Flourish in 2019 Cheryl Goss

I was recently asked to write a devotion for a ministry. As I prayed through what to write on our conference theme and scripture for this year stood out. I have prayed over this scripture many years now and I always love the encouragement I receive from it. The trees this scripture refers to are palm trees that stood tall and lived long. The cedars grew to 120ft in height…

A Successful Christmas!?! Ashlee Nocita

December comes and it is the most wonderful (and busiest) time of the year.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, Christmas decorations are out, wreaths are placed inside and outside the house, and garland is neatly draped around the fireplace and stairs.  The Christmas tree is lit and beautifully decorated gifts are placed under the tree. Christmas cookies have been made.  Christmas parties planned and attended.  The…

Are you listening? Erika Opperman

Can I start with a confession? I’m a bad listener. Ouch. That physically pained me as I typed the words. And as if one confession isn’t enough, here is another…I’m a talker. Like the type who always has something to say, loves to offer my opinion (asked for or not), fills awkward silences with random ramblings, and a classic over- sharer. I’ll talk to anyone or anything; and left to…

AVOIDING HARD Morgan Cheek

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”- Genesis 18:14 We live in a society that avoids pain and discomfort. If we are sick, we take medicine. If we are cold, we build a fire; and if we are warm, we turn up the A/C or find a body of water to cool off in. We might say, “No pain, no gain”; but our lives do not reflect that we really…

Just Bee Neena Gaynor

Busy as a bee, that’s me. A couple years ago, I decided to embark upon the adventure of beekeeping. Despite the inevitable stings, the hobby is rewarding… and not just in jars of honey. While working with some of God’s most disciplined creatures, I started to admire their virtuous characteristics: self-sacrificing, industrious, obedient, and gentle. Spiritually—especially prayerfully—I’m like the busy bee. I had never done much resting in the company…

Have you forgotten about God? Ashley Fisher

Have you ever forgotten about God? I have. I have been through seasons and days where I was hyper-focused on my list of to-dos or became selfish and inward focused or even just got distracted by fun things on the internet. It wasn’t that I was mad at God, or even that I wanted to ignore God, I just wasn’t in the habit of thinking about spiritual things throughout the…

Learning to Be Grateful for an Unexpected Gift from God Liz Curtis Higgs

When I began sharing my diagnosis of endometrial cancer with friends last year, more than one confessed in all caps, “I HATE CANCER!” I get it. Nothing lovable about cancer cells, nothing joyful about malignant tumors, and definitely nothing fun about surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and the rest. But there’s another side to this unexpected journey. Some glorious, eye-opening, wouldn’t-trade-anything-for-them moments came when I was willing to embrace this truth…

A Day to Remember, and a Day to Hope Beth Holmes

This past summer, we took a family vacation to Dallas, Texas. Dallas is rich in historical sites, such as the Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jr. We saw the X on the road where the bullet struck JFK, and then we saw the preserved corner of the building where Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have fired those shots. We heard archived video footage…

No Qualifications Required Julie Davis

Show of hands: who, at some point in life, has belted out their current favorite song into a hairbrush or while in the shower? If anyone could see you at that moment, no doubt they would think you were prepping for your American Idol audition. I don’t know about you, but despite my ability to remember every lyric to every Debbie Gibson song, I am in no way qualified to…

Faith-Prayer-Discipline-Repeat Theresa Rowe

Oh, the times when God feels so close we never want the experience to end! In mountain top moments my strength is renewed, and I feel deeply connected to God. My inner warrior stands tall, speaks boldly and my confidence soars like on “wings of eagles.” In these moments I can feel the strength of the Lord rising within me. During these times I am reading the Word of God…