Who & What Defines You?

by Renee Dugan

In the month of September, my husband and I made a commitment to pursue reading the Book of Ephesians together, over and over, until we gain the best possible understanding of its many wonderful lessons. Having read it twice in the Holman’s and once in the REV version, we decided to pick up The Message […]

Paid By the Blood

by Renee Dugan

I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I have rarely felt so horrible in my life as when I realize I’ve hurt, offended, or angered someone unintentionally by something I said or did. I have a habit of acting in a moment without thinking through the consequences of my choice. Sometimes, by the grace of […]

Why God Adopted Us – And Why It MATTERS

by Renee Dugan

Ever since shortly after my husband and I were married, the subject of adoption has been close to my heart…an ember I believe God will stoke into flame at the right time. There’s no doubt that adoption is a long and intricate journey for any family here in the USA, with a spate of background […]

God Has a Team! Are You On It?

by Renee Dugan

There’s a verse in Ephesians that used to confuse me as a kid. It talks about how God “chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish in his presence in love.” I wasn’t raised under the Calvinistic viewpoint that God predestined individuals to be saved, but I […]

Every Spiritual Blessing

by Renee Dugan

One of my mom’s favorite rituals is what she calls “Happy Tuesday” presents. Giving in general is one of the many, many ways my mom expresses love, and a while back she decided that gift-giving shouldn’t be constrained to holidays or birthdays. So if she sees something she thinks will bless you, chances are you’ll […]

What is Your Treasure?

by Renee Dugan

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus admonished his listeners about the places where they were storing up treasure. I’ve met many people who carried out the extent of this passage as it pertains to investing their money; they were quick to give and lived a minimalist life. It’s easy to assume if we’re not clinging to material […]

Breaking Down Walls

by Renee Dugan

Over the summer, I visited Chicago with a group of friends. It was my first time visiting a truly big city in many years, and let me tell you—even for an extrovert, it was tiring after three days! But I went into it with a prayer that God would use the experience to teach me […]

What Do You Care What They Call You, If You’re Called His?

by Renee Dugan

It can be so difficult to be vulnerable before God. Many different things get in the way of that emotional and spiritual intimacy, including broken pasts, confusing presents, and uncertain futures. It also seems that one of the barriers that prevents us from coming to God in absolute surrender to His perfect will is the […]

A Lesson in Resting

by Renee Dugan

At the time of writing this, I am the super-blessed “mom” of three delightful cats. I’ve had the oldest for twelve years and the youngest for three, and every week I find myself learning new life lessons just by watching them. For example, age really is a number—it doesn’t have to stop you from climbing […]

Finding the Goodness of God in Difficult Times

by Renee Dugan

It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “God is good!” in times of plenty. When circumstances fall together in ways that please and benefit us, we’re often quick to declare the goodness of God because it’s right there in front of our faces. However, the same Christian who praises God’s goodness when they drive off […]