Stretching Their Limits

stretching-their-limits (1)Last year, as our church planned its annual youth trip to Mexico, one dad took me aside. “I’m thinking about letting my 15-year-old daughter go, but I have one question. Can you guarantee it’s going to be safe?”

I looked him straight in the eye and said, “No.”

He was shocked.

“I can’t guarantee her safety,” I told him. “But I can guarantee you this. It’s going to be much safer for your daughter to travel to Mexico and go public about her faith, learn to serve, develop a heart of generosity and actually depend on God, than it will ever be for her to grow up in our community without stretching her faith or learning to take risks and follow the same daily routine where she thinks she doesn’t need God.”

As parents, we’re often concerned about our teens’ safety. Read more

For a Happy Marriage: Do the “Little Things” That Matter to Your Spouse

As I looked at the sea of raised hands in the massive auditorium, I couldn’t help but chuckle. It was a Sunday morning service, and as part of his sermon series on relationships, the pastor of this large church had asked me to do a pastoral interview on my research findings about happy couples. He had just turned to the women in the congregation and asked whether a particular little action would be meaningful to them. A thousand hands went up, and we could clearly hear the accompanying sounds of shock from a thousand men.

Then it was the men’s turn, and the women were the ones taken aback when they learned what was important to the men — including, in most cases,

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Midlife Remarriage

by Susan Graham Mathis
Ah . . . this will be a breeze.
 Since our kids are grown and out of the house, Dale and I thought many of the issues of blending families wouldn’t affect our second marriage. We also assumed that as adults, our kids wouldn’t be affected by our decision to tie the knot. Yeah, right!

Remarrying was a huge step, especially after past failures and hurts. But we knew God had blessed us with a wonderful gift – each other. Moreover, He was giving us a chance to model God’s beautiful redemptive plan and exemplify what marriage is supposed to be.

Unexpected bumps in the road

The month following our engagement, we discovered Dale had prostate cancer. We married in July, and Dale had surgery in November. Meanwhile, my adult son unexpectedly moved into our newlywed home that September and stayed until the following May!

That was the end of our Read more

Isn’t that in the Bible somewhere?

by Joanne

Pop quiz: which of these sayings are found in the Bible?

  1. Moderation in all things.
  2. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
  3. Honesty is the best policy.
  4. Better safe than sorry.
  5. Waste not, want not.
  6. You reap what you sow.
  7. God helps those who help themselves.
  8. To thine own self be true.
  9. You need to forgive yourself.
  10. Let go and let God. 

Answer: only #6. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 ESV)

The rest – and many similar sayings – are often mistaken for Bible verses, probably because they sound old or Read more