Many of us learned from an early age to hide what we were feeling from other people. We got the message that showing our emotions made us look weak. In time, we became so skilled at hiding what we feel, we even learned to hide our emotions from ourselves. But hiding isn’t a sign of courage or strength. If we want to grow, we have to stop saying, “It’s fine,” and start being honest—with ourselves and others—about what’s going on inside. November 1, 2020
The Bible did not create Christianity. Christianity is the result of an event (the resurrection) that created a movement (the church) that produced sacred and reliable texts that were collected and bound into a book (the Bible). But how do we approach not being at peace with everything we read in the Bible? Paul—the apostle, Pharisee, author, preacher, and church planter—offers us clarity and confidence to move forward. October 25, 2020
The Old Testament chronicles God’s redemptive, sequential activity in history. It’s a fabulous, gritty, epic history of the Hebrew people in which, over and over, Israel is reminded that they are a divine means to an end. So, maybe instead of seeing the Old Testament as a spiritual guidebook or a storyline that needs to be tidied up, we should see it as something even better: the history of God preparing the world for a Savior. October 18, 2020
“In the beginning. . . .” can be a loaded phrase—one that forces us into debate and doubt. But maybe we’re missing the point of Genesis 1:1—a point Moses made to a world where the violence and injustice of the gods justified and legitimized the violence and injustice of human rulers. Moses introduced a radically different, unparalleled, and untested worldview. October 11, 2020
Most of us know some Bible stories, but very few of us know the story of the Bible. And it may be surprising to discover it’s a story that doesn’t actually begin in the beginning. It begins with the accounts of a few men who sat down to record the death and resurrection of Jesus. It begins with the words of his followers who were compelled to document the events that had changed everything for them—because they knew it could change everything for us. October 4, 2020
When it comes to family, the only thing we all have in common is conflict. Family conflict is like no other because when you win an argument in your family, you don’t really win anything. The conflict is never fully resolved.
What if there was a way to resolve family conflict by dealing with it at its source? September 27, 2020
In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul drew from Jesus’ use of power what is perhaps the most powerful relational teaching of all – an instruction that changes everything in family dynamics. It all comes down to asking a simple question:
What can I do to help? September 20, 2020
When the ideal is hard to attain, it’s tempting to just lower the bar and redefine the ideal. This can be especially true when it comes to Jesus’ teachings about family, which many of us have already fallen short of. In this message, Rich Barrett explains why aiming for God’s ideal is still worth it, even when our reality makes reaching it impossible. September 13, 2020
The best way to predict your future is to pay attention to where you’re headed. But sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by what’s on the path. The appeal of money, acceptance, or security can lower your defenses and lead you away from the path you want to be on. So is there a way back? How do we change course when we realize that we’ve chosen a path that leads us to what’s appealing instead of what’s ultimately satisfying?
The path to be avoided is always paved with strong emotional appeal. Your heavenly father hopes that you’ll opt for satisfying over appealing. Will you choose to give in to that internal nudge? Choose to say no to you and follow Jesus, who loves you, who gave his life for you, and who rose from the dead to punctuate that claim. September 6, 2020
We all start out life with great intentions. But our intentions aren’t good indicators of our destinations. In fact, our direction trumps our intention every time. That’s why we all need to follow someone we trust. Someone who can make our lives better and make us better at life. We all have a decision to make. If not Jesus, then who? And if not Christianity, then what?
Following Jesus is not easy, but following Jesus is better. Surrender to his direction and trust him with your destination. He knows where you should go. August 30, 2020