I’ve heard it said that the ABC’s of spiritual growth are Adversity Builds Character. And I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t like adversity. But if we’re going to grow spiritually, adversity is part of the growth process. When I’ve found myself in the midst of adversity, I don’t enjoy it. But when I’m on the other side and look back over that season, I can see how God has used that time to help me grow spiritually and deepen my walk with Him. Life is full of blessings, but it also has its share of hardship,...Read More
I came home today to something totally unexpected. As usual, I stopped by the mailbox as I pulled into my driveway. There was a letter in the mailbox that puzzled me. It was hand-addressed to Janene Keeth, and I thought, well, it’s not from anyone in my church because they all call me Crickett. There was no return address on the envelope – only a Memphis postmark. My address was printed in all caps, and I couldn’t tell if it was written by a man or a woman. My first thought was it was some cleverly addressed invitation to...Read More
Is there a past sin in your life that haunts you – something you hope no one will ever find out about, something you regret deeply? Perhaps, you sometimes question if God could really forgive you for that sin. Or you feel you need to punish yourself or serve Him even harder to ensure that you’re forgiven. You may even be wondering if perhaps you have disqualified yourself from being used by God because of your past sins. Satan loves to drag a believer down in the area of forgiveness. He doesn’t want us to be free from the...Read More
I realized this week that I like to talk. I’ve had laryngitis the past two days, and I didn’t like not being able to verbalize what I was thinking. I learned several things about myself from this situation. I like to interact with people. When I can’t, I feel isolated. I like to sing out loud with worship music in the car. It’s frustrating when I have to keep quiet. I need others. Laryngitis isn’t easy for someone who teaches 2-3 times a week. Thankfully, the Lord knew months ago when I scheduled guest teachers that I wouldn’t be...Read More
We just celebrated Valentine’s Day this past Tuesday. Many look forward to this day each year. But for others, Valentine’s Day is a tough day. You may be single and feeling lonely, or you may be divorced or widowed and feeling the sting of being alone. Or you may be married, but feeling unloved in your marriage. As an older single, I have to admit that I don’t always look forward to Valentine’s Day, but my perspective makes a big difference. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I want to focus on what God has given me....Read More
This past week, I felt the sting of disappointment – not once, but twice. I was waiting to hear back from two different publishers who were considering several Bible studies I had written. I had been praying for God’s will in both of these situations, and a peace regardless of whether it would be a yes or a no. (My heart’s desire was for a yes.) I received two no’s three days apart. Ouch… Even though I had prayed for God’s will, there was still a moment of disappointment after reading the emails. I truly wanted God’s will, but...Read More
What do you think of when you hear the term discipleship? Do you think of going through a curriculum together, or do you just hang out and talk? I think both can be true. Some of the people I have discipled have asked me to specifically go through something structured with them. Others have just wanted to spend time with me and talk about things going on in their lives. Sometimes I do both with them, alternating between something structured and spending time just talking or doing something fun together. For new believers, it’s important to take them through...Read More
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