The Company You Keep

Friends are like buttons on an elevator--they can take you up or bring you down. Surround yourself with people who are like the person you want to become because you become like those with whom you surround yourself.

After elementary school, we moved to Sacramento, California, where I attended junior high school. Then we moved again while I was in high school. I was desperate for friends. I never gave a thought to who those friends were or what they acted like. read more

Bridgett and Me

I was a long-awaited first child. My temperament was extremely compliant from day one. My sister, Bridgett, on the other hand, pushed every limit from the time she was an infant. And we have her grouchy-, swollen-faced childhood pictures to prove it.

From the time she was in diapers, it didn't matter what my folks wanted her to do, Bridgett challenged them. My poor, longsuffering mother would have to go to war just to get Bridgett's hair combed. Usually, while the battle raged, I was sitting perfectly still somewhere, immaculately dressed and meticulously coiffed.

During junior high and high school, Bridgett continued to chart her course, attempting to be her own person, not a younger version of me. Imagine! My parents often wondered, “How could two sisters be so different?” I wondered too. After all, wasn't she supposed to be just like me? read more

Wired for Relationships

We need deep associations with others, but often the challenges seem to outweigh the rewards. Here's how you can make healthy connections.

Each of us lives out our lives through a series of relationships. From our parents, to childhood friends, to our first love, our major milestones are framed by memories of our relationships along the way. We remember those who were present or influential at each stage of our lives and, no doubt, we also remember those who were not there to cheer us along.

What is it that makes some relationships thrive and stand through tests, while others falter and fail? I believe the keys to bettering and sustaining healthy relationships are to have a firm foundation in God, and to learn to communicate. read more

Out Of Many, One


In the Library of Congress there hangs a painting called The Dawn of the Millennium. It is one of the most amazing paintings I have ever seen.

In the center of the work is an altar mounted on a hill representative of the lush landscape of America. Standing around the altar, which glows with the glory of God, are ministers from every Christian denomination. read more

Salt of the Earth

During the time preceding the recent election many Christians realized just how far away from its Christian foundations our culture has strayed. Though we can't single-handedly reverse the ungodly trends, believers can have an impact by living according to God's principles and carrying Christ to a lost world, one person at a time.

Jesus said that we are "'the salt of the earth'" (Matt. 5:13, NIV). In New Testament days, salt was used primarily as a preservative rather than simply a flavor enhancer. Preserving our nation's Christian heritage won't be easy, but we will succeed if we all do our part.

How can you make a difference? Start with the circle of family and friends right around you. read more

Preparing The Bride

When a woman is planning to be married, she generally spends months preparing for the wedding ceremony. She shops for a wedding dress, chooses outfits for her attendants, orders flowers, addresses and mails out invitations, secures a location for the reception, engages a photographer and musicians, schedules a church and a clergyman, and does scores of other related, time-consuming tasks, all to ensure that the service itself will be a memorable occasion and a fit beginning for her new life--a life she has yearned for and dreamed about for a long time.

What some of us don't realize is that whether we have ever planned, or will ever plan, a wedding in the natural, we are preparing for a marriage in eternity with the Lamb of God.

God's plan for us is that we become the bride of Christ. According to Anna Rountree, author of The Heavens Opened (Creation House), this plan is much like an arranged marriage. At the point of our new birth, our future spiritual marriage is set up in heaven somewhat as arranged marriages are here on Earth. It is essential that we keep this vision before us throughout our lives so that every decision we make will serve the end of preparing us for our destined role. read more

Lord, Give Us New Hearts

It's time to seek the Lord as never before. As we do, our consecration and devotion will intensify, and we will become remarkably more like him.

Right before we held our conference in Chicago in 2000, God began to get my attention on the subject of the new heart. We were planning to have the event in a beautiful church that seats 4,500 people; it was going to be impressive.

But a few days before the conference, we ran into difficulties and had to switch to another facility. This one was not as big and was more difficult for the people to get to. read more


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