By Daniel Foster / @DanielFoster07
Life isn’t fair.
This is something I have heard all of my life, and have even been guilty of exclaiming a time or two. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever received something you didn’t quite feel you deserved? I know I have.
It was in seventh grade. As I was walking into the cafeteria for lunch, a friend and I gave each other a friendly “what’s up” slap on the back. You know, like typical middle-schoolers. Immediately we were snatched up and taken to the office where we were each given 3 days of in-school suspension. I’ll never forget hearing the principal telling my mother over the phone, “Understand that Daniel has done nothing wrong, but according to our policy he must serve suspension.” It made no sense to me. I did nothing wrong. I was receiving something I did not deserve.
By Aaron Jeffries / @arjeffries1
Have you ever had someone put words in your mouth? I did recently and, like a good Christian, I forgave him and moved on because false witnesses never hurt me anyway.
Ok, that last part didn’t happen. In fact, I got pretty upset by this guy. I became filled with anger, lashed out at the guy and said some pretty unnecessary things.
I am reminded of Paul who wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
By Kevin Welborn / @theKevinWelborn
Draw a circle on the ground large enough for you to step into. Now step into the aforementioned circle. This is your “circle of power”. You control the goings on inside this rounded realm. No one occupies this real estate but you. Genghis Kahn, Napoleon, and Patton could combine their military minds with the firepower of the Death Star and your personal circle would remain intact.
I can feel the excitement of newly-realized power swelling in your chest. Though your circle is miniscule, it is yours and yours alone. None can penetrate, alter, or conquer it. You’d even like some clown to try it. Bring it, Bozo. Bring it, and all of your friends that are crammed into that Ford Fiesta.
What a ridiculous notion to think that someone like you, a mere blip on the radar of the universe, can brandish such power, even over a small chunk of space.
By Greg Stokley / @GregStokley
Think back to the last time you sat in a classroom.
The teacher is lecturing away, and you’re doing your level best to pay attention. Everything he is writing on the board seems like it’s in a different language. Even the words that the teacher speaks sound foreign and unrecognizable. You struggle for what seems like an eternity, concentrating harder and harder until you feel as though a blood vessel in your brain is likely to burst. You agonize over this internally, knowing that you need to know this information in order to make even a passing grade. You may even be on the brink of zoning out due to the fact that you are ready to give up. Just when you think you can’t listen to another syllable, the teacher asks the class if there are any questions.
You make the choice. You raise your hand. When acknowledged, you utter that embarrassingly necessary phrase.
“I don’t get it.”
by Daniel Foster / @DanielFoster07
As a youth pastor, students often ask me what my favorite bible verse is. If I were perfect, I would smile and shoot out a deep meaningful verse, but it isn't always that glamorous. See, normally this would be a very easy task, there are literally hundreds of Bible verses that uplift and comfort me.
However, that’s the problem. Out of hundreds, it’s hard to pick just one. But here's a verse I’ve been meditating on for a few weeks, it’s Isaiah 43:2;
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you”.
One of the biggest lies I was sold when I began my journey as a Christian was that once I have a relationship with Jesus, everything is smooth sailing. Life is good. Bad days are a thing of the past. Whoever it was who entertained me with that thought, I’d like to send them a pair of Crocs.
By Aaron Jeffries / @ARJeffries1
Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side.
So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. (Exodus 17:8-13)
I have a short message today, but it’s an important one. I keep thinking of Moses, how he was the man God chose to lead His people out of bondage. He had his downfalls but God still chose him. Each and every one of us, has a calling. Some are big, some are small. Some hands win wars, some hands hold those hands up.