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A Season of Preparation: Getting Ready for All God Has for You

Joyce Meyer

In much the same way, you and I go through spiritually dormant seasons. These are the seasons when God seems silent…when our dreams and visions for the future seem lifeless. But although we may not see or feel anything exciting, it doesn't mean nothing is happening. A lot has to happen on the inside of us before we are ready to handle the future God has for us.

5 Tips for Surviving a 'Blue Christmas'

stress

Since feeling blue during the holidays is such a common sentiment, many churches have seminars to help people in emotional pain minimize their stress during the holidays. Several tips from these classes are actually quite good for people who aren't suffering that "holiday dread" feeling also.

Rethinking 'Date Rape'

If a woman decides that a consensual encounter is now not to her liking, and she tells the man to stop, but in a frenzy of testosterone and pleasure, he refuses, is that rape? Does her later no cancel out her earlier yes?

A World Without Christmas Would Be Hopeless

dan delzell opinion page

G.K. Chesterton wrote, "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." And if there is one thing everyone needs, it is genuine hope.

The Shepherds Made Haste: So Should We

Mark Creech

St. Luke's account says that on that first Christmas shepherds were on a hillside watching their flocks by night, when suddenly, the glory of God shone round about them and an angel appeared. The angel made a stupendous announcement, saying, "... today there was born for you in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." The shepherds were prompt in their response. They sought out the Christ-child immediately. There is built into life an element of urgency concerning the things that really matter.

Do You Agree With These Parents' Decision to 'Cancel' Christmas?

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR\'s

When John and Lisa Henderson grew weary of the poor behavior of their three boys, ages 5, 8, and 11, the couple decided upon a radical remedy. They decided to "cancel" Christmas. After months of working with their boys to help them curb a growing sense of entitlement and bad behavior, the parents decided to take the money they would have spent on presents and instead "put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others."

Do You Agree With These Parents' Decision to 'Cancel' Christmas?

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR\'s

When John and Lisa Henderson grew weary of the poor behavior of their three boys, ages 5, 8, and 11, the couple decided upon a radical remedy. They decided to "cancel" Christmas. After months of working with their boys to help them curb a growing sense of entitlement and bad behavior, the parents decided to take the money they would have spent on presents and instead "put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others."

The Racial Divide: A Blood-Soaked Solution to Ferguson, Garner

Derwin Gray

Since the late 1990s, when I first became a follower of Jesus, it has concerned me that the church in America really doesn't talk about how the New Testament church was comprised of multi-ethnic, multi-class local congregations throughout the first century Greco-Roman world (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:10; Eph. 2:14–16; 3:5-11). But with the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases, the church is talking about how these types of congregations can be agents of reconciliation and unity, just as the early church was.

Christmas Myths Exposed!

frank viola

If you've ever heard the Christmas story retold or watched it dramatized on film, you may not have realized how many myths were added to the story found in the Gospels . In this piece, I address some of them.

The Hope of a Baby Born in a Manger

David Curry Open Doors USA

Christians all over the world will celebrate Christmas—the birth of Jesus, who came to save the world through His redemptive work on the cross. But the way that Christians celebrate Christmas looks very different in various parts of the world.

Jewish Scholars Have Historically Looked to Bethlehem

dan delzell opinion page

As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is interesting to note that Bethlehem has a rich Messianic significance in Judaism. Not only did the Jewish scribes in Jesus' day understand Bethlehem's destiny, but so did Jewish scholars prior to Christ's birth, and after the Lord's resurrection.

How to Break Free From a Troubled Past

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR\'s

We've all suffered heartache. Even if we grew up in a loving home, we were raised by imperfect people who made mistakes, no matter how well-intentioned they may have been. So none of us escapes completely unscathed. It's the reality of being born into a fallen world.

10 Reasons I Thought the Exodus Movie Was Lame

Greg Stier

It depicted God as an angry 5th grade-ish looking boy who kept appearing throughout the movie to awkwardly confront Moses. The previews made the movie look like it aligned with the Biblical account. It wasn't even close.

Jonathan Gruber, Amy Pascal and the Lurking Nihilist

Wallace Henley Portrait

If we learn anything from the current debacles over Jonathan Gruber's unfortunate comments regarding the importance of not being transparent to the "stupid" electorate regarding some facets of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the repugnant values expressed in hacked emails of Sony executive Amy Pascal it is this: There is a nihilist lurking in most — if not all — of us.

Harper Lee's Character, 'Atticus Finch' Upheld the Family Legacy

Mark D. Tooley

Harper Lee, now age eighty-eight and long out of the public eye, is the legendarily mysterious author of the iconic 1961 novel of southern racial injustice, To Kill a Mockingbird. It inspired an equally beloved film with Gregory Peck as heroic small town lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman.

Will Black Americans Listen to a White Man?

Michael Brown

For more than six years now, I have used my daily talk radio show to facilitate dialogue on difficult and divisive issues, asking my listeners to shoot straight with me just as I do with them, even saying at times, "Let's commit to speaking the truth to each other even if it means offending one another. Otherwise, how can we make progress in our understanding?"

Five Conditions That Lead to Negative Departures of Pastors

Thom Rainer

I have written rather extensively on this blog regarding the short tenure of pastors in churches. Of course, many pastors leave churches for very positive reasons. They sense a call to another ministry opportunity. Or they retire from a church with a new phase of ministry in mind.

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North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
(Photo: Reuters/KCNA)

US, South Korea, Japan Agree to Share Intelligence on North Korea's Nukes

The United States, South Korea and Japan have decided to share their military intelligence about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and plan to sign a pact to formalize the plan Monday.

Mastermind Behind Pakistani School Massacre Killed; American Airstrikes Hit Compounds

The alleged Taliban mastermind behind the Pakistani school massacre that killed 148 people in Peshawar last week has been killed, officials have said. American drones have meanwhile struck two compounds in the North Waziristan tribal region, killing at least seven militants.

US

nypd rafael ramos
(Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos Was 'Deeply Spiritual Person,' Active in Church; Was to Graduate as Lay Chaplain

Rafael Ramos, one of the two New York City police officers killed by a lone gunman last week, was a deeply spiritual man with a heart for ministry, and was to graduate as a lay chaplain that day, mourners recalled as his wake was held at Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens Friday.

Rick Warren
(Photo: Resurgence 2013 Conference)

Rick Warren to Deliver Mars Hill Church's Final Sermon via Video; Seattle-based Megachurch Closes its Doors at Year's End

Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.

A.D. TV Series
Photo: (YouTube Screenshot/NBC)

Roma Downey Announces For King & Country Song Featured in 'A.D.'

A new recording from the Christian duo For King and Country is now available online and featured in Roma Downey and Mark Burnett's new series "A.D."

Bring Back Our Girls
(Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Parents of Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirl Express 'Indescribable Pain' of Facing Christmas Without Daughter

The parents of one of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic terror group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, earlier this year have expressed their "indescribable pain" at facing Christmas without their daughter.

Matt and Lauren Chandler
(Photo: Screen grab from #MINGLINGOFSOULS WEEKLY VIDEO)

Matt and Lauren Chandler to Christian Singles: Be Honest in Dating Relationships; Focus on God, Not Getting Married

Texas pastor Matt Chandler and his wife, Lauren, advised Christian singles in their weekly video series to be honest as they date and trust God to help find the balance between covering up the past and revealing too much, too soon.