While Revelation 21 specifically lists death, mourning, crying, and pain as fundamental grievances believers will face, there's a shocking lack of corporate preparation to meet with such sorrows. Removing the stigma of deeply painful sadness requires the local church’s unhurried commitment to making room for it on Sunday mornings and a desire to equip leaders in one-another care.
As I was writing last week, I stumbled upon John Mark McMillan's record, "The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down" on Spotify. His song, "How He Loves" is one I am quite familiar with, but there's a particular version of the song on this record which was totally new to me—and it stopped me in my tracks.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews pastor and author Jonathan Hayashi. They discuss his book, Ordinary Radicals: A Return to Christ-Centered Discipleship to learn how the gospel of Jesus Christ informs the way we foster genuine, mission-minded Christian community within the context of the local church. Jonathan shares how God used intentional discipleship relationships to radically alter the gang-related trajectory he was on as a teenager. He explains some of the reasons why the church-at-large is failing to faithfully commit to making Christ-centered disciples, while also highlighting some of the unbiblical beliefs church members have about what it means to belong to the body of Christ. Jonathan encourages believers to remember that there are no special qualifications for making disciples, and offers practical suggestions for pursuing a discipleship relationship within the respective "mission fields" everyday Christians find themselves in.
If I have learned one thing on my brief marriage journey, it’s that the pursuit of happiness swallows more marriages than we realize. It can chew you up and spit you out an unrecognizable, bitter mess. Pursuing personal happiness and fulfillment in your wedded relationship is only fueled by selfish desires, for our quest to be happy is always rooted in the search for soul-satisfaction rather than the offer of self-sacrifice and service.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and biblical counselor Deepak Reju to discuss his book, Pornography: Fighting for Purity. During the conversation, Deepak explains what makes porn addiction a form of "voluntary slavery," unpacking the various heart struggles that can tempt men and women to become habitual viewers. Deepak also helps listeners discern what it looks like to "coddle" porn addiction, highlights the importance of radical corrective action, outlines what to look for in an accountability partner, and encourages strugglers to remember their identity in Christ when facing discouragement in the battle for heart change.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Joel Fitzpatrick about his book Between Us Guys: Life-Changing Conversations for Dads & Sons to discuss how both parent and child can lean in to important conversations with the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. During the interview, Joel talks about what biblical manhood is meant to look like and the importance of teaching our sons to embrace a gospel-centered view of women. He also addresses biblical wisdom for helping dads and sons navigate friendship problems, performance pressures, identity traps, as well as some helpful ways to practice generosity and financial stewardship.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Trillia Newbell to discuss her new book, Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith. During the interview, Trillia shares her story of coming to Christ as an adult. She also takes on the "fake it 'till you make it" mentality, warns against the toxic effects of the prosperity gospel, and explains how the Scriptures invite us to engage God in the midst of our suffering. Encouraging listeners with gospel-centered reminders, Trillia also helps us to understand how to keep our hearts from growing cynical in the midst of tumultuous political/cultural climates.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Sam Crabtree. They discuss his newest book, "Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children" to discover how the gospel of Jesus Christ helps parents pursue consistent, faithful discipline that mirrors the grace-giving, truth-speaking God of the Bible. Sam explains what corrective discipline looks like from a biblical perspective, outlines why establishing an atmosphere of affirmation and correction is important in a Christian home, and highlights the difference between destructive fear and healthy regard for parental authority. He also addresses the issue of corporal punishment, lays out three core imperatives for wise correction, and speaks powerful words of encouragement to parents who are struggling to implement consistent disciplinary standards for the children in their care.
