The river will never stop flowing, nor can we leave the road we travel on, of our own volition. Life is a stream and I am not sure if it is pre-planned or if we are here for a set time. I think chance has a lot to do with it. How we take care of ourselves, or not, even then how we ‘go’ could be out of our hands -- well it actually is. Being at the wrong place and the wrong time happens often. Life is dangerous, we can go anytime and perhaps it is good that we suppress that reality more than not. For to truly understand our situation, would perhaps keeps us locked up in a very small world that could be worse than actually dying.
Chance, chaos, luck, does not mean there is no underlying order or plan; it is just too deep perhaps for us to see it. Our senses, intuitions and intelligence while vast and a doorway into reality, is I believe also what limits us in our ability to see reality fully. That is one reason that the God question is an open issue in many circles and people in the end, choose which road to walk; even if it is somewhat, or completely unconscious. Either way, the beauty and harshness of life has to be faced until we are released. Into oblivion eternal as some believe, or the beginning of an eternal journey, is something we can hold to, believe deeply, yet on some level, it is all based on a type of faith. There is more we don’t know when dealing with the questions that are in reality the most important for most of us.More Here...
It's a new year, friends! We can't believe 2013 has begun. It seems like the last year has flown by. If you are reflecting on the last year and wondering where it went, you are not alone!
Our hope and prayer for you in the new year is that you would be blessed by our online presence, by the content we offer and the conversations we have. We hope you are able to experience God through the posts you read, the videos you watch and the Sunday services at North Point Online that we encourage you to join each week.
We also pray that God blesses your lives this year in whatever it is you want to accomplish. We all know we make resolutions for the new year, and we are praying for the things in your lives you want to make better. We pray that you will be strong and make the changes you need to make to achieve the goals you've set, and we hope that God will meet you in the moments you need Him on that path.
More than anything, we pray you have a safe, happy and healthy 2013. Thanks so much for being a part of our community! We look forward to another year of discussions and conversations about what God is doing in the world and how Christians are being the hands and feet of Him in the world.
It's hard to believe that this is the last day of 2012. It seems like not that long ago we were ringing in the new year, and yet here we are again. Maybe for you, as you look back on 2012, this was your year. Whatever it was you wanted to achieve, you did it. You knocked 2012 out of the park. But for me, this year has been a challenge, and I have ended up in a place I did not expect to be.
The last year has been full of disappointments. I have no one to blame for that but myself, because I had set unrealistic expectations about what I would accomplish in 2012. I was determined that this would be the year I figured it all out. I'd get on a career path that had traction. I'd be in a relationship that was headed toward -- if not already reached -- marriage status. I'd have a clear idea of what the future held for me, because that's what people my age have... right?
Apparently not. Here I am, one year later, and I'm not entirely sure I'm any better off than I was before. I'm certainly not where I had hoped to be. That career path? Yeah, never found it, but I at least came to a place of understanding and appreciation of where God has me. Maybe I'm not being paid to do what I love to do, but I get to do what I love to do anyway, and how many late-20's women can say that? More Here...
One year ends, another begins. It is like a fresh morning for many, though deep down it is known to be only pretend. Perhaps each day is in reality a "New Year", a fresh beginning that slowly wilts as the day comes to an end. Pressures build up, focus can be lost and fatigue can at times be unrelenting. It can seem so absurd.
However, for the believer life does have a purpose, one that can be forgotten in the hurly-burly of life. It is to see the one before me and to love that person, not to use that human being made in the image and likeness of God. Doing so will put me at odds with many others.
How do I treat those who work for me? How do I treat my family, strangers, and acquaintances? Do I forget what is important, and allow relationships to die because of issues that are in the long run less important than the deep relationship I have with those around me? More Here...
Good morning! It's the last Sunday of 2012! We hope that, in the last week, you've had plenty of opportunities to spend time with family and friends, celebrate this festive holiday season and attend a church service at your local church. If you went to church on Christmas for the first time in a while, we hope you will consider revisiting that church for Sunday service today!
At North Point Online, pastor Andy Stanley is delivering a New Year's message called This One Thing. We all have that one thing we want to resolve to do better next year. Maybe you want to get out of debt. Maybe you want to eat better and exercise. In this message, Andy recounts the Old Testament story of Nehemiah and shares with us the one thing we all need to resolve to do in the coming year.
