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Faith

The Pride Challenge

Joseph’s biggest problem in Genesis 37 really isn’t that he has jealous brothers…
No, Joseph’s biggest problem is that he’s a braggart.
Let’s take a closer look:
Joseph’s story starts out by telling us a little bit about him:
“The story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping out his brothers in herding the flocks. These were his half brothers actually, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought his father bad reports on them.”
A 17-year old tattle-tale? Already we can’t stand him.

Faith

Knowing God’s Heart (RTBP Week 3)

Have you ever doubted that God cares?
I definitely have. It’s like you know He’s there, and He’s all-powerful, you just doubt He’s as concerned about what you’re going through as you are.
The break up.
The loss of a family member or a friend.
An unemployment situation.
An empty bank account.
We know He’s all-knowing, but somehow He seems ridiculously absent and uncaring in those situations.

Faith

Setting Yourself Up to Win in 2018

There is always something special about the New Year. It signifies a clean slate – a chance to start over, to try again, to do things a little bit differently than before. While the unknown typically tends to be scary territory, there is just something about a new year that brings hope instead of a sense of foreboding.
And I’m all here for it.
You will hear a lot of people say, ‘Here we go again with the new year resolutions!’ as they roll their eyes with disdain. Please feel free to ignore them ( and if you are one of such people, I still love you all the same).

Faith

The Two Most Dangerous Prayers You Should Be Praying

The two most powerful – and most dangerous – prayers you can pray as a Christian are ‘Use me.’ and ‘Your will, Lord, not mine.’ These two declarations are like lighting the fuse on a 4th of July fireworks display; you’re not quite sure what the exact timing of the explosion will be, but it has the potential to be both fatal to self and glorious in execution.

Faith Lifestyle

What to Do With Your High Standards

Anyone old enough to have had any sort of life experience will tell you that you will get to a certain point in your mid-to-late 20s where people around you will begin to question your life choices – that is if they haven’t already. Questions will range from the timing of your masters and eventual PhD degree, to the number of kids you plan on having, and the exact number of years you plan on having between them.
If you happen to, like me, fall into the category of ‘still single’ during these blessed years, the situation will spiral downwards fairly quickly.

Faith

Why You’re Not Talking About Jesus (And How To Get Over It)

Evangelism. Let me start off by saying how much I dislike the word – not because I dislike the act in and of itself, but because I hate the imagery it has come to incite: people standing on street corners, condemning people of their sin and calling down hellfire on them unless they repent and turn to Jesus.
I think that we can agree that often evangelism has not been the church’s greatest strength (slavery, anyone?), but the heart of it is still important and relevant for us as Christians today, so I will use the word anyway and ask that you please refrain from gagging at its mention.

Faith

The Problem with Loving Life

Over the weekend my friends Angellah, Nana and I got into a discussion about materialism. Basically, it wasn’t so much about whether or not Christians should be wealthy or have nice things, but about where the thin line between enjoying God-given wealth and materialism lies, and how we can make sure we’re not crossing it.

Dear Diary Faith

Come Dirty

You know how you can randomly just be doing something, and suddenly a memory that was locked away in the recesses of your brain rushes to the surface, and you find yourself piecing together all the events, not entirely sure what you’re replaying is actually a memory until you do? And then you burst out laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the reality?
That was me yesterday when I remembered a time when one of my friends was really sick.
I know, I know – it doesn’t sound funny, but I assure you it was. It was a random day when said friend called asking if I had any malaria medicine.

Dear Diary Faith

The Three Most Important Lessons This Year Has Brought Me So Far

God is who He is, and will be who He will be, and not who you want Him to be or expect Him to be in any given season. He is not confined to your perception of Him, or of how He operates. As much as God doesn’t allow us to get comfortable in our seasons, He also doesn’t allow us to get comfortable in our knowledge of Him or how He functions, because then we’d become more confident in our own routines and processes of hearing from/receiving from/connecting with God, than in God Himself.
There was a time in my life when I would wake up at 4:30 every morning and spend time with God before heading to the gym and starting my day off.

Faith

To Everyone Struggling With Their Faith…

I have to apologize –
on behalf of myself and anyone else who ever made this Christian faith thing seem like a walk in the park.
It isn’t always one.
I felt like I should write this to you because I know sometimes it can be lonely feeling like you’re the only one who can never get it right or do right. I know how much guilt you probably feel not living up to what you know God expects from you, and frankly, a lot of what you’ve come to expect from yourself.
This is me asking – pleading with you – to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself Grace.
Ever tried tightrope walking? I haven’t.

Faith

I Am Mary.

Have you ever read the gospels and found yourself astounded by the number of Mary’s that were involved in the events of the time? It’s almost like watching a modern day play where every other female character is named Jennifer, and yet every Jennifer has a distinct personality, and is somehow involved in her own concurrent plot.
Now, I’m no theater major – I’ve never even watched a show on Broadway. I didn’t study literature and have never read Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet (though I am preferential to the adaptation that featured Aaliyah), and I’m not a hundred percent sure what a sonnet is – but I do know a literary device when I see one.

Faith

Yoked!

I never understood the story of Samson and Delilah, even when I was a child. Don’t get me wrong – it was an intriguing enough story; a man who had such power coming from just his hair. And as I grew older, I couldn’t help but picture Samson a la Man Bun (don’t tell me you can’t see it), a sort of Sinbad-esque figure, slaying beasts. But despite my hyper imagination, the story was one that still left me with one burning question:
What the heck was wrong with this dude?
It’s one thing to have a deceptive wife, but it’s a whole other thing to be married to someone who is CLEARLY trying to get you killed.

Faith

The Real [Desperate] Housewives of Haran

There have always been stories in the Bible that puzzled me. Jacob stealing Esau’s blessings. Saul hunting down David. David taking Berthsheba for himself. Amazing men of God who were purposed for greatness and yet at the same time seemed to have so many hit-and-miss moments. Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself in many of these stories, gleaning for some level of wisdom or understanding. Afterall, the Bible is not just a guide for us on how to live life, but also very much a cautionary tale on how not to.
So I wasn’t surprised that I found myself wrestling today with the story of Rachel and Leah, the Desperate Housewives of Haran (and perhaps rightfully so).

Devotions Faith

The Carpenter’s Son

Colossians 1:15-20

I spent 9 of my most formative years growing up in Ghana, and in middle school in Ghana, there’s a subject that every student has to take called Pre-Technical Skills. Basically, it’s the equivalent of Shop Work or Wood Work, but with a heavy emphasis on the technical skills needed to build things – perfecting angles and lines, and understanding how to draw a blueprint before actually setting forth to create a piece of work.
And man, did I hate Pre-tech.

Dear Diary Faith

The Miracle in the Mundane

 
I have seen miracles – but not in the ways you would think.
When I graduated college, the ER became a pretty routine part of my life. In fact, the summer of 2013 saw me in the ER at least five times, and in the doctor’s office running tests at least another six or seven. These visits were triggered by random events: my throat closing up in the middle of a work day when I’ve never had an allergy in my life, numbness in my extremities, vertigo, difficulty breathing… My most recent visit to the ER was triggered by severe chest pains – the kind that convinced me that I was really about to join my Maker.

Faith

Watch and Pray

It’s just a little over a week until the New Year comes round and of course the buzz of the holidays is all around. I can’t even begin to count the number of ‘What are your holiday plans?’ conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks, or justify the amount of food I’ve eaten at all these holiday parties. And while the excitement of spending time away from work with friends and family and a lot of good food would get anyone excited, I think if I could pick a word to describe what I feel more of than excited at this moment, it would be attentive.