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God Makes Himself Real in Life's Darkest Times

2014-05-12T10:00:05Z

Bonnie lived for years with drug addition, mental illness, and no reason to live. One fateful night, as she was about to pass out from a drug overdose, Bonnie felt the presence of a group of people she had never met praying for her. An unlikely source had been intervening for Bonnie. Through prayer, time and determination, Bonnie saw God make himself real to her in her life's darkest corners. Now, Bonnie's reason to live is to praise her God and make his goodness known to others. This is her story.

Read: Bonnie's Reason to Live

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God Makes Himself Real in Life's Darkest Times originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 10:00:05.

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Happy Mother's Day!

2014-05-11T06:00:17Z

Today's thoughts for Mother's Day are from contributing writer Karen Wolff: I like being a mom. Of course, how much I like it depends on what day you ask me. Even though my kids are both technically gone from the nest, the nest still feels pretty full these days. I'm doing as much for my kids now as I did when they were actually here in my house. How did that happen? Moms are an amazing group. They have the capacity to balance life and all its stuff better than anyone. And talk about the capacity to love? You won't find that special kind of love in any other relationship. Can you imagine the pain in the heart of Moses' mom when she put him in the river? How could she let him go? She must've been beside herself with grief! I know I would've been. But every mom in the world also knows that it's not always easy to love your kids all the time. Back in the day, I mean really far back in the day, there was Eve. The first mom. Can you imagine what it was like to have to deal with Cain and Abel? Talk about sibling rivalry run amok! And then there was Mary. Now there's a real example. I can surely relate to how she loved her Son. I mean, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my son, even though he's off living his life. Can you imagine what it was like to see Jesus going around helping people, doing everything he could do to make a difference, and then have them all turn on him? As a mom, I simply can't wrap my head around Mary watching her Son be crucified. I don't think my heart could handle the pain. But the grace and dignity she showed through it all was something I can only hope to aspire to someday. The Bible is filled with some amazing moms who did everything they were called to do, despite the pain. Many of them watched their kids grow up to be heroes, even though the process was incredibly painful. On this Mother's Day, go out and enjoy your children. Who knows? You may have a hero on your hands. Karen Wolff, a contributing writer for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for women. As founder of Christian-Books-for-Women.com, she wants to provide Christian women with a place to find practical information, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day. For more information visit Karen's Bio Page. Photo: American Images Inc / Getty Images Connect: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter Happy Mother's Day! originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Sunday, May 11th, 2014 at 06:00:17.Permalink | Comment | Email this[...]



Graduation Advice in Two Words

2014-05-09T10:00:24Z

Today's graduation advice comes from contributing writer Jack Zavada: Most graduation advice is about as memorable as last Tuesday's breakfast. Celebrity speakers at graduation ceremonies try to be funny and valedictorians try to be profound, but by the time the photos have been taken, it's hard to remember anything you can use the rest of your life. So here's my graduation advice for you, boiled down to two words: Afraid? Jesus. Maybe you think this doesn't apply to you. After all, you're part of the tattoo wearing, extreme sports generation. You live to face fear. You may even have a big sticker in your car window that says, "No Fear." When you're young, you think you're invincible. Nothing scares you. Fear is something for weaklings and old people. Nike says you can ignore fear altogether and "Just do it." But that's advertising talk, not the real world. Fear is like the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about. We're afraid of what other people think of us. We're afraid of failing. We're afraid of not fitting in. Most of all, we're afraid to admit we're afraid in the first place. That's why I'm asking you to turn to Jesus every time you're afraid. If you get in this habit now, it will make an enormous difference over the course of your life. It has in mine. Fear is poison, but Jesus Christ is the antidote. When fear hits, we're tempted to battle it by ourselves or look for a way to escape. Fight or flight response, they call it. The problem is that we're too weak to defeat it by ourselves, and escaping into drugs, alcohol, sex or any other addiction only creates a bigger mess. You can see that from the lives of celebrities. Instead of listening to our culture's lies about fear, grab a concordance and see what the Bible has to say about it, especially the New Testament. In almost every instance in the gospels, when Jesus tells someone not to be afraid, he offers himself as the reason. Afraid? Jesus. Really, those are the only two words I want you to remember from this whole post. Go to Jesus no matter what you're afraid of. Be honest with him. Then give him time. Don't wait a half hour then try something else, or don't assume he's not working because you don't see instant change. Don't think this isn't for you because you're not afraid right now. Trust me, at some point in your life you'll lose your job or somebody you love will get sick or a relationship you're counting on will start to crumble. These things happen to everybody, with no exceptions, and when they do, life turns scary real fast. Two words. I promise that in thirty years you'll be glad you remembered them: Afraid? Jesus. Also: Bible Verses for Graduates Photo: Bread and Butter / Getty Images Graduation Advice in Two Words originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 10:00:24.Permalink | Comment | Email this[...]



