What are the Means of Grace?

You probably haven’t heard the term Means of Grace mentioned today in the morning news, on social media, or during small talk at the grocery store. It’s not part of most regular conversation, and even the words seem somewhat abstract in contrast to popular language. You hear about Means of Grace in church and maybe in your devotions, but what does the term really mean? There is a simple explanation for what Lutherans believe about these Means of Grace and why they are for you.

A Student’s Sneak Peek into Deliver Us

My book list for last semester was more hefty than usual, and I dreaded putting in my $100 order at the bookstore. But there was one relief. A required book written by my professor wasn’t published yet, so we would be receiving the manuscript from him for free. What luck! I was excited to save some money, even though it still meant I had to read what I expected to be a dull textbook. My expectation was not met.

From Clueless to Fearless: Learning from Peter

After reading Mark’s account of the transfiguration, I asked the teenagers in Sunday School if they had any comments or questions. A fifteen-year-old girl hesitantly raised her hand. “Um, I don’t know how to say this, but the disciples were . . . not smart.” The other kids laughed and agreed, and we spent a few minutes talking about the clueless disciples.

Six Christian Books for Busy College Students

Classes keep you busy, and you look forward to those five minutes you can spend doomscrolling on your phone at the end of the day. I get it. Sometimes you need to turn your brain off and mindlessly scroll. But couldn’t you spend those minutes doing something better for yourself?

What if you spent those five minutes connecting with God instead? Concordia Publishing House has six books that are perfect for the busy student who only has a couple minutes for peace. Each book can be broken up into easy-to-read sections. They are also great for meditation. Read on to see why I recommend these books!

Keep Up Bible Study Attendance: It’s for Everyone

At this time of year, many churches start their regular Sunday morning Bible classes and weekly small group meetings.

But if you look at the weekly attendance to Bible studies compared to the number of people who attend worship on Sunday, the numbers don’t quite match up. Why do fewer people attend these studies? Why is there such a big gap? What’s the disconnect?

I’d like to argue that there are no excuses for not attending Bible study. People of all ages need to study the Scriptures surrounded by fellow Christians. Here are three common reasons why people might not attend regular Bible study and some encouragement to rethink that perspective!

Trust Christ’s Victory Instead of Striving for Success

For the past 12 years, I’ve called myself a “stay-at-home mom.” Last fall, my youngest started kindergarten and, as he headed off to school, I did also. I started substitute teaching. A few years ago, I started writing and speaking. About that time, I started to ask myself questions about each of these vocations.

In all of my vocations, I struggled to define what a successful day, year, or lifetime would look like. I’ve come up with ideas, but they often shift with experience, the realization of responsibility, or even my mood.

Three Bible Verses for When Showing Grace Feels Impossible

As a sinful human being, I rely on the Holy Spirit to help me respond with grace when I am under pressure. I have often fallen short on this. I’ve responded without grace or a caring heart toward my neighbor. I have lashed out, said unkind things, and made situations worse. I am clearly not an authority on responding correctly to stressful situations.

Worth the Cost: Follow Jesus through Suffering

We hear some Scripture passages more than others over the course of our Christian lives, especially the Gospel stories surrounding Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection. One of these is the account of the resurrected Jesus appearing to the disciples, cooking them fish on the beach, and restoring His relationship with Simon Peter after Peter’s denial.

The Spiritual Practice of Slowing Down

Have you ever felt like time is just slipping away? Maybe it’s time to rethink and slow down! Adele Werner shares her reflections on the benefits of stepping back and slowing down.

Christian Summer Reading List

Reading is a great activity all year round, but especially in the summer! With school out, the sun setting later in the evening, and the days lasting longer, summer is a great time to head to the library or online bookstore to stock up on summer reads. Whether you set a specific summer reading goal or want to start reading together as a family, there’s always a great new book for you to dive into.

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