“Let’s go, push yourself!” the exercise instructor yelled. “We didn’t come here to be mediocre!” I laughed, or possibly just grimaced, and clumsily attempted the physical feat she demonstrated so easily. After class, I joked that given my age and lifelong lack of coordination, I aspire to be mediocre.
This blog post is adapted from Engaging the Psalms: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer.
Unquestionably, of the 150 psalms, Psalm 23 is the most familiar. It has been used on countless occasions, especially at funerals. It is still on the lips of many, in the version they learned from the King James Bible. Even those who are only Christian in name may know a line or two.
But how well do we really know this psalm? For further insight, it is worthwhile to dig into the subject of sheep and shepherds in the Bible.
I have worked my fair share of odd summer jobs, including working in carnival food carts: from shoveling out your favorite snow cone or grabbing the monster bag of cotton candy to everything in between. Each Fourth of July, I worked in the elephant ear cart, making those doughy, fried treats covered in cinnamon sugar.
Our reasons for praising God are innumerable, yet I often fail to find words that accurately express my praise. Thankfully, the Lord Himself provides words of praise in the Book of Psalms. Although the psalms are wrought with all types of emotions, some of the best (and most popular) words of praise are found in their pages. The Psalms give us words of praise for what is good, how God is good, and how He works for us and loves us.
This post is adapted from Words of Strength and Promise: Devotions for Youth. Read below for a devotion written by Juliana Shults.
For as long as I can remember, the word rest has never been in my vocabulary. As a child, my parents reported that I would constantly move and shift items around in my room, rearranging and retooling. Going from one activity to the next. I would read, then write, then play, then bike, then talk, then—well, there were so many “thens.” That overly planned childhood nature ended up demonstrating itself in adulthood.
This post was adapted from Male & Female: Embracing Your Role in God’s Design. Read below to learn about how marriage reflects God’s design for the head and the helper, as discussed in Genesis.
Growing up, I never truly understood Memorial Day. My hometown of Holland, Michigan, would host a parade every year. Being part of a high school marching band, I was required to march every year in it—starting downtown, marching through the city, and ending at the cemetery. My band director always had one big rule: when we neared the cemetery, we were to stop playing our instruments.
We live in an older subdivision in the DC suburbs, and our house backs up to a wooded area. In the winter we can see other houses, but right now, I can sit on my back deck and see nothing but tall oak trees and green leaves.
Then there’s the sound. Just across the street, looming behind our neighbors’ houses, are tall sound walls to mitigate the noise from the busy four-lane parkway on the other side. We hear the rumbling noise of cars and trucks speeding by at 60 miles an hour whenever we’re outside.
This blog post is adapted from Inspired by the Holy Spirit: Four Habits for Faithful Living by Christina Hergenrader.
For the past few years, a popular T-shirt slogan has been, “Be kind!” There are variations of the message, such as “Kindness matters!” and “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” This slogan is not only on T-shirts, but it’s also on backpacks, water bottles, and bumper stickers. Kindness is suddenly everywhere.
And yet, it doesn’t seem like there is kindness in our schools, neighborhoods, or churches. Kindness most certainly does matter, but many times it also feels extinct. As a mom and a teacher, I see the absence of this most often in how we parent. Let me say that more directly: our generation is teaching the next how to be mean and self-righteous.