Inside Out – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

Bright morning sun has me squinting hard as I bend down to peer through the open window of a car now coasted to a stop beside my dog, Lucy. “What’s going on?” my neighbor asks. I pause considering an obligatory response then plunge forward in a current of honesty. “Walking in anger and unforgiveness.” He doesn’t miss a beat, “That’s all of us.” Trials are a test – not pass or fail but to improve strength and reveal weakness. I’ve…

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Are kids from devoutly Christian families with same-sex attraction at higher risk of suicide? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

The featured article in this month’s Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) is titled LGBT Youth, Mental Health, and Spiritual Care: Psychiatric Collaboration With Health Care Chaplains. As one of a very small number of Academy members in a position to comment on the cultural competency necessary in working with Christian families who adhere to traditional church teaching regarding sexual expression, I’ve been wrestling with how to best respond to the authors. One reason this…

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Consuming Fire – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

His voice shook the earth and Moses trembled in terror and fear. The untouchable mountain burned with darkness, gloom and storm. What was commanded could not be borne. Then God. His voice shook earth, water, sky. Now He promises. Promises to shake not just earth but also the Heavens. A kingdom that cannot be shaken. Mount Zion, city of the living God. The heavenly Jerusalem. Thousands upon thousands of angels assemble in joy. Jesus, mediator of the new covenant. Sprinkled…

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Watch for the Light – Advent. – Youth Ministry Christian Article

“When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, he told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” And she answered, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” It was in this submission, this surrender and obedience, that Christ was conceived. And it is the laying down of power that is revealed in his birth.…He was born in a stable, at the…

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Armor of God – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

If God is for me, who can be against me? He graciously gives all things. Mercy. Grace. His Own Son. Reconciliation instead of separation. Once lost, now found. I am more than a conqueror in Christ. No weapon formed against me can stand. The Lord vindicates His servants. Strengthens and helps. Gives courage. His righteous, right Hand upholds. I will not be shaken. The Spirit He gives is not fearful. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.…

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Storm Rider – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13 Come to Me – I give rest to those who labor. The heavily laden. The burdens you carry I never intended. Lay it down, let it go. I long to gather you close. Learn from Me, for I am gentle. Humble in heart. Draw near. My steadfast love endures forever. When the…

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Why are suicide rates up 56% among youth in this past decade? – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

While I was away this week at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) Annual Meeting, a report was issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control describing a 56% increase in the suicide rate over the last ten years among Americans between the ages of 10 and 24. Among the “highlights” of the report… The pace of increase for suicide was greater from 2013 to 2017 (7% annually, on average) than from 2007 to 2013 (3% annually).…

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A Vital Necessity – Godinterest Magazine – Christian Article

Have you ever sat down and considered what’s important in your life? What do you consider to be vital or a necessity? What can’t you live without? Most of us would say food, water and shelter. Yes, you need those things to exist, but we can’t really live unless our minds and hearts are set on seeking the Lord who is the giver of life.  Sure, you can exist without a knowledge of God, but you can’t live without Him…

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Tree of Life – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

Fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true. Bear and abide. Branch attached to vine. Fruit bearing branches pruned. Encouraged to bear even more. Heart’s produce praises God. Acknowledges His Name. Father glorifying fruit. Vine identification. Spirit of life and peace. Humility and gentleness. Love bearing fruit full of sap and green. Grapes never gathered from thorn bushes. Figs won’t grow from thistles. Good trees grow good fruit. Taste and see that the Lord…

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Remember You Are Dust… – Mike King – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar. This is a time of reflection and repentance in preparation for Easter and Eastertide. Ash Wednesday is one of the most meaningful services for me. It is the time when we are deeply reminded of our mortality and utter dependence on the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Last night at Jacob’s Well, Tim Keel shared Romans 12:2 from Eugene Peterson’s The Message. “Don’t become so well-adjusted to…

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How to Live Your Faith in a Rapidly Changing Multi-Religious Society – Christian Article

By Irving Hexham The Bible begins by proclaiming the great truth that God created the heavens and the earth. It continues by telling the story of the creation of humankind and states very clearly that all people are made in the image of God. Not surprisingly, given the fact that God is the creator of all things, we are told in Genesis 1 that he surveyed his creation and saw that it was good. Today many people laugh at the…

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A Prayer for Women on International Women’s Day – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Today is International Women’s Day. Below is a prayer written for women around the world by Deborah Hirt and brought to my attention by Christine Sine. She thinks about all woman who deal with marginalization at many levels. She especially focuses on women who face physical dangers and she weaves her thoughts among the Prayer of Saint Francis. Lord, make me an instrument of peace: Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and…

