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Unity, Not Uniformity by Lisa Cooke

Marriage is the unique opportunity for two people to become one flesh, as Mark 10:7 puts it, quoting Genesis 2:24. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Becoming one flesh is a lifelong process between two individuals, particularly for two independent individuals. …read more

Now More Than Ever by Lisa Cooke

Now more than ever, it is imperative to have “the power of an endless life” (Hebrews 7:16) at work within us. With headlines bringing news of pervasive distress, terrorist activities, and countless other current events, we feel the urgency to ever be pressing toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  …read more

Waiting for the Prodigal to Return by Lisa Cooke and Andrew Cooke

If you are a parent, friend, or family member of someone who is rebelling and living a destructive lifestyle, never cease in praying for that person. Without a doubt, the only reason I am still breathing on this earth today is because of divine intervention, caused by prayer, during dangerous scenarios. This intercession kept me alive until I finally responded to God’s love and redemption. …read more

An Honestly Lived Life by Lisa Cooke

Ever since Adam and Eve tried to hide their sin from God in the garden, mankind has had the temptation to hide his sin from the eyes of the Omniscient One. How futile this is when we consider that God is able to know every moment of our being, nothing being hidden from Him. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Luke 8:17 says, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.…read more

The Reward of the Gift by Lisa Cooke

In the fourth chapter of Philippians, a “fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God” has arrived from the Philippians to Paul through Epaphroditus. This is not the first time the they have sent aid to Paul as he journeyed through the land, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ to all who would listen. …read more

Through the Church by Lisa Cooke

Church. The word by itself evokes a powerful image in the mind of most Americans. We imagine a building with a steeple, a gathering of like-minded people, the place people go to worship on Sunday or Saturday, at least on Easter or Christmas. Love it or hate it, church has been a part of our culture, and the culture of many parts of the rest of the world, for a long time. …read more

To Savor the Things of God by Lisa Cooke

We have a choice to make in what we “savor;” what we delight in or take pleasure in. We can choose the things that be of God, or the things that be of men. Unconsciously we make those decisions all day long and I’ll speak for myself here, I bet I savor the things that “be of men” more often than not. It can be so automatic, so mindless, this pleasing of our flesh. …read more

Think It Not Strange by Lisa Cooke

Tests, trials, afflictions, persecutions, the fiery darts of the enemy: all these and more are sufferings that every Christian experiences in their lifetime. We are to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12 KJV). …read more

See How Much the Father Has Loved Us by Lisa Cooke

Among the many things I’m thinking about this holiday season is this mind-blowing truth that the God of all creation has called us His children. I am “beholding what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us” as the King James translates this verse. To behold is to see, “to feast your eyes on,” and what I want to be able to see with the eyes of my understanding is the grand meaning of His love toward us. …read more

Why Did You Make Me Like This? by Lisa Cooke

In humility we are wise to come to the point of accepting the giftings God has given us, and seek His wisdom on how best to use what He has entrusted to us for the edifying of the Body of Christ. We can never get away from the fact that we are to love God and love others with our lives. The purpose of any gift is not for our own consumption, enjoyment, or self esteem, but for the betterment of those around us. …read more

Seated in the Seat of the Learner by Lisa Cooke

Christians have tried to explain why bad things happen, why they happen to good people, and why they happen in our own lives. In a message on the storms of life, Tony shares three biblical examples of why Jonah, the disciples, and Paul all encountered a terrible storm. Simply stated, Jonah’s storm was encountered because of disobedience, The Disciples’ in the midst of Jesus’ mandate to go to the other side (Mark 4:35-41), and Paul’s because of the decisions other people made that affected his life while on his way to trial in Rome (Acts 27). …read more

Resurrection Ordained by Lisa Cooke

For several years now I’ve had Philippians 3:10-11 rolling around in my heart. I have prayed it many times over family members, friends and strangers. It is my standby prayer when I hear the sound of a police car or fire truck siren for the folks involved in whatever situation warranted that siren. There is a longing in my heart for people to “know Him” and all that the knowing entails, and so I find myself speaking this scripture often in prayer form. …read more

The Opportunity of Their Lifetime

If you consider the statistics that George Barna has accumulated concerning the impact of ministry to children, it’s easy to realize the value we must place on this “single most strategic ministry activity”. He says that most people’s spiritual beliefs are “irrevocably formed when they are pre-teens” and “what they believe by the time they are 13 is what they will die believing”. …read more

Little is How Much? by Lisa Cooke

I can’t seem to let go of the idea that God gets great pleasure out of taking nothing or very little, and doing great things with it. From the beginning we see Him creating something from nothing. He formed man out of dirt and yet the Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Something happens when God breathes on dirt. Something happens when Jesus asks His Father to bless a few fish and some loaves of bread. …read more

Kids and Worship by Lisa Cooke

We know from this verse that God seeks worshipers, those who will worship Him authentically and accurately. Currently in the church worldwide there is tremendous emphasis being placed on praise and worship, and most adults in the Body of Christ are aware of God’s desire for their adoration. But what about children? Can they also worship God in spirit and in truth? Does their age preclude them from what Joseph Garlington described as a “holy function enjoyed by angels, men and the entire created universe?” …read more

Are You a Kid Magnet?

One of the highest compliments I have ever received was said in a somewhat funny/sarcastic way: “You’re a Kid Magnet!” You’ve probably heard the phrase “money magnet” used to describe someone who seems to have money coming to him easily and in abundance. Likewise, a children’s minister is most effective when he or she is a Kid Magnet, someone a child is attracted to. …read more

Denied by Lisa Cooke

I was thinking recently about what God feels when we don’t obey Him, stay in fellowship with Him, or when we are oblivious to him and neglect Him. A number of human emotional words went through my head such as disappointed, angry, disgusted, displeased. The Old Testament says so much about how the children of Israel angered Him with their disobedience to the point that we can get the idea that God is always angry with us because we don’t always do things His way. …read more