Prev Recently, I went through the painful process of leaving a church that believed turning from sins was necessary for salvation. As an immature believer, I didn’t identify right away what was wrong with their doctrine and faithfully followed their teaching. With time, I became more and more troubled. I was unsure whether I had […]
PrevNext Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I was blessed to have grandparents who regularly took me to church with them. It was a small Bible church which met in a plain building with a metal roof and little adornment within. But what the church lacked in terms of aesthetic appeal, it more than made up […]
PrevNext having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever 1 Peter 1:23 Once we believe in Jesus for eternal life, God’s seed takes root in us and starts to develop the root system necessary to take in vital nutrients such as water. We need to water our […]
Next Several years ago, my mom planted her favorite tree in her front yard. It was a tree she had always admired but had never before attempted to grow. It was a Purple Leaf Plum, which puts out gorgeous, deep purply-black leaves. After a few years, the tree appeared to be thriving. It was beautiful, […]
We hear a lot about what the world says love is in February. However, for those of us who have believed in Jesus for the free gift of eternal life, have the Holy Spirit living within us, with a desire to imitate the love of our Captain, we must look to the Word of God. […]
We had been married for about eight years and finally settled into that comfortable rhythm that only experienced couples can manage. It was Easter Sunday. After church, we had lunch at his parent’s house before heading home for family nap time. The warm April sun was flowing through the double glass of the back porch doors. Our six-month-old daughter snoozed quietly in her bassinet as I curled up heavy-eyed next to my already sleeping husband. I remember the feelings that swirled around on that pleasantly average afternoon. Optimism, hope, and peace were what characterized the first half of the worst day of my life. Little did I know that seven hours later I would become the widow of a suicidal husband and an unprepared single mother.
In August of 2019, we hosted a team of missionaries here in Kenya led by our friend Randy Jones. It was during the school holidays, which meant our three children were at home along with some of their cousins. In the evening, we would have devotions and there could easily be ten to fifteen of us at any given time.
Rebekah did something unique among all other women in Genesis. After 20 years of infertility, God had answered her husband Isaac’s prayer and granted them conception. But that joyful outcome caused stress a few months later. Due to an uncomfortable pregnancy, Rebekah “went to inquire of the Lord.” She seems to be the only woman in Genesis who asked God a question, expecting an answer. Notice her desperation:
There has been a lot of ink spilled and feuds formed due to worship styles. I have heard of churches imploding because of instrument choices and genre preferences. Here in the States, we can have a church worship alongside a band playing guitars, while down the street, another church may worship with a piano and […]
Prev A few years ago I heard a different style of testimony. The man began by saying he had been part of a “Christian” cult which taught that once you were saved, if you sinned even one time, you lost your salvation and you could never get it back. This cult was extreme in its […]
Now that my husband and I have been married for a few years, he has figured out that I don’t just want a box of chocolates and a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. While I appreciate both chocolate and flowers, what I desire is a handwritten note with a personal message just for me. That’s […]
PrevNext "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand." John 10:29 NKJV Webster dictionary defines a testimony as: A solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized […]
I received an unexpected sweet treat from an admirer last Valentine's Day. A delightful half dozen previously enjoyed donut holes upchucked all over my lap by my adoring almost 2-year-old son. Not an ideal way to start a day meant to be full of romance and affection. Although, I suppose you could say this is ultimately where romance and affection leads.
I was sitting in my car watching, horrified, as my best friend cried beside me. I’ve known her for years. We have been through weddings, births, deaths, and more together, but I had never seen her so upset. Her face was bright red, while huge tears spilled into her lap. “I just don’t know if she’s really saved.” she gasped between tears.
Building a biblical marriage can be difficult, but the following are five tips to help get you started from a married-a-long-time, has-a-bunch-of-kids, still-in-love, wife.
Have you ever seen a Jenny Craig commercial? With the before and after pictures? Debbie from Delaware is standing in less than flattering biker shorts and a tank top, depressed, with sad music playing in the background. Then…BOOM! She steps into the next frame and is magically transformed. She’s in a sassy cocktail dress, 30 pounds lighter, with better makeup and upbeat music. Debbie ain’t a downer no more!
In the well-known plot theme of man vs. self, Phil has to battle his own arrogance and selfish ways to win the girl's heart. As he lives each day over and over, he notices his patterns, the ways he messes up, and the wrong words he chooses that turn her away. He also has the privilege of seeing what draws her in: learning to play the piano, helping others, being kind, noticing the things that she enjoys. Although he tires of being stuck in this day, he finally realizes that he has endless chances to perfect how he loves her because he knows that no matter what he does, he will see the same thing tomorrow (which is today again!)
Is there danger in using the Apostle Paul's testimony as a pattern for our own?
