Blog Posts by Author

Author Name

Why God? He Hears Our Prayers

Sheri Bell, February 17, 2021

Especially now, when life feels hard, we need to remind ourselves that God hears our prayers. And He cares. Let’s look at prayer, and some truths about our response to God’s response to them. Why God? blog #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a… Read more »

Why God? For the Gift of Living Broken

Sheri Bell, February 6, 2021

There’s a suggestion on the table that God wants us broken. If the word “broken” scares you, you’re not alone. Society has taught us to perceive the word negatively. Broken plates … broken appliances … broken down cars … the homeless … the incarcerated … those with destructive addictions. Society… Read more »

Why God? New Year, New Habits

Sheri Bell, January 22, 2021

When you pause to think about it, our daily lives are just a string of habits. Some habits are conscious and intentional, others just seem to happen. A perfect example: We jump onto Facebook for “just for a minute” — and realize, with a start, that we’re still scrolling an… Read more »

Why God? He Gets Our Act Together

Sheri Bell, January 8, 2021

“Why God?” Welcome to our new blog series where we dive in and answer that question! In this first post, we are reminded to rely on His power, not ours, to get our act together. In his book The Imperfect Disciple, Jared C. Wilson writes that even now, nearly 40… Read more »

Weak Boundary: A Lesson From Dog-sitting

Sheri Bell, October 30, 2020

I’m dog-sitting this week. And next week. Fifteen days of just me and “man’s best friend.” Only this pampered fella is pretty self-absorbed … and now, five days in, our time together is, at moments, wearing thin. Like, he doesn’t want to accept that my every minute is NOT focused… Read more »

Doing the Work, After Jesus Saves Us

Sheri Bell, September 23, 2020

I was with a bunch of Christians recently, who were in agreement that the point of Christianity is to get people saved — so they don’t go to hell. I agree that our choosing to accept Christ as Lord and Savior is the most important decision we’ll ever make, because… Read more »

Inspiration: Find Freedom From Shame!

Sheri Bell, September 2, 2020

Bridging the Gap blog #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth and power. We offer you our accumulated knowledge and research to help you find truth and encouragement to live a healthy and whole life in Christ. God Doesn’t… Read more »

Inspiration: See Yourself as Loved by God

Sheri Bell, August 20, 2020

Inspiration #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth and power. We offer you our accumulated knowledge and research to help you find truth and encouragement to live a healthy and whole life in Christ. God Says YOU’RE Fully Loved…. Read more »

Can We Talk About Jesus?

Sheri Bell, July 30, 2020

Our anxious world needs to know the peace of Jesus. His great love for each of us. His desire to walk daily with each of us, to buoy us with joy, strength, and wisdom. We’re not in this alone! So why aren’t we excitedly telling people about Jesus? One reason… Read more »

Snapshot of Amazing Grace

Sheri Bell, July 24, 2020

Have you personally experienced God’s grace … the joy and relief of being forgiven, grateful that you are yet loved and accepted?  The following personal story, recently shared by one of my favorite Christian speakers, does a great job of helping us to understand the amazing grace God gives us…. Read more »

What is the Joy of the Lord? Can We Have it?

Sheri Bell, July 17, 2020

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” If I hear a Christian occasionally use this expression, I always notice, as it’s not a statement often said. Certainly nowhere near the frequency of, say, “God is good!” or “Jesus loves us.” I think this is because Christians often struggle with… Read more »

World Got You Down? 5 Daily Habits That Help

Sheri Bell, June 29, 2020

COVID-19. Racism. Violence. Political posturing. Selfishness. Hate. Just some of the negativity in our world right now. Yuck. As God’s people, we need to do better. Let’s try these five daily habits to better love God and others. Inspiration #hurthealedwhole Our ability to patiently listen to others? Habit. Our willingness… Read more »

Book of Ruth: 3 Lessons For Us

Sheri Bell, June 22, 2020

Perhaps you are familiar with the Old Testament book of Ruth, a 4-chapter story layered with tragedy, blessings, and the reminder to trust God. Naomi, a Hebrew, along with her husband and two grown sons, forsakes her hometown of Bethlehem to escape a famine. The family settles into nearby Moab… Read more »

Like Peter, Get Out of the Boat!

Sheri Bell, June 15, 2020

The Bible story of Simon Peter momentarily walking on the Sea of Galilee is a favorite of mine. It’s thrilling to consider what we can do, when invited by Jesus. Many Christians, however, view this story as yet one more failing on the part of this impetuous disciple. But it’s… Read more »

WWJD During These Hard Times?

Sheri Bell, June 8, 2020

WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? Lately I’ve been hearing people say, “2020 is turning out to be a very. bad. year.” Agreed. And not in just one corner of the globe, but all around it. People are tired, worried, and afraid. So perhaps it’s time to revisit an acronym that… Read more »

3 Reasons Suffering Serves a Purpose

Sheri Bell, May 15, 2020

Human suffering is arguably the most common and difficult problem raised against the goodness of God. Why does God allow us to be hurt and wounded? Isn’t suffering a bad thing? Doesn’t it point to an uncaring and distant God? Let’s look at three reasons that suggest that suffering may… Read more »

When Mother’s Day Hurts

Sheri Bell, May 8, 2020

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, is quoted as saying, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Well, good for him. No, great for him! He was blessed. But many of us can’t tie his sentiment to our own moms. On this Mother’s… Read more »

