• Leaving It All Behind

    By Craig Daniels

    What would it be like to suddenly get up, leave everything behind, and head for something new?  Some people would probably jump at that opportunity while others would want to really think it through and calculate the cost of such a rash move.  Who has the guts to jeopardize what they already have, to follow an unmarked path into the unknown? This is exactly what happened in the life of Matthew, one of the disciples of Jesus, and the human author of the first book of the New Testament.  Matthew was not a very popular guy, at least among his fellow Jews.  At that time in history, the Jewish nation was under the power and control of Rome, and Matthew was one of the Jews who had aligned himself with Rome and was employed by them as a tax collector. …

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  • One Saturday Morning

    By Craig Daniels

    It was a cold and crisp Saturday morning the day before the Super Bowl.  I enjoy the change of seasons, but at this point in the winter I am more than ready for the frozen tundra to begin to melt away and for the welcome signs of spring to appear.  On that particular day, GT Church hosted a breakfast for the men of the church.  I felt compelled to attend, even though I would be going solo and that is not always easy for me, being somewhat of an introvert.  But after shoring up my resolve, I woke up early that morning, got ready, and headed out into the freezing morning air.  I was not disappointed; it was an incredible time and I was glad that I hadn’t taken the easy road and missed out. We were served an awesome …

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  • Who is the Son?

    By Craig Daniels

    How small do you feel compared to God?  How does anyone approach and make contact with the Creator of the universe?  Who is this Supreme Being who spoke our world into existence and who formed us out of the dust that He created?  Who is the One who holds all power and has unquestioned authority? Our human minds simply do not have the capacity to fully comprehend Him.  He is not bound by the limits of our reasoning, and He can’t be confined or contained in any box that we try to put Him in.  So what hope is there that we could ever relate to Someone who totally overwhelms us in comparison? The hope is found in God’s Son.  Jesus is God made into human form and He gives us an easier context with which we can relate to …

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  • From Awful to Awestruck

    By Craig Daniels

    The life of a shepherd was not always an easy one. It could be a very lonely journey, as shepherds found themselves spending great quantities of time by themselves or with other shepherds on isolated hills or in remote pastures away from the flow of the everyday life of their culture.  Many shepherds were actually looked down on and some were even despised.  They were the ones that the more cultured people tried to avoid coming into contact with.  It took a unique type of person to be a shepherd, someone who was humble and not afraid to be alone; someone who was fulfilled by caring for vulnerable animals that were prone to wander. Shepherds were ordinary people like you and me and experienced many of the same problems that we face – although some of their problems may have …

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  • What is Worship

    By Craig Daniels

    I love reading the book of Psalms.  This portion of the Bible runs the complete gamut of human emotion from the high peaks of praise and exhilaration to the lonely valleys of betrayal and despair.  The writers of Psalms open up their hearts for us and pour out the raw feelings of life that are hidden there – both the good and the not-so-good.  We have all been at these same places in our own journeys and that is why Psalms resonates so deeply with us.  There is incredible truth in the book of Psalms and many treasures that can be taken and used in our personal lives. Psalms chapter 95, verses 1 – 7 calls out to us and invites us to approach God and to get caught up in worship.  These verses are written out at the end …

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  • 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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