Devotional Archives for Live It! March 2020

  • 12 Ways Grandparents Can Make Easter an Unforgettable Time


    Because we hold a special spot in our grandkids’ lives, we can help them enjoy the season while also still appreciating its significance. So give some serious thought to strategies for celebrating Easter in fresh, meaningful ways that will live in your grandkids’ memories for years to come.

    • 4 Powerful Ways Pastors Can Shepherd through the Coronavirus Pandemic


      I came across a recent post by John Onwuchekwa joking about how his time at seminary had failed to prepare him for a pastoring during a pandemic. I got a good chuckle because I imagine that it might be a course we see in the future after this!

      The truth is that most pastors I know are all learning to navigate the unfamiliar waters of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the fly.

      Pastoring on any other day, during any season, is not for the weak in spirit. On a good day, being the pastor of a congregation of any size will challenge you, try your faith, and test your patience. At its worst, pastoring will bring you to your knees, causing you to shake your fists toward the sky and ask, as Jesus did, “How long must I endure these people?”

      But, in all seriousness, being a pastor is a wonderful privilege and calling.

      During difficult and challenging seasons, like we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s natural for believers to turn to their pastors for guidance, strength, wisdom, and encouragement. It’s not uncommon for the church to take its cues from their pastor.

      Pastors, however, are not exempt from the uncertainty and concern that comes with a worldwide crisis—health or otherwise. So what can pastors do during this time?

      Here are 4 ways for pastors to shepherd their flocks through a global crisis, like a pandemic:

      Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/NicoElNino

  • 7 Ways to Help Your Children Find Spiritual Mentors


    While the term “mentoring” does not appear in the Bible, there is no question that the concept of spiritual mentoring is woven throughout its pages.

    In the Old Testament for example, we read of Jethro mentoring Moses, and then Moses going on to mentor Joshua. Other instances of mentoring in the Old Testament can be found in the accounts of Elijah and Elisha, Naomi and Ruth, and Deborah and Barak just to name a few.

    The same emphasis is echoed in the New Testament where many more examples of mentorship can be found–Elizabeth and Mary; Barnabas and Paul; Paul and Titus; Paul and Timothy; Priscilla, Aquilla, and Apollos; and Jesus and the disciples.

    In fact, as we read the Gospels, we notice that Jesus focused much of His ministry on mentoring twelve outsiders that no one else would have given a second thought.

    And in Paul’s writings, he talks repeatedly about the importance of living in community–sharing our knowledge, experience, and lives with others. He also urges modeling of the faith, teaching, and intentional training.

    In the book of Titus, Paul goes so far as to admonish the older men and women to “mentor” the younger. Further, he worked throughout his ministry to create a culture of spiritual mentoring. Paul got it!

    Certainly, the Bible declares the importance of spiritual mentoring. We need mentors. Our children need mentors. And even though parents are to be the primary disciplers of their family, children need spiritual community.

    They need mature Christians to invest in their lives by sharing knowledge, experience, and wisdom. They need trusted adults who will model the faith and offer intentional training.

    So, how do we go about locating such people? Consider these seven ways to help your children find spiritual mentors.

    Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Ben White

  • 4 Ways to Conquer the Fear That Is Your Body’s Worst Enemy


    Are you experiencing pandemic virus anxiety? What about fear of the flu epidemic? Maybe you’re afraid of the very possible and real devastation of upcoming natural disasters. Maybe you fear we are living in the end times. Perhaps you fear the next crisis.

    After all, epidemics and disasters not only cause shortages, price gouging, and stock market plummeting, they can mean disease, destruction, and death.

    Fear is everywhere. It surrounds us. Many of us are completely ruled by it, moment by moment, day after day. We’re panicked souls trapped in a maze chased by the enemy—and we don’t even realize it.

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/s-c-s

  • 5 Hard Facts of Marriage and How to Face Them


    Blind optimism says our spouse is our perfect soulmate who can do no wrong–but this only sets us up for painful disappointment. Hope and help are found in confronting the hard facts of marriage together.

  • 4 Ways to Learn How to Love Your Roommate


    Whether our roommates are believers or not, here are some ways we can show them the love of Christ and not end up wanting to tear our hair in the process.

    • 10 Ways Christians Can Exemplify Faith and Peace during COVID-19


      In just a few short weeks, classification of the coronavirus (COVID-19) escalated from outbreak, to epidemic, to global pandemic; and President Trump declared an official state of emergency for the United States and its citizens. And as anyone reading this knows, the impact of this kind of global crisis extends far beyond the sickness itself.

