45 Days

“If you don’t know the Lord, we’ve been praying for you for 45 days.”

A few weeks ago, I posted that our church was observing Lent this season as a way to pray for the lost. I have been eagerly awaiting this post to tell you just how much of an impact it had.

So often, our hard work includes a lot of sowing but less reaping. We may plant seeds in God’s name, and have to trust that He has a plan for fruition. Other times, beauty grows right before our eyes. Our pastor stood with tears in his eyes last Easter Sunday morning as he told us of two men in the lives of our members who made decisions to follow Christ. Men in their sixties and seventies who have skirted the edges of relationship with God. Men who have been around Godly examples–immersed even, yet they did not take the plunge. In these 45 days, they said yes.

I had the privilege of seeing one of these men baptized this morning. His excitement brought him across the country to be with us today. It didn’t take a major life event, just lots of prayers and fasting of the faithful. Our sacrifice of soft drinks, candy, peanut butter, fast food, etc. were not in vain. Although with the eternal significance of their omission, they sound so trivial.

One man does appear to have a more urgent need to call Jesus His Savior. Just like we prayed for his salvation, we now pray for healing and comfort.

Our church is a body of praying people. If you have ever been the recipient of these prayers, you know this well. It was amazing to see how God answered us when we kicked it up a notch. My prayer life will be forever changed, and I will always practice fasting during Lent. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” As for the other countless people, named and unnamed, they have been prayed over for forty-five days by a whole congregation of believers. I fully believe we have only seen the beginning of the fruit.

Our baptisms are concluded with the words, “Many have come, and yet the pool is still not full”. We have a lot of work to do! Matthew 17:20 talks about moving mountains with our faith. Many of our family members and friends who do not know Christ can seem like mountains. They may have placed their faith in something else, or they may be missing the mark by a mile. These “mountains” can certainly be moved. God is still in the business of performing miracles. Commit yourself to praying for these people. Pray Scripture over them. Fast for them. We serve a faithful God who wants every last one of us to come to Him. Our prayers will not be in vain.

We praise God for His faithfulness, for answered prayers, and for our new brothers in Christ.

If you don’t know Christ, you’ve been prayed over for 45 days. And we aren’t stopping now.


29 Before 30

I’m closing out a decade of life. I’m turning thirty tomorrow, and I’m okay with it. I have a feeling thirty will be good. As Jenna Rink says, “thirty, flirty, and thriving”.

So many of us are scared to get a year older. We panic when our children start growing up or we grow a year closer to the senior citizen’s discount at Applebee’s. But I’m so thankful that I’m not who I was ten or fifteen years ago. I’m grateful for the lessons, even the hard ones, that have molded me into who I am today. So here are twenty-nine things I have learned before I turned thirty.

