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6 Vital Truths to Remember When Raising Teens

Raising kids in today's increasingly Godless world and confused culture is hard. Raising teenagers feels practically impossible. Out-of-control gender dysphoria issues, online dangers and addictions, an influx of social anxiety and isolation problems, and even more serious issues like the epidemic of self-harm and suicide running rampant amongst 13–18-year-olds are just some issues facing teens today.As parents, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious while in the trenches raising teens, but meditating on these five truths will help us remain grounded and resolute in our belief that we'll get through this season.
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10 Powerful Prayers to Protect Your Children from Satan

1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.We know the enemy wants our children; he wants to pull them away from us, from their faith, and from the one true God. We also know that Satan is crafty, and he tries to pull our children away in a variety of ways: by temptation, distractions, deception, etc.Thankfully, we serve a God that invites us to pray, to talk with Him about the longings of our hearts. He has also given us His Word, full of wisdom and promises that can guide us in our prayers.When we pray to God, asking for our children to be protected from Satan, we should remember that we aren’t praying to a distant, indifferent entity. No! We’re praying to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We’re praying to the I AM, who loves our children more than we do and who cherishes their souls more than we can even comprehend!As you pray through the following 10 scriptures, pray expectantly. Pray with confidence. Pray with boldness as you approach His throne on behalf of your children.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Predrag Images

11 Critical Warning Signs You're on the Road to Burnout

More than a few of you reading this know you are on the edge of the cliff we call burnout. And probably a few of you are in free fall right now. What’s so perplexing about burnout (and especially low-grade burnout) is that more than a few of the symptoms strike people as “normal.” So how do you know if you’re heading for burnout? I’ll describe eleven signs and symptoms I personally experienced as I burned out. If you recognize one or two of them, you’re likely not burned out. Consider them warning signs. If you show six to eight, you may be in low-grade burnout or heading for the cliff. If you resonate with most or all of them, you’re likely in full-fledged burnout. I hope these signs can help you see the edge before you careen past it. Photo Courtesy: Thinkstock

10 Prayerful Meditations for Better Sleep

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” (Matthew 11:28)Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you struggle finding rest? Do you dread nighttime because of the struggle—perhaps even because of a sense of agony that comes with trying to sleep?Stresses of life, worries that cause us to fear the unknown, thoughts that get stuck in our minds.Maybe you’re dealing with nightmares, or fears in the night that shake you and make you dread going to sleep.Perhaps a restful night of sleep seems impossibly far away to you.But picture this in your mind and believe it in your heart:God sings over you. He sings songs of deliverance over you. He sings soothing songs of peace and love and victory over you as you sleep (Zephaniah 3:17).“…when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)As a child of God, “sweet sleep” is your inheritance. You can rest in Him. He has given it to you.Here are 10 prayerful meditations to help you sleep peacefully:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

8 Simple Homemade Gifts Everyone Will Love

As Christmas seems to be closing in and the excitement fills the air, you may glance over at your gorgeous tree and quickly realize you have a huge task at hand. Gifts! You need to fill the bottom of that tree with thoughtful and meaningful gifts. Gifts that show how much you adore and cherish those people in your life that bring so much joy!Sounds simple enough, right? If you are a natural gift giver, this time of year may bring out your inner child as you tap into your “gift” of giving the perfect present. I truly admire those who have that skill, and to be honest, I look forward to getting gifts from those dear people as they seem to know exactly what I need.However, if you are a little more like me and don’t possess that gift-giving talent and the thought of finding a gift for everyone on your list feels more overwhelming and daunting than exciting, you, my friend, have come to the right place!Finding gifts that sweetly say, “I thought of you” while staying on budget can be challenging at best. Then there’s all the hustle and bustle that comes with getting out and braving the crowds, making the thought of online shopping quite enticing. Yet that, too, can feel so impersonal.So, why not try a different approach this year? All it takes is a little effort, time, and intentional thought to create gifts that are simply made with love. Trust me, these gifts will not only say, “I thought of you,” but they will also say, “I thought of you while I was creating it, too!”Now, take a deep breath, relax, and let’s start by making some precious and thoughtful gifts to put under that magical tree. Need some ideas? Check out some of the gifts below. Each takes minimal time and effort, yet makes excellent gifts for family, friends, neighbors, and teachers.
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10 Peaceful Christmas Eve Prayers

