• Biblical Studies

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life?

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life? If you were the author of the gospel of Mark, you’d probably have said the apostle Peter. Today on Discover the Word, the team will examine how the special relationship between John Mark and Simon Peter gives us insight into what the writer of the gospel […]

    “John Mark . . . and Company”

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We’ve heard these names so many times and it’s easy to forget that they were real people. Today on Discover the Word, we invite you to get to know John Mark, the man God used to write the second gospel. What can we learn about him from the company he kept? […]

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    Christian Beliefs

    No Masks

    Many years ago, my pastor was talking with a church youth group about “masks.” He asked the students to state what God would see under their masks, should they choose to remove them. What was under their façades? Most gave superficial answers, but one, a senior in high school, had a much more profound response. She had experienced a painful life that included a suicide attempt and had found trouble nearly everywhere she went. Quietly she said, “I think God would see brokenness, but he would also see beauty.”

    Seeing What’s Invisible

    From the time I first encountered Magic Eye stereograms (posters that show one obvious picture, but supposedly reveal more if you stare at them long enough), they’ve only frustrated me. I sat in front of one for what seemed like hours while everyone coached me, telling me to look through the image, then past the image, and then telling me to cross my eyes and look harder. No matter what I tried, I simply couldn’t see what, I’m told, was right there in front of me.

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    Christian Living

    Shallow and Profound

    Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

    Make a Joyful Noise

    Back when I was searching for a church to attend regularly, a friend invited me to a service at her church. The worship leaders led the congregation in a song I particularly loved. So I sang with gusto, remembering my college choir director’s advice to “Project!”

    After the song, my friend’s husband turned to me and said, “You really sang loud.” This remark was not intended as a compliment! After that, I self-consciously monitored my singing, making sure I sang softer than those around me, and always wondering if the people around me judged my singing.

    But one Sunday, I noticed the…

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    Christian Ministry & the Church

    Make a Joyful Noise

    Back when I was searching for a church to attend regularly, a friend invited me to a service at her church. The worship leaders led the congregation in a song I particularly loved. So I sang with gusto, remembering my college choir director’s advice to “Project!”

    After the song, my friend’s husband turned to me and said, “You really sang loud.” This remark was not intended as a compliment! After that, I self-consciously monitored my singing, making sure I sang softer than those around me, and always wondering if the people around me judged my singing.

    But one Sunday, I noticed the…

    Something in a Song

    For years, Denise referred warmly to her sibling Carolyn as “my little sister.” Carolyn faced significant cognitive challenges, but she loved life and brought joy to everyone who knew her. She loved Jesus too!

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    Christianity & Culture

    The Day We Were Robbed

    “I’ve to run. My flat . . . someone’s entered my flat. I must go,” I told my boss in a barely audible whisper. I could hardly believe my ears when I received a phone call from my sister to say we had been robbed.

    Seeing Masterpieces

    My father creates custom quivers designed for archers to carry their arrows. He carves elaborate wildlife pictures into pieces of genuine leather, before stitching the material together.

    During a visit, I watched him construct one of his works of art. His careful hands applied just the right pressure as he pressed a sharp blade into the supple leather, creating various textures. Then he dipped a rag into crimson dye and covered the leather with even strokes, magnifying the beauty of his creation.

    As I admired my dad’s confident craftsmanship, I realized how often I fail to acknowledge and appreciate my heavenly Father’s…

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    Ethical Issues

    A Christmas Journey to Freedom, Part 1

    A Christmas journey unlike any you have ever taken before—a special holiday presentation about the journey of a runaway slave taken along the Underground Railroad. Featuring soloist Wintley Phipps, author and professor Dr. Allen Callahan, and actress Gwendolyn Briley-Strand as Harriet Tubman in the dramatic presentation, “A Christmas Journey to Freedom.” Other parts of the […]

    Healing homelessness with community

    When Alan Graham’s life was transformed by his relationship with Jesus, he knew he wanted to help others experience the same love and forgiveness that he’d received. But when this successful entrepreneur had the desire to go out and change the world, he discovered that in the process he was also being changed. Discover how […]

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    Evangelism & Missions

    Helicopter Seeds

    When our children were young, they loved trying to catch the “helicopter seeds” that fell from our neighbor’s silver maple trees. Each seed resembles a wing. In late spring they twirl to the ground like a helicopter’s rotor blades. The seeds’ purpose is not to fly, but to fall to earth and grow into trees.

    Before Jesus was crucified, He told His followers, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified . . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces…

    Anyone

    Are you close to someone who seems particularly far from God? It might help to keep in mind that this person is probably not less reachable than Paul, who claimed he was the worst of sinners because he had persecuted God’s people (1 Timothy 1:12-16). Paul realized if God could save him, He could reach anyone.

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    Life Struggles

    Shallow and Profound

    Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

    Seeing Masterpieces

    My father creates custom quivers designed for archers to carry their arrows. He carves elaborate wildlife pictures into pieces of genuine leather, before stitching the material together.

    During a visit, I watched him construct one of his works of art. His careful hands applied just the right pressure as he pressed a sharp blade into the supple leather, creating various textures. Then he dipped a rag into crimson dye and covered the leather with even strokes, magnifying the beauty of his creation.

    As I admired my dad’s confident craftsmanship, I realized how often I fail to acknowledge and appreciate my heavenly Father’s…

    View All

    Marriage & Family

    Reconciled marriages and transformed lives

    Each couples’ marriage started out with such promise, but unfortunately it didn’t take long before poor choices and devastating circumstances shattered the futures they’d envisioned. While they had given up hope, God hadn’t. Be encouraged that no marriage—and no one—is without hope of transformation or for reconciliation with Jesus in the center of their lives. […]

    I Almost Got a Divorce

    When I was younger, I used to think that I could overcome anything as long as my husband loved me. But after getting married, my husband’s poor health, among other things, almost led me to give up on my marriage.

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    Relationships

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life?

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life? If you were the author of the gospel of Mark, you’d probably have said the apostle Peter. Today on Discover the Word, the team will examine how the special relationship between John Mark and Simon Peter gives us insight into what the writer of the gospel […]

    Shallow and Profound

    Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

    View All

    Spiritual Growth

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life?

    Who would you say has been your greatest mentor in life? If you were the author of the gospel of Mark, you’d probably have said the apostle Peter. Today on Discover the Word, the team will examine how the special relationship between John Mark and Simon Peter gives us insight into what the writer of the gospel […]

    “John Mark . . . and Company”

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We’ve heard these names so many times and it’s easy to forget that they were real people. Today on Discover the Word, we invite you to get to know John Mark, the man God used to write the second gospel. What can we learn about him from the company he kept? […]

    View All

    When Life Hurts

    The Day We Were Robbed

    “I’ve to run. My flat . . . someone’s entered my flat. I must go,” I told my boss in a barely audible whisper. I could hardly believe my ears when I received a phone call from my sister to say we had been robbed.

    The Hand of Comfort

    “Patient is combative,” the nurse’s notes read. 

    What she didn’t realize until later was that I was having an allergic reaction as I awakened after a complicated open-heart surgery. I was a mess, with a tube down my throat. My body began shaking violently, straining against the straps on my arms, which were there to keep me from suddenly pulling out my breathing tube. It was a frightening and painful episode. At one point, a nurse’s assistant to the right side of my bed reached down and simply held my hand. It was an unexpected move, and it struck me as…

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