While this poem is for my dearest nephew, Timothy Sawyer, born 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches long, it is also for family members who have walked alongside a grieving parent—who have shed tears for a baby they never cradled in their arms. May the love for that child never be deferred, lost, or forgotten, but cherished and proudly worn as a reminder of the joyous reunion that awaits upon the horizon. May we grieve, may we hope, and may we look forward to the day when sad things come untrue.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews counselor, speaker, and author Joy Forrest. They discuss Joy's book, Called to Peace: A Survivor's Guide to Finding Healing and Peace After Domestic Abuse to discover how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers the resources necessary to turn victims into victors. During the conversation, Joy shares her own testimony of overcoming abuse, shedding light on the twisted thinking process that kept her in harm's way for more than two decades. She also explains why victims cannot change the behaviors of their abuser, how she overcame the guilt that resulted from watching her marriage fail, and the importance of rooting our identity in Christ when walking through domestic violence recovery.
It’s imperative to remember that there are specific wellsprings of consolation and healing that God has set in place for his people which cannot be received apart from discipleship. If we continue to promote the segregation of care for despondent persons in the church, we restrict access to the promised sustaining and transforming graces God specifically supplies in the midst of their pain and suffering (1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 119:50).
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and social media influencer Chelsea Hurst. They discuss Chelsea's brand new book, Above All Else to explore the common challenges facing young Christian women today. Chelsea highlights the various performance pressures that "20-somethings" grapple with, and explains how the temptation to conform to worldly standards leads followers of Christ into self-inflicted pain and disappointment. She also recounts a monumental story of forgiveness after murder, warns listeners about the danger of using God's grace as a cop-out for intentionally sinful lifestyle choices, and encourages young women to pursue spiritual growth and maturity in the context of authentic Christian community.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor and author Paul Tautges. They discuss Paul's brand new book, Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace to explore how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers meaningful resources for the fight against crippling worries and fears. Paul addresses the spiritual and physical components of our anxiety, explains how it can help us reorient our hearts toward God, and offers listeners biblically-based comforts and wisdom for fighting anxiety on the spiritual battlefield. He also suggest passages of Scripture which help us to engage our anxiety, gently inviting listeners into a deeper understanding of and reliance upon God's peace.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Megan Hill to talk about her devotional, Contentment: Seeing God's Goodness. During the conversation, Megan explains what biblical contentment looks like, the differences between "righteous" and "unrighteous" discontent, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ invites believers to put off bitterness and grumbling when they aren't getting what they want out of life. She also illumines the detrimental effects pride has on our ability to find contentment in Christ, and gives practical helps for stepping away from self-sufficiency mindsets.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Dr. Jim Newheiser to talk about his book, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers. The conversation focuses specifically on discovering gospel hope and help for the hurting marriage, using wisdom from the Scriptures to address some of the common challenges that couples face. Jim lays a foundation for God's good design for marriage and explains why divorce is such a hotly debated issue in the church. He also helps us think biblically about working through marital issues such as bitterness, communication breakdowns, indifference, and offers listeners considerations for deciding when to seek marriage counseling.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor Erick Cobb about the Christian's experience of seemingly causeless depression. Erick shares about his personal encounters with despondency, describing some of its mysterious components, and how the Scriptures normalize our seasons of dread and darkness. He also talks about the redemptive benefits that can result from walking through depression, highlights the importance of biblical metaphor in comforting the despondent Christian, and suggests practical physical and spiritual sustaining graces for enduring the dark.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Sam Allberry. They’re talking about his book, 7 Myths About Singleness, in order to help Christians—married and unmarried alike—value singleness as a gift from God. Sam explains frequently misunderstood aspects of singleness, why celibacy and intimacy are not mutually exclusive, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ helps singles take hold of the unique opportunities their singleness affords. He also encourages singles in the various ways they can contribute to the creation mandate without having kids themselves, highlights ways marrieds and singles can strive to better support one another in friendship, and exposes some of the tender feelings singles experience when they feel like they're missing out in life and love.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Kathryn Butler. They discuss Kathryn's book, Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care to help Christians become better equipped to handle medical decisions for incapacitated loved ones. They take an honest look at how common critical care procedures affect the body, discuss what it feels like to wake up as a patient in the ICU, unpack common misconceptions about what it means to protect the sanctity of life, and share how the gospel of Jesus Christ gives family members wisdom in the midst of overwhelming medical situations. Kathryn also talks about biblical perspectives on physical health, comforts to cling to when death is imminent, and offers words of support and encouragement for those presently tasked with making medical decisions for a loved one.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/biblical counselor Alasdair Groves. They talk about his book, "Untangling Emotions," to learn more about a biblical approach to addressing our overwhelming feelings, to discover how negative emotions can actually serve redemptive purposes, and finally, to understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees believers to engage our emotions in fruitful ways. Alasdair also offers insights into unhelpful views on the importance of our emotions, helps listeners to understand a biblical view of the mind-body connection, and gives words of encouragement to those who feel frequently overcome by their emotional state.
