In the midst of the storm by Emily E. Ryan | Aug 28, 2017 | 11 comments I am safe. My family is safe. My home is secure. And for all of that, I am so grateful. We’re in the midst of Hurricane Harvey right now, as so many of you are as well. Honestly, I don’t even have the words to comment on the devastation. I’ve seen photos of my friends wading through water in their living rooms. My husband almost caught a fish in our front yard. I’ve huddled with my babies in a closet in the...Read More
10 great books to read this summer by Emily E. Ryan | Jun 4, 2017 | 3 comments It’s that time of year again – time to sit by the water and soak in the sunshine with a great book! Time for libraries to start their summer reading programs (mine even has a summer reading log for adults too! Swoon!). Time to turn off the TV and open a book instead. It’s time to read!!! I’m pretty much all over the map when it comes to the books I enjoy. I am a firm believer in reading a lot of...Read More
Every flag has a name by Emily E. Ryan | May 29, 2017 | 2 comments One of my brothers is an Air Force pilot and came home from a tour in Afghanistan just a few weeks ago. My other brother was in the Army, and he too came home from the Middle East many years ago. My father came home from his Army tour in Vietnam before I was born, and my grandfather came home from his Army tour in Italy before my father was born. This weekend, our church displayed 38,000 flags on our campus in memory of every...Read More
How to make friends at church by Emily E. Ryan | May 23, 2017 | 2 comments Fellowship is one of the core values of the New Testament church, so it makes sense that one of the worst feelings is going to church and not having any friends there. If that’s how you feel, you’re not alone. I’ve been there numerous times over the years and will be the first to admit that it’s an awful feeling. Friendship cannot be manufactured, but there are several ways to get to know women in your church and lay the groundwork for...Read More
How to become an amazing mother-in-law by Emily E. Ryan | May 7, 2017 | 6 comments A few years ago, we had a garage sale at our house and my in-laws came over to help. After several hours, our old couches still hadn’t sold, so I took some photos and added them to Facebook. My sweet mother-in-law just happened to be sitting on one of the couches when I took the picture, so I couldn’t resist adding the following caption to my post: Couches free with purchase of mother-in-law! Thankfully, she has a great sense of humor and was...Read More
What to pray when you don’t know what to pray by Emily E. Ryan | Apr 24, 2017 | 11 comments The situation is inevitable. Your schedule is full. Your mind is swimming. But you need – and want – to spend time in prayer. However, when you finally get to push Pause on your life so you can sit down to pray… crickets. Your mind draws blank and you can barely remember how to pray, much less what to pray. Does that mean your quiet time is useless and you should just try it again when your thoughts...Read More
That Easter I helped crucify Jesus by Emily E. Ryan | Apr 10, 2017 | 2 comments Several years ago, my husband and I wrote a Christmas program for our church called The Arrival. Our premise was to portray the life of Christ from the cradle to the grave in a modern-day setting with the hope that, by stripping away cultural differences, people would be better able to connect with the truth of Scripture. There are a million memories from that show that God still uses to speak to me, but one of them was a video scene we...Read More
Non-biblical reasons to tithe by Emily E. Ryan | Apr 4, 2017 | 1 comment Our church’s fiscal year begins in April each year, so every March we get to vote on the new proposed budget. Maybe it’s because I spent nine years in the finance industry crunching numbers for clients, but every year I can’t help but look at the church budget from a numbers standpoint. I look at our bottom line. “What if…” I wonder, and grab the closest calculator to satisfy my curiosity. Though my findings are similar every year, they still surprise and frustrate me...Read More
The VBS hashtag you should adopt now by Emily E. Ryan | Mar 28, 2017 | 3 comments Even though it’s only April, many children’s ministries have been prepping for Vacation Bible School since January. At my church, we’re doing Lifeway’s Galactic Starveyors curriculum this year and we’ve already had several major planning meetings. VBS is one of my favorite weeks of the whole year, and in this video, I’ll give you some amazing VBS statistics to encourage you and share the VBS hashtag we should all adopt now! Click here to watch. [8 min.] Were you or your children...Read More
Can one small shift in your words affect your prayer life? by Emily E. Ryan | Mar 13, 2017 | 5 comments Several years ago, when our oldest son, Gideon, was still a toddler, my husband made a comment that has stuck with me ever since. We were going through our normal bedtime routine and Gideon was dawdling in the bathroom. To encourage him to get moving, I said, “Come on, Gideon, it’s bedtime! Hurry up so we can read the Bible and say our prayers.” That’s when Jason piped in. “Don’t say say our prayers. Just say pray.”...Read More
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Every year in October, I remember my sweet little boy, Benjamin. He was supposed to come into the world on the perfect day: 10/10/10. Instead, Jesus called him home while he was still in my tummy, and..