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Never Give Up – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 You are God – there is no other.You are God – there is none like You. Almighty is Your Name.You are the first and the last.Alpha and Omega.Beginning and end. I am the Lord’s servant.His splendor displayed.My reward is with my God.He is my strength. Light of the…

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What Does “Church” Mean Today? – Christian Article

In this week’s episode, Christian and Amy are exploring some questions about church and get a little help from some friends. What does the church mean in the 21st century? What of our identity, systems, or traditions should be preserved or continued? What needs to die? How do you think the Christian religion will look differently a generation or two from now? Topics and themes discussed: intersectionality, that is, the overlap of the labels we use for people, how differentiation…

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Forgive and Never Forget – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Scarlet turned to snow. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Rebellion met with red. Nothing is greater than His blood. Nothing it won’t restore, reconcile, redeem. Covenant blood poured out for many. Sin drenched with love.…

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Hope on a Hill – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 This world is passing away along with its desires. Trials and temporary trouble. Hardship and loss. Worldly treasure. Citizen of Heaven, fear not. Promised is a better country, a new Heaven and earth. A city designed and built by God. Righteousness dwells there. Death,…

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Compromise Kills – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

A man went bear hunting. Soon, a large, brown bear came lumbering across his path searching for berries. The hunter had the bear in his sights and began to squeeze the trigger. What happened next was unexpected. The bear turned and asked, “Excuse me. Isn’t it better to talk than shoot? Why don’t we try to negotiate this matter?” The surprised hunter lowered his gun and said, “Okay….I guess I’m open to that.” “What do you want exactly?” the bear…

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Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi | Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family – Christian Article

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series “Worldview-Forming Worship” Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. What we have seen over the past several weeks is a dynamic interplay between four realities: worldview, theology, culture, and cultus. Worldview and theology affect one another and constitute religion; culture and cultus affect one another as liturgy. But this kind of mutual formation occurs at a macro level as well, between religion and liturgy,…

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Double Trouble – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 It wasn’t intentional. It was an accommodation. A kindness. A compromise. I didn’t want to be that Christian. The one who makes sure everyone knows they don’t drink or let their kids watch certain movies. The one people roll eyes over as they walk away. I wanted my non-Christian…

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What is the Nature of Religion? Worldview – Christian Article

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series “Worldview-Forming Worship” Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. Religion is composed of two parts, the first of which is worldview. A worldview consists of a set of assumptions a person holds about reality; it is a lens through which he understands and interprets everything around him. James Sire has provided a helpful and influential definition of worldview: A worldview is a commitment, a…

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What is the Nature of Religion? Theology – Christian Article

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series “Worldview-Forming Worship” Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. Broadly speaking, theology is how we intentionally answer the questions James Sire provided (see last week’s post) that form the assumptions at the core of our worldview. What we believe about the nature of reality, the purpose and meaning of life, the basis of right and wrong, and most importantly God form our theology. Theology…

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Religion = Worldview + Theology – Christian Article

This entry is part of 4 in the series “Worldview-Forming Worship” Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. Everyone has an implicit worldview—a fundamental orientation of the heart expressed in assumptions about reality, and most people have an explicit theology—conscious beliefs expressed in stated propositions. The combination of worldview and theology is what constitutes a religion. Expressed in this way, all people have a religion, whether they acknowledge it or not. Even atheists have…

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When Walls Crumble and Fall – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); September 20,1989 “If your baby lives he will be severely disabled. He won’t walk or talk or acknowledge you.” The doctor left and I sat without expression. When the words finally sank in, I cried without comfort. Prayed and asked why. It was the destruction of a dream. The dream of the baby and life I planned. When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was…

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I’m a Skunk – Liz Petruzzi, lizpetruzzi.com – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. Mark 7:15 Without a doubt my greatest challenge and sin are the words I say. Words said in anger. Words said to make a pointed point. Words said to punish. Words said carelessly without thought. Wounding words I can’t retrieve. Things I say to impress…

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No More Martyrs – Christianity Now – Medium – Christian Article

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push(); We don’t need another martyr. This thought first came to mind as I listened to a spoken word performance by a friend of mine, Manon Bullock. She was referencing the death of Rekia Boyd in Chicago, a Black woman shot dead by an off-duty white police officer in 2012. She said if we could have chosen any outcome for Rekia Boyd, martyrdom would not have been included in the calculation. This struck a chord…

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