• Columns for Parents

    Powerline365 Sample: Drum Major

    Powerline365Group ScreenRes 300x231 What Do You Expect? ~ by Lynn Cowell

    Below is a sample from our Powerline365 devotional for parents of teens. This is a daily devotion that can be delivered to your inbox every day for a full year. Or, if you like what you read, we’d love to gift you with a 30-day FREE trial.

    Visit Spark30 and use coupon code SPARK30 for free devo delivery for a full 30 days. 

    Drum Major

    Nicole O’Dell

     And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV

    “If you want something done right, do it yourself!” Have you grumbled those words brushing past your spouse? As a sometimes-recovering type-A, control freak – I get it. I’m a “lead, follow, or get out of the way” person. Secretly, I much prefer “get out of the way” because I can get it done better, faster, and easier alone.… continue reading

    Don't Rely On Luck to Fix Your Finances!

    fix finances.jpg What Do You Expect? ~ by Lynn Cowell

    By: Steve Repak

    Have you ever heard of this rhyme: “Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long, you‘ll have good luck?”  I know I don’t have to tell you this but when it comes to your personal finances, you shouldn’t be relying on luck.  I have two ideas to help you with your financial well-being.

    Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty”.

    1.  Take Action

    Unless you change your behaviors your finances will never be any different.  Many times we make excuses for why we are in debt, why we don’t have anything in savings, or why we haven’t put any money away towards retirement.  But instead of blaming someone or something else, start taking action.  For example, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, start tracking where you are spending your money.  If you will write down exactly where you are spending it for at least two weeks, chances are you will find some wasteful spending that you can either cut out or at least reduce.  If you don’t have any money in savings, then start putting money into savings.  Your money troubles will not magically transform themselves but hard work and taking action will fix your finances.… continue reading

    Finding time for the One who matters most

    find time.jpg What Do You Expect? ~ by Lynn Cowell

    By Amber Frank

    When my husband and I first started having problems in our marriage, I was young and we had no children.  You can read that last sentence as, “had lots of energy and extra time.”   It was then that I discovered Bible study and fell in love with the word of God.  I could sit for hours late into the night digging into God’s word.  I would pour over it until the sun came up in the morning.  It was His word that would sustain me through my 8-hour day working with 28 two-year olds at a nearby day care with only 3 hours of sleep.  Yes God is good.   During that time in my walk I wanted to know what God said about anything and everything.  I craved that time like food, and water. It was amazing.

    Now in case you haven’t noticed, I am speaking in past tense.  I sit here 20+ years later and struggle to get into the Word on a regular basis.  It’s not that I don’t find it important, or that I don’t need His guidance daily, it just well, you know… Life Happens.  I often ask God, “Why did you give us so many responsibilities if you are supposed to be most important?… continue reading

  • Columns for Teens

    Will You Forgive Me?

    By: Amy Joob

    Four little words that are so simple yet so hard to say sometimes.  These four words are packed with a punch…they can bring a breakthrough in your life and can lift a heavy burden you didn’t even realize you were carrying.  James 5:16 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed.”  Confessing your sins, acknowledging you are wrong and asking the offended party to forgive you can be life changing. Not only for them, but especially for you.

    When I was in high school I excelled at a lot of things. I played clarinet in the band, I was a cheerleader, I got good grades and was near the top of my class academically. I also managed to be elected the Student Council President my senior year. I ran cross country and track for a time. Even though I excelled academically and I showed leadership skills, my behavior was anything but spectacular.… continue reading

    Say No to…

    By: Sherri Wilson Johnson

    ID 10027602 300x199 What Do You Expect? ~ by Lynn CowellIt seems like everywhere we turn, people tell us to say no to practically everything. It’s really aggravating sometimes. In this column on purity, I’ve told you to say no to many things, mainly to sex before marriage. I haven’t meant to be Mrs. Don’t Do That. I’ve simply wanted to guide you away from “hitting a deer in the middle of the night”. To teach you how to use your high beams and to be on the lookout for the things that can wreck your future.

    Fast forward about twenty-five years to when you’re in your 40s. You have a daughter and she’s beautiful. She’s very popular at school. Maybe she’s a cheerleader. Or maybe she sings. Maybe she’s on the yearbook staff and loves to write. Wherever she hangs out, she’s surrounded by people. All the girls want to dress like her. Everyone invites her to their parties.… continue reading

    Enemies of the Cross

    By: Tara Fairfield

    An important part of our identity as a child of God is knowing how to stand firm with confidence in the face of the world’s temptations. Sounds easy, but what about when temptation comes from our friends?

    There may be some who hang out in your group who don’t follow God and sometimes expect you to do things you’re not totally comfortable doing. How do you deal with someone who is asking you to violate your beliefs without losing face among your group?
    cross and sky 5493 1024x768 300x225 What Do You Expect? ~ by Lynn CowellSooner or later it happens to all of us, the choice we must make between being loved by the world or following our savior. Paul talks about people who pressure us in this way as enemies of the cross. You can recognize them because their focus is on the world, serving themselves without concern for others. Sounds harsh, but consider how it feels when someone asks you if you want to try cigarettes, laughs at your hesitation, or makes fun of you for being too “good.” I’ve put together five tips for how to deal with the pressure you get from these enemies of the cross:

    1.… continue reading

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