Veronica’s Smile

March 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Brenda W. McIntyre –

Some days I wake up in the late morning hours feeling like my name should be changed to Israel. Those are the times I’ve spent sleepless nights wrestling with God. Not physically wrestling with Him as Jacob did in Genesis 32 when his name became Israel, but fighting an emotional battle. Read more

The Broken Unicorn

December 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Brenda W. McIntyre

Every child has a favorite thing they like, such as action figures or stuffed animals. Growing up, my preferred thing was unicorns. I had several unicorn collectibles on a shelf in my room. One day, for no particular reason, my daddy brought home a small green box with the picture of a unicorn on the front and back. Daddy was not the type to remember birthdays or spend time picking out Christmas presents. This gift wasn’t even wrapped. He simply said, “Here, you can have this.”

I could tell the box was previously opened. Reopening it, I pulled out something carelessly wrapped in tissue paper. Unwrapping the item revealed a three-inch tall unicorn atop an oval base, just as the pictures depicted. Tipping the mythical creature caused the lid on the base to open revealing a place for jewelry or other keepsakes. The only difference between the actual item and the images on the box was a crack down the side of the unicorn I held in my hand. I was filled with disappointment. Why had my daddy given me a broken gift? I wasn’t expecting anything, but receiving something damaged was an insult. I went to my room and cried. When I could shed no more tears, I placed the defective decoration on the shelf with my other unicorns.

Read more

Rule of Reciprocity

May 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith

By Cheri Cowell –

 

Marketers utilize a wide range of strategies to convince consumers to make purchases. Some are straightforward such as sales, coupons, and special promotions. Others are subtler and make use of a principle of human psychology called the Rule of Reciprocity. This rule operates on a simple principle: We tend to feel obligated to return favors after people do favors for us. For instance, when a friend takes you to the airport, you feel obligated to return the favor the next time they ask. And when they refuse to react to a perceived insult it is easier to overlook theirs.

This is not hard when other people are deserving of fair treatment. When they treat you well you want to return the favor. However, practicing this rule becomes difficult when the person isn’t deserving. In these instances, the Bible tells us we are to practice the foundational rule for peacekeeping. Often referred to as the Golden Rule, it tells us we are to treat others the way we want them to treat us—not the way we are treated.

“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31 NASB).

Prayer: I respond easily to someone who does a favor for me, but agree it is more difficult (and more Godly) to treat others the way I want them to treat me—not the way I’m treated.

 

 

Finding Hope in the Storm

May 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith

By Rachel Indihar –

 

We’ve all had days where trials and problems seems to pile on top of each other. Whether it’s a million “smaller” problems or one large and overwhelming problem, the world sometimes seems to be working against us. Frustration builds, anxiety increases, and soon we lose the presence of God in our lives.

I heard it said once that if we are not in the middle of a storm, then we are preparing for the next storm. Whether or not this is a healthy way to look at life, the reality is that God sends a variety of problems into our lives for His own purposes. Sometimes we recognize the meaning behind a problem right away, such as knowing that God is teaching us patience when we’re trying to parent a crying child. Other times it is a mystery as to why a certain dilemma confronts us, as in the case of a loved one dying.

Is it true that to live means to suffer? Is it true that we will have problems facing us for the rest of our lives? Truthfully, I believe it is so. We live in a sinful, fallen world. We will never be free of trouble until Jesus returns and makes the world (and us) perfect again. So how should we deal with the problems that face us now?

A popular verse of Scripture is John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

An important emphasis is at the beginning of this verse: “so that in me you may have peace.” We do not find peace in the world, for “in this world you will have trouble.” But in JESUS we will have peace! And when Jesus makes a promise in the Bible, you can be certain it will be as He said.

God’s children are to be different from the world in many ways, and one important difference is that we are to be peaceful people in an anxious, chaotic world. Christians often have the most influence over society when they respond to terrible circumstances in a peaceful, loving manner.

A profound true story I heard once involved a mother whose child was murdered. I don’t remember any of the details except that after learning who the murderer was, she spoke directly to him and – get this – forgave him! And it was her Christian faith that helped her make that incomprehensible step to forgive the man who destroyed her child’s life. If that kind of faith and love doesn’t impact the world, I don’t know what will.

I believe that everything that happens to us in our lives is scripted by a loving God, even the worst parts of our lives. God is in control even when He seems to be absent. He brings us to the end of ourselves to prove that He is enough and if we have Him we have life, joy and peace. The world may think we have nothing, but we know differently. We live not for ourselves but for a God who understands and directs us and our lives in a way we never can.

« Previous Page