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How to Deal with the Worst Parts of Being a Pastor

There’s a reason God drafts people into this work. If it were easy, everyone would flock to it and the Lord would have to turn people away. But it’s hard. Sometimes, it’s discouraging to your dreams, it demands of you far more than you have to give, and it can be deadly to your family. That’s why the pastor must be a person of great prayer; otherwise, he’s not going to make it.

7 Biblical Benefits of Giving

Whenever there's a crisis that causes a drastic downfall in our economy, is it really wise—or required of us—to give? Certainly, God knows when we don’t have much money and He wants us to be wise with what we have, right? Besides, if God owns it all...why does He need our money?The answer is He doesn’t. We don’t give out of God’s need for anything. We give out of ours.While on this earth, Jesus talked more about money than hell.That tells us it’s an issue that’s pretty important to Him. But not because He cares about or has need of money. He knows how important it tends to be to us. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). That means with our money, too, especially if it owns (or occupies) much of our hearts.There are many teachings in Scripture to give sacrificially—not just of our time and abilities, but of our money, too. And in the middle of crises everywhere might be the best time of all to consider giving more. Of all the reasons Scripture gives us to part with what’s closest to our hearts, here are just seven biblical reasons to give—especially now:Photo Credit: © Getty Images/valio84sl

5 Important Prayers for the Next Generation of Believers

I know you’ve said it before – or at least thought it: “I wouldn’t want to be raising children right now with the direction this world is going.” “I worry what my grandchildren will grow up believing.” “If Jesus doesn’t come soon, who knows what the next generation of believers will be like?”And yet, I remember hearing my parents – and grandparents – expressing those same fears as I was growing up in the 1970s.The older we get the more fearful we can be for the generations coming after us. But what if we turned that concern into specific prayers for them, just as you and I most assuredly had prayers said for us by our parents and grandparents and those before them? We serve the same God today that the First Century Christians did. And the Holy Spirit can still draw hearts to Himself, convict hearts of sin, and help others find that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).In John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed for you and me when He said “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (NASB).And just as His prayers long ago have drawn us to Himself, and preserved us through the generations as the victorious body of Christ, our prayers are effective in helping the next generation thrive in Him, too.Here are five important prayers for the next generation of believers.
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Our 10 Favorite Hymns for Thanksgiving

For many, their favorite Thanksgiving hymns usher them back to that Sunday morning when they sat on a cool wooden pew, sandwiched between their cousins, perhaps for the first and last time all year. The songs remind them of their grandmother’s vibrato voice and floral perfume, and perhaps our grandfather’s snore. The lyrics trigger feelings of comfort and nostalgia, reminding us of when life felt simpler, and that extra slice of mother’s pumpkin pie was practically guaranteed.But these long-loved Thanksgiving hymns, sung from one generation to the next, do much more than remind us of a simpler time. They help us reflect on all the reasons, in Christ, we have to give thanks. Whether this holiday season truly feels celebratory or evokes feelings of sorrow and grief, the truths we sing can bolster our hearts with treasured memories and God’s promise of the good that’s yet to come.To help you in thanking God, we created a 30 Days of Gratitude Prayer Guide HERE. Download and print this guide to keep with you as a reminder of God's love and promises.Here are 10 of the most beloved Thanksgiving hymns numerous families will enjoy this season:
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What Does the Bible Say about Leadership?

Leading entails influencing people to think, say and behave in ways that take them from one place to another. Leading can be formal (you hold a position of authority in a group) or informal (you influence people but don’t hold a position of authority).

What Is the Truth Behind Biblical Gender Roles?

When I married my husband 30 years ago, I had recently rededicated my life to the Lord at a Harvest Crusade. I committed to God to live the rest of my life as a biblical Christian, wife, and mother. My daughter was not a Christian at the time and was appalled that her once independent successful businesswoman mom was now in her words, “Going to be a doormat.” She was skeptical of Dave, who actually is a gentle, kind, godly man, but she feared he was going to dominate me.It wasn’t until she became a Christian several years later when she and her fiancé accepted Christ in a biblical marriage class that she had an awakening regarding the truth behind biblical gender roles.Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/champja

8 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor during the Busy Holiday Season

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, as some refer to as a PK, along with being married to a pastor, gives me some insight and understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of a pastor during the holidays. It’s usually one of the busiest times of the year with all the special services and outreaches at the church for a pastor to be involved with, along with trying to include holiday activities with his immediate and extended family members.With all the extra events, it can be a stressful and time-crunching season for the pastor and his family. He may feel at times like he is carrying the entire load of the church on his shoulders.The following are eight ways to encourage your pastor during the busy holiday season.Photo credit: ©GettyImages/LSOphoto

Why the Church Needs to Stop Stigmatizing Mental Illness

There is a long-standing narrative in our culture, especially in our churches, that mental illness is more of a moral failing than experiencing any other clinically diagnosable disease. All illness in our bodies is a mind, body, and soul experience. When we are suffering due to an ailment, we need the peace of God to help us endure our trials; we need to make changes in how we care for our bodies to experience healing. We need a community to call on to support us on our journey, and we should pray diligently that God offers us healing. We often rely on the expertise of professionals and take medication as tools for us to find that healing.All of the actions described above are the exact same steps necessary for a person to find healing or relief from mental illness. Yet, just last week, I sat in a service where those taking anti-anxiety medications were a group being called out. Clearly, we still lack in our ability to address mental illness in church with grace and understanding. Many Christians believe that mental illness is more than an ailment; it is a spiritual failure.If you've never struggled with your mental health, it can be hard to understand what it feels like to have your mind and body hijacked by the crushing weights of anxiety, depression, or other debilitating mental illnesses; I assure you, as someone that has walked this trying road, there is more to these terrifying experiences than a lack of a proper understanding of God's Word. God's Word is an amazing tool that does help us all find healing in our lives. Nonetheless, when we are experiencing clinical forms of mental distress, we also need the help of our community and professionals to find balance in our bodies again.Just as the church would not shame, discourage, or call out a person with diabetes for taking insulin, we also should be careful not to use words that would stigmatize treatments for a person being treated for mental illness. Spiritual leaders need to take note of this medical crisis that is happening in their communities and begin to educate themselves on how to love people well that need the love of Christ, their community, and the guidance of experts to find healing.
Photo credit: ©Nik Shuliahin/Unsplash
Video credit: ©Unsplash, Soundstripe


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