Even though Jesus gives an explanation of this parable it is still widely misunderstood. Many teachers will encourage you to "check your soil" to see if you are truly saved or not. The gift of eternal life is not something to be questioned or determined based on a person's actions.
The majority of testimonies given in churches today are confusing. To make matters worse, I believe most don’t even give a clear gospel presentation. Here’s a recent example: Not too long ago, I was sitting at a dinner table with three evangelical missionaries.
Towards the end of December last year, a group of eighteen teens and three adults led by myself attended a teens conference here in Kenya by a friend named Bob Sjogren from Virginia, USA. His first question was, ‘Why did Jesus come?’ Many of the answers pointed to the fact that He came to die […]
I’m not an outdoorsman by any means. I’ve been camping in the Smokey Mountains, but it’s not my world at all. I could easily get lost or stuck in the elements unprepared. I married a Colorado cowboy-a real rodeo cowboy. So, I’ve learned a few things about being prepared, planning ahead, and the correct way to eat a steak. All of these are important and offer us a spiritual lesson as well! These are some ways to stay on course spiritually, find your way back when you’ve wandered too far, or keep from getting lost altogether.
I was a young twenty-something getting ready to go on my first mission trip to India. In preparation for the trip, my church required that all members of the team had to complete an 8-week course on overseas missions. I was nervous but excited about missions, so I took the class very seriously. About halfway through the program we had to write out our salvation testimonies. I remember struggling with this assignment.
Join us next week at 9:00 a.m. CDT as we start a new LIVE seven-week series: Test Your Testimony. Kathryn Wright will be walking us through common types of salvation testimonies, problems that arise with them, and practical tips to help you understand and share your salvation testimony more clearly.
After we have stuffed ourselves with holiday cookies, pies, and pastries, we vow to repair the damage we have inflicted on our waistlines. We are determined to lose weight, get in shape, eat healthier; the list goes on. We tell ourselves that the new year will be better if we can only meet our goals.
In the year 1850, the following lines by the famed Victorian poet, Tennyson, were published. Ring out the old, ring in the new,Ring, happy bells, across the snow:The year is going, let him go;Ring out the false, ring in the new. Tennyson In this second stanza of his much-loved poem, “Ring out, wild bells,” the […]
Over the past two years the Free Grace Women community has been growing from its roots of just ten ladies with a passion for sharing the free grace message to over 150. We want to see this community grow even more so we are moving our blog to Free Grace International. Free Grace Women is […]
Mary had just received news that she was pregnant, by the Holy Spirit, with the Messiah. And her immediate response? An expression of faith. Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to Your Word.” Luke 1:38
I think it would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been quite the year. While this year has gone differently than any of us planned, I hope you can look back and see God’s hand at work in your life throughout it all. This Christmas season may look different from years past. We […]
As Christmas approaches, I find myself filled with excitement as I think about ideas regarding how to make the season magical for my children. What presents should I buy? How should I decorate the house? What traditions do I want to start for my children? I find myself quickly slipping into the more worldly aspects […]
My husband's birthday is one week before Christmas. One of our first holiday seasons together as newlyweds, we were having dinner with his family celebrating his birthday early in December. As everyone was nearly finished eating, his brother announced he thought we should just go ahead and celebrate Christmas together...that night. My incredibly cool, easy-going, […]
I love watching The Great British Baking Show. Baking is relaxing for me, but watching other people bake beautiful treats I've never heard of whilst discussing the process in English accents is even more relaxing. Each week the bakers are presented with a technical challenge. One week the technical challenge was to make an angel […]
Recently someone told me what her parents were enduring. They had spent 45 years on three different mission fields—India, Hong Kong, and Suriname, learning a new language in each location. Raising five children, they never had money to put away, so at age 70, they retired to subsidized housing in Florida. Now they were experiencing […]
"What does this verse mean to you?" I have been in numerous Bible studies where this question has been asked. But is this really the question we should be asking when studying God's Word? If not, what kind of questions should we be asking?
Prev Digging Deeper - Soil Series Week 5 Before digging in to The Good Soil check out weeks 1-4 here . Luke describes the good soil in this way: “But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold” (Luke 8:8). The use of the phrase “sprang up” is found in […]
PrevNext Digging Deeper - Soil Series Week 4 Before digging in to The Thorny Ground check out weeks one and two here . As we have seen in our previous blogs, the parable of the four soils addresses the different responses people have to God's word, the “seed.” The first ground was the hard soil, […]
PrevNext Digging Deeper - Soil Series Week 3 Before digging in to The Rocky Soil check out weeks one and two here . For the first twelve years of our marriage, my husband and I were renters. Before moving to our current home, we rented a nice townhome with a tiny backyard. Although I couldn't […]
PrevNext Digging Deeper - Soil Series Week 2 A few weeks ago we offered an overview and infographic on the Parable of the Four soils here. Now we want to take the next 4 weeks to dig deeper and take a closer look at this parable. This is an important passage and worthy of close […]
The thought, “Is that what 34 is supposed to look like?” went surging through my thoughts as I stared at the Instagram photo before me. The influencer had just turned 34 and naturally had to post about how gorgeous she looked on her birthday. I turned 34 recently, and instead of looking like a mature woman, […]
My husband told me he wanted to stop looking at porn but told me he needed my help.
