Shirley Ralston (MACE, 2008) serves on the leadership team for the DTS-Houston Alumni Association. She is a writer, teacher, and pastor’s research team member at Houston’s First Baptist Church. She is also a founding member of the HFBC Missionary Care Team. Shirley and her husband, Jeff, reside in Houston after several years living in the Middle East and the South Pacific.

Beware the Rabbit Holes

In the opening chapter of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice tumbles down a rabbit hole, leading her to a strange and confusing world—a world far from her reality. The “rabbit hole” has become a popular metaphor used to describe time-consuming discussions that veer from their original context, especially on the Internet. Our neighborhood …

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Making Resolutions: Learning from Paul’s Instruction to Timothy

New Year’s resolutions—you love them, or you hate them. I found an unexpectedly helpful model for making resolutions in 2 Timothy 1:3–12. Paul’s reflections about the past, his description of God’s faithfulness in the present, and his encouragement about the future serve as loving reminders for Timothy to stand firm in the faith. Ken Hanna described …

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The Naked Truth

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, tells the tale of two swindlers who pose as weavers to convince an emperor they can make him a magnificent new garment. This unique garment would be visible only to those with certain intellectual enlightenment. By appealing to the emperor’s ego, they are hired. As the swindlers …

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Time Well Spent

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as …

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Be of Sound Mind

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV) Culture shock. It is unsettling for …

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An Unexpected Gift

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, …

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