God Blesses You With His Name

God Blesses You With His Name

By Melissa McLaughlin A New Name My eyes tear up as I remember that day. It seems like only yesterday we said, “I do.” I met my husband at church. Our tender friendship grew into a committed relationship and culminated in our marriage a few years later. We celebrated this sacred occasion with a worshipful … Read more

What is the Foundation for Your Life?

What is the Foundation for Your Life

By Melissa McLaughlin A Good Foundation The moment we begin, we wonder how it will all turn out. Each year, around Thanksgiving, my family makes gingerbread houses. With painstaking care, my mom rolls, cuts, and bakes the gingerbread dough by hand. We use gumdrops, M&Ms, licorice, and our imaginations to decorate the houses. Mom’s recipe … Read more

God’s Voice Resounds: Psalm 19

God's Voice Resounds Psalm 19

By Melissa McLaughlin Food for the Soul One bite is all it takes. Savoring a delicious meal is a simple pleasure in my life. The aromas, varied textures, and wonderful flavors bring delight. Even as I imagine a favorite dessert, my mouth begins to water. Taking a bite of apple pie is a little slice … Read more

How Does God Define Love?

how does God define love

By Melissa McLaughlin The World’s Definition of Love I swayed to the rhythm and hummed along, “What’s love got to do with it? What’s love but a second-hand emotion?” Recently, while sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office, I listened to the lyrics of songs playing softly in the background. The repeating theme … Read more

How Should Christians View the Law? New Testament Teaching (Part 2)

How Should Christians View the Law New Testament Teaching Part 2

By Melissa McLaughlin I have observed many controversies surrounding Christianity and the Old Testament Law. In our previous discussion on this topic, we looked at How Should Christians View the Law? Jesus and the Law (Part 1). It is critical to consider the whole counsel of God, understanding the Bible as a whole. We will … Read more

How Should Christians View the Law? Jesus & the Law (Part 1)

How Christians Should View the Law Jesus and the Law Part 1

By Melissa McLaughlin I have wondered about the tension between Christianity and the Old Testament Law for some time. I observe some Christians who live as if we have a license to sin because we are saved by grace and no longer under the Law. While on the other hand, I know some Christians who … Read more

What do you think about the Messiah? Psalm 110

What do you think about the Messiah? Psalm 110

By Melissa McLaughlin Reading the Bible can be positively life-changing. Imagine this, the Voice of Him who spoke us into existence is found in these pages. Is it any wonder we need His Word to live? The Bible contains God’s will, character, law, heart and His marvelous message of salvation in Christ. If we allow … Read more

Who is this King of glory? Psalm 24

Who is this King of glory Psalm 24

By Melissa McLaughlin I stand amazed at the beauty of God’s Word, the Bible. God’s powerful plan of redemption in Christ echoes on and on. As we reflect on Psalm 24, the rich layers of God’s Word reverberate with His unchanging glory, truth and majesty. Let’s walk through this passage and ponder the wonders of … Read more

The Joy of Confession and the Covering of Christ

The Joy of Confession and the Covering of Christ

By Melissa McLaughlin The Cover Up I can still remember the look in our eyes. As young kids, whenever we disobeyed our parents, we tried to wait it out. Maybe they wouldn’t notice. Maybe they wouldn’t find out. The broken glass, the broken rule, the hurtful words. But somehow, they always did. When we stood … Read more

What is the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the Bible?

what is the feast of tabernacles (sukkoth) in the bible

By Melissa McLaughlin The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of three fall feasts appointed and initiated by God in the Old Testament. The Feast (or Festival) of Tabernacles is also referred to as: The Feast of Booths / Ingathering / Shelters or in Hebrew “Sukkot”. The word Sukkot is the plural form of “sukkah” … Read more

What is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and 10 Days of Awe?

what is the day of atonement (yom kippur) and 10 days of awe

By Melissa McLaughlin The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and 10 Days of Awe The Day of Atonement, in Hebrew known as Yom Kippur, is the second of three fall Feast Days (or Festivals) listed in the Old Testament. The Day of Atonement was established by God in Leviticus 16. (Also Leviticus 23:26-32 and Numbers … Read more

How to Read and Understand the Bible – 4 Simple Tips

How to Read and Understand the Bible 4 Simple Tips

By Melissa McLaughlin One of my favorite summertime joys is seeing flowers arrayed in their colorful, radiant glory. My parents have the most amazing bush that blooms each year during mid-summer months. Every evening at dusk several blossoms on the Evening Primrose burst open and fully expand within about 45 seconds. First we stand back … Read more

God’s Eternal Garden

God's Eternal Garden in Heaven

By Melissa McLaughlin One of the great pleasures of summertime is enjoying fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden. The deep red tomatoes, crunchy sweet cucumbers, lush green squash and overflowing beans. The list goes on and on and on. All year we wait for one bite of this sumptuous and long-awaited delicacy. As I … Read more

To Bear the Image of the Man of Heaven

To Bear the Image of the Man of Heaven

By Melissa McLaughlin An Artist’s Image I love to gaze upon the beauty of an inspired piece of art. My husband is an artist and I enjoy pausing to reflect on his work for long stretches of time. The dynamic colors, the flowing brushstrokes, the composition of objects in the foreground and background, the images … Read more

How Do We Enter God’s Rest?

