

By Trisha Goddard

After living in Paraguay for a year and a half, we had been asked to begin the missions mobilization department to challenge the Latin believers and churches toward what we were passionate about: First Nations and seeing unreached people made aware of the Gospel. Our plans were to do it for only six months while I finished Spanish language study. But when Mike attended a conference with fellow coworkers serving in Latin America, one missionary took him aside and said, “If you are only going to do missions mobilization for six months, you would be better off going to Mexico and sitting on the beach.”

How does God show His love for us?

How does God show His love for us?

By Ann Woelfel

The Christmas season was upon us, hurried weeks of hopeful anticipation leading to the birth of Jesus.  The event that is most demonstrative of God’s love for mankind in all of history. I was certain that a big idea for this blog would come to me, one that people could relate to. I watched and waited. I sought scripture verses by memory and with the help of Google. I prayed. 

Numbering Our Days

Numbering Our Days

by Steve Akin

Moses was 80 when he wrote what we call Psalm 90 – the oldest psalm. God worked through him to free His chosen people. As they waited at the southern border of God’s promised land, he sent a few guys ahead of the encampment to get a feel for the strength of the enemy. Upon hearing the enemy was big and scary, the newly rescued Israelites chose not to put their trust in the One who had miraculously freed them.

Fear vs. Trust

Fear vs. Trust

By Catherine Alles

I have a common and irrational fear of the dark. As a kid – and even sometimes now – when I had to turn off a light downstairs, I’d run as fast as I could to the top, looking back to make sure no monsters were following me. These days, when I wake up as early as 5 a.m. to go to work, it can still feel eerie when the streets are empty and everything is silent and dark.

I Remember

I Remember

By Maureen Kasdorf

As I sat in the steamy bathroom with my little one, holding him close to ease his fear while the coughing wracked his little body, I remembered. “Lord, heal this little boy. Give him relief. Calm his body and spirit.” I remembered that each of my children has had a few bouts with croup and always in the middle of the night. I remembered the words of Psalm 63.

Expectations for Christmas Morning

Expectations for Christmas Morning

By Bryan Marvel

A few years ago, while sitting on the living room floor full of wrapping paper and ripped open boxes, my wife and I were discussing how the morning had gone. Did the kids like their presents? Are there traditions we want to start next year that we weren't able to do this year? Did we do a good job recovering the true meaning of Christmas amidst our culture’s consumeristic frenzy?

God With Us

God With Us

By Cora Alles 

My hands are glued to the steering wheel and my eyes to the road. I forget how cramped my right leg is, I tune out the Christmas music on the radio, and my senses are heightened. I am totally focused on the highway ahead of me. As a snowy, rainy, icy mixture pours down and darkness surrounds my little Honda Accord like a thick cloak, I feel fear creep into my mind. What if my windshield wipers stop working and I can’t see anything? What if another driver loses control and crashes into me? What if I slide off the road into a ditch?