  1. It really doesn’t matter what people think. In the words of my friend, Maddie, “You do you, boo”. You want to be a vegetarian? Awesome! You want to get a tattoo? Cool. Breastfeed? Bottle feed? Have pets? Take medicine? Go on vacation? Do it. What you decide is best for you and your family is what’s best for you and your family. Everyone has an opinion, especially behind the veil of a computer screen, but their opinions are just that. Pray about your decisions, discuss them with a trusted friend who can hold you accountable, and live your life. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  2. Be careful when ordering online. Still waiting on a dress from Hong Kong, circa 2010. Check the reviews. This applies to hotels too. I’m looking at you, Jo Ann and Polly. (My bad.)
  3. Go see live music. Something about hearing a band play live is good for the soul. If you love listening to a band, find out where they are playing, and go. Support their efforts. Traveling to see them adds another layer of adventure. I highly recommend it. And get good seats.
  4. Go to the theater. We need some culture in our lives! Get dressed up, feel fancy, and see a play on stage. You can find one for just about anyone. I took Hudson to see Dancing with the Stars at the Saenger in New Orleans a few months ago, and I’m so glad I did. He and I put on our Sunday best, and Daniel taught him to hold the door for me and pay for our snacks. It was a perfect lesson in being a gentleman, and we loved every minute of it.
  5. Dance! This goes back to not caring about what people think, but I’ve had to learn to let go. Some of my favorite nights are when our family turns up the music and lets loose. Is it something I would want on YouTube? No! But we enjoy ourselves without embarrassment. We laugh until our sides hurt, and it helps let go of the stress of the day.
  6. Don’t text and drive.
  7. Life isn’t easy, but it’s good. Thirty years of living has brought its fair share of heartache, but there have been lessons learned in each step of of the way. Some of the darker moments I would never ask to repeat, but I’m grateful to a God who makes beauty from our ashes (see Isaiah 61:3).
  8. Call your grandma. You don’t have forever. There are innumerable words of wisdom from this generation. Collect them now.
  9. What you eat is important. We only get one body; take care of it. Moderation is key, so enjoy the foods you eat without obsessing over calories. But make your meals count, and pay attention to labels. Grow your own produce when possible, or buy locally.
  10. Find a job you love. It may not be what you went to college for, but find that job that makes you happy to come to work each day. Being miserable is no way to live. If finances are the issue, make a goal, and do what you need to do to accomplish it.
  11. Don’t rely on credit. Remember when you were a kid, and you had to actually save money to buy something? It was such a cool feeling to finally have enough money to buy what you wanted. It also showed us what we really wanted and what was fleeting. We should do that more, too.
  12. Set goals and work to meet them. Our busy lives tend to push us toward instant gratification. We want likes right away. We want food right away. We want results right away. But good things take time. Just ask April the giraffe. If you want to accomplish something, discipline yourself to make it happen. Run a 5K or a half marathon, learn how to play piano, lose twenty pounds, learn a language, publish a book. We can’t do these things overnight, and I think we need more of that. Philippians 3:14 tells us, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Above all, make glorifying God your highest goal.
  13. Say thank you.
  14. Read the Bible to understand it, not to check it off a list. Truly study the Bible. Pray over scripture, memorize it, ask God for understanding, and do it consistently. Not once a week, not on holidays, every day. We serve a mighty God, who has allowed us to communicate with Him whenever we want. Take advantage of that! His Word provides help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and lights the way to go (Psalm 119:105).
  15. Seek purity over boundaries. We focus a lot on the rules rather than the heart. Pure hearts are shaped by what we look at, what we hear, and what we do. God’s commands aren’t to keep us from having fun, it’s to guard our hearts and mold us into Christ’s image. Check your heart before the rulebook.
  16. Apologize and forgive. Don’t hold onto bitterness and don’t be the reason someone harbors resentment. (see Ephesians 4:26, Colossians 3:13.)
  17. Spend time outside. We really need to appreciate what God created a lot more often. Fluorescent lights are depressing. But wear sunscreen.
  18. You have a voice. If you need to speak, speak up. If you have something to add, if you can advocate for someone, if you can share Jesus with someone, say it loud and proud. Don’t hide in embarrassment or shame. Use your God-given voice.
  19. It never hurts to ask. You already have a no.
  20. Pay attention to people. Let someone know you noticed her haircut. Compliment your friend’s new shirt. If your coworker lost ten pounds, tell her the hard work has paid off! Follow up with someone if he or she expressed a hardship going on-it’s not only about us.
  21. Always acknowledge when someone enters the room. I read this advice before I got married as a suggestion for a happy marriage. Even if it’s a smile with eye contact, recognize the other person’s presence. Say good morning to your coworkers when you get the office. Be a good human.
  22. Share. We have too much. If someone needs a baby crib and you’re not having children, let someone else use it. Let your neighbors share your lawn mower. Bring meals to the hungry. Let your friends borrow your tools and books. Let’s go back to community.
  23. A tattoo won’t ruin your life. I don’t have one, but I love people who do.
  24. If you want to know what’s going on in the lives of people at church, ask for prayer requests in children’s church.
  25. There is always something to be grateful for.
  26. It’s okay to cry. (I’m still working on this.)
  27. People may not remember your name, but they will remember how you treated them. For the longest time, a similar quote hung in the break room at work. And it’s true. When you genuinely care for someone, that’s hard to forget. Make an impact with your words and actions, not your name tag.
  28. Don’t be too serious all the time. Play, create, laugh, smile. It’s okay and encouraged to have fun.
  29. Do your best. No matter what happens, as long as you give it your all, that’s all you can do. You cannot give 110%.