Romans 8: Chapter of Assurance

Sheri Bell, April 24, 2020

What Scripture is giving you assurance right now? For me, I keep returning to Romans, specifically chapter 8. These 39 Bible verses are packed with God’s promises of care and provision. Let’s look at some of them! Bridging the Gap blog #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been… Read more »

Devotional: Recognize God’s Majesty

Sheri Bell, March 26, 2020

Are we “woke” to the presence of our amazing God? Or are we so dependent upon our own strength that we fail to acknowledge His majesty all around us?   Bridging the Gap blog #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of… Read more »

Devotional: God Wants Your Prayers

Sheri Bell, March 21, 2020

God wants our prayers! Since creating Adam, He has yearned to be in close relationship with us.  Especially during the moments we find hard and scary, God wants us to bring our fears and doubts. Because He cares. He is listening. He is working through all circumstances for the good… Read more »

Devotional: When Life Gets Tough

Sheri Bell, March 9, 2020

Life is a roller coaster of situations and emotions. We know how to handle the easy and fun times. How does God want us to respond when life gets tough? Bridging the Gap blog #hurthealedwhole For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of… Read more »

Josh’s 4 Tips for Resolving Conflict

Sheri Bell, September 25, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in the year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post Josh McDowell offers us four tips for assessing the source of conflict in our lives. How much do we create ourselves? Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels Important… Read more »

Parents: 7 Tips for Great Parenting

Sheri Bell, September 18, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in our year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post Josh shares 7 tips (his “7 A’s”) to help parents develop great relationships with their kids. Good parenting doesn’t just happen, it’s learned. The “7 A’s” include Affirmation,… Read more »

Love Is…

Sheri Bell, September 11, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us in our latest post in the series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post let’s try to define the word “love.” From movies to music to everyday conversation, we sure do use this word a lot. “I love me some pickle juice!” … “I love… Read more »

Cultural Tolerance Fails Us

Sheri Bell, August 14, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, the latest post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post, let’s look at the word “tolerance,” and whether society pushes its intended meaning.  Tolerance, traditionally, is defined as respectfully acknowledging another’s subjective beliefs and opinions — without… Read more »

Showing Christ Relevant to Our Whatever Culture

Sheri Bell, August 6, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post, Josh shares nine ways he believes that Christians can show Christ relevant to non-believers in our modern “whatever” culture. We can’t just claim, “Christ is truth” anymore,… Read more »

Choosing God’s Boundaries Because We Trust Him

Sheri Bell, July 25, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, the latest post in our year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” Let’s talk about boundaries, which we need to make good, ethical choices. On what should we base the boundaries we establish in our life? As we mentioned in a recent post,… Read more »

Why We Need to Trust God’s Goodness

Sheri Bell, July 16, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post let’s discuss why it’s critical that we trust God’s goodness. I don’t know about you, but I find myself cringing when people post on Facebook about their… Read more »

Can We Know Absolute Right From Wrong?

Sheri Bell, July 11, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in this year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we ask a HUGE question that many believe impossible to answer: “Can we know absolute right from wrong?” Let’s cut to the chase on answering this, as we… Read more »

Parents: 5 Delusions That Hurt Your Relationship With Your Kids

Sheri Bell, June 19, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in our year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” Here Josh McDowell shares five parenting delusions that sabotage parents in having a close relationship with their kids. √ An important take-away: As parents, we can’t give what we don’t have,… Read more »

Find Confidence In Being Authentic

Sheri Bell, May 16, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in the year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post let’s talk about how we must learn to accept and appreciate every quirky bit of ourselves, to truly reflect God’s love. Folks, freedom awaits us when we bravely… Read more »

5 Attributes of God: Viewing God Correctly

Sheri Bell, April 22, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our fourteenth post in the year-long blog series we launched in January that we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we ponder five attributes of God. We can know Him! God lives up to His promises because His character never changes. His faithfulnesses,… Read more »

3 Foundational Truths of Christianity

Sheri Bell, April 15, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our thirteenth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll dive a bit further into three foundational truths of  Christianity. What do Christians basically believe? For starters, that God has a wonderful plan for humanity –… Read more »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Sheri Bell, April 8, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our twelfth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll look at two answers for the question “Why did Jesus have to die?” Here’s why the “Why did Jesus have to die?” question is critical: if… Read more »

Hope: Not Wishful Thinking For Christians

Sheri Bell, March 22, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our latest post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll dive a bit further into how our relationship with God infuses us with hope. Hope over our missteps of the past, which God can redeem. Hope… Read more »

Reason for Our Hope: Christ’s Resurrection

Sheri Bell, March 14, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, the ninth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post let’s explore the hope that buoys us because of Christ’s resurrection. Life to death. The exact moment that our earthly constraints unchain and our eyes open to the majesty… Read more »

Trusting in Christ’s Resurrection: The Disciples’ Reaction

Sheri Bell, March 11, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, the eighth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” Can we can place our trust in Christ’s resurrection? What kind of person would take the blame for something he didn’t do? When you find the adjective, attach it to… Read more »

Deity of Christ: True or False?

Sheri Bell, February 22, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our fifth post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll dive a bit further into whether Jesus claimed to be God. Some Bible critics assert that Jesus didn't say He was God. Not true. In the… Read more »

Can We Trust God?

Sheri Bell, January 20, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our third post in our new year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” In this post we’ll dive a bit further into how our trusting God affects our everyday life. So here’s the thing: many of us don’t trust God. I’ll go a… Read more »

Is the Bible Fact or Fiction?

