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Whether You Eat or Drink

Help and strengthen us to glorify You in all that we do, Father. This request, or something like it, is lifted up to the Lord by countless Christians every day. But how many of us take time to consider the sweeping implications of the unassuming, three-letter word, all?

I am a 24-year-old personal trainer who grew up hearing the Word, praying with my parents and attending church since Day One. But despite my Christian upbringing, it took me19 years to learn that exalting Christ’s name and glorifying the Father isn’t simply restricted to “holy” or “religious” activities such as fasting or volunteering at a homeless shelter. Like Paul said to the carnal Corinthians, we are called to glorify God whether we eat or drink! (see 1 Cor.10:31).

Today, by God’s grace and unending faithfulness, I am healthy, strong and free from oppression and pride-saturated sin. A devastating breakup with my first love at age 17 turned my world upside down. Instead of turning to God for consolation and guidance, I sought to obtain a sense of control through my “healthy” habits. read more

The Spirit's Fruit Is Love

“When the evening of this life comes,” says John of the Cross, “you will be judged on love.” The only question asked about the soul’s use of its house and the gifts that were made to it will be: “Have you loved well?” All else will be resumed in this—all thoughts, beliefs, desires, struggles and achievements, all complex activities, for faith is nothing unless it is the obscure vision of a loved Reality, and hope is nothing unless it is the confidence of perfect love.

So, too, with all the persons, events, opportunities, conflicts and choices proposed for the soul’s purification and growth. Was everything that was done, done for love’s sake? Were all the doors opened that the warmth of love might fill the whole house; the windows cleaned that they might more and more radiate from within its mysterious divine light? read more

How Do I Live my Faith in a Secular Culture?

The crises of man are not new. There is nothing "more secular" about the world today than there has ever been, in any age or society. The world's hostility toward God has not changed since the days of Adam.

Living out your faith in a secular world does not depend on the approval or disapproval, acceptance or persecution, or health or disease of the world. The issue at stake centers not on the depth of the world's depravity but on the depth of your personal desire for God. read more

Sweet Dreams?

If falling asleep is a nightmare for you, here are some tips to make the thought of going to bed less frightening.

Almighty God, who created the universe with unparalleled wisdom, also created your body to need rest. In His wisdom God made rest a foundational principle for life on Earth.

The Bible says, “On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from His work of creation” (Gen. 2:2–3, NLT). read more

little girl

The Daughters' Inheritance

God gives His girls equality—and has commissioned them to take territory for His kingdom.

Most Israelites who traveled through the Sinai desert with Moses probably knew about the daughters of Zelophehad. While other women hid inside tents and covered themselves head to foot with heavy veils, these girls—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah—defied the patriarchal system of their day and earned a special place in biblical history.

We rarely hear sermons about Zelophehad's daughters today, even though they are mentioned in the Bible five times (see Num. 26:33; 27:1-7; 36:1-12; 1 Chr. 7:15; Josh. 17:1-6). Maybe this is because many church leaders simply don't want to empower women or are afraid to. But it is time we unlocked these women's secret for a new generation. read more

Clinging to God in a Crisis

If your world was turned upside down in an instant, would you run away in fear, or turn to God? At 33 years old, Christine Caine's knowledge about her life history was challenged. In what could have been one of the greatest moments of crisis in her life, Caine chose to cling to God and the foundation of her faith, rather than panic and turn away.

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sad woman

God Sees You When You're Hidden

The Lord accepts, loves and approves of you in every season of life, even the uncelebrated ones

Have you ever felt overlooked? Have you ever moved or entered a new environment where no one knew who you were, what you could do or what dreams ignited your soul? Have you ever crossed the threshold into another season of life, where you shifted from recognition to anonymity, from standing as a leader to sitting as a learner again? Have you resigned or retired from a position and transitioned from being sought out to left out, celebrated to celebrating others?

Hidden dreams. Hidden giftings. All of us are acquainted with chapters in life when our visible fruitfulness is pruned back, our previously praiseworthy strengths become dormant and our abilities are unnoticed by the watching world. Like a flower whose budding glory is covered up by wet leaves, we sense the weight of hiddenness in our hearts and whisper, "I have so much more to give and be." read more

bible heart

The Heart's Deepest Desire

Too often women settle for less—not realizing that our heavenly Father longs to give us true spiritual riches.

My heart sneaks up on me when I least expect it. Just this morning, after dropping off one of my sons at school, I was sitting at a red light, impatient for it to change, when suddenly I was overcome with sadness. A longing filled my heart, an ache, a desire for more.

My immediate response to this surfacing desire was to chastise myself. What is wrong with me? I thought. I have a good life. My family is healthy. My husband loves me. read more

Seeing as Jesus Does

Jesus had a power of overcoming trouble, a power of triumphing over the “prince of this world,” which was unique in the history of mankind. All will agree to this, even the skeptics and agnostics and those of alien faiths. And He promised that He would leave us this power: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).

Up to now His professed followers have failed, as a whole, to experience the power He said He was going to leave with us. The question that is left unanswered is, What is this power, and where shall we find it?

Having convinced myself that Jesus meant us to take Him absolutely at His word when He said we would do even greater works than He did, I determined to study until I had answered this question. And this is what I found—that Jesus’ attitude toward life was one of converting everything He saw and touched into parables. read more

How to End the Drought

If it seems as if God isn’t listening, maybe you’re trying too hard.

Listen to a child pray and you’ll hear something like: “God, I really want that doll with the blue dress”; or “I will work really hard, but can You help me get picked for the baseball team?”; or “God, will You heal my mom [or dad]?”

Stated in plain, common language, that’s all prayer is: God’s people talking to their God. There is no need for special words or to say things in a certain order or way. When we talk with our friends or co-workers we don’t talk differently than we normally do. Why do we do that when we talk to God? read more

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Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit