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10 Creative Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas This Year

It's a challenge to remain focused on the glory that defines the Christmas story. It can so easily become about to-do lists, parties, food, and gifts. While Christmas traditions are a beautiful part of this season, we need to make sure that the drive to do all the things doesn't get in the way of the opportunity to be still and thank God for his Son, Jesus! Here are some creative ways to prepare your heart and home for the message Christmas brings us all this year!

How Our Limits Remind Us of God’s Limitlessness

Human beings live under many constraints, some visible and some invisible. God, on the other hand, does not exist under the same limitations. When people are reminded of what they cannot do, it is a good opportunity to consider how God is not constrained by the same things as human beings.

Why Are There So Many Ideas about Heaven That Are Not Biblical?

The first scientific revolution to challenge the Christian faith is now a part of the worldview of virtually every Christian and non-Christian. At first, though, this new idea seemed to undermine the Christian view of the place of human beings in God’s world.

10 Ways Our Words Produce Life or Death

The tongue is said to be the strongest muscle in the human body, and surprisingly within this smallest of body parts is tremendous power. In fact, James says it is the hardest muscle to train and tame. No bit or rudder are capable of controlling it (James 3:3-6).Yet, we are strongly admonished to be careful of every word we utter, for our words can have one of two effects on people: life or death, according to Proverbs 18:21.This verse is not to be interpreted as to mean literal life and death. Our words cannot raise someone back to life—only Jesus has that power. And while words can be weaponized, they cannot kill someone in the literal sense. Words can only incite action, which can either save a life or cause a death. Therefore, Proverbs 18:21 should be interpreted as metaphor.Following are 10 ways our speech can do good or evil; can produce “life” or “death” to another.Here are five ways our speech can do good and produce “life.”Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/magann

Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven?

Jesus is the only way a person will enter heaven. In these days of conformity and inclusivity, however, people rail against anything exclusive.Yes, Jesus is exclusively the only way to heaven, butallhumans areinvited to accept Him as Lord and Savior.

7 Micro-Habits That Build Your Faith

Faith is like a muscle in our bodies. We are given all we will ever need at the point of our salvation, but if we don’t often use or exercise that muscle, it will become weak and ineffective.Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains (Matthew 17:20). Yet, if we want that minuscule-sized faith to move mountain-sized objects or circumstances, we need to strengthen it by using it in the small things so it grows to conquer the big things.In a parable in Matthew 25, Jesus said if we are “faithful in a few things” we will be given more (verse 21 NIV). He also said, “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have [or, does not use what one has], even what they have will be taken from them” (verse 29). I believe that applies to our faith as well as our gifts and talents. As you and I exercise faith in the little things, then we will be in tip-top faith shape for the bigger things.If your faith is sagging a bit from not using or exercising it, it might be time for a faith lift. Here are seven small habits to build your faith.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/RomoloTavani

8 Things the Devil Doesn’t Want

Satan's desire is to thwart and hinder the growth and impact of the child of God to the point of uselessness. So, what does our great adversary not want in the life of a believer?

5 Biblical Ways to Break Free From a Spirit of Ungratefulness

We all grumble from time to time, whether it's about the traffic, the weather, or the lines at the grocery store. However, when we are constantly complaining, unhappy, or discontent, we probably need to break free from a spirit of ungratefulness.The truth is ungratefulness concentrates on the negative. It skips over the blessings of God and focuses on life's problems. Often, it repels those we love most because nobody wants to be around it.I can write about this today because my nature is to grumble and complain. I've struggled with this my whole life, yet God has been gracious in helping me recognize negative thought patterns and turn them into patterns of praise.If you feel bound by a spirit of ungratefulness, here are five biblical ways to break free.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Doucefleur

5 Sure Steps to Discern if a Dream Is from God

Have you ever had a dream and wondered, "Is God trying to tell me something through that dream?" Let’s discuss some sure steps to take when trying to interpret if a dream is from God or not.

Why How We Dress Matters as Christians

Friends, our Father in Heaven cares about every detail of our lives. From our inner thoughts and motives to our outward appearance, we are His representation to this world. If how we dress matters to Him, let’s act and dress in a manner worthy of this holy calling.

3 Ways to Be Thankful During Grief

The holiday season often becomes a season of renewed grief. The passing of a loved one, whether fresh or years past, becomes raw again as their absence is felt anew. This will be the third season without my mom, and I keep functioning under the idea that it will get easier. Perhaps, in some ways, it does. But in many ways, I feel the aching emptiness of the spaces she filled.I’ll be honest. Mom wasn’t that great of a cook or baker. She wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t anything exceptional either. But now, I miss her freshly baked gingerbread cake and homemade lemon sauce. I miss her turkey and the way she despised making it. I miss her laughter as she sat down to wrap Christmas gifts and shooed me from spying on her. I miss addressing all the Christmas card envelopes while she handwrote a note in every card.I miss her. When they say grief can physically hurt, I understand that now. The weight on my chest bears down. The unshed tears make my throat sore. The mustering of smiles hurts my cheeks. The rhythm of my heart seems to make it crack a little more with each successive beat.But I’m also learning something new. A reframing of my perspective. A way to enter the holidays with joy—true joy—while also not denying myself the reality that my grief exists. Finding ways to be thankful during grief is not easy. Especially this time of year. But it can bring about a healing to the grief that is oh, so very important.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Kerkez


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