Sheri Bell, January 13, 2019

Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this, our second post in our year-long blog series we’re calling “Journey Together.” Our aim in this post is to dive further into whether we can trust the Bible. The contents of the Bible were written over a period of over 1500 years, by… Read more »

Christianity: Putting It All Together

Sheri Bell, November 15, 2018

What’s the point of all this “Follow Jesus” stuff? Wow! With this blog post, we complete a full year of blogging about the evidence for Christianity — from its historical roots (Jesus really lived!), to why Jesus calls us into relationship with Him. The purpose of this year-long series has… Read more »

What’s Keeping You From Loving God?

Sheri Bell, November 9, 2018

If we don’t love God, we have a reason: our skewed view of God’s nature, our deciding we don’t “need” Him, or even that He doesn’t exist. The struggle is real to clearly see God’s nature — and to steadily move toward Him. In surfing the Internet recently, I ran… Read more »

If God is Love, Does Our Sin Matter?

Sheri Bell, November 2, 2018

If we view God as “always loving,” can we be nonchalant about our sin? MercyMe, one of my favorite contemporary Christian bands, is known for penning a number of songs about God’s grace covering sin. “Smile like you just got away with something,” croons the band. “Why? ‘Cause you just… Read more »

“But Why Do I Need Jesus?”

Sheri Bell, October 26, 2018

Every Christian needs to know why they need Jesus. Last week I spent a good bit of my time with a fabulous young person who was gracious, humble, and open — one of those special people who light up a room simply by entering it. During one of our frequent… Read more »

Who God Says Who YOU Are

Sheri Bell, October 17, 2018

It’s What God Says About You That Matters, Not What the World Says We’ve spent a lot of time in this blog series demonstrating why the Bible, and thus the Christian faith, can be historically vetted and believed. If we accept that the Bible is real, then we can accept… Read more »

Tips for Selflessness; Let’s Be Like Jesus

Sheri Bell, October 9, 2018

There was once a nymph named Narcissus, Who thought himself very delicious; So he stared like a fool At his face in a pool, And his folly today is still with us.* One of the reasons we’ve spent so many weeks blogging about the evidence for Christ and the historical… Read more »

5 Reasons Christians Must Read the Bible

Sheri Bell, October 4, 2018

The Bible is your daily life playbook, not an outdated relic to be kept on a shelf. According to LifeWay Research, more than half of Americans have read little to none of the Bible. About 30 percent look up things in the Bible only when they need to. And less… Read more »

Is History Knowable? Implications for Christianity

Sheri Bell, September 26, 2018

The accuracy of history is critical. Even for Christianity. We can look at this photo and make some subjective judgments. We might deduce that the child is somewhere cold. We might also suggest the child’s age, if not also his or her nationality, healthiness, and socioeconomic status. In effect, we’re… Read more »

Christians: Dialogue With Skeptics Part 2

Sheri Bell, September 20, 2018

“Prove Your God Exists!” Last week, in Part 1 of this topic, we talked about the importance of our having a right attitude when interacting with skeptics. I reminded you to let go of the “fight” mentality when challenged on your beliefs; to instead view these encounters as God-ordained opportunities to… Read more »

Christians: Dialogue With Skeptics Part 1

Sheri Bell, September 13, 2018

“Prove Your God Exists!” When we Christians hear that, most of us start sweating. As if the entire weight of proving the truth of Christianity rests on our puny shoulders! But we also start sweating because we feel our egos to be on the line. To be a Christian, we’re… Read more »

Does Science Disprove Miracles?

Sheri Bell, September 4, 2018

Photo by Quino Al Science says the universe operates only within its natural laws. True or false? Science says that when a person dies, they stay dead. So how do Christians find it possible to believe that Jesus rose after His death on the cross? Because of the supernatural –… Read more »

The Power of Grace-Filled Parenting

Sheri Bell, September 1, 2018

Perhaps you know this first-hand: parenting children to make right moral choices can be really tough. You tell your kids the dos and don’ts — which you’ve put in place to guide and protect them — then watch in dismay when they choose to disobey. You sigh because you know… Read more »

Doubt: When It’s Beneficial for Christians

Sheri Bell, August 30, 2018

Photo by Steve Halama Doubt Can Be the Catalyst for Real Faith. Do “real” Christians have the freedom to doubt the existence of God, Jesus, and the truths of the Bible? Or should we feel guilty when our faith wobbles like Jell-O? Says Paul Tillich, “Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it… Read more »

Objective Truth: Christian Response to Postmodernism

Sheri Bell, August 24, 2018

Conveniently Ignoring Objective Truth. “If you are anything like me,” says noted Christian author and speaker Lisa Bevere, “you want to love the broken people around you.” But so often Christians are told they’re being judgmental and hateful if they don’t accept the false version of love that accepts everything… Read more »

Postmodernism: Faulty Truth, False Reality

Sheri Bell, August 16, 2018

Postmodernism robs society of objective truth and reason. Are we doomed? One of the most popular phrases today around the globe is “You have your truth, I have my truth, and nobody knows the truth.” If one looks at that statement objectively, however, it is immediately obvious that as a guiding… Read more »

Can We Know God Really Exists?

Sheri Bell, August 9, 2018

Is it possible to know if God really exists, or do we each get to decide His existence for ourselves? When it comes to God’s existence, some contemporary philosophers deny that we can know for sure. No one, they say, can really know, because His existence isn’t provable. God, they… Read more »

Relativism: Does It Contain Any Truth?

Sheri Bell, August 1, 2018

Does our personal version of “truth” (relativism) trump God’s objective truth? In our current “Truth is what I say it is” culture, we have to ask if the issue of truth really matters. I mean, we all seem to be doing okay in life with our own version of truth,… Read more »

Do Alleged Contradictions Skew Bible Truth?

Sheri Bell, July 25, 2018

Bible scholars have a proven track record of resolving contradictions to harmonize the Bible. In this blog post we explore the claim by skeptics that the Bible contradicts itself. Are there differences among parts of the Bible? Yes. But are they contradictions? No. And we assert this because of two reasons:… Read more »

Did Moses Author the Pentateuch?

Sheri Bell, July 18, 2018

The Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, is a core text for three world religions and the foundation  of the Christian Bible and the Jewish Scriptures. So it matters that the texts be viewed with authority. It is through these books, long believed to have been revealed… Read more »

Was the Bible Exodus a Real Event?

Sheri Bell, July 12, 2018

Did the Israelites Flee Egypt for the Promised Land? In our last blog post we looked at whether there is definitive proof that Adam and Eve existed as real people. In this blog post we’ll look at what proof exists for the mass Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. No… Read more »

Did the Bible’s Adam Really Exist?

Sheri Bell, July 9, 2018

Does Adam’s historicity matter? The overarching theme running through all 66 books of the Bible is the story of God’s creative work, of humanity’s rebellion against God, and of God’s work to redeem fallen humanity. The straightforward way of reading the Bible is that Adam was a historical person. It… Read more »

Are the Bible and Science at Odds?

Sheri Bell, June 27, 2018

Can Science and the Genesis Creation Story Co-Exist? Genesis 1 — the creation story — inspires some of the most heated, sensitive, and yet important controversies within the Church today. How we personally view Genesis 1 does impact how we, individually, view the rest of Scripture, science, and the nature of… Read more »

Were Jesus’ Disciples Illiterate?

Sheri Bell, June 22, 2018

A question often asked by curious Christians and critics: “Since Jesus’ disciples spoke Aramaic, how could they write any New Testament books — in Greek, no less — if they couldn’t even read or write in their own language?” That sounds like a solid query … until you realize that… Read more »

Do the Gospels Reliably Portray Jesus?

Sheri Bell, June 15, 2018

Can We Trust These Ancient Storytellers? Christians view the Bible as the true and inspired word of God, which it is. In the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—we learn details of the incredible ministry of Jesus. Not intended to be strict biographies, these detail-rich texts are interpretations by four individual authors, which… Read more »

Were Jesus’ Apostles Martyrs? Does it Matter?

Sheri Bell, June 8, 2018

What does historical evidence say? The willingness of the apostles to suffer and die as martyrs for their faith is one of the  most commonly cited arguments for the resurrection. Why, after all, would any person willingly choose to submit to a painful death for confession of the Christian faith?… Read more »

Christ, the Miracle Worker: Do His Miracles Matter?

Sheri Bell, June 6, 2018

Indeed. The miracles of Jesus Christ are an essential part of His story and an essential part of the Christian faith. Everyone in the ancient world at all familiar with Jesus regarded Him to be a miracle worker. Even His critics, including the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders, conceded His… Read more »

Was Jesus Really Without Sin?

Sheri Bell, May 30, 2018

It’s a critically important question. If the holy, morally perfect God were to become incarnate as a human being, one would reasonably expect that He would live a good and righteous life. We have solid reasons to think that Jesus Christ did fit this description. Let’s look at biblical references,… Read more »

Was Jesus Really Birthed by a Virgin?

Sheri Bell, May 23, 2018

The Virgin Birth: Plausible, if God Exists The Apostles’ Creed, an early creed of the Christian faith, affirms that Jesus Christ “was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.” If this belief is true, it means that Jesus’ entrance into human history isn’t just a tad different,… Read more »

Two Religions That Claim to be Christian

Sheri Bell, May 10, 2018

Can a religion claim to be “Christian” if it changes biblical truths about Christ and God? One of the things I find interesting about Christian history is how quickly Scripture can be corrupted. The early church, for example, had to fight off gnosticism, which, among other false ideas, taught that… Read more »

Is Christianity Unique, or a Copycat Religion?

Sheri Bell, May 3, 2018

Christianity: Unique Among All Religions. Mythicists confidently assert, “Christianity is nothing more than a patchwork quilt of ancient pagan and mystery religions.” Bottom line: They believe that the early Church borrowed heavily from pagan deities already in existence at the time of Jesus. To make their case, they cite extensive lists of… Read more »

Is Jesus’ Resurrection Fact? History Weighs in.

Sheri Bell, April 25, 2018

You, ultimately, get to decide if the resurrection is fact or fiction. Choose wisely. In this year-long blog series based on Josh and Sean McDowell’s extensively updated classic, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, we’re focused on proving to you that the Christian faith is rooted not in fairy tale, but on… Read more »

Resurrection of Jesus: Pre-Resurrection Facts

Sheri Bell, April 18, 2018

The resurrection of Jesus is critical to the Christian faith; without it, we don’t have much of a foundation for believing that Jesus was and is God. Yet the resurrection is one of the hot topics of Christianity. Skeptics argue it’s not provable. But is that true? Let’s look at… Read more »

Resurrection of Jesus: Code Critical

Sheri Bell, April 11, 2018

Does His Resurrection Really Matter? Heck, yeah! More than puppies, and chocolate, and glorious sunsets — or whatever it is that grabs your heart and stops you in your tracks. If Jesus didn’t rise, we have no foundation for our faith. And if we’re gullibly basing our lives on a… Read more »

Resurrection of Jesus: Hoax or Truth?