      There is not a person on this earth who hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus, in one way or another, and right now, many people are anxious, on edge, and afraid. Some have even gone to the extreme, bunkering down and “panic purchasing” toilet paper, respiratory masks, and bottled water in preparation for the “end of the world.”

      Everyone will react to crisis and fear in different ways, but in trying and uncertain times like these, how should Christians respond? When the rest of the world is afraid and loses hope, how can Christians still bring the life and love of Jesus Christ to a sick and dying world?

      Here are 10 things Christians can do in faithful response to COVID-19:

      Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/DKosig

  • How to Make Resurrection Eggs a Special Part of Your Easter


    Resurrection eggs give you the tools you need to better convey the message of Easter to your kiddos. They are a great hands-on and age-appropriate way to help them understand the progression of events that led to Jesus’ death on the cross and miraculous resurrection!

  • How Can I Change My Worrying into Worshipping?


    You can make a shift in a moment. You can change the direction of your attention back to God. You can go from heavy to light. From beaten down to filled up. From worry to worship.

  • 10 Lessons on Church Leadership, Learned the Hard Way


    This is not the final list. I’m still (and always will be) learning.

    Most of what follows about leading God’s church is counterintuitive. Or, maybe better said: not what you might be expecting. But these 10 lessons were learned while leading, and hopefully will provide some support along your own journey of discovery.

    Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Rawpixel

  • 9 Ways to Fight for Purity in Your Marriage


    Christians often assume that if they aren’t having sex with anyone other than their spouse, then they are considered to be sexually pure.

    The reality is, being sexually pure involves more than intercourse; it involves our whole person – our mind, body, heart, and even the words we speak.

    One of the fastest ways to destroy a marriage is for one or both partners to give up on the fight for purity. But, how do we fight for purity in our marriages?

    How do we resist temptation and protect our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts? It’s not always easy, but with guidance from God’s Word, help from the Holy Spirit, and a desire to glorify Him in all we do, we can have victory over this fight!

    Below are 9 questions to discuss with your spouse in hopes of helping you fight for purity in your marriage!

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Rawpixel

    • 5 Simple Ways to Take Your Anxious Thoughts Captive


      Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7

      This verse gives us an elementary blueprint for living a life of peace. Simple yes, yet so far from easy. Hey, nothing worth having is easy though, right?

      We can take comfort in knowing that is true. Wouldn’t it be grand if we could read that scripture and something triggers our brains to excitedly, undoubtedly respond with a simple “Alright!” and then move on, doing exactly what the verse commands? What is that like? Are you laughing uncomfortably right along with me now?

      Anxiety is the silent leader in mental illness, our main ‘disruptor of peace’ complaints in the United States. Out of 40 million people that are affected, it is only reported that about 37% seek treatment.

      This statistic is even higher in men as 1 in every 10 men report experiencing anxiety and depression, yet less than half reported seeking treatment. Men, we’re supposed to be tough, yeah? We just need to deal with stuff and move on. How in the world do we deal with something we can’t drink away, work and play away, or talk openly about? Let’s take a walk.

      Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Antonio Guillem

  • How to Be “Quick to Listen” with Your Family


    When I learn to quiet distractions and listen to God’s instruction, I will in turn become the listener my family needs. Here are a few ways we can learn to be “quick to listen” with our family.

  • How to Be a Faithful Witness to Your Family Who Won’t Go to Church


    Since you love your family, it’s only natural for you to want to share spiritual truths and blessings with them. But if they’re unreceptive, it can make you feel rejected and alone, even in a room filled with close-knit relatives.

  • 3 Powerful Prayers for Coronavirus – For Those Sick and Those Worried


    The threats of this world are real, but we do not stand against such threats alone. Our Heavenly Father stands with us, and in Him, we can find all we need to face such times.

  • Why Sleep for Your Family Is a Spiritual Activity


    Sleep is needed not just for physical reasons, but for spiritual as well. Here is more encouragement to make it a priority for your family.

  • 3 Ways to Keep Your Love Alive through the Years


    Here are three ingredients to keep loving one another through the years even when our spouse has changed and the feelings don’t show up.

  • What Does it Mean to “Love Your Enemies”?


    Loving our enemies is a foreign concept. Love and enemies are words that seem mutually exclusive. Putting the two together raises questions. When the Bible tells us to love our enemies what does that mean? Who said it? Why? How?

February 2020
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December 2019
November 2019
October 2019

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