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So far Christina Fox has created 608 blog entries.

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Creating a Spiritual Legacy {Part 2}

ELIZABETH TURNAGE|CONTRIBUTOR Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part series on leaving a legacy. To read the first post, click here.  “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of men” (Psalm 66:5). In addition to preparing well for death and blessing our loved ones by creating a practical legacy, we can also create a spiritual legacy. A spiritual legacy may include the stories, values, and wisdom of our lives that point to the “awesome deeds” of God (Psalm 145:6). Such a spiritual legacy is a gift our loved ones will cherish for years to come. Our Lived Spiritual Legacy In part, we create our spiritual legacy by the way we live our days. I will never forget my grandmother studying her well-worn Bible in preparation for teaching her Sunday school lesson. Maybe you remember finding your mother on her knees by her bed; another friend recalls a favorite uncle pointing out how marvelously God designed caterpillars and butterflies. When we take time out of our busy days to read children books, sing them songs, or listen to their stories, we demonstrate the goodness and kindness of a heavenly Father who delights in them. Every way we live out God’s story of grace in our lives becomes part of our spiritual legacy. Our Recorded Spiritual Legacy In addition to our lived spiritual legacy, we can pass on our God-given wisdom and gospel-grown gratitude in written form or in an audio or video recording. There are numerous types of legacies we night leave: stories, letters, blessings, albums, or lists. To create such a legacy will take time, intentionality, and prayer, but we can press forward, remembering that after we’re gone, our loved ones often become ready audiences to hear our deepest beliefs and best stories—about them, about life, about God. Let’s consider each type of spiritual legacy. Six Types of Spiritual Legacy...

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Creating a Spiritual Legacy {Part 2}2022-06-13T13:32:16+00:00

Breathe: Honor His Name as Holy

MELANIE COGDILL|GUEST “OMG!” We have all seen that meme. It’s the ubiquitous cultural phrase to describe our shock or surprise and of course we say it means, “Oh, my goodness” or “Oh, my gosh.” But those are really replacement words for the casual use of God’s name in what is an expletive phrase or profane acronym that everyone (including many Christians) just tosses off casually or chuckles at. Christians do not consider regularly how they are to think about the name of God and how Scripture commands us to regard His name. A Name Worthy of Honor In Matthew 6 Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount. He has just finished saying that God is to be addressed as Father—God is personal and intimately cares about His children. Jesus then goes on to say, “Hallowed be your name.” What is a name? A name describes a characteristic of the person, creature, or thing that bears a particular name. We choose names carefully whether it’s for a building, a beloved pet, or a newborn baby. Jesus is saying that the very name of God is to be hallowed—honored as holy...

Breathe: Honor His Name as Holy2022-06-13T13:52:50+00:00

Reframing Royalty

HOLLY MACKLE|CONTRIBUTOR Royalty can get a bad rap. In the wake of disdain and disinterest by some in Britain surrounding the celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth’s historic 70 year reign, I’ve been thinking about my own presuppositions on the concept of royalty, and specifically, the less-than-appealing notion of princess culture. As Christ-followers and women, sisters of Jesus and therefore daughters of God, it follows that we would find princess attitude and princess mentality appalling, and much of the messaging on glittery princess tees slapped on four-year-olds downright barfy. But I fear we’ve thrown the baby out with the bath. Princess only looks bad when we seek it for ourselves—not when it’s bestowed. And there’s hardly anything more beautiful than a child of God, female or male, firmly rooted in their royal identity. Hold Up Just a Sec Most of the women I know have, shall we say, spirited opinions on princess culture, either to the positive or to the negative, but I’m hard pressed to find a neutral party. To combat my own long-held disdain I found it important to ask a question, specifically, why does princess culture resonate so deeply—positively or negatively—with us as women?..

Reframing Royalty2022-06-09T18:31:43+00:00

Breathe: Our Father in Heaven

CHANDRA OLIVER|GUEST Heidelberg Catechism Question 120:  Why did Christ command us to call God “Our Father”? Answer:  At the very beginning of our prayer Christ wants to kindle in us what is basic to our prayer – the childlike awe and trust that God through Christ has become our Father… Over the years I have come to appreciate a well-crafted layer cake.  Looking at a frosted and decorated tower of yummy goodness is a stunning feast for the eyes.  Cutting into this tower reveals the layers; what was hidden by frosting is now on display.  Perhaps there are two, three, or maybe six layers!  The layers may be familiar flavors or something unexpected.  Additionally, the layers may be separated by any number of different fillings.  I can’t wait to taste these layers—individually and collectively. Approaching the first two words of what is commonly called The Lord’s Prayer, is like approaching a layer cake.  Initially, we are familiar with the words and the background of the passage—but as we begin to ‘dig in’ the layers are revealed, and each layer enhances our understanding and love for the whole...

Breathe: Our Father in Heaven2022-06-09T18:27:21+00:00

The Problem with Meddling

SUE TELL|GUEST Do you practice the habit of having a word of the year? In 2021 the word God gave me (or two words) was pull back. Why? What does that look like? I started praying and was stopped in my tracks when I read Peter’s admonition, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.” (I Peter 4:15, emphasis mine) Is meddling really in the same category as murder, theft, and evil? And are there areas where meddling is God’s reason for my pulling back? I began to pray. I began to seek the wisdom of my friends. I began to hear stories. And I began to hear God whispers. Three lessons rose to the surface: We who are entrusted with leadership are highly susceptible to meddling. Meddling can have serious consequences. When I don’t pull back and cease meddling, my time, capacity, and energy to give myself to God’s purposes designed for me are in jeopardy...