Sheri Bell, April 4, 2018

Why the Resurrection Matters. Christians believe the resurrection is true, and that historical accounts of it have provided adequate evidence to certify it as a real event. Why is the resurrection so important? Because without it, our faith has no basis. The apostle Paul suspends the weight of Christianity on… Read more »

Did Jesus Fulfill Old Testament Prophecy?

Sheri Bell, March 28, 2018

Only One Person Has Fulfilled All Old Testament Messianic Prophecy. Jesus! One reason the Bible’s Old Testament is so important to Christians is that it contains prophecy — over 300 predictions, in fact — that, like the threads of a tapestry, establish the Messianic credentials of Jesus. Put another way,… Read more »

An Investigation: Is Jesus Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

Sheri Bell, March 21, 2018

Who is Jesus of Nazareth? While many have asked and offered to answer the question, “Who is Jesus of Nazareth?”, no one can escape the evidence that He was a historical person and that His life radically altered human history. As world-renowned historian Jaroslav Pelikan put it: “It is from… Read more »

An Investigation: The Lofty Claims of Jesus

Sheri Bell, March 14, 2018

Was Jesus Just a Man, or God? No doubt about it, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of the western culture for almost twenty centuries. Talk about staying power! Equally constant: the debate about who He is. Almost everyone who has heard of Jesus has… Read more »

Does Historical Evidence Prove that Jesus Lived?

Sheri Bell, March 7, 2018

Evidence does, indeed, show that Jesus lived. The question is, will you believe it? At this point we’re not even addressing the question of whether Jesus was God in human form. There’s no point in doing so, if we don’t first show, through historical record, that Jesus did, in fact,… Read more »

Why the Lost Gospels Don’t Belong in the Bible

Sheri Bell, February 28, 2018

Scripture must meet exacting criteria to be included in the Bible. The “lost gospels” don’t make the cut. One argument used by critics to try to discredit God’s Word is by asserting that the Bible was developed via a power struggle. Namely, that what’s included in the Bible — and… Read more »

The Bible: How Big a Deal is Human Error?

Sheri Bell, February 21, 2018

Scribes are human; humans make mistakes. Does that mean the Bible’s accuracy is in question? The answer, in a word: No. It can’t be denied that both unintended error and intentional modification have occurred in biblical texts over time. But most of these can be identified, categorized, and properly understood in their… Read more »

Ancient Manuscripts That Validate the Bible’s Old Testament

Sheri Bell, February 14, 2018

Modern Christians don’t have to defend the validity of the Bible. Historical manuscripts have already done so. In last week’s blog post we answered the question, “Did ancient scribes faithfully transcribe biblical texts?” Resoundingly, research shouts, “YES!” I hope one truth you’re learning, as we travel this series together, is… Read more »

Did Scribes Faithfully Transmit Old Testament Manuscripts?

Sheri Bell, February 7, 2018

Historical Documentation Resoundingly Says, “Yes!” In a previous blog post in this series, we saw that the New Testament can rightly claim to be more reliable and accurate than another other ancient document in history. Can we also trust the authenticity of the Old Testament? Fortunately, we have really old… Read more »

Archeology Helps to Confirm the Historicity of the Bible

Sheri Bell, January 31, 2018

Artifacts Help Scholars Validate Scripture! Archeology, a relative newcomer among the physical sciences, cannot “prove” the Bible is true. But archeology has provided exciting and dramatic confirmation of the Bible’s accuracy. Per Yale archeologist Millar Burrows, an expert on the Dead Sea scrolls who was a professor emeritus at Yale… Read more »

8 Ancient Manuscripts That Validate the Bible’s New Testament

Sheri Bell, January 24, 2018

Important early Scriptural manuscripts that make the case for the reliability of the Bible. The Bible we use today originates from really early historical documents. Scholars are able to assess the importance of a manuscript by how much of the Bible it includes, and by the date assigned to it…. Read more »

8 Tests for the Accuracy of the New Testament Accounts

Sheri Bell, January 17, 2018

Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny? Eight tough tests say “YES!” As Christians, we’re told that the Bible is God’s Word. But how can we know that this old, historical book — the foundation of our faith — is, indeed, trustworthy? And that it has relevance for… Read more »

Testing the Historical Reliability of the New Testament

Sheri Bell, January 10, 2018

Vetted for Historical Reliability, the Bible Stands Strong. Welcome to our ninth blog post in this series focusing on the topic of apologetics! If you’d like to catch up from the start, here’s the link to the first blog we posted: Apologetics: Apologizing for Believing in God?. Apologetics — the… Read more »

Does History Reliably Prove the Bible’s Gospels?

Sheri Bell, January 3, 2018

Historical Reliability Confirms the Gospels. The historical reliability of the Bible can be tested by the same criteria by which all historical documents are tested. The Christian faith, after all, is tied to specific historical events that can be confirmed through multiple sources. It is not, as one critics assert,… Read more »

An Investigation: Who Decided What to Include in the Bible?

Sheri Bell, December 27, 2017

Did God or Man Chose the Bible’s Contents? In our last two blog posts in this series we talked about 1) aspects of the Bible that make it unique among world literature, and 2) the physical materials used by ancient scribes to produce copies of Scripture. Now let’s dive into… Read more »

An Investigation: Materials Used to Write the Bible

Sheri Bell, December 20, 2017

How did scribes record the ancient scriptures? Before the invention of the printing press, the only way to duplicate a manuscript was to spend hours (weeks? months? years?) laboriously copying it by hand. Note: It took one modern fellow four years, of writing up to 14 hours a day with fine-tipped… Read more »

An Investigation: What Makes the Bible Unique?

