No Longer Strangers

by Renee Dugan

Deep within the human heart, there is an intrinsic desire to be seen, to be known, and to be loved. We crave intimacy—“into-me-see”—and seek it out it in many places, including friendship, family, romantic, and spousal relationships. Just as few things are as rewarding as emotional and heartfelt intimacy with those we hold dear, few […]

Why Truth Must be Spoken in Love

by Renee Dugan

When I was growing up, I had a slew of friendships in which I, quite frankly, submitted to a plethora of verbal abuses from other children. No matter what names I was called or what snide remarks came my way, I just took it. I remember my mom calling out one of these instances, to […]

New Year, New Me!

by Renee Dugan

Happy New Year! The beginning of every year is the time when the world seems to unite around one word: “resolutions.” With the start of another circle around the sun comes the feeling of turning over a new leaf; anything is possible, and many people feel empowered, even invincible, to tackle goals that even one […]

Rooted & Grounded in Love

by Renee Dugan

Despite a lifelong fascination with the beauty of the flora God has provided for us to tend and enjoy, I have never considered myself a gardener. I have a bit of a black thumb—meaning most of the flowerpots I receive will be dead inside a month, no matter how meticulously I water them. I suppose […]

YOU Can Boldly Approach GOD!

by Renee Dugan

With Christmas just a few days away, the mood among many Christians I’ve spoken to is polarized. Among those who recognize and celebrate this holiday, are those abounding in joy and excitement, what most people call “the Christmas spirit.” And then there are those who are “not really feeling it.” Those who are stressed, overwhelmed, […]

A Prayer For the One Who Reads These Words

by Renee Dugan

Have you ever felt like there was a particular subject God was pressing you to take notice of? A topic that just came up over and over in a myriad of ways? For me lately, it’s been prayer. I feel like God has been encouraging me to pray more; to make prayer my default when […]

Our Source of Peace

by Renee Dugan

During the holidays, the word everyone both secular and religious seems to leap on is “peace”—specifically peace on earth, and good will as spoken by the angel at the birth of Christ (Luke 2:14). Why is peace such an important subject? For many, it’s because they recognize the dearth of peace throughout the world. Chaos […]

Walking Alive

by Renee Dugan

It seems like nowadays, zombies are everywhere. From movies and television to clothing, accessories, books, and costumes, the “undead” genre is rapidly gaining something of a cult following. What are zombies, by the way? Basically they’re human husks whose only desire is to consume (and apparently create jump-scares for viewers). They shamble aimlessly around a […]

Tearing Down the Dividing Wall

by Renee Dugan

Ephesians 2:14-16 paints a beautiful illustration of one of the most profound realities that came about with Jesus’ sacrifice: with the fulfillment of the law through his death, Christ put to death the hostility between the Jews and Gentiles by becoming the bridge that spanned the gap between them. Through Christ, rather than through the […]

Seeing God’s Glory Through Masters and Servants

by Renee Dugan

There is much spiritual understanding we can glean about our relationship with God from the verses in Ephesians 5:21-6:9. In this segment, I want to look at some of the lessons Ephesians 6:5-9 teaches about the master/servant relationship and how this passage serves as a model for a particular aspect of our relationship with God […]