Peace is a vital part of the sacred night of Christmas Eve. On the first Christmas, when angels appeared in Bethlehem to announce Jesus Christ’s birth, they praised God for the peace that Jesus would bring to humanity. Luke 2:13-14 reports: “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” A profound message of peace accompanies Jesus’ birth, so peace is an important part of Christmas. When you pray peaceful Christmas Eve prayers and meditate on Bible verses about peace, God can bring peace to you, and through you, in many different ways this Christmas.Christmas Eve offers a unique opportunity to seek peace that you can experience, even in our troubled fallen world, through a relationship with Jesus. In John 16:33, Jesus promises: “…in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This Christmas Eve, you can experience peace in any circumstances when you reach out to communicate with God. Enjoy spending time in prayer and meditation to draw closer to God and experiencethe peace that only God can give you. Plan some peaceful times of silence and solitude to spend with God on Christmas Eve. Take a break from the busyness of Christmas Eve festivities to connect with God in moments of tranquility that allow you to connect with the deeper meaning of Christmas. Open your heart and mind to receiving God’s peace and inviting God to send his peace through you into the world.Here are ten peaceful Christmas Eve prayers. You can personalize them in whatever ways the Holy Spirit leads you to connect with God and experience peace this Christmas.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fermate

5 Reasons Why We Celebrate Advent

Advent is from the Latin word Adventus, which means "arrival" or "visit." For four weeks before Christmas, churches of all denominations celebrate Advent and light candles and sometimes sing special songs to carry out this tradition. Growing up, I witnessed my church light a candle each week, but I never understood the meaning behind the tradition. Why do we celebrate Advent? Here are five reasons why, year after year, we continue this tradition:
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10 Powerful Prayers for an Unbelieving Husband

Wearing the title of ‘wife’ is one of my greatest honors. But one think I quickly learned and most wives who have been married for longer than a month have by now figured out, that it requires a lot of work.However, let me dare say, the most important “work” we can do as wives and with any title we are given, is the work done on our knees in prayer.There might be no greater burden to bear for a wife than for her unbelieving husband to come to know the Lord. All else pales in the light of where we will spend eternity. Be encouraged that every prayer, cry, and longing for your husband to come to know the Lord is being heard. Jeremiah 29:12 says, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”God not only hears you but know this: your love for your husband is met by an even greater love the Lord has for him as His maker.He hears you, so never stop praying. Prayer has the potential to speak to the mountain of unbelief and cast it into the sea. Don’t give up, dear sister. God hears you, and He is working.The following prayers and verses are designed to intercede for the salvation of our unbelieving husbands, covering them in God’s mighty power.Photo Credit: ©Thinkstock-tommaso79

10 Festive Activities the Whole Family Will Enjoy

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – everywhere you go! Bing Crosby sure was right. From the sparking lights all a glow as you drive through the neighborhoods to the shops filled with extra goodies, it’s that sweet time of year once again.Is it just me, or did this year fly by? Maybe I say that every year, or perhaps it just feels that way the older I get. Either way, I am still in awe that Christmastime is here. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this time of year! Like many, I look forward to Christmas with much anticipation, and so does my family!That said, maybe you and your sweet little family are also filled with excitement, which leaves you searching for festive activities that will bring joy and create memories. Well, whether you have a few rambunctious rascals that need to burn off some extra Christmas cookies, or you’ve already heard the two dreaded words of “I’m bored,” and you need a plan stat!Well, my friend, no matter what you are looking to do over the holidays, there’s something to fit the needs of every family. Whether you want to crawl into some pjs and watch The Grinch or you are ready to stargaze in the backyard with a yummy cup of cocoa, making time with your family and creating precious memories is always worth it.Below are ten festive family activities the whole family will enjoy. Because it’s Christmas once more, and we could all use something to get in the spirit!
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7 Ways to Make a Lonely Christmas Meaningful

Will you be spending Christmas alone this year? As Christmas approaches, you may be feeling more sadness than Christmas cheer as you think of having to spend Christmas alone. However, you can still enjoy Christmas, even if you find yourself alone during this festive season. Even in solitude, you won’t be truly alone, because God will be with you. In Isaiah 41:10, God assures you, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Christmas, at its core, is about God’s presence. Matthew 1:23 points out that Jesus is “… Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)”. So, don’t get discouraged by spending Christmas without other people nearby. Here are seven meaningful ways to celebrate Christmas with joy and wonder when you’re spending the holiday alone:Photo Credit: Unsplash/freestocks

7 Ways to Take Your Prayers for Others to the Next Level

Are you praying for others and feeling like you’re just saying words? Do your prayers feel trite or without impact? Perhaps you’ve been praying the same thing in the same way for a long time and you’re wondering if trying something else might be more effective.We know from Scripture that God answers prayer based on His sovereign will, not necessarily our particular prayer technique. God’s Word also tells us: “whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22 NASB). Furthermore, we are told “a prayer of a righteous person… can accomplish much” (James 5:16).With that kind of confidence behind us—that He hears the prayers of those who abide in Him and ask by faith—here are seven ways to take your prayers for others to the next level and, in the process, discover how exciting and adventuresome prayer can really be.Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Christin Lola