Age is just a number, right?

A great way to say Happy Birthday!


Love Lives Here

I love books. I love the feel, the smell, the creativity, the emotions, and the way they continue to make your brain tick for days, even weeks after reading them. If you know me at all, this is not new information. I love to read, and a bookstore gift card makes me insanely excited. (And a little nervous, because how do I choose?)

That being said, I have read a lot. So when a book comes along that really jumps out at me, I can’t help but share its message, especially if that message leads people to Jesus. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Love Lives Here launch team, and this was one I could really get behind. I read Love Does by Bob Goff two years ago, and it was such an encouragement to love others as Jesus did. To say YES! when it’s scary and to take chances for the Kingdom. He spoke so highly of his wife, “Sweet Maria”, that I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of lady she was. What kind of life did she lead to be deemed “Sweet Maria”? And then she wrote a book.

Maria Goff’s Love Lives Here is another book that makes me want to be more adventurous and live my life in a way that more closely reflects Jesus’ time on earth. She addresses fear and letting go of past mistakes, encouraging the reader to fall in love with Jesus on a deeper level. As she writes, “We don’t need a plan to be us, and we don’t need permission either; we just need to begin”. God has already called us to go in Matthew 28:19-20, otherwise known as the Great Commission. We already have permission. For someone like me, who relates more with Martha than Mary (responsibilities, check off lists, rule-following, etc.), I am hesitant and feel my heels digging in a little when I hear “adventure”, but I love Maria’s reassurance in her words. “I grew up seeing adventure and responsibility as two ideas in disagreement with each other; but I’ve come to realize they don’t just coexist, they actually complement each other.” Maria’s husband, Bob, enjoys a life with boats, jeeps, world travel, and a lot of YES!, so I can only imagine she’s learned to adapt, and along the way, experienced life as a Christian in another light.

In, Love Lives Here, Maria Goff recounts family trips to war-torn countries and the fear she felt for her life and her family. She speaks a lot on fear and allowing God to help us overcome it. “Fear delights in our attempts to avoid or ignore it. The antidote that gives us the buoyancy to rise above our fear is found in love and hope and the kind of peace we don’t try to manufacture but experience in courageous gratitude”. (I told you- it’s good stuff!) Just like the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”(NKJV).

In loving others, she reminds us not to “settle for having an opinion when you can be an example”. She encourages the reader to love your neighbors by actually getting to know them. The Goff family has a whole lot of love, and if we can emulate it in the slightest, this world will see a noticeable difference.

I highly recommend this one. And when you buy it, let a friend borrow it after you read it. Read it with a Bible in hand. She speaks truth, but don’t just take her word for it. Go to the Word and see the same ideas reflected in the book. By the time you get to the last page, I hope you can say with confidence that love lives where you are. Happy reading.


What Are You Giving Up?

I have been a Baptist my whole life, starting nine months before I was born, if you ask my mom. I say this only to explain that I have not been expected nor taught to participate in Lent by giving up something. I made the choice to give up soft drinks one time in high school because so many friends were. While it helped me kick the habit for good, with only a very rare Dr. Pepper or root beer every now and then, I can’t say it changed my relationship with the Lord, and I didn’t view it as a fast at the time.

The idea of fasting from all food has always sounded scary and not doable for me, but fasting from a particular thing is a practice I’ve done when I’ve been wholly focused on something in prayer. This isn’t to say God would not give me strength to fast, but it is not something I have felt led to do at this point in my life.

But last Sunday, my pastor encouraged us to fast from something we like or consume a lot of, and instead of eating or drinking that thing, pray for the lost, for those who do not know Jesus. I have a pretty big sweet tooth, as evidenced by my dental bills, and I knew candy would be something that would send me to prayer quite often. I grew up with a dad who took me to the gas station every day after school for a sweet treat, and I typically have candy every day at some point. There’s always a candy jar or a vending machine readily available at work. We even have a sort of reward system that allows us to get “Spirit Chips” that can be traded in for candy in the gift shop. My intern and I ate an embarrassing amount of sour gummy worms during her semester with me, and I usually have some sort of chocolate nearby. I’m not saying this is good, but while I’m branching out of my Baptist box, I should throw in confession too, right?