Check out Part I of this series for clues found in scripture on dealing with anxiety-related depression. From Personal Experience
Recently, for a few years, I struggled under the weight of anxiety-related depression. This was already the most prevalent mental disorder in the United States before Covid-19, so it’s very likely that you or someone that you know is struggling with it now. My hope is that sharing my experience will provide encouragement for those […]
July 31, 2006 was a hard day. As I watched the screen, I searched intently for that blinking heartbeat which would give me peace of mind that the bleeding I had during the previous weekend was nothing to worry about. However, my doctor looked at me with compassionate, pain-filled eyes and said, “I am so sorry.”
A few years ago, I got the chance to work for the state fair in South Carolina. A friend of mine is the supervisor for one of the main buildings at the Fairgrounds. Basically, she’s in charge of all the submissions for the homemade items. The quilts, crafts, and baked goods come to her building […]
Like so many others the world over, our family has been experiencing a time of significant testing since my husband was furloughed from his job in mid-March. The ramifications of sudden job loss have been numerous, and I'd be lying if I said we weren't stressed. In an attempt to get our minds off the […]
We have attempted a garden for many years and we usually call it a “learning experience” because frankly, we have had mixed results. But, there is something about trying again and hoping for that bountiful harvest of overflowing baskets full of beautiful, shiny produce. This year, we were highly motivated because we thought we may […]
As parents, it can feel as if the list of what we need to teach our children can be long and arduous. This perhaps became even more apparent this Spring when parents were suddenly thrown into teaching their children at home with little to no preparation. It falls on our shoulders to consider our children’s […]
Lessons From Philippians Chapter 4 The Apostle Paul speaks to common culprits of an abundant life in Philippians 4, in a passage that has been called Paul’s “recipe for conflict resolution”. (Hendricks, 96) These verses are packed with specific solutions and allow us to consider and decide how we are going to respond to difficulty, […]
For years I struggled with having a daily prayer habit. The whole thing just really intimidated me. What do I say? How do I stay focused? What would the Creator of the Universe possibly want to hear from me anyway? After learning about this guide and putting it into practice I now look forward to […]
My favorite hobby is gardening. I find it so rewarding to watch something small and unimpressive grow and develop into something vibrant and flourishing! But gardening takes patience, something I sorely lack. I bristle when I receive the dreaded answers of "wait," "maybe," or "I'm not sure." I don't want to wait for a decision. […]
I really like that song that came out recently with lyrics that say “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” by the artist Plumb. A friend of mine disagreed whole-heartedly. This has been on my mind since then. I say that because I’ve found myself lately feeling like a liar when friends or acquaintances ask how […]
Last year, New York passed a bill expanding the right for legal abortions into the third trimester. Other states are now seeking to follow in their footsteps and pass similar legislation. This bill allows abortions of fully developed babies up to birth. Those advocating for the bill have admitted that it would even allow the […]
“If God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it.” | Pollyanna I love the movie, Pollyanna. Pollyanna’s example of trying to find the good in people and in situations is a character quality that we should aspire to replicate. Her joyful […]
Part 2 of a 2 Part Series Check out Part 1 of this series to catch the first part of Kelley's Story in her journey of looking back to move forward. As I sang along to the song "oceans" on each Sunday that fall, I began to pray and ask the Lord to make its […]
Part 1 of a 2 Part Series Last week, my husband lost a job which he had essentially worked to attain since he was 15 years old. A chef by trade, last June, my husband was offered a position as the Assistant General Manager over Food and Beverage at a large hotel in our area. […]
He is Risen, He is Risen indeed! From pastel-colored cards to embroidered stuffed animals to home decorations and yard signs, we see this phrase often during this season. But, what is the significance? Why is this what we celebrate? And as we think of the song, Goodness of God by Bethel we hear the words..."His […]
As Easter approaches and we think about Jesus’ death and resurrection, I’ve been reading through the new testament accounts of His death so that I will have an awareness and thankfulness during this season of celebration. When you think of a celebration the first thing to come to mind isn’t usually death, but as I’ve […]
The windows on our house are double-paned and slightly older than I am. This means they are a double-pain to clean as you have to dismantle them like one of those brainteaser puzzles they sell at Cracker Barrel. My favorite spot to sit in our house is in a vintage, velvet gold chair nestled next […]
The Corona Quarantine of 2020 might have you feeling as if you are imprisoned, locked down, or chained to your home and unable to leave and live freely as you normally do. Your food options may be more limited. Contact with other people has been diminished and almost limited to strictly communicating via technology. The […]
Life as we've known it has changed in a big way in just a few short days. I've seen an abundance of positive social media posts aimed at getting people to look at the bright side, keep the faith, laugh, make the most of it, and on and on. I am so grateful for these […]
