Articles | November 2020

  • Thoughts on New Beginnings

    Devotionals | November 16, 2020

    Beginnings are significant. A new day. A new job. The start of a new class or the start of a personal relationship. A business collaboration. A new ministry or leadership role. Meeting someone for the first time. A new child. You may be enthused and optimistic about your new beginnings, aware of God’s hand orchestrating this fresh start. Or you may feel overwhelmed, unsure about how to move forward. Jeremiah’s words point us to God’s goodness, even when our new beginnings are unexpected or seem far away.

  • Overwhelmed

    Devotionals | November 13, 2020

    Feeling overwhelmed is typical for apprentices who have begun to encounter the challenges of learning a new skill. Honestly, that sense of feeling overwhelmed isn’t limited to apprentices. We have all experienced it at one time or another: a rush of challenging circumstances, the pain of life in this less than perfect world, a steep learning curve as we step into a new role. Like overwhelmed apprentices, we need someone to come alongside us, encourage us, help us walk through the obstacles we face, and show us the way forward. The writer of Hebrews knew that. Do you?

  • Choosing to Serve

    Devotionals | November 11, 2020

    Scripture speaks of the importance of the choices we make. Each of us chooses to give our lives for something. Some give their lives to serve the world we live in and some to serve the purposes of God, while others choose to serve themselves. Each person’s choice shapes their life and the lives of others. For many, their service remains hidden from the world at large, known only to a few. While they remain unknown to us, their choices continue to make a difference in our world today. Through the ages, many have said no to self and yes to serving others. What about you?

  • Unexpected Responses

    Devotionals | November 09, 2020

    Responses to unexpected events provide glimpses into the heart. These unexpected responses may reflect God’s transformation, love, grace, encouragement, and forgiveness. They can also reveal areas where we need God’s touch. Areas where pride and fear still need to be washed away by God’s love. Where worldly perspectives and personal biases need to be confronted by God’s truth and confessed with a humble heart. Where we need to turn from ingrained behaviors and focus on building up others. What do your responses reveal about the condition of your heart and leadership?

  • All that You Need

    Devotionals | November 06, 2020

    God is writing His story through the lives of men and women, children and teenagers, around the world. He gives us everything we need for our part of His story in and through Christ Jesus. What do you need to live your part of His story today? Do you need strength? Humility to accept the story He wants to write through you? Peace? Wisdom, insight, discernment? Confidence, boldness, courage? Turn to Jesus. He has opened the door into God’s presence and makes every spiritual blessing God has to offer available to you.

  • When Ministry Knocks You Down

    And Getting Back Up

    Blog | Charles Stone | November 05, 2020

    If you’re a pastor, a missionary, or serve in a church, you can’t avoid discouragement, disappointment, and hurt from ministry. The Bible even uses the not-so-complimentary metaphor “sheep” to describe those we serve. And sheep get dirty and smelly and often kick and bite. Sometimes those sheep in the church do the same to their shepherds. So when you get kicked, forgotten, disrespected, ignored, mistreated, gossiped about, or misunderstood, how do you move forward?

  • One Who Leads

    Devotionals | November 04, 2020

    Sometimes, we need to be led; sometimes, we need to lead others. At times, the two intermix freely; at other times, the focus swings heavily to one side or the other. At all times and in all ways, we need to be led by God. This applies whether we are novices, apprentices, journeymen, or masters at leading and serving others. Time spent seeking God’s leadership is essential if we are to serve others at the point of their need. Take time in God’s presence. Worship Him alone. Humble yourself in light of His goodness and grace. And yield to His purpose, wisdom, and direction.

  • More to Say

    Devotionals | November 02, 2020

    Practicing the Being Habits nourishes your relationship with God. They are not meant to be items to check off a to do list. Reading a devotional may jumpstart your thoughts and sharpen your focus, and spending time in Scripture allows God’s truth to increasingly shape Your perspective. Silence and solitude invite you into thoughtful conversation with the living God. Time with trusted companions brings insight and encouragement. As you move through the day, remember that God isn’t done speaking. He has more to say. Make it a habit to keep listening for His voice.