Articles

Articles2020-10-16T08:19:42-04:00
1711, 2020

Gratitude is a Command

As we settle into this month of November and see December on the horizon, we are in the season of Thanksgiving. This treasured time of year may look very different this year for many, and for many different reasons. As we fix our eyes on the things that are unshakable, things that are always and forever rock solid in our lives, we can more easily see what we can choose to be grateful for. Paul is giving a command to → Read more

1711, 2020

Gratitude Guards Contentment

Many years ago, I sat in a blue recliner, wracked in pain. My body, overcome by Lyme Disease, caused excruciating pain in my entire body. My clothes felt like sandpaper against my skin. My nail beds felt like someone was pulling my nails away from my fingers. My joints were inflamed, the vascular system in my head was inflamed. My tongue would not work properly. My gums were bleeding and swollen and my teeth felt like they were going to → Read more

104, 2019

PLL Newsletter – April 2019

Freedom Comes by the Law of the Spirit "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinth 3:17). The road to that freedom sometimes looks like a detour to the one traveling it, especially to one who doesn’t understand God wants a personal relationship with him. That was true for Fred. Fred grew up in an abusive home. His stepfather was so cruel that one of Fred’s brothers killed him to protect the → Read more

101, 2019

PLL Newsletter – Jan/Feb 2019

There’s a large house being built outside of our town that’s been under construction literally for years. It’s almost a curiosity. One year it looked like maybe it would be completed. Instead, studs for a new section were added. For about two years, the framework for a second story was left gradually warping and being destroyed by weather. There is no singular architecture style and the exterior is the black insulation—no siding or brick yet. There are windows in most → Read more

112, 2018

PLL Newsletter – December 2018

How to Remove Lingering Pain After Forgiving As we come to the close of another year and enter the full-swing of the holidays, there’s increased pressure on our emotions. Any area that’s painful often becomes magnified. We want Christmas to be a time of Peace and Good Will toward all men. So, what do we do with the pain that doesn’t go away, and how can we have that peace in our hearts? Alissa Parker is the mother of one → Read more

110, 2018

PLL Newsletter – October 2018

How to be Free from Painful Offenses When our oldest daughter was about nine, her daddy hurt her feelings. He went to her, acknowledged his wrong attitude, and genuinely asked her forgiveness. Long after the conversation, she sat silent with her arms crossed and her jaw set. Me: Did daddy apologize and ask for your forgiveness? Her: Yes. Me: You still seem to be upset. What’s keeping you from forgiving him? Her: He’ll just do it again! Whether we are → Read more

108, 2018

PLL Newsletter – August 2018

Does Forgiving Mean Forgetting? The simple answer to that question is no. But that leaves so many questions. Let me share a true story, with the names changed of course. Jack was an employee with a lot of personality and soon won the confidence of Boss. As he advanced in the company, he also won Boss’s heart and was a frequent guest in his home. A real relationship was formed, and Boss treated Jack as a son. One day Jack → Read more

106, 2018

PLL Newsletter – June 2018

“Why Should I Forgive a Man Like Emmitt?” One of the hardest things God requires of us is to forgive—to give people what they don’t deserve. Our natural desire is for justice, the opposite of forgiveness. Justice demands payment, while forgiveness releases all debt. Why He commands us to forgive can be confusing until we see the results in real life. God knows it’s too painful not to forgive. Tyler Perry is almost a household word because of his movies → Read more

104, 2018

PLL Newsletter – April 2018

Breaking the Power of the Unfair As hard as we try to avoid them, bad things happen to us all—a car accident, an unexpected job loss, a betrayal, or anything that causes a deep disappointment. That’s not good news! The good news is that we don’t have to become the walking wounded, the one who is controlled by the unfairness of what happened. We don’t have to stay offended. Mrs. Hudson had always been a quiet, unassuming lady, faithful in → Read more

803, 2018

How do I forgive myself?

The simple answer to how to forgive myself is, we forgive the same way we forgive others. Unfortunately, simple and easy aren’t the same thing. This is an all too familiar story. Perhaps the main reason we don’t forgive ourselves is because we don’t understand forgiveness. Suppose you owe $10,000 on your car. You lost your job three months ago. You’ve juggled accounts, wiped out your savings, and have no prospects of a new job. The finance company has sent → Read more

102, 2018

PLL Newsletter – February 2018

How do I forgive myself? The simple answer to how to forgive myself is, we forgive the same way we forgive others. Unfortunately, simple and easy aren’t the same thing. This is an all too familiar story. Perhaps the main reason we don’t forgive ourselves is because we don’t understand forgiveness. Suppose you owe $10,000 on your car. You lost your job three months ago. You’ve juggled accounts, wiped out your savings, and have no prospects of a new job. → Read more

112, 2017

PLL Newsletter – Conviction – December 2017

Conviction: Fellowship in the Gospel From the very beginning, we were created to share in community with one another. God created Adam and then determined a suitable companion would not only be good, but necessary. And so it was; God created Eve. Adam and Eve set the stage for living in community - sharing in the joys of God's gracious and abundant provision as they lived in the paradise no man has since known. I imagine their conversations centered around → Read more

112, 2017

PLL Newsletter – Courage – December 2017

Courage: The Strength of the Vulnerable Heart The vulnerable heart learns when and how to trust instead of being defensive and closed. There are levels of trust we have with different people. We are created to be in connection with each other and warned of the danger of not being in relationships, especially for Believers. "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. → Read more

112, 2017

PLL Newsletter – Clarity – December 2017

Clarity: Vital Connection in Community "Misery loves company." There is more to that line than meets the eye. We typically read it as, "when I'm miserable, it's nice to know I'm not the only one suffering." But there is another way to look at it that is more in line with how our minds were intended to work: "when I am suffering, it's nice to have others come alongside me to lift me up." That's because of one undeniable truth: → Read more

110, 2017

PLL Newsletter – Courage – October 2017

When the Question Why Isn’t Important Important scientific discoveries and life-saving medical advances are the result of answering "why." It is an important question when driven by curiosity and the desire to know - to understand. But life doesn't always give us the reason why things happen or don't happen. That's when it must take a back seat to something greater. When our daughter Debbie was five, she had a small yellow skateboard, a simple version not to be confused → Read more

110, 2017

PLL Newsletter – Conviction – October 2017

The Power of Praying in Specifics "God, please help me to find a job." "God, please bring relief and healing." "God, I pray that I would find a husband." If our God is a personal God, then our prayers - our very conversations with God - should be nothing less than specific. But for many of us, we tend to keep our prayers quick and vague. While I'll agree that it's better than nothing, our relationships with God could be → Read more