You probably realize that even though there are many rewarding elements to being a follower of Jesus, there seems to be an awful lot of struggle in life too. While we hold on to God’s great promises, we realize He never promised us lives without tribulation, pain or loss.
Along with leaving home and beginning college comes greater freedom and independence you may not have experienced until now. Pretty much all of your day-to-day decisions will be your own. Sounds great, right? But it might be harder than you think to wake up for early morning classes and remember homework and project deadlines. Furthermore, your parents and family (probably!) won’t be around reminding you to make good choices like eating healthy, doing laundry, tidying up, and urging you to go to church on Sunday morning.
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? Each year on January 1st, millions of people wake up with aspirations and goals that they believe will help improve themselves in the coming year. The most common New Year’s resolutions include quitting drinking and smoking, budgeting money more wisely, eating healthily and number one...losing weight. Most of the things we resolve to do on New Year’s involve physical things.
Isaiah’s prophecies of the birth of the Messiah had been written about and studied for almost 700 years before the angel came to Mary, informing her that she would give birth to the son of God. Can you even imagine what must have gone through her head at that moment, or how Joseph must have felt when Mary told him? Yet God knew of his perfect plan and how all the pieces would fall into place. It is amazing to read the Old Testament prophecies and realize how accurate they turned out to be.
Unlike the bright lights and cheer of Christmas, the season of advent is typically marked by waiting and anticipation in the darkness. Traditionally in the third week of Advent, we emphasize our joy in the waiting; the joy in knowing that we worship a sovereign, good God who is returning to fulfill his promises to us.
According to students, staff, alumni and community members, the number one thing that makes Oak Hills great is the people. However, I believe there is much more to it than the people alone. I have had the privilege of working at Oak Hills for almost two years and can honestly say that people’s lives change when they are at Oak Hills. I have gained more patience, grace, listening skills, and just overall peace in my life and in my walk with Jesus Christ! Change can sometimes be difficult and other times it can be very comforting. I feel that the changes Oak Hills has brought to my life are comforting ones.
Okay, today I must opine. I can no longer sit by without making a comment. Those of you that know me best, know that I speak my mind and try to do so out of love. Sometimes it may not sound like it, but it is always out of love. Maybe tough love at times would be a better phrase.
Advent is upon us which marks a season of anticipation, hope and finally celebration. Beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ending on Christmas eve, Advent helps us prepare for the arrival of our Savior. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival” and is observed with a combination of celebration for Jesus’ birth and hope for the day he returns to fulfill his promise.
If you’re like most people, chances are a lot of your prayers go something like this, “Father, please help me get that job I want.” Or “Lord, please deliver my mom from her illness.” There’s a common theme in many of our prayers and that is telling God the things we need or want. And that’s fine! God wants to grant us the desires of our hearts. But in our Christian faith we need to be equally careful that requests do not become our only form of prayer.