Articles

Find articles for your spiritual growth and encouragement. They will help strengthen and develop you as a faithful disciple and laborer for Christ. There are also articles with practical how-to's and tips for daily life.

Recent Articles

Our Lord stood on a mountain about two thousand years ago. The profound scene in...

The voice of inadequacy declares: “You are not enough!” - not good enough or...

As a high school student, I had my life goals figured out. I wanted...

The apostle John waited 50 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus to write his Gospel. So with 50 years...

My elder daughter is remarkably inclusive of her little sister. She genuinely looks out for her and makes all sorts of concessions in order to...

A while back, my department of communications professionals had our team “personality” evaluated. It showed we were strong in areas of trust and cooperation, but we scored...

Two forces, presence and holiness, can either help or hinder fruitfulness among those who do not yet know or follow Jesus. The disciple Peter reflected on...

On my 30th birthday, 70 friends showed up for a surprise party that my wife arranged for me. But, my big party was just the beginning of the surprise. At the end of the day, a small group of guys blindfolded me, put me in a car, and drove us about an hour away. We arrived at our friend’s cabin where we spent the rest of the weekend grilling meat and talking about life—our families, jobs, friendships, and God.

The Land of Canaan was populated with numerous peoples – the Amorites, Hittites, Jebusites and so on. Why then was it called the Land of Canaan? Well, the Canaanite culture dominated. It was persuasive and hard to resist. The peoples kept their distinct boundaries, but culturally they were very similar – and effectively Canaanites.

Most people associate learning with classrooms or universities. However, God’s definition is much broader. The Bible associates learning with the ordinary events of life. What if God lovingly designed all of life to teach and change us? Then each day becomes rich with lessons to be learned.

Maybe you’re like me? I have a tendency to want my life to be “together” before I take the initiative to reach-out to others.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Gollum’s lust for the ring ruined his life. He was physically transformed, emotionally tormented, and held in spiritual bondage to the ring and to the evil power behind it. The ring consumed all his normal desires and controlled his life. It’s just a story, of course…but like all great stories, it was built on principles of truth. Through his lust for the ring, Gollum opened a door that allowed the enemy to interfere with his life. And we can do the same.

Profound seismic shifts in global power, institutions, and systems have created a “new normal” in the work world that dramatically affects us all. As a result of this and a few other factors, the organizations and industries we work for are on much more shaky ground. We must therefore change our mindset and understand what is changing because companies are changing how they think about you and me and others they may employ or contract.

What astonishes you about Jesus? What stops you in your tracks and makes you stand in awe of him? What are you learning in pursuing a relationship with our wonderful Lord?

At certain times in our lives, we all experience that inviting vision—a time that is free from the current trials we are facing. Yet that better day can seem far off, and we find ourselves living in the in-between time, between our current reality and anticipated victory. For some, it is living with the longing to be married. For others, it is wondering if they will find a job, or if poor health or a difficult living situation will be resolved. Indeed, we spend most of our lives living between the now and the not yet.

“I feel like such a failure,” my friend Lucy told me over the phone. “I got my degree in music ed and now I’m a bank teller. My college education was a complete waste of time and money.”

Not long after getting married, I understood some things with greater clarity. One primary eye-opener was that a healthy and God-honoring marriage truly does take work!

You may have already experienced that dating post-college has several different realities than dating in college. It might also seem daunting, impossible, or evoke bitter feelings. Maybe dating and the area of love have tested your faith more than you bargained for.

Internet pornography is a modern-day giant in the land. It stalks both men and women, believer and nonbeliever alike. Virtually ALL young male believers and around 30% of young female believers claim to struggle. The giant is not content to distract people; it wants to destroy them. Some estimate that Internet pornography is the seventh largest industry in the US. It’s a big giant.

I’ve been reflecting lately on what true “success” looks like in collegiate ministry. Is a successful collegiate ministry best measured by the number of students involved in Bible studies, the number that come to our large group each week, or the number who attend conferences or summer training programs? Maybe it is measured by the number of discipling relationships taking place or by something less numerical such as the transformed lives of people in the ministry?

Throughout my adult life I have had a few trusted friends – both men and women – walk alongside me. These friends have been mentors and coaches in my life. They have taught me and encouraged me, believed in me and cautioned me, rejoiced, wept and prayed with me. Mostly, they have pointed me to Jesus and to the reality of His work on the cross for me and His faithful work in me.

