I sat in a wing-back chair by the blazing fireplace, surrounded by friends on a Wednesday night; our weekly life-group meeting was underway. As I read aloud from Acts 2, I caught myself pausing when I came to verse 42: “...and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NIV).
My afternoon nap ended abruptly as I awoke to a constriction in my chest, difficulty breathing, and a general sense of panic flooding through my body. “Something’s wrong…” was all I could say to my husband before I began to weep uncontrollably.
...Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...Hebrews 12:1-2 NIVExcitement kindled in my heart as I walked up to my front door and saw the much-anticipated package leaning against the frame.
I couldn’t focus. My thoughts were zoned in on how much prettier she was than me. So much taller, more put together, her hair more perfect, her clothes more elegant, her manner reserved and poised. I momentarily took an inventory of myself. Bouncy, out-of-control curls, old comfy jeans, layered sweaters, and chunky handmade hemp jewelry.
I leaned against the railing of the deck and looked out at the treetops waving gently in the late evening breeze. I could feel my shoulders relax as the thoughts that had been worrying the corners of my mind began to ebb away. Birds were singing, and the sun was setting.
Going Through the Bargain BinWhen I was in my teens, a good friend with a knack for thrift store shopping introduced me to the local Value Village and Goodwill stores, with their tantalizing sale racks and bulging bargain bins. And as the old saying goes, it was love at first sight.
by Mandy SaelerHeather Coferthe setapartgirl TeamJess WhiteJasmin HowellSarah Guthrie
Romance novels, chick-flicks, sensual magazines, and more — everywhere we look there are land mines of relational compromise awaiting us. As Christians, it’s easy to turn to the “tamer” versions of these things to fulfill our desire to fantasize about our own personal fairy tale and imagine the charming prince
CLEANSE ME FROM SECRET FAULTS.Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
A Fearful YesI recently had a very busy week full of coffee dates, client meetings, meals with lovely people in our church community, family get-togethers, our Wednesday night Life Group, and what felt like a whole bunch of other appointments and errands.
It was a hot summer’s day in 1923. A young Scotsman named Eric Liddell took his place at the starting line next to the other runners, gearing up for a challenging 400-meter race as an expectant crowd watched from the sidelines. As the starting pistol cracked, he bolted from his position like a bullet, tearing down the racetrack with incredible intensity.
I watched the funds in our bank account dwindle with every passing day. Abrupt recent changes to our economy had negatively affected both my husband’s and my job. We didn’t have much income on the horizon, and I was waking up daily with a sense of fear and restlessness about the future.
by Heather Coferthe setapartgirl TeamJess WhiteJasmin Howell
Jess says:Unforgiveness and bitterness walk hand-in-hand. We often think that these two wily fellows can be kept contained in nice little pots, reserved to poison just one person, but that isn’t the case. They always spread to other parts of the garden of our heart and wreak havoc in our other relationships.