I grew up going to church practically every time the doors were opened. In fact, my dad was one of the holders of the church keys, so we were often the first ones there or the last ones to leave. I have many fond memories of that church building. It was there I heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was there I made my public profession of faith in Jesus as a child and was subsequently baptized by the pastor and my dad (a deacon) in a local pond on a church member’s farm. It was there I was asked to serve as the church pianist at age 15 because there was no one else to play. It was in that little building I committed to live the rest of my life with my husband at age 22.
Church. A place where a congregation of about 120 felt like a big extended family. A place where I learned about Jesus and His Word. A place around which our entire lives seemed to revolve. We didn’t belong to a country club or civic group. We had family and we had church. But is “church” merely a place to attend? Or is it more than that?
Recently, I had the opportunity to read The Jesus Paradigm by David Alan Black. In his book, Dr. Black challenges us to take a hard look at the way we “do church” and compare it with the example Jesus gives us in the Bible. Continue reading “Recommended Reading: The Jesus Paradigm”
I was driving in the rain and noticed flashes of light out of the corner of my eye. At first, I thought there was lightning accompanying the rain, but then I realized there was no thunder. The flashes of light were always in the same spot, and they continued even after I was back at home and inside the house. These flashes were happening within my right eye. The eye doctor confirmed that this is quite common among people my age, and so far my eyesight has not been impaired.
Eyesight is something we can take for granted. If we lose it, our lifestyle is impacted in every way – no more driving, and we have to learn new ways of doing practically everything from reading to cooking to walking without injuring ourselves or someone else. Eyesight is precious for our physical lives, but also vital to our spiritual lives.
At this time of year, nearly everywhere we go we see signs of Christmas. We like to drive through our community, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy the decorations that adorn the yards and houses. Twinkling lights of various colors hang on bushes and trees and outline the houses. There are evergreen wreaths embellished with red and gold ribbons, candles glowing in the windows, and Christmas trees overflowing with gifts of all sizes and shapes. Yards are filled with large plastic or inflatable characters, from Santa and snowmen to the Nativity with Baby Jesus at the center – the baby who was also known as the King of the Jews.
Continue reading “Gifts for the King”
On October 2, 2017, our family was struck by tragedy when my husband’s only brother was murdered – shot and killed in his own driveway while heading out to work. In the days that followed, the Lord clearly called us to share our story and our hope with others. It started with my mother-in-law sharing at his funeral. From there, my mother-in-law, niece, and I have been walking through every door the Lord has opened to us to offer His hope to others.
Sensing that our call was not just to a particular church or denomination, but rather to the entire community, we sought the Lord about where to go and how to start. Continue reading “Answering His Call”
The Great Commission gives Christians our purpose in life: We are to go and make disciples of all nations and teach them what the Lord has said (Matthew 28:19-20, paraphrase). We are not just saved from eternal condemnation. We are not just saved to go to Heaven one day.
We are also saved to live here on earth as witnesses – witnesses for Jesus.
If this is what all Christians are supposed to do, then why does it seem so hard? Why is it so intimidating? Continue reading “This is Personal”
It seems that everyone recycles these days. One man’s trash becomes another man’s treasure. Soda bottles become reusable grocery bags. Old machine parts become works of art. Recycling is considered to be a good thing to do.
When it comes to our thoughts, we can get caught up in a “re-cycle” that can be good or bad.
Continue reading “The Re-Cycle”
By Sheri Ellington
At the end of each year, we look back and we look forward. We evaluate the past and set new goals for the future. Or maybe we realize that we didn’t meet a goal, so we roll that goal over to the new year. I want to share about my recurring New Year’s Resolution, how I finally achieved it, and how it changed my life. In fact, I hope that you will consider setting this as a goal for yourself, and at the end of this article, I will offer you some practical tips to get you started. My New Year’s Resolution started way back in my childhood, about forty years ago.
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions”
By Sheri Ellington
If you’ve followed my story thus far, you know that my family has experienced much loss over the past year. Reaching out to our extended families, I can count nine who have died. The closest to me was my mom. The closest to my husband was his brother. Both sides of our family are grieving, but not like those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Praise the Lord for the hope we have in Jesus Christ! Still, dealing with the grief is a daily battle, and our first holiday without these two proved to be a tougher battle than I reckoned it would be.
Continue reading “Gravy, Grief & Glitter”
By Sheri Ellington
Have you ever struggled to keep worrisome thoughts from penetrating and monopolizing your mind? This is a battle I lost for years. But no more! Now I know how to fight and win this battle, even though I don’t do it exactly right every time.
Continue reading “The War with Worry”