Sheri Bell, December 13, 2017

The Bible’s unique features speak to its staying power. Have you read it yet? In this blog post we’ll look at the unique origin and nature of the Bible, the profound impact it has had on western civilization, and its responsibility for much of the progress of human history. We… Read more »

Are Christianity and Science at War?

Sheri Bell, December 6, 2017

I’m guessing God is totally cool with science. Every time I see an amazing sunset, or the clockwork ebb and flow of a beach, or the birth of new life, I am thoroughly convinced that God, the Creator, exists. Because each of these visuals is simply mind-blowing in their intricate… Read more »

3 Arguments Critics Use to Judge Christianity

Sheri Bell, November 29, 2017

Christians, say critics, are primarily hypocritical, intolerant, and judging. That should bother us, dear Christ follower. As Paul makes clear in his letter to the Corinthians, Christianity is a historical religion tied to the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. These claims are testable, in that anyone can determine… Read more »

5 Reasons Apologists Get a Bad Rep

Sheri Bell, November 22, 2017

No one appreciates a callous apologist! Last week we started our new blog series on apologetics, which we defined as the defense of Christianity, not our apology for believing in Christ. As we also stated last week, we must be cognizant of how we come across as we share our… Read more »

Apologetics: Apologizing for Believing in God?

Sheri Bell, November 15, 2017

Our directive: “Have a ready answer for what you believe.” Contrary to what the world thinks, Jesus did not ask His followers to believe with “blind” faith. Because He didn’t need to. He wasn’t a swindler, a magician, or a con artist. He was God. He spoke the truth, and… Read more »

Useable: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, July 26, 2017

Ladies, this is the last blog post in our series exploring our true identity. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past 12 weeks! In this post we’ll talk about our being useable by God. To get there, we need to see ourselves the way God does: FORGIVEN. ACCEPTED. WANTED…. Read more »

Fully Loved: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, July 19, 2017

Ladies, in this, the eleventh blog post in our series exploring our true identity, I want to remind YOU that you are unconditionally, unceasingly, fully loved by God! You might hear these words and say, “Okay. Sure. Maybe. I guess.” But to really begin to walk in the assurance of… Read more »

Fully Forgiven: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, July 12, 2017

Ladies, in this, the tenth blog post in our series exploring our true identity, let’s remind ourselves that there is NOTHING we can do that will change God’s view of our incredible worth and value. Cindy, a 17-year-old wrote a letter to Josh once, saying: “I’m writing to you because… Read more »

Transformation Process: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, July 5, 2017

Ladies, in this, the eighth blog post in our series exploring our true identity, let’s look at the topic of transformation. God uses other believers to help us to transform our self-image, so that we are able to see ourselves as God sees us. #fullyloved #fullyforgiven #fullyunderstood In 2 Corinthians… Read more »

Pesky Feelings: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, June 21, 2017

Ladies, in this, the sixth blog post in our series exploring our true identity, I want to touch on a REALLY touchy topic: our feelings. Oh, how much trouble these pesky critters cause us! (And, don’t worry if you’re a guy reading this … Josh says he deals with it as… Read more »

Societal Influences: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, June 14, 2017

Ladies, last week in our series exploring our true identity we talked about how our parent’s view of us seriously impacted our self-portrait as we grew up. This week, let’s look at three influences outside the home that may have amplified the negative messaging we heard at home—or, conversely, overrode the God-based confidence our parents tried… Read more »

Parent Influence on Self-Worth: See Yourself As God Sees You

Sheri Bell, June 7, 2017

Ladies, in this, the fifth blog post in our series exploring our true identity, we’re going to look at a touchy subject: the influence family has on our self-worth. For good or bad, we inherit our initial perception of our identity from those who should love us the most: our… Read more »

Mistaken Identity: See Yourself as God Sees You

Sheri Bell, May 17, 2017

Ladies, in this, the second blog post in our series exploring our true identity, let’s look at whether you’re walking around with a mistaken identity. Say what??? Here’s what I mean: there is a very good chance, especially if you’re basing your self-identity and self-worth on the three cultural myths we covered last week,… Read more »

Does Science Disprove the Resurrection?

Sheri Bell, April 5, 2017

Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How does one go about finding a true answer to the question of whether Jesus did or didn’t rise from the dead? As we said when we started this blog series, a critical historian would check out the validity of the… Read more »

Resurrection Theories Debunked: Christ Rose!

Sheri Bell, March 31, 2017

Resurrection Theories Hold Merit? Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   In this, our fifth of six blog posts exploring the validity of the resurrection of Christ, we invite you to consider the factual, historical evidence that gives believers certainty that Jesus did rise from the dead, just… Read more »

Empty Tomb: Details of Christ’s Resurrection

Sheri Bell, March 22, 2017

Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the Death and Rise of Jesus Christ.   In this, our fourth of six blog posts exploring the validity of the resurrection of Christ, we invite you to consider the factual, historical evidence that gives believers certainty that Jesus rose from death, leaving behind an empty… Read more »

Burial Details of the Resurrection of Christ

Sheri Bell, March 15, 2017

Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.   In this, our third of six blog posts exploring the validity of the resurrection of Christ, we invite you to consider the factual, historical evidence that gives believers certainty that Jesus rose from the dead, just as He… Read more »

Crucifixion Details of the Resurrection of Christ

Sheri Bell, March 8, 2017

Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the Death and Rise of Jesus Christ.   In this, our second of six blog posts exploring the validity of the resurrection of Christ, we invite you to consider the factual, historical evidence that gives believers certainty that Jesus did rise from the dead, just as He promised!… Read more »

Did Jesus Really Rise From Death?