So, I’ve given up candy. And I’m okay. But instead of making this about the habit this time, I’m making it about an opportunity to pray for something important. Giving up something for Lent is not about sharing in Christ’s suffering. Not drinking a diet coke and dying on the cross are not the same. At all. Fasting is about replacing something we value with prayer, to the point that prayer becomes the thing we value. We should hurt for the lost as much as we hurt without caffeine. We should be going to God for boldness to preach His Word. We should be sharing Christ with those around us and speaking love over hate. We should be acting like Jesus instead of shunning those who believe something we don’t. If giving up candy is how I can start this change in my own life, then bring it on.

David shows us an example of fasting in the Bible, when his son with Bathsheba was ill. In 2 Samuel 12:16-17, it says, “David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.” He was so focused in his prayer that he fasted as he came to God in intercession. He didn’t do it to make everyone think he was religious or super spiritual. He did it because he knew he needed God more than anything else in that moment.

The moments I tell myself I need candy will now be the moments I bring my cares to God. 1 Peter 5:7 says to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (NKJV). Food or drinks can’t fix my problems, but God can. He welcomes our problems because He knows He can solve them.

As we prepare to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord this season, do things that make you walk more closely with Him. You don’t have to give up anything to become a Christian. But you will want to leave behind the ways of this world when you realize just how much God can fill in those gaps. Join me in praying for the lost. Name those in your life who need Jesus. Pray for boldness to share God’s good news. If you’re reading this and you don’t know God, I just might be praying for you too.



I’m Here Again, God.

I’ve heard it said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I can see where this is true, except when following Christ.

Last weekend, Daniel and I attended our second Linger Conference in Frisco, Texas. It was a wonderful weekend to worship without the pressure of leading others, learn without quietly correcting a five year old, and dive deep into the Word. When my friend asked which speaker was my favorite, I honestly couldn’t choose. I felt like pieces of each sermon stuck out in different ways. One phrase that has been playing in my head, though, is “I’m here again, God.”

JR Vassar spoke on slothfulness. He pointed out things about the sluggard, described in the book Proverbs. The sluggard is bored, and rejects God on the grounds of being uninteresting. The sluggard refuses to work on relationships with people or with God. He is full of consumption without contentment. JR noted the time we spend on YouTube or Netflix, versus reading the Bible. Ouch.

You see, there is danger beyond just being lazy. When we look for satisfaction the “easy way”, we fill up on meaningless rubbish.

The things we hold most dear are typically the things we have worked for the most. We are invested. If we don’t spend much time developing our relationships with our spouses or friends or God, we aren’t all that devastated when the relationships crumble. But we can say we have seen every episode of New Girl or The Office, so we’ve got that going for us, right?

JR suggested we “stay under the yoke”. Keep trying. Stay connected. Don’t let go. Wake up every morning and say, “I’m here again, God“. Just keep showing up. Will there be days that roll by without a hitch? Yes. Will there be days when it’s all you can do to make it to bedtime? Of course. Will there be days of celebration? Absolutely. Will you have an epiphany every single day? No. Will you develop a deeper understanding of Jesus and the Bible? YES! Will that enhance your relationship with God? Always.

Being a Christian means following Christ. Following Him through the rain, under the stars, in the spring, in the winter, through deep waters, over dry ground, and around some scary bends. But following Him, nonetheless. Saying each morning, “I’m here again, God”.

