We appreciate and want to thank the supporters of Before The Cross this October. Not only do our supporters help make this site possible, but we are partnered together to glorify God by sharing the love of Christ!
Each supporter offers something unique in regards to ministry and we would like to encourage you to give them a look. If you have any questions, please let us know.
- You and Me Forever
Whether you are single, dating or married, You and Me Forever will help you discover the adventure that you were made for and learn how to thrive in it. 100% of the net proceeds from You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity will go towards various ministries that include providing food, shelter and rehabilitation for thousands of orphaned children and exploited women around the world.
- Logos Bible Software
Logos is the worldwide leader in electronic tools and resources for Bible study. Their mission is to serve the Church. They do this by fostering a culture of service and innovation and by creating Bible study tools that connect people to the Word. Before The Cross readers get 15% off their products!
- Salt & Light
Paul Sohn seeks to glorify God through equipping, connecting, and transforming people and organizations into Christ-centered, world-changing influences of our society. He writes about intentional leadership, living, growth, and the Christian life.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a planner, I love checking things off my list, and I’m always looking ahead wanting to improve things. I’ve learned over time that is one of the ways God has wired me and I love it, but I can also obsess over things and the same gifts God has given me to be fruitful, can become sinful.
This particular season has been all over the place. Two young kids at home, having my Mom move in with us for a season to serve her, responsibilities in my role at 121 increasing, and maybe being in my lower thirties…have all pushed me (for better or for worse) to be thinking of the future.
- Am I sure of where The Lord is leading me?
- Am I being obedient?
- Am I taking care of things today that will shape the future?
So with all of this swirling around in my head, I decided to go on solitude to spend uninterruped time with The Lord and I wanted to share my experience with you. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s personal, and I hope it brings encouragement to you wherever you are in your walk with The Lord.
Maybe sports (especially football) and Christianity receive too much comparison today.
Well, brace yourself for another.
There’s a great picture of Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten from the 2007 season. After catching a pass and taking a hit, his helmet was stripped off, only for him to continue running with the ball with a laser focus on the end zone.
It’s a picture that reminds me of self-control. Though it’s only a game, it’s a violent game played by plus-sized men with high degrees of acceleration. Mass multiplied by acceleration equals force, and if helmetless Jason Witten was to be hit by an opposing force, his head may have suffered severe consequences.
He didn’t score, but he will be remembered in Cowboy lore for doing something that always deserves respect in team sports. He sacrificed his own wellbeing for the team.
And, it happened against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bonus.
I think of Jesus and what his laser-like focus must have been when shouldering the cross, making that long, hot, dusty, spit-soaked and bloodstained trek up to Calvary knowing the pain was only going to get worse at the top of the hill.
Sometimes I get so focused on the here and now within ministry and our culture, that I forget many have gone before us in terms of spreading the Gospel and loving others. Am I alone in this? We are to share the same message that’s been shared for hundreds of years, and to be persistent day by day just like how the Church did it in the past.
Here are some names you might know from the past. This isn’t to get us to think “who will be the great names of our time,” but more to broaden our horizons and realize the Church is much bigger than what we see in our areas…or even within our country. Be encouraged that God is at work everywhere and we get to be a part of His eternal family. Let that motivate you to be even more bold in sharing the Gospel and building up His Church!
God has a lot to say about prayer in His Word and Jesus is a great example to us on why we should pray. Over and over in the Gospels, we see Jesus in a close relationship with His Father and often praying in public…and in private.
Scripture is filled with many verses in regards to prayer and Jesus gave us a model on how we should pray, but the question is..can our prayers be hindered towards God? Biblically, the answer is yes.
I think that is hard for us to hear and I know it sure is for me. It’s tough to think that our prayers can be hindered towards God and at first doesn’t make sense, but when you read what the Bible says and why our prayers would be hindered, it actually makes sense.
Here’s 6 questions to ask yourself before you pray to see if your prayers will be hindered towards God.
The word is used to describe soap for babies and women’s deodorant. When used in front of the word “men” it can conjure up ideas of men holding doors open and offering a woman a seat instead of making them stand. You may hear about a gentle breeze blowing after a gentle rain has gently kissed gentle blades of grass.
Even the word gentle sounds soft.
It seems both sexes fight against being labeled as gentle these days in favor of being labeled as strong.
I was taught as a boy that it was best to be strong. When I think of strength, brave hearted warriors with nicknames come to mind. Richard “The Lion Heart”, William “The Conqueror”, and Alexander “The Great”.
Can you imagine anyone being afraid to step in the ring with “Tissue” Mike Tyson?
Our sports teams are given menacing nicknames like Lions, Tigers and Bears.
It would be odd for a player nicknamed “Beast Mode” to play for a team named the Seattle Soft Talkers.
Our culture doesn’t reward gentleness. Anger and aggressiveness often masquerade as strength. There are enough examples that rule the headlines where people are “calling for”, “blasting”, “criticizing” or “threatening” and we regard those actions as strong.
Regardless of culture’s desire for strength over gentleness, we have enough biblical evidence that in regard to the Fruit of the Spirit, being gentle is anything but weak.