Brian McKay | @RealBrIanMcKay
I’ve listened to Christian music for about 12 years. Originally, I bought those compilations that you could buy at Walmart (featuring mostly Joel Engle…look him up if you don’t remember him). Eventually, I got bored with it. So, I moved on. After a couple years listening to almost exclusively secular music, I returned to the Christian music world.
I started listening to Casting Crowns. They were great. I loved pretty much everything about them. Their first two CDs helped me get through a tough 8th grade, and my love for them continued (and intensified) in high school. I actually got to see them in concert during my freshman year.
It was amazing. When they first came out and started singing, I freaked out. Like legit fan-girl stuff (well, I guess fan-boys are a thing too). The concert was great…it was basically a church service. They’re a band focused on the message of their songs and reaching people. But that’s not what the point of this post is.
Daniel Foster | @DanielFoster07
In just a few weeks I’ll be joining men and women on couches across the country as we paint ourselves from head to toe, line the kitchen counter with all the finest finger foods, cheering on our favorite football team, all while wearing an outdated jersey 4 sizes too big.
Or something like that.
College football is my favorite sport, and the best part about it? I get to observe it from the comfort of my own couch.
I don’t have to endure the heat of long practices, I don’t have to feel the exhaustion after games, and I don’t have to feel the weight of disappointment if I let my teammates down. I get excited when we win, and I get upset when we lose, but at the end of the day I’m just a mere spectator. Nothing more. Nothing less. I haven’t contributed anything.
And I’m okay with that.
However, far too often, we as Christians treat our faith as if we were mere spectators.
Kevin Welborn | @TheKevinWelborn
I learn something new almost every day. I wish it were intentional, but most of the time I stumble into it inadvertently. The proverbial blind pig and all that, you know?
C.S. Lewis died on the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. See? You just learned something without even trying. Or, maybe you already were aware of that factoid. If so, go learn something on your own, Matt Coker only gives me so much space here and I must use it wisely. He is a heavy-handed dictator and I must please The Back Row.
We are doing a Sunday night Bible study over Ecclesiastes at our church. Through two weeks we have completed the first chapter. This is a weighty book with a somber, if not depressing, tone. A book written by wise, wealthy Solomon should be enumerating tales of travel, bliss, and good-hearted shenanigans.
Instead, Ecclesiastes is permeated by a man dealing with despair. Phrases like “vanity of vanities” and “striving after the wind” are used to describe man’s life “under the Sun”. In other words, Solomon is asking the question, “What does it really matter that you and I get up and go to work every morning? Eventually our generation passes and the next simply carries on the same useless cycle.”
Aaron Jeffries | @arjeffries1
When it was evening, Jesus reclined at the table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”
Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!”
-Matthew 26:20-22, 33-35 ESV
How often do we make bold statements like this?
Matt Coker | @MatthewSCoker
Today, I’m reading chapter 4 of Genesis.
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” –Genesis 4:1 (NIV84)
Before being removed from Eden, Adam and Eve had never felt pain. This new life outside of paradise, where pain and death existed, must have seemed like torture in comparison. And Eve had just given birth to her first child, which would’ve been the most pain she had ever felt.
I would think, knowing that this pain felt like a curse from God, that in those moments of the most extreme pain she’d ever felt, she would have felt the furthest from God than she had ever been.
But, instead, her first words were to give God credit. To be grateful. To see that God was blessing her.
It’s hard to be grateful to God, especially in a season of pain. We feel removed from paradise and cursed to unhappiness. But if we can have an “attitude of gratitude,” we can find happiness in even the most painful times.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” –Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV84)
How easy is it to be at odds with God? I mean, think about it. Cain actually conversed with God, verbally. Cain knew full well that God was all-powerful and Creator of all things, yet even still, Cain had a selfish, unbelieving heart.
Brain McKay | @RealBrianMcKay
I like to drink pop ("soda," to those who prefer to be wrong). A lot. Specifically Mountain Dew. Here are some examples of how bad my pop habit is:
So, I really like pop. And I know that it’s not good for you. I try not to drink it that often, but it’s kind of difficult. I love ICEEs, which doesn’t help (it’s just frozen pop!). I’ve been trying to drink more iced tea recently (it’s still full of sugar, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Mountain Dew).
What’s my point?
Daniel Foster | @DanielFoster07
Whether you've spilled food on your clothes, accidentally mismatched shoes, or dressed a little too formal for that casual dinner party, we have all had moments we wished we could blend in with those around us a little better.
In Daniel 3 we read about a couple of guys named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who weren't worried about blending in. I encourage you to read the entire chapter but for the sake of time, I'll just give you a quick run down.
King Nebuchadnezzar (or as I'll call him, King Neb) built a 90ft golden statue of himself and commanded all the people to bow down and worship it. I didn't even think it was possible to be that vain. Surprisingly, everyone went along with this law. Well, everyone except the three guys I mentioned earlier. Their rebellion didn't go over too well with King Neb once he gained knowledge of their refusal to bow down and worship the statue. King Neb called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into his office (or the B.C. equivalent) and gave them one last opportunity to bow down to the statue lest they be thrown into a fiery furnace. Here's their response to 'ole King Neb:
Uplifting Devotionals for Christians Overcoming Habits, Hang-Ups, & Hurts