A couple of years ago we loaded up our 3-year-old and 15-month old into our homemade camper van. Do not picture the trendy kind of van you can stand up in and cook breakfast barefoot while admiring a mountain top view. Picture the type of van parents warn their children not to go to for […]
I previously shared about Handling Confrontation With A Sister In Christ. Now I’d like to share my personal experience. A few years ago, after a ladies Bible study meeting, I sent out a group text to the older/leader women on my thoughts of how the evening had gone. I urged a couple of them to […]
I had a steaming cup of coffee warming my hands while I sat and watched little fat squirrels chasing each other through the canopy of trees in our backyard. Almost all of the leaves had dropped creating a thick layer over the grass. The sun had not been up long enough to melt the delicate […]
While continuing in a long season of infertility and loss, I decided I would read the gospel of Luke last December leading up to Christmas. The first chapter started with not one, but two miraculous pregnancies that were promised by God to Mary (Jesus) and Elizabeth (John the Baptist). Simultaneously, I happened to be reading […]
We had been married for about eight years and finally settled into that comfortable rhythm that only experienced couples can manage. It was Easter Sunday. After church, we had lunch at his parent’s house before heading home for family nap time. The warm April sun was flowing through the double glass of the back porch […]
I recently took my kids on an epic nine-day, 3100-mile road trip out West across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. I am what you would call the “outdoorsy type,” and I am admittedly fascinated with the beauty found in Creation around us. I often marvel at how stunning it is, even though it’s in […]
A young friend on FB explored the question of why Millennials are leaving the Faith. Perhaps we should ask what makes young adults choose to keep the Faith in which they were raised.
Part 2 of a 2 Part Series In Part One of this series, we covered how to get our minds right – five attributes of the mind-set we need to help us understand the Bible, and therefore, defeat the dust that sets up shop when we avoid opening God’s word. Now that we have our […]
Part 1 of a 2 Part Series Does your Bible have a layer of dust that menacingly stares you down every time you walk past it? Do the dust bunnies have teeth and taunt you when you think of reading it? You just might be in that small percentage of the population who suffer from […]
My toddler, completely enthralled, was watching his dad clip his toenails and asked: “Do I eat toenails dad?” My husband and I both laughed (after my gag reflex subsided) at this question and let him know that it’s not a good idea to eat toenails. My son’s latest trend is to ask if he can […]
I’m not sure where I picked up the idea of ‘being good’ so that God would love me. The concept seemed to just make sense to me as a young child, but it has managed to stick around in my mind since those early days so long ago. I grew up in a church that […]
…But Jesus said, "My Father has never stopped working, and this is why I keep on working." John 5:17 BSB The words of Jesus in this verse ring through my mind often, leaving me asking myself the question, am I at work? I have a great tendency to procrastinate especially on important matters, so this […]
Nearly 25 years ago, when I was 15, my Mom asked one of my favorite people, to this day, to please come and talk with me (aka 'fix me'). I was living a life that those who didn't know me then would never believe. It doesn't get a whole lot worse than the path I'd […]
As a child, I remember thinking my mom knew everything, could fix anything and had the softest skin in the world. I thought being a mother was something she had always known how to do. It wasn't until I became a mother myself that I started considering how no one is an expert. Everyone is […]
In 2010 when my husband and I moved back to where we grew up I had a very difficult time acclimating back to small-town living. I had just given birth to our fourth child 2 months prior and we were temporarily living with my parents… we had made an offer on three different houses and […]
...But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect... 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
If you haven’t found yourself in this uncomfortable spot, you will at some point. I’ve noticed two ways believers deal with confrontation. There’s got to be a better way!
In the daily grind that is parenting, consider the things we do over and over that aren’t always fun but are necessary to keep our families moving forward - things like diaper changes, meal preparation, and laundry come to mind, among others. The repetition of these things happens so often that we sometimes do them […]
According to factsandtrends.net Easter is the number one highest church attendance day of the year. Whether you are a regular attendee or once-in-a-while goer Easter is the day you get all dressed up in abnormally bright colored clothing and head to church. We celebrate the incredible story of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection. What I find […]
At one of the most challenging times in my life, someone loved me so well that it made me think, “Maybe there’s more to God than I realize.” Here’s what I’ve learned since, narrowed down as much as possible.
the moment Our lives are marked by a series of milestones and moments etched into our memories. For many christians the moment they believe in Jesus for eternal life is a pretty big one full of struggle and emotion. For me it was a single correction of thought as I sat on my carpet square […]