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Perfection – Third Place (tie)

I find myself struggling with the concept of perfection on a daily basis. I feel the need to be as close to flawless as possible in everything I do. This is called perfectionism. It appears in my school work, my art, and my music. It is hard for me to acknowledge that I cannot achieve […]

Beyond Summer Camps – Third Place (tie)

Since I’ve been a teenager growing up in the Church, summer youth camps have always been the “spiritual high” in my Christian walk. I always looked forward to them and couldn’t wait for next year. When I left camp, I felt a void in my heart. There was a weird feeling when I left my […]

The Fear Fight – Honorable Mention

Fear took control over my life at a young age. I was never that child who played and hugged dogs. I was afraid of them and hid every time I saw one. During my elementary and middle school years, I had trouble making friends, fearing that they’d reject me. I’d let my classmates cut the […]

When We Hit Rough Waters

The Gospel of John was written by the direction of the Holy Spirit as comfort, life instruction, and theology for every individual. John is a spiritually thrilling book. Its words and message are straightforward and so basic that this Gospel moves us to clearly understand the very heart of Jesus and comprehend why He came […]

Glimpses of Glory

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things (Isaiah 40:26). In reference to this verse, Oswald Chambers said that the people in Isaiah’s day had been gazing on idols, and now they were encouraged to use their imagination rightly to see the Creator. In My Utmost for His Highest: Selections […]

A Kingdom of Peace: Warfare and Christians

The Lord Jesus Christ, known as the Prince of Peace, made some fairly disturbing statements to His first disciples concerning the violent prognosis of His followers during their lifetime, and for His future followers. He told them that they should not be troubled by “wars and rumors of wars. . . . For nation will […]

When Hope is All We Have

Recently while I was reading Psalm 42, verse 4 took on new meaning for me. It reads: These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. This […]

Potluck and the Gift of Fellowship

One of the unsung “gifts” of the churches of God is fellowship. To be more specific, food. What I mean is eating: We eat well. And what a glorious gift that is! Don’t you agree?   Not enough Eating well is not a gift to be taken for granted. Many years ago while visiting a […]

Fires Down Under

Another devastating fire season has come and gone in Australia, leaving in its path thousands of hectares of burnt-out landscape, houses turned to ash, 129 deaths, massive loss of livestock, and innumerable endemic animals gone. The very faint wisp of smoke on a 45 Celsius-degree day is enough to send panicked phone calls to emergency […]

Word of Power

In a time long since passed, the prophet Isaiah recorded a powerful message from the God of Abraham. The Lord spoke to him, and the divine utterance has been passed down for centuries. In the book of Isaiah, we read the words of the Lord assuring us that His Word will always prove to be […]