5 Things about You That God Is Not Surprised By

Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10), and something that he constantly puts us on the stand for is being a human in a fallen world. We are taught to feel guilty for so many things that, quite frankly, come with the territory of being a limited being in a broken world.

We live in temporal bodies that are constantly breaking down. We live in a world that is full of toxins and fumes. And even if that weren’t true, we still wouldn’t be perfect.

And the good news is that God isn’t surprised by any of it! This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to overcome sin. But it does mean that we shouldn’t feel guilty for things that aren’t sins but are the result of merely being human.

This is such a relief. We don’t have to be embarrassed by things out of our control, and we certainly don’t have to be embarrassed by the way God made us. We can draw near to him instead.

Here are 5 things God is not surprised by:

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5 Key Takeaways from the First Republican Debate

The leading Republican presidential candidates had a spirited back-and-forth discussion during their first debate of the 2024 election season on Wednesday despite the leading candidate – former President Donald Trump – not being on stage.

Trump’s absence gave the candidates battling for second – including Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott – more time to talk. All total, eight candidates qualified and were on stage in Milwaukee, Wis.

Here are five key takeaways from the first debate:

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The 6 Hymns Sung at Pastor Tim Keller's Memorial Service

Tim Keller, an influential author and pastor known for his dedication to urban ministry, died on May 19, 2023, after a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service was held at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in his honor on Tuesday, August 15.

During the service, Keller, the long-time pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, was remembered as a humble servant and a dedicated student of God’s Word.

In an article written by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Director Francis Collins for Christianity Today, Collins recalled asking Keller one Saturday in April near the end of his chemotherapy treatment stint at the NIH hospital if he’d like to hold an impromptu service in the hospital’s atrium. Keller said yes. Collins then asked Keller if he had any favorite hymns to suggest. Again, Keller said yes.

“Let’s sing six hymns in a particular order, because they tell the whole story of Christian faith and God’s care for us,” Collins recalled Keller saying.

Those same hymns were sung at Keller’s memorial service earlier this month.

Here are the six hymns sung at late pastor Tim Keller’s memorial service:

Photo courtesy: ©Wikimedia Commons/Frank Licorice Flickr/Creative Commons, image cropped and resized.

5 Church Lies to Let Go of while Holding onto Your Faith

I believe God has so much compassion for the confusion the younger generations are battling with the Church. We’re at a time in history where so much is being exposed in our world–systemic racism, capitalist greed, political warfare and environmental carelessness, to name a few. Unfortunately, the Church is not excluded from the influence of these same systems. Millennials are noticing and calling out for change, and when they don’t see changes in the Church, they leave.

So whenever I hear of a friend leaving the Church because of spiritual abuse, disillusionment or hypocrisy, I understand. I get it. It’s challenging to determine who God is from what people have done in the “name of God.”

But, even though I see their point of view, I know that leaving God because of what people have done is never the answer. Not all churches are spiritually harmful. And even if they were–God is still good. And always will be.

Church culture may have gotten some things wrong and caused real pain, but I believe there is still real joy in following Jesus. 

Here is a list that I hope will encourage anyone on their journey to leave old, harmful lies behind to adopt new, faithful and exciting ones.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know about the People Behind The Hiding Place (2023)

The new movie version of The Hiding Place (2023) has opened to great responses—from a limited release on only two days to new showings on August 9, followed by the international release on August 16. It also has an unusual journey behind its making—one that stretches back almost 50 years.

Here’s what you likely didn’t know about its production and the people who made it possible.

Further Reading: The Hiding Place: Film Telling the Story of WWII Hero Corrie ten Boom Now in Theaters

Photo Credit: ©The Hiding Place, used with permission.

7 Ways Phones Produce Anxiety and Lead to Mom Guilt

The constant pressure to stay in the know causes many moms to be glued to their phones 24/7. However, this is one of the leading factors behind a rise in anxiety. Unfortunately, due to the bombardment of notifications and the temptation of aimlessly scrolling, moms often find their focus shifting away from their children, leading to a sense of mom guilt.

If you're constantly on edge and unable to shake the feeling you should be more engaged with your kids, your phone might be the problem. Here are seven ways our phones produce anxiety and lead to mom guilt.

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10 Signs Someone Has Held Their Church Position Too Long

The pastor or church staff member or the chairman of a committee or a church officer has overstayed his/her welcome.

Let’s talk about how to tell.

One church I pastored had a vivid illustration of what happens when a member holds a position so long they begin to “own” it. Behind the church–same block–sat the synagogue. Across the street from the synagogue sat the funeral home, owned by one of our deacons. One day this good man told me, “Preacher, we could have bought the land the synagogue is sitting on for a pittance years ago.”

Our growing church needed additional land, which is why we were having this conversation.

He said, “When the house that used to sit on that property came up for sale, the people wanted $30,000 for it. I was willing to raise the money and buy it. I felt we’d be needing that property in the future.”

“The trouble was that Mr. McClanahan, the church treasurer who had held that job for decades, vetoed it. He said that was just too much money for that piece of land, and we would not pay it.”

“No one, including the preacher, wanted to stand up to McClanahan, so we let it go.”

“And now,” the deacon said, “We can’t touch that piece of ground for a million dollars.”

He was right in that. I’d asked around discreetly and found that out.

A church where I was guest-preaching was in the act of trying to dislodge a church secretary who had held that office since Noah was a little boy. Even though she was in her mid-70s and long overdue for retirement, she would not budge. As the unofficial church boss, the woman would not change her way of doing things, would not agree that the pastor had the right to have an administrative helper who would do what he asked, and would not agree to go away quietly. (I have no idea how it turned out. These things rarely go smoothly.)

So, here are ten signs the person has held this church job too long.

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5 Crucial Things Christians Should Know about ISIS

The name “ISIS” has been a dominant presence in the news in recent times, but the frequency with which we hear this name does not always equal understanding of it. Johnnie Moore, former campus pastor at Liberty University and author of Defying ISIS, provides insight into five crucial things Christians should know about the terrorist organization so that we can better understand world events.

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7 Good Reasons for You to Leave a Church

Discerning the Good from the Bad

In our consumer society, where prevailing wisdom says we should be loyal to products or brands only insofar as our needs and tastes are satisfied, it can be easy for churchgoers to have a very low threshold for leaving a church. The preaching loses some luster. The children’s ministry isn’t as fun as it could be. The worship leader’s hairstyle becomes bothersome. There are lots of bad reasons for leaving a church. But what are some legitimate reasons for leaving a church?

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Here are seven:

What 5 Christian Leaders Have Said about Gun Control

The issue of gun control has long been a major issue for many Americans. While some Americans believe the U.S. needs more comprehensive gun control laws, others believe increased restrictions will hinder their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Here is what five Christian leaders have said about gun control:

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