Suffering: What Happens When My Faith Isn't Enough?

By Lori Freeland

With the exception of a few posts, I haven’t blogged for close to a year. Not since my son, Kyle, relapsed with leukemia. I wrote a few posts on that topic that I won’t repeat. (But here are the links if you or someone you love is struggling with cancer: When Life Stops, Wishes, Wants, and Secrets Fantasies, You Want Me to be Thankful for What?) Read more...

Can a Christian Hate President Obama?

By Dr. Roger Barrier

Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org. Read more...

Ever Been Hurt on Facebook?

By Kelly Balarie

Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt hurt. Read more...

How to Bring Down a Church Bully

By Joe McKeever

Church bullies have always been part of the ecclesiastical landscape.

They had them in the first century, as evidenced by the tiny epistle of Third John. A brute named Diotrephes was ruling his congregation with a strong hand.  The Evangelist John turned the spotlight on what the man was doing, which ordinarily is sufficient to arouse the congregation to unseat the man. John ended with a promise: “If I come, I will call attention to what he is doing.”

Don’t miss the understatement of that: “I will call attention to what he is doing.”

That will be quite enough.  When the Beloved Apostle (for so was John known in the early church) stands before an adoring congregation and informs the membership what their so-called leader has been doing behind their backs, they will deal with him.

That has always been the Lord’s plan:  Tell the church, expose the brute, expect God’s people to do the right thing.

We’re not talking about taking matters into our own hands or doing anything heavy-handed.

Even though the flesh wants to drag the church boss out back and give him “what for,” that is never the right approach. Nor should we plot and maneuver and scheme behind closed doors. The Lord’s people must never adopt the deceitful tactics of the tyrants.  We are to be “as shrewd as snakes and as gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

American history provides a near-perfect example of how to bring down a bully. It’s not a simple story, but I’ll do my best…

The tyrant throwing his weight around without a thought as to who got hurt in the pro Read more...

Do We Have to Give Up Our Dreams?

By Michelle Painter

Several months ago, I heard a surprising comment that indicated that home educating meant that we, as mothers and fathers, had to sacrifice our own dreams to provide the home schooling opportunity to our children.  Since that time, I have pondered the question, "Does home schooling really mean we have to give up our dreams?"  So, in examining this issue, I sought answers from the Bible.  Though studying, I've been blessed with four important revelations that encouraged my own spirit regarding any former dreams of my own.  I pray that they encourage you as well.

1. Align completely with God's plans.  Be sure that your "dreams" are also the dreams that God has planned for you.  If you are home educating with the nagging thought of all the self-designed dreams that you have sacrificed, then you are missing out on a multitude of blessings.  Having a God-focus provides the best dreams of all for you and your family.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

2. Claim contentment.  God is the one who has given you the perfect gifts of the exact children that you have.  God is the one who blessed you with a calling you to home educated them.  Both of these and so much more are God's perfection planned just for you!  He knows best of all exactly what we need and exactly when we need it.  Our contentment suffers when we think we know better.

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  Philippians 4:11

3. Seek God's wisdom.  If you feel like you are clueless… join the club.  What home school mom hasn't felt clueless from time to time?  We can educate ourselves by reading a million books, going to a billion seminars, meeting with a trillion support groups, etc., etc., etc.  However, if we have done all of these and not first sought God's wisdom, then we will still be clueless in the long run.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5

4. Have faith.  No matter how challenging, no matter how exhausting, no matter how monotonous, no matter how overwhelming, no matter any of the multitudes of excuses that we can come up with, God provided the hope we have by choosing to home educate our children… we must simply have faith that He will see us through!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Does choosing to home school mean we have to give up our dreams?  I don't believe that it does at all.  In fact, following God's calling to home school has showered me with realities better than any dreams I could have ever imagined before.  He has generously supplied all the contentment, wisdom, patience, and every need of my heart when I keep my focus wholly on Him.  He has astonished me with so many, many blessings that were previously undreamt of before embarking on this challenging, rewarding, privileged, God-led journey.  I pray that you, too, will allow Him to fill you to overflowing with His absolute best! 

Michelle Painter is a wife and best friend to Bobby, a mother to four amazing sons, and a former public school tea Read more...

The Best Books for Christian Women in 2014

By iBelieve Contributors

2014 was a fantastic year for books! We asked our iBelieve bloggers and writers to share their favorites with us, and we recieved a great response--everything from moving memoirs to poignant fiction to helpful studies on how to strengthen your walk with Jesus. We hope you love these books as much as we do- and be sure to share your favorites with us in the comments! Read more...

Why I Stopped Going to Church

By Jennifer Maggio

I grew up in the Deep South in the middle of the Bible belt. Going to church was a way of life for us. We went to church every Sunday and most Wednesdays. And almost everyone I knew did the same. Interestingly, however, my parents rarely went with me. From the time I can remember, I was driven to the front door of the church and dropped off, then picked up after services were done. As I grew older, this made me very uncomfortable. All of my friends had their parents with them. Why couldn’t mine just come to church, too?! Read more...

Unbroken: What the Movie Left Out about Louis Zamperini

By Debbie Holloway

On the heels of Angelina Jolie’s feature film Unbroken, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has produced a documentary on the life of Louis Zamperini entitled Captured by Grace, partially narrated by Zamperini himself. (You can watch it here). Read more...

5 Ways to Have a Merry Christmas in Your Marriage

By April Motl

It’s wild how the holidays can bring out such intense sides to our personality. Right after we gather around a table with family and friends to thank God for His blessings in our life, we gather to malls and store aisles to wrestle one-another like gladiators for deals. Our displays make the news and from one breath to the next we move from gratitude to greed. The hustle and bustle continues for another six weeks, stretching over Christmas and finally to New Years. Yup. It’s a crazy time of year where, as a culture, we sacrifice to bless another one minute and indulge in almost every imaginable way the next.  Read more...