Grief can often feel like a bully. It’s not uncommon for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to be overtaken by waves of sorrow when they least expect it. Sometimes it’s a simple sight or smell that brings us to our knees; we’ll find ourselves head-in-hand, weeping as if the loss […]
Our faithful pursuit of taking pleasure in Jesus is the best witness we can offer our family. By taking the time to share how God is working in our lives, we attract our children to the larger story of God’s redemption. If Jesus is the Gift that keeps on giving, what better way to share the treasure than by inviting our children to come and see for themselves?
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Cameron Cole about living through your worst nightmare and his book, "Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy." Cameron shares about the sudden death of his 3-year-old son, some of the raw emotions and thoughts that arise when facing unexpected bereavement, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains in times of excruciating grief. He also addresses the harmful mentalities Christians can mistakenly adopt during the grieving process and encourages mourners to cling to God's provisional grace to make it through impossible days.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Glenna Marshall on the topic of infertility, suffering, and her new book, The Promise is His Presence: Why God is Always Enough. During the conversation, Glenna shares about her personal experiences with infertility, church hurt, and chronic illness, unpacking the devastating heartbreak of deferred hope and the dangers of basing our beliefs about God's goodness on whether or not he will give us "good" things. Glenna shares how her struggle with infertility negatively impacted church fellowship and personal friendships, gives suggestions on how to respond to seasons of spiritual dryness, and soothes sufferers with words of comfort for when the grief of barrenness feels all-consuming.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker/writer Marissa Henley on the topic of living with cancer, exposing some of the raw emotions that go along with facing a life-threatening illness, the honest fears about death that believers with cancer wrestle with, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ strengthens sufferers to face an unknown future with courage and hope. Marissa shares about her own battle with a rare form of cancer, describes what it's like to sit in the "chemo chair," and gives concerned friends and family members practical tips on how to best support their suffering loved one during a season of uncertainty and medical overwhelm.
How we respond to disappointment reveals what we really trust and treasure. But there is a path forward for the dejected heart, and it involves trusting the protection and the promise of God’s providence.
Serve food for the sheep while growing the fold—these are not mutually exclusive tasks. The Good Shepherd wastes not an opportunity to carry one of His wanderers to safety. Let the church be a place where saints are built up in quality and converts are built up in quantity, for such is the work of kingdom people.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Lindsey Carlson on the topic of growing in godliness as a teenage girl. Lindsey shares why she was compelled to write her new book, Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl's Guide to Maturing in Christ and unpacks what the path of spiritual maturity looks like for a young Christian. She talks about the struggles today's teens have with finding purpose and identity, as well as the challenges that arise when it comes to managing moodiness, struggling with sin, and finding motivation for attending worship services. Lindsey also helps listeners understand why learning to trust God's plan for their lives is a difficult, but necessary part of growing up in Christ. This conversation is geared toward the teen girl, so if you know a Christian young woman in your life, invite her to take a listen!
Where are the afflicted ones who will take the risk and let their brothers and sisters know they are not alone in their struggles—that they too have walked a forlorn road? The church needs the afflicted to care for the afflicted so the comforts of God can be fully dispensed. When the afflicted are shamed or silenced or shunned, Christianity suffers and God’s name is profaned.