Meet John Mark the Servant of Jesus

2014-05-06T10:00:31Z

John Mark, author of the Gospel of Mark, was an early church evangelist and missionary companion to both the Apostle Paul and Peter.

According to Coptic tradition, John Mark was the founder of the Coptic Church in Egypt. Copts believe Mark was tied to a horse and dragged to his death by a mob of pagans on Easter, 68 A.D., in Alexandria.

Mark's Gospel is action-packed and dramatic, painting a vivid picture of Jesus Christ as Servant. His account contains more recorded miracles of Christ than any of the other Gospels.

Image: Public Domain

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Meet John Mark the Servant of Jesus originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 10:00:31.

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From Prison to a Life of Freedom in Christ

2014-05-05T11:18:30Z

Samantha had long battled feelings of low self-esteem and lack of confidence. This led her into trouble and an eventual prison sentence. But when she turned to God for help, he brought her to freedom in Jesus Christ.

Read: Samantha's Freedom in Christ

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From Prison to a Life of Freedom in Christ originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 11:18:30.

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The Bible Is 'Breathed Out by God'

2014-05-02T10:00:10Z

The entire Bible is "breathed out by God." Literally, this is the meaning of the phrase, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" found in 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV).

But what do we actually mean when we say the Bible is given by inspiration of God? How can every verse be the 'Word of God' when we know the Bible is a compilation of 66 books and letters written by more than 40 authors over a period of approximately 1,500 years in three different languages?

Today, we'll explore the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture:

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The Bible Is 'Breathed Out by God' originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at 10:00:10.

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Weekly Prayers & Poems - My Maker's Prayer

2014-05-01T10:00:40Z

This week's post is a member-submitted Christian poem called My Maker's Prayer. These short lines reassure us of God's abiding presence wherever and whenever we may need him.

(image)
Photo: Christine Balderas / Getty Images
My Maker's Prayer

Child of Mine,
Fear not!
Hush, be still
See and hear
I AM
The whisper in the weeping willow
The whistle in the prairie wind
The swish in the sweetgrass
Read more ...

Do you have an original Christian prayer that would encourage or benefit a fellow believer? Perhaps you've written a unique poem you'd like to share with others. We are looking for Christian prayers and poems to encourage our readers in their communication with God. To submit your original prayer or poem, please fill out this Submission Form.

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Weekly Prayers & Poems - My Maker's Prayer originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 10:00:40.

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Finding Cracks in the Gap Theory

2014-04-22T10:00:06Z

The gap theory is an Old Earth Creationism view, also known as the "ruin - reconstruction" theory or gap creationism. The concept suggests that a time gap of millions to billions of years occurred between the first and second verses of the Bible.

Introduced in 1814 by Scottish theologian Thomas Chalmers, the gap theory became popular in the early part of the 20th century when Christians sought to resolve discrepancies between the Bible record and newly emerging scientific theories.

Besides solving the question of the age of the earth, the gap theory provides a possible answer to when dinosaurs existed, and allows agreement with the scientific claim that dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago.

Nevertheless, biblical support for the gap theory is rather thin. Both the Scriptures and scientific theory contradict the construct on various points.

• What is the Gap Theory?

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Finding Cracks in the Gap Theory originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 10:00:06.

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Cloud by Day, Fire by Night

2014-04-11T10:00:10Z

We wind up our exploration of the wilderness tabernacle with a look at the ancient cloud and pillar of fire. The ever-present pillar of smoke (pictured here) and fire represented the visible presence of God as he guided and protected the nation of Israel through its wilderness wanderings.

This radiant manifestation of God dwelling among his people is often referred to as the Shekinah glory. The cloud by day moved out ahead of Israel, signifying God's leadership as the people passed through unfamiliar territory. The bright, warming fire lit their way by night.

Because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, God's loving, guiding, protective presence dwells among us today in a new and living way, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Learn the similarities between this ancient manifestation and a relationship with Jesus Christ:

Photo: Getty Images

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Cloud by Day, Fire by Night originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Friday, April 11th, 2014 at 10:00:10.

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Where Mercy Triumphed Over Sin

2014-04-04T10:00:59Z

Pictured here is the ark of the covenant carried by priests during the battle of Jericho. The mercy seat was the gold slab covering the sacred ark. This lid rested under the spread wings of two golden cherubim.

The mercy seat represented the throne of God's judgment—the place where God's wrath toward sin was satisfied. Yearly, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the holy of holies and sprinkled a blood offering on the mercy seat and on the ground in front of it to atone for Israel's sin.

Like other elements in the wilderness tabernacle, the mercy seat pointed to Jesus Christ:

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— (Romans 3:25, NIV)

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Where Mercy Triumphed Over Sin originally appeared on About.com Christianity on Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 10:00:59.

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