What inspires you to take action? When you’ve heard the story of David and Goliath countless times, it’s easy to overlook how David and the Israelites were feeling. Truth be told, I’d probably be an Israelite in that story. It’s hard to take a bold first step forward–especially when no one else has dared to take it. But David stepped forward. He faced Goliath and won. Did you see what happened next? I don’t think I’d ever stopped to notice before: “Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance

Where do you place your hope? Back in my first post about Revelation , I shared that it’s a book of hope . In Chip Ingram’s last sermon in his series , he finishes up the book and explains how important it is that we place our hope in Jesus. I think we all tend to place our hope in things that could be gone in a second: health, relationships, career, achievements, etc. When our view is limited to the world around us, it’s easy to feel hopeless. Instead, we should place our hope in what Revelation shows us: Jesus

This is going to be a longer post as we go through the middle of Revelation , but I liked the big-picture view that Chip Ingram presented as he went through it. I understood it so much more clearly, and I liked the way he kept the central message of hope in focus. As Chip summarized, “This shows us we can endure anything when we look at today’s struggles in the light of tomorrow’s certainty.”  I know my day-to-day struggles are nothing close to what the early church suffered, but that doesn’t mean my life is easy . By understanding

When I think of the word “overcomer,” I often think of Mandisa’s inspiring song that came out a few years ago. I think of overcoming giant hurdles like injustice or insurmountable sickness. I think that’s why I’ve never really thought of myself as an overcomer. But I liked the perspective Chip Ingram shared on this word in his Revelation series. He said there’s stuff that will come into your life to try to separate you from God. But at the end of each letter in Revelation 2-3 , there’s a promise to those that overcome. In this context, an overcomer

Revelation : the last book of the Bible. Reading it always made me scratch my head. So I was really excited when my mom suggested we listen to Chip Ingram’s Revelation series together . I think one section of it that many people are familiar with are the letters to the seven churches, probably because it shares actionable guidance that makes sense without understanding the greater context of the book. But the thing is, this section does sit in the context of the book. I think God would have separated the letters out if He intended the messages to the

Revelation has always confused me. I think that’s why I appreciated Chip Ingram’s sermon series about it so much. He explained it in a way that finally made sense! In my first post about it , I shared context for when it was written, an outline of the book, and the central message: hope!  In this post, I’ll get into the first chapter. The theme is trust in God: our future is secure! Don’t be deceived—The future is certain! Revelation 1:1-3 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He

  I’ve always felt a little intimidated by the book of Revelation. People would say things about how it says the end times would include ABC and you can tell the end is getting closer because of XYZ. But whenever I tried to read it I ended up feeling more lost and confused. Yet all that recently changed. I learned that it’s really a book of hope. Hope that, despite everything appearing to keep getting worse and worse, and life being hard for us and our families, we can rest assured that God has a plan for it all. Rewinding

When I’m afraid, I freeze. This isn’t just fear about my safety, either. I stand still and wait, unsure how to proceed, when I’m worried I might say or do the wrong thing, too. I think this is a fairly common response, which is reassuring–but not very helpful. In his book Chasing David , I really appreciated how Rene Schlaepfer used David’s response to Goliath as an example for how we should approach fear. As a bonus, it’s a related mnemonic device: FEAR . F: Find out the Facts In 1 Samuel 17 , David sees Goliath challenge the Israelites

Flashback to Early Marriage Twelve years ago I experienced God’s sense of humor coming out through his perfect timing. It was the middle of the 2008 recession. My husband (Matt) and I had just gotten married, moved out of state, and were living in a one-bedroom apartment on one part-time income. Money was very tight, so we pretty much lived on rice and frozen chicken breasts.  One day in particular I was complaining about it, wishing we could just go out to eat and enjoy a nice restaurant meal, and Matt said, “You know, you sound like the Israelites grumbling

This might seem odd for you to hear from me, especially since I’m known for my annoyingly optimistic nature sometimes. But over the years I’ve heard our culture say over and over again: Do what makes you happy. Don’t worry, be happy. If it doesn’t make you happy, it’s not worth it. You deserve to be happy. God Doesn’t Want You to Be Happy There was a time of my life where I bought into this cultural message. I thought God wanted me to be happy. But the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve realized happiness shouldn’t be my goal