• Christian Devotionals

    The Ingredients for a Miracle

    I go to a convent once a month, if you can call it that. In reality, the ‘House of Prayer’ is a little Spanish style home tucked into a residential area near my kids’ school. Sister Mary and Sister Margaret, both in their late eighties, minister by letting non-Catholic strangers like me rent a room from them for $15 a day. The first time I went, I was seeking spiritual direction for a crisis that had manifested in my life. Sister Margaret invited me into her office. Her demeanor and voice were gentle, but shaky – fragile like a bird. She spoke softly, deliberately. “What would…

  • Christian Devotionals

    “The Impact of Our Choices” – Devotion for 10/17/2018

    Back when I was in school, I hated pop quizzes because I was never prepared. Instead, I liked the open-book tests where I could actually find the answers. God effectively gives an open-book test to all of us. In Deuteronomy 30:19 He said, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (NLT). Our choices not only affect us but our children—and potentially our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. Ungodly decisions can impact a family for generations. Godly…

  • Christian Devotionals

    Why Is Friendship Hard for Men? Five Ways to Build Stronger Relationships

    “That used to be nice.” That was the first response when I recently asked a group of men what comes to mind when they think about friendship. Once they entered their upper twenties and thirties, many of them no longer had close friendships. We mostly laughed when joking about Jesus’s “miracle” of having twelve close friends in his thirties. Many factors combine to make friendship difficult for men. Personally, time for friends seems unrealistic in light of work or family responsibilities. Culturally, we don’t have a shared understanding of what friendships among men should look like. We also find ourselves connecting more digitally than deeply. We’ve lost a vision for…

  • Christian Devotionals

    The Songs We Sing – Girlfriends in God – November 2, 2018

    November 2, 2018 The Songs We Sing Wendy Speake Today’s Truth I sing to GOD, the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved (Psalm 18:3, MSG). Friend to Friend When my boys were young, I drove them up into the mountains for a long weekend of family camp. We were heading to the same Christian conference center where I grew up and grew in faith. Long before I was born, my grandparents had a cabin on that mountain, just down the road from the main camp. My dad would regularly drive us up the same winding roads we were now traversing. I also took our church’s big yellow bus for…

  • Christian Devotionals

    Contributor Spotlight: Pull Up a Chair with Denise, Michele & Renee!

    One of my favorite things is connecting women. The other day I was having coffee with a friend and as she told me about a ministry dream, I immediately thought of two other friends who share a like-hearted passion and whose paths are going in a similar direction. I wanted my coffee shop friend to meet my other friends, stat! The same thing happens when I’m reading a good book — simultaneously processing all the nuggets of wisdom for myself and thinking about who else in my life would be encouraged by the message. That’s how I feel all the time about the writers of (in)courage.…

  • Christian Devotionals

    Does My Sexual Past Make Me Unsavable?

    Audio Transcript Our inbox holds at least fifty questions about Hebrews 6:4–6. We get a ton of questions about falling away and losing salvation, like this question from Josh. “Pastor John, a couple of years back, I heard you speak on Hebrews 6. I fear a lot, and your words have not helped my fear because you talked about what it would look like if you, John Piper, were to fall away. “I have professed faith, and I have been dealing with sexual sin for a long time. It manifested itself in my marriage as I acted out on fantasies and committed adultery multiple times. My sin was found out…

  • Christian Devotionals

    “The Company We Keep” – Devotion for 10/18/2018

    Abraham is uniquely introduced to us in Scripture as the friend of God. One day God told His friend Abraham that He wanted him to leave his life of paganism and worship of false gods, leave his family, pack his bags, and go. God effectively said, “I want you and your wife, Sarah, to go to a certain place. You don’t even know where it is. I’ll reveal that to you later. But I want you to go.” Abraham obeyed—sort of. He did leave, which was a big step. And he did leave his family, which was a bigger step. But he took one family member along with him: his…

  • Christian Devotionals

    Forsaken but not Alone | Devotional by Helen Lescheid

    “I will not leave you as orphans (comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless); I will come to you” John 14:18 (Amplified) And be sure of this: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NLT) When we’re going through a difficult time, we look to friends and family to be there for us. But sometimes we’re bitterly disappointed. We don’t get the support we had hoped for. What helps me at a time like that? I remember that Jesus also experienced lack of support from friends and family. Knowing that soon he would be betrayed and crucified, Jesus asked three of his closest disciples–Peter, James,…

  • Christian Devotionals

    The Bible Never Ignores Our Feelings

    This clip is from John Piper’s recent message at the Sing! Conference in Nashville, “Your Emotions Matter to God: Learning from the Bible’s Songbook.” Audio Transcript Right at this point, the Psalms do something else for us, and it is utterly crucial what they do. It’s not in the middle of the Bible by accident. Oh, what a precious, precious book. Can you live without it? Can you live without the Psalms? Can you survive without the Psalms? Can you fight for joy without the Psalms? I have no idea how anybody survives without this help that God put in the middle of our Bible. “Can you fight for joy…

  • Christian Devotionals

    The Beauty of Saying Yes to a Holy Nudge

    I wonder how many times we miss out on something special because we don’t listen to that nudge in our spirits urging us to do something that seems crazy or awkward. Do you know what I’m talking about? An inner prompting that feels like the Holy Spirit is calling you to action in a way that may make you uncomfortable but could bless another? While on a mini vacation with my husband, I asked a friend familiar with the area for her favorite restaurant recommendations. Wanting something casual, we chose a place known for its local sourcing and exceptional wood-fired pizzas. We arrived just ahead of…