Another perk of Linger is the fantastic worship leaders. Bethany Barnard is a singer/songwriter I’ve listened to and admired for about ten years now. She led worship at Linger and released her latest album last Friday; it has remained in my CD player since. Two songs, back to back, have been in my mind: Awaken Me and Awake My Soul and Sing. These songs remind me of showing up every day. I have prayed “Awaken me, God. Let me see Your goodness today. Keep bringing me back, whether that is to rest in Your presence or peel back the layers of Your Word.” Ephesians 5:14 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”(ESV). It also happens to be a really great Needtobreathe song! We sing this song after each baptism at Oak Grove Baptist Church. It is a fantastic reminder that without Christ, we are dead. We are sleeping through life. We only find true life in God when we allow Him to shine through us. When we awake to God, we start each day submitting to Him. We become more like Him each day, and live the life He designed for us. We don’t quit when the going gets hard. When our husbands or wives loads the dishes the wrong way. When our worship team plays a song we don’t like. When we are tired of our workloads. We stay under the yoke and become better for it. As JR said, “We become the people we are by what we choose to do again”. I choose to seek Christ.

I’m here again, God.



JR’s sermon can be found here: Sloth and Its Cure

Bethany’s album can be found here: A Better Word


Draw Near

We’ve heard it said before. “I just don’t feel God’s presence,” or “I feel so alone right now.” When we feel like the world is ending, like we’ve been given the worst news or been dealt the worst blow, we retreat. We draw into ourselves and back away from God. It may not be because we are angry at God or that we stop believing in Him at that moment, but there is often a feeling of not being ready to face Him at that moment. But what we need most in those moments is God. We need His healing presence and His guiding hand.

God assures us in Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”” (NKJV)

God doesn’t go away in these scary and heartbreaking moments. He is constant. And He is oh so present.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Ellie Holcomb just released a beautiful song about God’s presence in the midst of devastation. The chorus says,

“And I didn’t know I’d find you here, in the middle of my deepest fear,

but you were drawing near, you were overwhelming me with peace.

So I lift my voice and sing: “You’re gonna carry us through everything!”

You were drawing near; You’re overwhelming all my fears with peace.”

I love what she is saying about finding God in unexpected places. But I also believe the other side of this is making the move to draw near to God. God makes Himself known. There are times when He shows up before we realize we need Him. But God’s word also tells us in James 4:8, that He draws near to us when we draw near to Him.
We find peace, we find hope, we find JOY when we let Him in. We move from a place of numbness and deep, deep sorrow, and transition to a place of singing and praise.

A coworker was talking about the hardships several other coworkers have endured. One went through treatment for thyroid cancer, in addition to her son’s leukemia at one year old and muscular dystrophy diagnosis at eight. Another just found out the twins she is carrying will not live more than a few more weeks. My coworker said, “I just don’t know how they do it. I think Jesus just hugs some of us a little tighter than others.” I let that sit for a minute, and it really bothered me. I replied “Well, I think they go in for the hugs more often, too.” God doesn’t comfort any of us more than others. He doesn’t pick and choose who He loves more. He made a promise to us that we will seek Him and find Him when we seek him with our whole heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Sometimes we feel like we are just getting by. “Surviving not thriving”. Been there, done that, wrote the blog. Those are the weeks I realize (embarrassingly late) that I haven’t spent enough time in prayer or in the Word. Those are the tough weeks. I’m not saying there is a magic fix or an instant remedy, but my fears and my frustrations are much more at ease when I go to God. He knows when I’m upset, but talking to Him about it does help. There is a song on KLOVE right now that says “In the eye of the storm, You remain in control”.

Returning to Ellie Holcomb,

“Here in the middle of the lonely night, here in the middle of the losing fight,

you’re here in the middle of the deep regret, here when the healing hasn’t happened yet.

Here in the middle of the desert place, here in the middle when I cannot see your face,

Here in the middle with your outstretched arms, you can see my pain and it breaks your heart.

…And I didn’t know I’d find You here.”

But when we realize what God has to offer, we want it that much more. We are pushed to draw near to Him, because we see what we were missing out on.

How do we draw near? Because we can’t physically become closer to God, we have to spiritually move closer to Him. We have two basic, children’s church answers. Prayer and reading the Bible. Praying to Him is the absolute closest we can get. Yes, we must take time. Quiet time. Set aside time. It’s hard, and you must be intentional about it. You might give up a little sleep or time in front of the TV. But you will be okay, I promise. Even better in the long run for it. We can read Scripture and learn about God’s character. We can learn why God might allow us to go through trials. We can see clearly how much He loves us in the words He’s given us.

