Reading Philippians 1:1-11 brings tears to my eyes. Philippians 1:6 reminds me of my grandmother, Mimi. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Until she left this world for our eternal home, Mimi continually prayed this verse over my life, especially during the years that I wandered in the darkness, wanting to get as far away from God as I could. But she never gave up. She wrote that reference on every card, note, and letter she sent me. She whispered it in my ear. She prayed it aloud, and she loved and she forgave and she showed me the love of Jesus....

. . . 8, 9, 10! Ready or not, here I come! If I remember correctly, you hide and the point of the game is not to be found. This makes me laugh because most kids I have played with can’t stay hidden. They jump out and reveal themselves not long after we start. The first game of Hide and Seek was played in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve hid from the Lord. They hid because they were naked, they felt shame, and they were afraid. So their answer was to hide. I started out hiding out of fear and shame, later becoming a choice and a form of protection. I had fooled myself into thinking that I wanted to be hidden, but truthfully deep down we all want to be found, and my heart knew it....

For the start of this new series, we have created a series page for Philippians that will be updated weekly with the worship songs from service, study questions from each sermon, background information on Philippi, lock screens for your phone, teaching videos, Scripture to memorize, a reading plan, and more!...

As January 1 approached, some friends began to inquire about what my word of the year was going to be and to be honest I wasn’t sure. Last year my word was discipline, and there were so many praises to be thankful for!...

My sweet daughter turned one at the end of 2017, and that milestone has made me, not surprisingly, nostalgic. As I look back, there is no doubt that it’s been an incredible year, but the truth is that it’s also been a hard one. Motherhood has been among the most humbling, sanctifying experiences of my life, but I’m learning that that is exactly where God is at work....

The Bible positions the local church as the primary influencer for the gospel and good works in the community. As the local church, we are a rescued and redeemed group of unique people working together to serve God and serve others. In our family of local congregations, our aim is to equip each other to transform the culture with godly talk and action. ...

I’ve spent time in a handful of countries, and it’s striking to me that, no matter where I am, interactions with people revolve around food. It doesn’t seem to matter how much or little a person has; when they want to demonstrate how welcome you are, they feed you....

I’m not a rescuer. Never have been—or at least I didn’t think I was. My parents didn’t rescue. They were “we pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps” kind of people and they raised my sister and me to be the same way....

As God’s people, we have been entrusted to share the good news of Jesus in a personal, compelling way. Although we are easily deterred by fears of this world, they are only temporary in light of our mission to share Jesus with others....

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of hospitality is from my growing up years, when my mom would announce, “Company’s coming! Time to clean the house!”. We would then slave all day making the house look like no one lived in it. When our family agreed to host a college intern for a summer, I wasn’t considering it an act of hospitality; our goal in having her live with us was to have a chance to form a relationship, which would give credibility to speak truth and help disciple....

Chemistry is the bane of my existence. For some unknown reason, I had the crazy notion in high school that it could be a good idea to take AP Chemistry. I spent the entire school year dreading that class, crying over the lab reports, and struggling to keep up with my classmates in understanding the material, so it was no surprise when I did not pass the AP exam....

God calls us to be neighbors—to engage those around us with compassion. Hospitality is about more than welcoming others into our home; it is extending the grace we receive from God to others. ...

There are things in this life that just don’t feel right. Sometimes it’s small, and other times the injustices of this world are glaringly obvious. Children who are abused by those meant to protect them. Victims of war and natural disasters. Corruption. Hunger. Death. We can’t help but look around and ask, “What is wrong with this world?”...

Have you ever listened to a song thousands of times and never really tuned in, but in a particular season listened to the same song and saw it as fresh revelation? Well, during this past Christmas season, that exact thing happened to me....

Over the past few years, the Lord has been kind enough to teach me through putting words in my life—usually by repeating them enough times that I can’t miss it....

God brings justice through reconciling us to Himself. Through reconciliation, we are brought into the Kingdom of Heaven, making us ambassadors of Christ while we are walking on this earth. As His representatives, it is our responsibility to bring His justice to bear in our communities....

There is no question that Jesus calls us, as His followers, to serve others sacrificially and to make disciples. How obedient are we to that call? We choose to “engage” in many things— hobbies, relationships, exercise, getting ahead at work, our comfort or leisure. Are we intentionally engaging our community and those in our sphere of influence on their terms?...

I enjoy cooking. I don’t particularly have exceptional knowledge or skills in this area, but I can get a meal on the table with the general good disposition that comes from having enjoyed the process. Often I’m surprised by how many things I cook that require an onion as a foundational ingredient....

We have a responsibility to share our story with others because we have been rescued from our sin. Our lives should cause people to notice that we are distinct, and we should be ready to answer their questions with confidence and humility....

New Year's may be one of my favorite holidays, but this year I feel like I tripped and face-planted into 2018....

The holidays are long gone and life should be starting to slow down again, right? The question seems almost ridiculous to ask in this fast-paced, do-it-now society we live in. Gone are my childhood days when we went to see grandparents or relatives on Sunday afternoon—where the kids played outside while the adults sat on the front porch, drank sweet tea, and visited....

God reveals Himself to a world that doesn’t recognize Him, He redeems a world that is too bound by sin to hear what He is saying, and He extends hospitality to a people who are too broken to notice Him. How are you engaging others in the same way that God engages you? ...

Does my life have an eternal purpose? How am I being used as a tool for God’s Kingdom work? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? You’re not alone....

As believers, we have a great responsibility to invest in those around us and make disciples. Our confidence in Christ and security in our future propels and strengthens us to extend ourselves to others. ...

Nobody likes to feel forgotten—forgotten by your friends, family, coworkers, bosses, spouse, or just forgotten. Forgotten feels less than, not important, or overlooked. Forgotten feels lonely....

For many of us, Christmas Day is one of the most important days of the entire year, which is obvious given the intense amount of preparation that often goes into it. We adjust schedules, plan, and budget months in advance. Family members travel in from far away. Decorations are perfectly placed, menus are planned, and gifts are purchased, wrapped, and hidden. ...