It's by design we raise our ebenezer on the battlefields of life (1 Samuel 7:10). Maybe for you, that place is a hospital bed. Maybe it's a courtroom. Maybe it's a jail cell. Maybe it's a clinic. Maybe it's a cemetery. Believe there is no place too taboo for our Jesus, no building or circumstance can keep him away from consoling your hurt and wiping your tears. Uncomfortable places of despair may separate us from the outside world for a time, but they cannot separate us from his steadfast love (Romans 8:35-39).
Sometimes disappointment comes in the form of forced humility—the moment when we must admit we cannot fix our problems or ourselves in our own strength. Sometimes we compound our sorrows by not recognizing the season we are in, and the error only serves to make things worse.
When someone is struggling or suffering, they can sometimes be hesitant to reach out for help. But what does the Bible have to say about our neediness? Is it a character flaw or sin? This article explores some of the ways we view neediness as annoying or inconvenient, and how God's design for his people and community go against the grain of trending cultural norms.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Lisa Appelo on the topic of learning to live with grief as a widow. Lisa talks about the day her husband suddenly passed away, how she addressed the grieving process with her seven children, some of the unexpected emotional struggles she faced, and how the body of Christ rallied around her and her family as they learned how to live without the husband and father they loved. She also shares some practical spiritual and physical care suggestions for those walking through seasons of grief.
"My fiancé and I are new Christians who have struggled with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. These past four months have been very difficult, and we are having a hard time understanding how our new faith ties into these issues. How can we best support each other during these challenges? Are there biblical resources available to help us?"
Sometimes Mother's Day weekend looks like limps in our strides and lumps in our throats. When we feel we don't measure up to what it means to be a "good mom," we don't feel much like celebrating life, let alone motherhood. But there's good news to be found for discouraged mothers. Here are gospel truths to remember as your weary heart heads into Mother's Day.
In this video produced by Thrive Moms, I share five biblical truths that help mothers overcome anger by grace. Post also includes helpful links to biblical resources and audios to equip mothers to examine their hearts on the subject.
There was a season a few years back when the Lord made it extremely clear through a series of circumstances and struggles that it was my turn to sit on the sidelines. I remember the depression that sunk me low because my grasp on activities and service was forced loose. It was as if divine […]
In this audio, I give a brief overview of biblical counseling to a group of Care Coaches at JC Cares (jccares.us) in Easley, South Carolina. The talk aims at encouraging the Care Coaches to desire to grow in their ability to administer Christ-centered, biblically founded one-another care to the economically disadvantaged in their community. Websites I […]
In this Facebook LIVE recording, I share a message on the topic of “mom-envy,” exploring what it is, what the Bible calls it, ways it manifests itself in our lives, and how we can work in tandem with the Word and the Spirit for lasting heart change. This video was hosted by Laura Fleetwood, author/podcast […]
Having a hard day of motherhood? Walking through a dark spiritual valley? Finding yourself in a fall/winter season of marriage? I’m so thankful for the opportunity to talk about REAL & HARD things with Tiffany at A Mom’s Mission Field in this new podcast episode. In the episode, I share a bit of background about my book, […]
Friends, I am thrilled to invite back to the blog Ms. Barbara Hill, who has previously appeared as a guest writer at FaithfulSparrow.com! In this feature, she shares her reflections from a past trip to Israel—they serve as wonderful reminders as we prepare our hearts for the upcoming Easter season. Enjoy! I traveled to Israel 7 […]
“The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.” Henry Ward Beecher You can’t do it. Stop trying. It’s impossible. Could there be a deeper wound to the spirit than hearing words such as these? Whether they land in our ears from the lips of another, or are the result of darts loosed […]
The pictures are remarkable. The comments are divisive. United we stand, yet on opposite sides. For all the passion and zeal, for all the motivating factors and beliefs, one thing is certain: our Country is filled with capable, energetic, enthusiastic, educated, and strong women. Many of our Country’s women are lovers and fighters. In all of […]
He really is a stand-out kid; smart, capable, clever, and helpful. He brings me more joy than I could say with his goofy 8-year-old grin, and the thoughtful ways he cares for others. He also knows how to push my buttons with incredible precision. Whenever I correct his behavior, he resists, pushes back and tries […]