5 Ways to Quiet Your Heart When Stress and Anxiety Take Over

I've had many episodes of anxiety over the years. Growing up, I struggled with anxiety. Even as a kid, I struggled with it. I had a controlling mother who often yelled to express herself. I walked on eggshells in my home because I never knew where I stood. Some days, she'd be great; other days, she'd be in an angry, silent mood. I withdrew to my room and spent many hours there. As an adult, however, I used the same tactic. When my kids were little, I got angry and yelled at them. It wasn't until I gave my anger over to the Lord and fully healed from my childhood trauma that I became a more peaceful person as a parent.Having said this, overly tense or stressful situations still tend to overwhelm me. But I don't allow anxiety to win. In 2020, I had a particularly difficult bout with anxiety. My anxiety became waves of panic that I struggled with day in and day out. It became so bad I didn’t function normally. I sought the help of professionals, got medication, and used other therapy modalities to help me function normally. Today, I'm proud to say I am I'm so much better with my anxiety. The medication I once needed I don't need as often anymore. Additionally, I have had to adopt strategies that help keep me calm if I can anticipate tense situations.Here are five ways to quiet your heart when stress and anxiety take over:
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5 Prayers for Persecuted Believers

I remember sitting in a service in a part of the world where there are not many believers in Christ. Our host leaned over to me, whispered, and pointed out a group of young who were worshipping with tears streaming down their faces. Each of these young men had been forced to watch their parents burned to death because they had chosen to follow Jesus. I felt nauseated as I continued in worship. For me, living in a free country, I can worship whenever I please. But for the young men I met that day, it had coast them everything. As I reflected on those young men, I realized the only tangible thing I could do was pray. Yet, prayer is often the most powerful tool we have.With recent events unfolding in the Middle East, Ukraine, and parts of Africa and Asia, many who follow Jesus are suffering. In different parts of the world, it is illegal to be a Christian. It is against the law to follow Jesus. As a result, many are being persecuted, imprisoned, and tortured for their faith in Christ. The encouraging news is that throughout church history, any time the church has experienced persecution, it has grown not only in maturity but also in numbers.We know as we approach the end times that believers are going to experience more persecution for their faith. We are seeing this unfold right before our eyes. However, we know that as the body of Christ, our brothers and sisters around the world need us.How should those of us who enjoy religious freedom respond? What is our responsibility as far as praying for those who are persecuted?The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3). One of the most effective ways we can remember those who are suffering for the cause of Christ is to pray for them. They need to know that the body of Christ is holding them up in prayer. How, then, should we pray?Here are five prayers for persecuted believers:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/poco_bw

5 Advent and Christmas Podcasts You Need This Holiday Season

The Advent and the Christmas season holds particular anticipation and reverence for Christians. This is a time of reflection, anticipation, and thoughtful consideration. We often turn to devotionals or advent guides to help us reflect on the season, but have you considered podcasts? Whether you’re looking for devotionals to walk through with your family or to read on your own, consider adding a podcast or two to your daily or weekly devotional time this December.Going on a long flight, road trip, or vacation this holiday season? The awesome thing about podcasts is once you subscribe to a show, recent episodes get automatically downloaded to your phone or tablet so you can take them anywhere you go. Load up on these great Christmas podcasts and your trip is sure to be a good one!Making the season bright at home? Download and listen to these episodes while you trim the tree or make Christmas cookies! Our staff will tell you that chores like laundry and dishes are also made merrier when we put in our headphones and listen while we work!We’ve compiled some of our favorite Christmas and Advent podcasts for you to enjoy. Through scripture readings, reflections on the Nativity story, and discussions on the profound meaning behind Christmas traditions, these episodes offer a sanctified space where listeners can draw closer to the heart of their faith. The hosts' devotion and insightful explorations into the spiritual significance of Christmas infuse believers with renewed hope, faith, and a deeper understanding of God's love manifested through the birth of Jesus Christ.Image Credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

6 Female Celebrities Who Openly Follow Christ

In our post-Christian society, it is hard enough to be a Christian and live out the gospel. It is especially difficult when those Christians are also thrust into the spotlight to achieve fame and celebrity status. Whether we are listening to their music or watching their TV shows, we are helping them continue to spread the gospel message when we support their programming. This helps God to be glorified and gives them a platform to promote good moral programs that deliver laughs and clearly communicate God in all His glory.Jesus said, "in this life you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Although it is hard to live out beliefs that promote the Bible, which is seen as an outdated, archaic relic, these women prove it is possible to work in Hollywood without compromising their beliefs. God honors those who live out their beliefs despite persecution or ridicule. Here are six female celebrities who have chosen to follow Christ:
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