How Do We Enter God's Rest

By Melissa McLaughlin Home Sweet Home Surprisingly, one of the sweet joys of a summer get-away is coming home. After all the fun, the visits to see family, the sights and sounds of new places, there is something simple and beautiful about arriving back home. Seeing the familiar. Returning to your own comforts. Sleeping in … Read more

6 Simple Things to Know About End Times

6 Simple Things to Know About End Times

By Melissa McLaughlin A recent household repair necessitated the dreaded nightmare- cleaning the basement. Uggghhh! A massive chore that is avoided in our home at all costs! Nonetheless, the basement storage boxes were lugged upstairs and the tedious task of sorting, cleaning and decision-making began. My mind scaled a mountain of odds and ends. What … Read more

Gentleness: Christ on Display in our Every Day

Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness. Power under God's control

By Melissa McLaughlin Have you ever stepped into an emotional or relational landmine? Suddenly a passing comment or simple exchange takes on a wartime feel and you find yourself dodging verbal bullets, seemingly out of nowhere. At moments like these, our souls long for a touch of gentleness. A remembrance that we are only human, … Read more

The Blood of Jesus Speaks a Better Word

blood speaks a better word

By Melissa McLaughlin For many years, I struggled to understand this phrase from the Bible, “the blood speaks a better word.” Bit by bit, the deep beauty these words carry has captured my heart. We Cry for Justice When we see an injustice, our hearts cry out for wrongs to be made right. For justice … Read more

Believe

Why Believe in Jesus

By Melissa McLaughlin Do you remember a time like this? That moment when you needed someone to believe you, to trust you. Perhaps it was an accident and you wanted others to understand what happened. Maybe it was the doctor and you needed him to believe your symptoms. Perhaps someone was giving a different account … Read more

Do Not Judge – What Did Jesus Really Mean?

Do Not Judge What did Jesus really mean?

By Melissa McLaughlin “Don’t judge.” “Judge not or you will be judged.” That is straight from the Bible. Perhaps among the most frequently quoted words, in fact. But what did Jesus really mean? Does it mean that my friend, who was physically and sexually abused by her father and brother, should pretend they have done … Read more

3 Ways to be a Man or Woman After God’s Own Heart

3 ways to be a man or woman after god's own heart

By Melissa McLaughlin Have you ever worked for someone who was an excellent leader? Have you worked for someone who was not? Those serving in leadership positions have a great impact on us. Though we may not consider ourselves leaders, even in our personal spheres of influence, we impact one another more than we know. … Read more

The Time Between Time: Two Extraordinary Moments in God’s Story

The Time Between Time Two Extraordinary Moments in God's Story

By Melissa McLaughlin What Time is It? What time is it? Are we there yet? How much longer ’til we get there? I remember those days. How we carefully planned each long-awaited vacation. Our children were young, so we selected destinations that provided opportunities for robust outdoor playtime and old-fashioned family fun. We packed clothing, … Read more

A God Who is Both: Loving and Holy, Savior and Judge

A God who is Both loving and holy savior and judge

By Melissa McLaughlin The Fullness of God What do we do with a God who is both: loving and holy, Savior and Judge, One who comforts and convicts? This is difficult to answer. A quick cliche just won’t do. Interestingly, as I observe my own natural response to Biblical accounts of God’s character, I can’t … Read more

What is the Tabernacle? 8 Ways Jesus is Our Tabernacle

What is the Tabernacle 7 Ways Jesus is Our Tabernacle

By Melissa McLaughlin Too Far Away Oh, how we wept. She was our first child. Following a difficult pregnancy, with many scary bumps along the way, she was finally born. Though five weeks early, our greatly anticipated child was born. At first we were relieved and rejoicing simply that she was alive! Smiles, laughter, tears! … Read more

What is Passover? How is Jesus the Final Passover Lamb?

What is Passover? How is Jesus the Final Passover Lamb?

By Melissa McLaughlin In Over My Head It was our honeymoon! What joy! We had decided to celebrate in Acapulco, Mexico. The food was scrumptious, the people joyful, the beaches beautiful and the water was warm and inviting. Being an avid ocean swimmer, I convinced my husband to take a snorkeling trip for an up-close-and-personal … Read more