The Problem with Meddling2022-06-09T18:23:05+00:00

Breathe: The School of Prayer

KAREN HODGE|CONTRIBUTOR Take a deep breath and exhale; refreshing, right? Breathing is very complex but is primarily a subconscious activity. Did you know an average person breathes in and out around 22,000 times a day? Oxygen is the body's life-giving gas. It is crucial to help boost our immune system and overall health. Our sensitive brains require lots of oxygen to think. Concentrating can be hard when our oxygen levels dip, and we get lightheaded. We often don't think about breathing until we can't catch our breath. Our family recently relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado. My home sits up at 7400 ft. The view of Pikes Peak is spectacular, but the air is a bit thin. I have struggled to breathe. My personal takeaway is this: breathing is essential. It is a matter of life and death. Learning to Breathe There is a danger in familiarity. This is especially true in our spiritual lives. We may become casual in our relationship with God, taking His presence for granted. Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." [1]Prayer is a lifeline for believers. It is the life-giving means God designed to build our relationship with Him and others. He created it to be an ongoing conversation which begins with His speaking to us through His Word and continues with our responding to Him in prayer. It would be ridiculous to think you would only need to breathe one hour, one day a week. Paul admonished us to "pray without ceasing" (I Thess.5:17). Prayer ought to be the natural overflow of our time in Scripture. These means of grace are as inextricably entwined as breathing in and breathing out. Cutting off these vital lifelines means we are more susceptible to the father of lies' schemes. But the good news is when we are in trouble, God is only a prayer away. We need only to cry out, "Help, Father!" Spiritual vitality begins with inhaling truth and exhaling prayers...

Breathe: The School of Prayer2022-06-09T18:17:14+00:00

Trading the Frantic for the Good Portion

HEATHER MOLENDYK|CONTRIBUTOR The walls of the tidy home seemed to stretch like an over-stuffed belly as man after dirt-tracking man entered the house under Martha’s expert gaze. Although boisterous conversation reverberated in the front room, Martha could still hear the structured commands of Custom, Cultural Tradition, and Good Breeding within the core of her soul. As men took their seats, Martha scurried to fetch the drinks. Road-weary men quenched their thirst while Martha organized platters and bowls in the kitchen. Martha noted how even the house seemed to settle in to listen when Jesus began to teach. Martha took advantage of the temporary peace to structure her meal plan. “We could serve the extra goat cheese from the…” Martha’s words slowed to a trickle. There was no one in the kitchen to hear her words. Where was her sister? “Mary?” Confusion turned to frustration as Martha left the food preparation to hunt down her sister. Never one to waste a step, Martha grabbed a fresh pitcher to refill drinks before beginning this ill-timed game of hide and seek...

Trading the Frantic for the Good Portion2022-06-09T18:15:02+00:00

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Preparing A Practical Legacy {Part 1}

ELIZABETH TURNAGE|CONTRIBUTOR “I told my neighbor I was taking this workshop, and she said, ‘I’m not doing a thing. They can figure it all out after I’m gone.’” A member of my Organizing Your Life and Legacy workshop shared this comment with our group, and we all shook our heads sadly. The comment doesn’t surprise us—death has become a taboo subject in our culture, less open for discussion than politics and sex.  Reasons abound for death’s denial and distancing, including fear of death, denial of death, and removal of death from the home to the hospital. And yet, like it or not, we’re all dying. How Scripture Prepares Us for Death..

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Preparing A Practical Legacy {Part 1}2022-06-03T20:20:09+00:00

Mercy in Modesty

MELISSA MCPHAIL|GUEST So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12-13) I’ve read and studied James’ book of wisdom multiple times throughout the years, but this morning I realized the law of liberty is a New Testament explanation of Christ’s gospel of grace. Immediate conviction overwhelmed me. So speak and so act according to [grace]. Do I do that? No, most of the time, I do not. The recipients of this letter did not do that either. James instructed the believers to hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, and in so doing, they were to show no partiality (James 2:1). None. Zero. They were not to have a spirit of judgmentalism or display a critical eye having strong opinions of others. They were not to make distinctions among Christ’s people and become judges with evil thoughts. They, too, knew the right thing to do and struggled to obey...

Mercy in Modesty2022-06-03T20:21:56+00:00

When My Basketball Became an Idol

SUE HARRIS|CONTRIBUTOR I play basketball every Friday with a group of women who also love to play. When the shutdown hit in 2020, we had no place to go. We were devastated. I had access to a gym, but no one was allowed to play with me. Nonetheless, I bought a brand-new beautiful leather basketball and played on my own about three times a week for exercise and to get out of the house. I loved that ball. In some ways, it became a companion to me during a lonely season. If you ever saw the movie, Castaway with Tom Hanks, imagine Wilson, his volleyball. Unlike Tom Hanks, I didn’t have full conversations with my basketball, but I loved it. I spent time with it. I began to adore it...

When My Basketball Became an Idol2022-05-12T16:09:17+00:00
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