Awana Blog

Awana Blog

Sharpened pencil, pencil sharpener, pencil shavings

Letting Others Shape Us

Pressure We face many pressures in our society. What are they exactly? Parents have to deal with the pressures of raising their children and hoping they will turn out to be who they want them to be; employees have to deal with the pressures of demanding jobs and deadlines; the holidays bring the pressure of having to entertain and get along with extended family and sometimes they bring the pressure of having to deal with painful holiday memories. As Americans…

Fighting for Our Identity

I have been thinking  about the idea of our identity.  One of the main driving forces behind everything we do in our lives is that we want to be known to ourselves and to others. However, because of sin, things have gone horribly wrong. We try to find our identity in all of the wrong places and we are scared to let ourselves be open and known to others. As a pastor, I am learning that knowing my identity in…

Are Our Habits Consistent With What We Know?

Whenever I’m in my car driving somewhere, I usually have something playing other than the radio. Lately, it’s either been a sermon or a podcast of some sort. I love studying and learning about theology, the Bible, and culture; for all these things, you can find many different podcasts and sermons if you search hard enough. This is the reality of the world we are living in – a world of constant information everywhere we turn. Information is not the…

Recognizing

Recognizing Around the time I was in high school and became a Christian, I used to go outside at night and stand in our driveway. We lived (and my mom still does) in a neighborhood that was near a lot of farm land and away from busy city lights. I would stand there, sometimes walk around, look up, and see thousands of beautiful little stars. This was one of my favorite settings to be in and talk to God, especially…

Giving What God Has Given Us

Pretty soon Christmas day will be here. Chances are, many of us are at times a little frantic with all of the plans and preparations we have to make. Some will be traveling, some will be home while welcoming family and friends, and there may be some who wish they were traveling or welcoming family and friends. While this day brings many joys and warm memories for many, the reality is that it can also bring sad and painful memories…

It Begins…

December is finally here. This month is by far my favorite time of the year, and I’m sure it is the same for many others. It is also one of the busiest times of the year for many. On top of all the regular errands and things to take care of, December brings Christmas shopping, traveling, parties, dinners, and much more. Also, along with the added busyness comes more temptations to neglect the things that truly matter. This is almost…

Being Available

Have you ever spent time with someone and, out of nowhere, they asked a question that you weren’t expecting? It wasn’t just any question – it was a hard question that you didn’t know the answer to and a question that you were struggling with yourself. How did you react? What did you say? Did you feel a need to provide an answer, even if you weren’t sure if the answer you were providing was the right one? We often…

Learning Styles

At times throughout my life, I have been known to be really hard on myself. When I saw certain things come easy for some but were hard for me, it was not uncommon for me to think the problem was my fault. But then I started learning about learning styles and how each person has a different way they learn best. Sometimes people can be a little skeptical of things like this, thinking that there is one best way for…

We’re Not Anything

I was reading a story yesterday about a little Filipino rock quarry worker in Iraq. This worker was apparently a follower of Jesus and one day he had decided to paint the words of John 3:16 on a rock. He painted them in English so his supervisors, who spoke Arabic, would not understand and be offended by it. The person who was guiding the project, however, was an English-speaking Chinese man who was also an atheist at the time. He read the…