I still remember the first time I learned that “ebenezer” was more than a scrooge-y character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I was taking an Old Testament class in seminary, and when I came to 1 Samuel 7 I read about God’s saving intervention in the face of great peril. 1 Samuel 7:10-11 recounts,
While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
In response to God’s faithfulness Samuel does the following:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (v. 12)
When I first read this passage I loved the visual, the idea of marking the spot where God had been faithful. Not only did that stone remind Samuel of God’s faithfulness, but whenever Samuel’s ancestor’s would pass by it, they too would remember God’s love. More Here...
It's hard to believe that, in just a couple days, the year 2012 will come to a close. For some of us, this year has been full of amazing new changes -- new jobs, marriage, children. For others, it's been a tough year, facing challenges unforeseen, loss and heartbreak. Regardless of what kind of year it was for you, we hope that, despite the good and bad, you can see the imprint of God's work on your life as He continues to write your story.
So what was your story for 2012? And what are you looking forward to in 2013? We'd love to know what your thoughts are as the year ends, so write it up in a post and submit it to us. You can also vote on your favorites!
If you're new to Revelife, or just need a reminder, you can learn more about who we are on the About Us tab.
2013 is just around the corner. Everyone usually has their normal resolutions such as stop smoking, lose weight, be a better person, be more outgoing, or landing that promotion. When I was a teenager I made a list of resolutions every year and I took them seriously. I am twenty-four now and I haven't made a list of resolutions in years.
This year I hit a wall. I realized I had some negative people in my life, negative habits, and environments I would frequent that were not helping me move along in life in a positive way. Everything in life doesn't have to be a lesson learned or something to advance you. I believe in having pure fun sometimes and being absolutely ridiculous with your friends. Those types of memories are some of my best and most bonded. I also realized I wasn't spending my alone time in the most productive manner.
2012 has been a great year, but I can say it has had it's ups and downs and it's my fault entirely for dealing with the downs the way I did. When one particular bad thing happened I would go out all night and then go to work on no sleep, working twelve hours plus an hour commute. I would stress myself out and cover it up with more partying. Besides work I was distracted from spending time with my family, dealing with my own feelings, dealing with other responsibilities, ignoring my health, and the list goes on. More Here...
Last year I posted about the albums that helped me through a difficult year. 2012 has been remarkably different from 2011 but I can't help but want to share the art that has affected me this year. A lot of the music this year joined me in my triumphs and some has helped me through the pains. In no particular order these are the albums that have had a big impact on my past year.
The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: This has perhaps been the most powerful album I've come across in a long time. The video for the song Wing$ was a brilliant attack against materialism. Macklemore is unafraid to rap about the things you aren't supposed to rap about in the hip-hop world. While I don't agree with everything he says or the way he says it, I respect his boldness, honesty, courage, and artistic integrity. This album makes me want to keep fighting against the evils I see in this world, to be a better Christian, and to get back on my feet when I fail at both. This album is worth buying and might be my favorite hip-hop album of all time (sorry Kanye).More Here...
I knew when I landed in Charlotte on the Sunday before Christmas that this would not be the average, stress-free trip home. The word "CANCELLED" in bright red on the departures screen told me I had to put my own plans aside and... be flexible.
The same thing happened over and over again when I was in Haiti. We were supposed to take a tour of Port-au-Prince on our first day in the country, but the weather didn't allow for it. We postponed our tour until the end of our trip, but protests in downtown prevented us from seeing it. We never got to see the damage from the earthquake while we were in Haiti -- something most people expect to see when they visit the country. As much as I wanted to show my team the aftermath of the earthquake, we didn't get the opportunity. I had to... be flexible.
And of course, as I sit here in a noisy living room, my brother's four children running in circles, I check the status of my flight for this afternoon over and over again. The blizzard that blew through yesterday has delayed and cancelled a lot of flights and, while I'd like to get out of the cold and back to the Florida sunshine, I know I need to... be flexible.
How many times have you had to be flexible? How many times has God asked you to be flexible? More Here...