Sheri Bell, March 1, 2017

Apologetics Booklet Examines Factual Evidence of the Death and Rise of Jesus Christ.   How does one go about finding a true answer to the question of whether Jesus did or didn’t rise from the dead? A critical historian would check out the validity of the records of witnesses, confirm Jesus’… Read more »

Filling Our Three Deepest Needs in 2017

Sheri Bell, December 21, 2016

Are Our Deepest Needs Fillable?   As New Year’s Eve approaches, many of us feel the weight of expected self-reflection and new year resolutions. What’s going right in our lives? What needs to be tweaked? What’s definitely not working? Do we have the friends we want? The significant other we crave? The prestige and financial… Read more »

Cultural tolerance Wrap-Up: What Have We Learned?

Sheri Bell, December 20, 2016

As Christians, we are to reflect God’s light. With this, our thirtieth blog post on the topic of cultural tolerance, we conclude our series based on the book The Beauty of Intolerance. As Top Ten lists are so popular, let’s use that format to remind ourselves of some of the important things we’ve learned about… Read more »

Youth Morality: Cultural Tolerance and the Classroom

Sheri Bell, December 14, 2016

Christian Youth Morality Affected More by the Classroom or Parents? It’s not that our kids are rejecting Christianity, it’s that they have been influenced to define it according to their cultural setting. They are putting together their own religious canon in a smorgasbord style. Led to believe that it is better… Read more »

Santa or Jesus: Cultural Tolerance and Christmas

Sheri Bell, December 7, 2016

Santa or Jesus the Reason for the Season?  Which gives the best present ever? As we head into the Christmas season, we have the opportunity to tell the world about the greatest gift ever: the authentic, selfless, other-focused love of Jesus. Let us not, then, be silenced by cultural tolerance, which declares that it’s… Read more »

Loving: Cultural Tolerance and the Church

Sheri Bell, November 30, 2016

Is the Church loving, if it overlooks sin?  So last week I wrote about a university president who had to remind one of his students that if he felt guilt over a chapel message about loving others, the appropriate response was not to complain that the message made him squirm in his… Read more »

Emotional Maturity Stunted by Cultural Tolerance?

Sheri Bell, November 23, 2016

Yes or No to Emotional Maturity … That is the Question Did you happen to catch the recent blog post by Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University? It’s titled This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University! The short piece is a great read and packs a powerful punch at cultural tolerance. In… Read more »

Biblical Scripture: Truth or Tale?

Sheri Bell, November 16, 2016

Can we Believe What We Read in Scripture? The idea that “what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me” can lead a person to the conclusion that the moral truths from the Bible are all just a matter of opinion. But this conclusion simply reveals our confusion over the concepts of truth… Read more »

Religious Freedom: Still an American Hallmark?

Sheri Bell, November 9, 2016

Religious Freedom + Cultural Tolerance = ? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of… Read more »

Actions: Does My “Who” Determine My “Do”?

Sheri Bell, November 2, 2016

Our culturally tolerant society widely accepts the belief that our genetic disposition, lifestyle, and actions define who we are. In other words, Who I am = What I Do. Based on this narrative, who you are is inseparable from what you do and think and believe. Your identity is wrapped up in your conduct. So,… Read more »

The Bible: Just a Rule Book of “Thou Shalt Nots”?

Sheri Bell, October 26, 2016

A lot of people get hung up on what they see as the Bible’s negativity. The Bible gets a bum rap for being “negative,” for being a bunch of rules one has to follow, if God is to be good to us. God’s Word definitely contains “Thou shalt nots,” but God’s intention… Read more »

“Oh, my God!” Meaningless Expression or Power Words?

Sheri Bell, October 19, 2016

Speak God’s name with reverence. One thing missing in society today is a deep, soul-level reverence for God. We hear people utter God’s name, all day long, but they’re not actually talking to Him — or even about Him. “Oh, my God!” and “Jesus!” and “Oh, Lord!” become just meaningless expressions, convenient ways to respond to a funny… Read more »

The Need for Conviction in a Wishy-Washy World

Sheri Bell, October 12, 2016

How deep are your beliefs about God? Some kids are nearly undone by peer pressure. Especially if asked to publicly acknowledge their gratitude to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. The word “sin,” in case you haven’t noticed, has become a word to avoid, thanks to the growing influence of cultural tolerance.  So how do we help our young people… Read more »

Judge Not, When it Comes to Cultural Tolerance?

Sheri Bell, October 5, 2016

Did Jesus Say Judge Not? That is the Question. If cultural tolerance has a theme verse, it’s Matthew 7:11: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” That verse, by the way, is one of most commonly misused verses in the Bible. Christians and non-Christians alike often take it out of… Read more »

Flex Those Love Muscles, Dear Christian.

Sheri Bell, September 21, 2016

Anger Drains Your Love Power. Let it Go. We only have to look on Facebook to clearly see that many of us currently living on the planet have become extremely rude in one area: offering respect to others who don’t agree with us. Have you been “unfriended” by someone yet, for not accepting a truth that this “friend” angrily… Read more »

The Puritans Had the Right View on Sex. Just sayin’.