Don and I started meeting after being introduced at an area Christian event. However, our meeting together can really be traced back to my deciding several years ago to take the next step in being a laborer for Christ. At that time, I was a successful financial planner and a committed Christ follower who loved the church and the Christian fellowship. Even though I was committed to Christ, there was a real turning-point in my Christian life when I decided to start doing something that was initially difficult.

In The Navigators we have often drawn a distinction between work and ministry. But the truth is, ministry is work (just ask any Navigator staff member), and work is ministry if we have the right view of work. But for this article I am going to use work to express that which is done out in the market place, or industry, or various professional practices, or even in the mechanical and building trades.

My brother and I used to love riding our dirt-bikes off jumps in the local woods near our house. Sometimes we would even build our own jumps and put them out in our street. Looking back, I am amazed at how high and far we would jump with no protective gear at all – this amazement, I am sure, is a sign of getting old.

Life is etched with transitions. Summer gives way to fall. A driver’s license expands horizons. For some there is the painful experience of a family that was once together and now fracturing apart. It is a huge adjustment going from high school to college. Some will soon move from single status to being married. Some of these changes are big; some are small. These shifts can feel like a hiccup, or a hurricane.

Budgets. Just thinking about budgets can make most people cringe.

Too often, the approach of budgeting and personal finance is: ignorance is bliss. When it comes to budgeting, almost everyone has a visceral reaction. It can be intimidating, complex, and challenging. Plus, it’s one more area where I spiritually feel shame. And ignorance can be bliss for a few weeks each month until the credit card bills come, rent is due, and the car payment needs to be paid. Then it is extremely painful.

As I look back on my life, two decisions stand out to me as having had a huge positive influence on the way my life has turned out.

I don't want to become a Christian. God will probably send me to Africa!

A young ruler, desiring to understand the way of riches, sought the counsel of a wise man in his kingdom. The wise man answered him, “There are six things that lead to increasing wealth, yes, even seven that bring great riches without sorrow.

All of us have an emotional/spiritual tank, a reservoir of strength and refreshment. Sometimes the tank level gets low and we feel we don’t have enough to live on ourselves, and definitely nothing to give away to others. At other times life is good and the level of our emotional/spiritual tank is high. Then we feel we have plenty to give away to others.

You have about 15 seconds to convince an employer to take a second look at your resume. How do you move to the “second look” pile rather than the pile going to the shredder? Here are three strategies.

The transition from my university days to “life after college” was one of the scariest but most exciting times of my life. I loved the fun and faith that came my way during that season. But I also faced great temptations and sometimes lost sight of who I really wanted to be.

Have you ever had this experience: At the end of a typical day—one that was full and busy—you lay your head on the pillow at night and have a nagging sense that you did not fulfill what was most important?

When our children were small, my wife, Pam, and I helped out in their preschool and Sunday school classes. On one occasion, during the short lesson designed for short attention spans, we asked the group of four year olds what they wanted to be when they grew up. You never know what you are going to get when you ask a four year old a question!

All around us God is moving and drawing people to Himself, where we live, work, study, relax, and play. Sometimes this movement of God seems almost undetectable, but it is the biggest thing happening on our planet—and God allows us to have a part in it with Him!

In order to find God’s will for us, Romans 12:1,2 urges us to first “offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” And, we are commanded not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to renew our minds.

Steve Soliz got his first credit card as a freshman in college, just outside the campus bookstore. At first he used his card for necessities like gas. Gradually though, he started using the plastic for stuff he didn’t need. Wanting to keep up with his buddies in college, he charged clothes and electronics. After Steve graduated, his habit of relying on credit rather than cash continued.

I have been asking myself a lot lately, “What is true spiritual friendship and community?” “How is it developed?”

Out of college, I joined the Marine Corps to learn practical aspects of leadership and to learn how to live the Christian life in a tough environment.

The Bible contains 2,350 verses on how to handle money and possessions. Balancing your checkbook is a wise habit to cultivate in terms of money. In Luke 16:11 Jesus asks, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Notice the direct relationship between how we handle our money and the quality of our spiritual life. Why is that?

Heading into the “real world” after college, in some areas I did not feel as prepared as I would have liked. Part of it was thinking that life in the real world would be the same, except with more money. Part of it was encountering bigger challenges and changes than anticipated.

Learn how NavConnect can help you excel right where you are.

Where do you regularly interact with those who are far from God?

U.S. Navigators president Doug Nuenke challenges readers to consider a place where believers can connect to nonChristians and build lasting relationships that will encourage them to become followers of Christ.

A study guide to life after College.