As Ellie (and the Bible) says, “Rejoice, Rejoice”. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” That’s a lot easier to say when we are close to God. God will carry us through it. Will it be more than we can handle? Absolutely. Because we must learn to rely on His strength and not our own. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”


Me Time

January has gotten away from me. I knew I said I’d be taking a break from blogging, but I didn’t intend to go this long! I promise I’ve been typing behind the scenes.

I’ve been reading a little bit (for me) and writing a lot. I have barely kept my eyes open most nights as I’ve been trudging through paperwork each day at my job. I am not cut out for an office job, but I’m managing. Tis the season to choose an intern, and with that comes applications, transcripts, and recommendation letters. I’m eagerly awaiting February.

I finished reading a book last week that had been recommended by multiple friends and acquaintances. I was so excited to dive in, what with the beautiful cover art, the intriguing title, and praiseworthy reviews. And the verdict?

I was pretty disappointed.

First of all, if I’m reading a book based on the Bible or biblical teachings, I expect it to be validated with Scripture, especially if seemingly new ideas are being introduced. This book did a very poor job of that, and it took away the author’s credibility for me.

My next issue is probably unpopular, but I’m really tired of hearing about “me time”. I’m a fan of naps and hair cuts and pedicures. But I can function without them. A good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, and prayer/Bible study can do a person wonders. 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (NKJV) God renews us. He can restore us to a place of functionality. Do I need occasional breaks from my children and mopping the floor? YES! But spending the morning with my boys doesn’t warrant the need for two hours of shopping in return.

When Jesus went away on His own, He went away to pray. His alone time was necessary because it was God time. If we are to live by Christ’s example, I think we have to take this into consideration when we assess our “needs” as well.

Another concept in the book was saying “no” to things that are taking up too much time in our lives. Another good concept, in theory. Putting down the cell phone? Great! Less TV time? Fantastic! Saying “no” to tasks at work? Hmm… Most of us don’t have that option. Driving to a lake house or beach house when we need an escape from reality? Don’t have that one either. A famous writer or speaker can decide which engagements to accept and still financially support his or her family. For the average Jane and Joe, this just isn’t feasible. I fully believe there are times to take a sabbatical. (Root word: Sabbath. Oh yes, one of the Ten Commandments. Take one of those, too.) Sometimes there is a medical necessity. But a lot of us need to put on our big girl shoes and get the job done.

What I really want to convey here is this: Spending time with ourselves doesn’t make us better, but spending time with God does. This book didn’t teach this. This author got to spend more time with her family, which is wonderful. I think a lot of us need more time involved with our children. But I never got the impression her increase of time led to an increase of Jesus. John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (NKJV) This is how we fulfill our joy! (see verse 29) We will be better people because of Jesus. We will be more patient because we practice and pray for more of it. (Help me, Jesus!) We will exude grace when we fully believe we have received God’s grace. We will be joyful because we choose joy, which only comes when we put our trust in God, which will only come when we give our time to Him.

I beg you to be careful when reading books about the Bible or listening to speakers teaching the Bible. 9 times out of 10, I think they are speaking the Truth. But if something seems off, go to the Word. Go to a fellow believer, preferably someone more mature in the faith who can guide you in the right direction. If someone is speaking of a new concept related to the Bible, I would be very, very wary. If hundreds of years worth of theologians have not produced the same argument, I would be willing to bet, it’s not true. Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (NKJV)

While the Word of God is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), it does not adapt to meet us where we are. It will always encourage us to move closer to Jesus Christ. It will never adjust to the times or allow something previously forbidden. It will allow us to see verses we may not have seen before, or see them in a different light based on our circumstances. One verse may provide the perfect comfort when you highlight it, and make you question what it was about it that stood out when you read it six months later.

Studying the Bible should be just that. We should spend time in it, wrestle with it, talk about it, and know it. The more time you spend in the Word, the more clearly you can recognize when it is and is not taught correctly. You will ace the “true/false” section of the exam. Learn it to know it.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does[a] not slumber.” (2 Peter 2:2 NKJV)