• Sirens

    By Craig Daniels

    First responders are incredible people.  They are trained and available and can drop whatever they are doing to go to the scene of an accident or a crisis and begin to bring order to chaos.  I like what Pastor Bryan says about first responders – while everyone else is running away from disaster, the first responders are running towards it.  It’s assuring to know that there are people out there who are willing to step into the middle of trauma and assist in bringing resolution. It is shocking how quickly things can flip from peaceful or even mundane to immediate crisis mode without any warning at all.  Disasters seem to jump out of nowhere and quickly become the center of attention.  A little over a year ago I found myself in a situation like this and was very thankful for …

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  • Going Home

    By Craig Daniels

    My mother-in-law passed away this past October.  It was a very unsettling time for my family, and it left us reeling and searching for a foothold on a path that had suddenly started to shift.  She was in her seventies and had been in and out of the hospital several times during the past few years.  We thought that this time would be the same as the others, a week’s stay and then back home to normal life.  But this hospital visit turned out to be the last one, and the clock that kept track of her allotted time on this earth had run out of hours, minutes, and seconds. Sadness descended on us during that time and along with the aftershock came the onslaught of a million things that suddenly demanded our attention and had to be attended to. …

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  • Reading the Ink

    By Craig Daniels

    What does it mean to be alive?  What does life look like to us?  When we as humans think of something as having life, we usually think in terms that relate to the physical or material world.  Beings that can move and function on their own are said to be alive.  Thought, reason, or operating by instinct indicates that life is present.  Inanimate objects like chairs, mailboxes, ipads, or books are not alive.  With one exception.  There is a book that actually is alive, but not in the way that we normally associate life.  No, it doesn’t move or think or interact literally in the physical world, but it is very much alive spiritually. That book is the Bible – God’s Word to us and a physical doorway to knowing how God thinks and what He expects and desires from …

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  • Strength for Today

    By Craig Daniels

    We are right in the middle of the biggest gift-buying time of the year. Retailers absolutely love this season. Everywhere you go store parking lots are jammed and the traffic inches along. The internet is humming with all of the online purchasing that is being done. The question everyone is asking, “What do you want for Christmas?” is being repeated over and over again. But what if you are in a place where what you really want for Christmas can’t be found in a store or ordered from Amazon? What if the latest electronic gizmo, clothes, or gift cards are not what you are truly looking for? You could be at a point this year where all you really want is strength. Not physical strength or even mental strength, but the inner spiritual strength that is needed to navigate this …

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  • Epic Escape

    By Craig Daniels

    Everyone has something that they want to escape from. It could be a job, a relationship, debt, a particular season in life, difficult circumstances, or one of many other possibilities. Sometimes we want to escape the way that our lives have played out, things that are beyond our control. Other times it is consequences of our own actions, traps that we have set for ourselves and then fallen into. Many would like to escape temptation and the choking stranglehold that our sinful nature seems to have on our life. If given the opportunity, we all have something in our lives that we would like to outrun. The people of Israel found themselves trapped in a set of life circumstances that they desperately wanted to leave behind. They were a nation of slaves within the confines of the Egyptian border. A …

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  • Epic Fall

    By Craig Daniels

    Sometimes doing things God’s way doesn’t always make sense. Or, if we are truthful with ourselves, it can seem almost crazy. I wonder if the people of Israel felt that way when Joshua presented the plan for attacking the city of Jericho. Marching around the city? Blowing trumpets? Yelling? That hardly seems like the logical way to attack a mighty city. Yet those were God’s clear instructions and Joshua intended to follow them exactly as they had been given. Let’s stop and think about Joshua for a minute. He had been Moses aide, friend, and right-hand man for a long time. Now it was his turn to lead. It is one thing to be the helper of someone who is a leader of a vast group of people but quite another thing to actually be the leader yourself. Joshua had …

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