Christmas is, by some distance, the most significant holiday in the world (at least in the West). It’s startling just how all-encompassing it is—school, economics, business, entertainment, travel, families, and church all revolve around it and submit to it....

Everyone wants to be pursued. OK–I'm not sure that's entirely true, but I believe women have this desire ingrained in them early in life. ...

Jump Start, a Grace Church We Choose Partner dedicated to stopping the cycle of recidivism, has started a program of discipleship classes in 16 state prisons. Over the past 10 years, 2,500 incarcerated men and women have completed the program and have returned to our communities. 95% of released participants have been successful, remaining out of incarceration and continuing to break the cycle. Some of those released have transitioned with support from Jump Start, where they are provided with a safe place to live, job placement, transportation, accountability, and are plugged in with a local church....

With it being National Adoption Awareness month, I have the honor of sharing a bit of my story with you. My name is Emmie Fouche, and I was born in Dallas, Georgia. I was adopted when I was two weeks old and grew up in Madison County, Georgia. To most people on the outside looking in, they see a child that needed a home and a nice couple that decided to take her in; however, in reality, my adoption was not planned....

As a firstborn myself, there are some recurring themes in the life of Jacob that don’t sit well with me. Birth order seems to come packaged with sets of unique traits; traits that would be invaluable when looking for the one who would be the father of God’s own people....

I started the Camp Staff Experience program last summer expectant. I was confident that the Lord would work in and through each member of the team, and I was excited to return to a place I have grown to love....

Just go kill it. These words from Matt’s sermon have not stopped ringing in my ears, “If there is a dream that is separating you from God, just go kill it.”...

Having an older brother was always great, except on Christmas day. We would be opening presents, tossing shiny wrapping paper everywhere, and looking for devices we could steal batteries out of to use in our new gifts....

Growing up, God graciously allowed me to be in a family that was whole, loving, and selfless. I was able to see my parents care for us in ways that sometimes seemed so counterintuitive that I couldn’t help but see God through it. ...

One of the things I see clearly in the biblical narrative of Jacob’s life is how God never gave up on Jacob and the plan he had for Jacob’s life. It gives me comfort because I know he brings that same faithfulness and patience to bear when he looks at me. Alternatively, though, Satan also doesn’t give up easily when it comes to my weaknesses and vulnerabilities....

What an interesting idea reconciliation is—to willingly forgive, restore, and make right a relationship that has gone wrong. I do not believe it is a natural human instinct....

Kristin Fisher serves as the Myanmar Country Director at She Is Safe. She received funding from Grace Church to support her personal ministry through the Missions Grants program. To learn more about the Missions Grants program or to apply for support in your personal ministry, please visit www.gracechurchsc.org/missionsgrants....

I secretly hope my neighbors aren’t watching as I back out of my driveway. I would say that I’m better now, but I used to fear that the front end of my car was going to hit the side of my husband’s truck....

While I grew up going on church mission trips, I have always wanted an opportunity for my entire family to go on one together. Recently, that goal was accomplished. Now I can say my family has officially gone to Allendale—twice—and survived!...

While student teaching last spring in a fourth-grade classroom, I got a front row seat to a lot of girl drama. After a while, I noticed that one particular girl was always in the middle of it....

The word “Ezer” is used to describe God several times throughout the Old Testament, referring to God as a powerful source of help and strength. ...

This summer, I was able to take part in what the Lord is doing through Grace Church and our partnerships with the local church in Kenya. From the moment I signed up for the trip, the Lord began to work in ways I could never have imagined. After sitting back and reflecting on my time in Kenya, I see one shining theme: the Lord will always provide. ...

All my life I have been analytical. By definition, that means I study and evaluate just about everything. I seek to use logic and reasoning to answer the question that’s always on my mind: “Why?” ...

Recently, my dad had a falling out with a long-time friend. He’s not entirely sure what caused it, but he suspects that a comment he made one morning over breakfast hurt his friend’s feelings. Dad tried for several weeks to get in touch with his friend, sending texts, leaving messages, even asking mutual acquaintances if they knew anything about his friend....

We’ve all been there at some point or another. New job, new church, new school, new neighborhood—what we know and what is familiar and safe is coming to a close and the horizon holds a shiny new idea for us to grab ahold of....

Each year from August to May, Grace Church offers an internship called Cultor House. The internship provides recent college graduates with the opportunity to learn and work in the ministry structure, while also gaining experience in another part-time job. ...

I often don’t like what life serves me. I often imagine my days to look different. Then, I am easily discouraged and mad. ...

The desire for control is a creepy thing. It creeps up on us all the time in ways that we don’t even know. It creeps up in our thoughts and in our hearts, affecting our words, actions, and decisions....

I am known by a lot of titles—school counselor, friend, church member, therapy dog handler—but the one that is my favorite is “aunt.” I always viewed this as a substandard title compared to “mom” until I went to an Ezer conference. ...

Genesis 27—where we see Rebekah manipulate circumstances to get Esau’s blessing for Jacob—sounds eerily familiar. Isn’t it the struggle that all mothers have to take matters into their own hands and make things happen for their kids? And not just mothers. I think it’s the temptation all women face since Eve: to trust themselves and what they think is best, and ignore God’s sovereignty, plan, and power....

There is a flattering mirror in the gym that makes me look like I don’t need to be at the gym. I have noticed it and while I usually avoid mirrors, I actually linger in front of this particular spot. I have believed its lies and thought that the scales and my tighter waistband must be kidding me....

It’s that time of year where most Saturdays include yard work. While my husband cuts the grass, I sink to my knees to pull weeds in our beds. It never fails to amaze me how effortlessly weeds can grow. ...