Sheri Bell, September 14, 2016

The Puritans Liked Sex! In the last two blog posts of our cultural tolerance series, we looked at why God designed sex to be part of marriage. We talked about the sacredness of sex, and the emotional, physical, and psychological damage we do to ourselves by engaging in sex outside of… Read more »

Sex is Sacred. We’ve Forgotten That.

Sheri Bell, September 7, 2016

Sex is a big deal. God says so. I recently Googled the Internet, looking for articles on dating. Specifically, I was searching to see what advice sources offered up as to when a young person should have sex. One article that Google offered suggested this: “The age-old question is, how long do I… Read more »

Premarital Sex: How Should Christian Parents React?

Sheri Bell, August 31, 2016

Premarital Sex: Not True Love. Teri looked at her husband, Kenton, her face distraught. Just minutes before, their daughter had dropped the bombshell that she and her college boyfriend were having sex. When her parents had voiced their disapproval, Renee had burst into tears and run from the room. “What are… Read more »

Choose, Teens: God’s Way or Yours?

Sheri Bell, August 24, 2016

We All Must Choose: God’s Way or Ours America, under God’s protection, has long enjoyed special status in the world. In part because our nation was founded on a unique Bill of Rights. Rights that have, so far, guaranteed us religious freedom. If your family happens to be active church-goers,… Read more »

The Bible: Why Our Youth Need to Know Its Truths

Sheri Bell, August 17, 2016

The Bible: Proven Truth. To be American is to embrace individual rights, right? Having been brought up to believe this, today’s young people are uncomfortable with the suggestion that there is only one universal truth. “You can believe that silliness,” they might reply. “But I’ll decide my own truth.” Because Christianity appears… Read more »

Losing Our Way, When All Ways Lead to Self

Sheri Bell, August 10, 2016

Self-truth: When Anything Goes. Sure, there are lots of churches in America. But is American still a “Christian” nation? Look around, and it’s clear to see that most people have adopted the mindset of “I will decide for myself what’s right and wrong.” And as we’re seeing, when God’s moral truth… Read more »

“Intolerant.” Teens Don’t Want the Label

Sheri Bell, August 3, 2016

The ‘Intolerant’ label hurts. But should it? OMG. It’s hard being a teen today, right? You worry about a million things, including what you look like, and how other people view you. “Do they like me?” you ask yourself. “Do they think I’m cool?” If you happen to be a Christian, you probably feel… Read more »

The Bible: My Kids Don’t See Its Relevance

Sheri Bell, July 27, 2016

Is the Bible Worth Reading?  Mary looked up at her daughter Stephanie. “Hi, Sweetie. How was your first day of college?” “Awesome, Mom! One interesting thing happened.” “What’s that?” asked Mary. She stopped sorting laundry so she could give Stephanie her full attention. “Well, I learned that the university has a… Read more »

Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance

Sheri Bell, July 20, 2016

Intolerance From Those Who Demand It.  Society would have us believe that God is a myth. That the Bible is a dusty, outdated book of stories that don’t apply to us today. That a universal truth can’t possibly exist, because every person’s viewpoint and lifestyle is valid and must be accepted.  Many… Read more »

“Hater!” What Every Parent Yearns to Hear. Not

Sheri Bell, July 13, 2016

“Hater!” is a hurtful label. “Dad!” called Chad. “Kim and I are leaving! See you later!” Todd appeared at the door of his wood shop, a stained paint brush in one hand. “Hey, kids. What’s on your agenda today?” Kim smiled. “We’re going to watch my brother run the relay in the… Read more »

Intolerant: The Perfect Word for my Parents!

Sheri Bell, July 6, 2016

Are You Tossing Out the Word “Intolerant”? “Dad!” called Chad. “Mike and I are leaving! See you later!” Todd appeared at the door of his wood shop, a stained paint brush in one hand. “Hi, Mike,” he said, smiling warmly at the tall teen standing next to his son. “Where are… Read more »

Tolerance Doesn’t Mean Tolerance

Sheri Bell, June 29, 2016

“Tolerance”: Differing Definitions. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Christian community is divided from modern culture when it comes to 1) what it means to be tolerant and intolerant; 2) who or what is to judge what is morally right and wrong; 3) what it means to accept without approving; 4)… Read more »

Why Don’t My Kids Embrace Biblical Truth?

Sheri Bell, June 22, 2016

Does Biblical Truth Still Matter? “Honey, when can we meet Tony?” “We were thinking Christmas break, Mom. But don’t worry about fixing up the guest room. We’ll share my room.” Terri’s eyes widened in shock. “Excuse me?” “Mom,” huffed Renee, “We’ve been having sex for months. We’re in love! Just… Read more »

My Parents Judge Me for My Moral Choices!

Sheri Bell, June 15, 2016

Moral Choices: What is Right and Wrong? “You’ll love him, Mom,” Renee said on her visit home from her second year in college. “He’s so considerate, and smart, and really good looking.” Terri smiled. “That’s great honey. Does he go to church with you?” Renee shook her head. “Tony’s not… Read more »

True for You, But Not For Me: What is “Truth”?

Sheri Bell, June 8, 2016

If you are like most Christian parents, grandparents, or gatekeepers of young people (perhaps you’re a pastor, youth pastor, or Christian educator), you are no doubt perplexed by a younger generation of teens and twenty somethings who seem comfortable with a value system and set of beliefs that are often… Read more »