Life & Faith Questions

When Life’s Got You Questioning . . .

There Are Answers!

Let's face it - life is hard.

People disappoint. Circumstances bring the unexpected. Bad things happen to really good people. Sometimes, there just doesn't seem to be any relief or any hope.

All of us are searching for a soft place to land. A savior. A helper. A confidant. Someone to walk with us through the difficult days and the sleepless nights. Someone who loves us unconditionally - even at our worst.

Sex. Alcohol. Work. Relationships. Perhaps you’ve looked to many things to fill that void. Maybe you've even tried church to find acceptance, and it didn't work out. Maybe you've been disappointed by the people in the church.

Regardless of where you've been . . . you're here now.

You’ve got tough questions - some you may not even know how to put into words. It’s okay, friend. We want you to know that you’re not alone and there are answers.

Maybe you’ve already met religion, but we’d like to introduce you to JESUS. He is the only one who can permanently fill the void in your life. He changes everything!

Start Here

Three Circles Video
where are you? 

Do you ever feel like your life is stuck in brokenness, and as hard as you try, nothing you do provides lasting relief? There is a way to move your life away from endless searching and dead ends into the way God intended it to be. There is a way out, and it's available to you right now. Check out this video to learn how your life can move away from brokenness and become just as God designed it to be. 

Have questions about what you just saw or read? Let's chat!
Have you decided to follow Jesus? Let us know!

Email Your QUestions to Pastor DanI decided to follow Jesus!

Life & Faith Questions

Do I need Jesus in my life?

How are you doing, friend? No, we’re not just asking a casual, surface-level question. We really want to know . . . how ARE you? We know it can be tough to talk about your struggles, your questions, and your fears. It’s okay - you’re not alone. Maybe life has you feeling down right now and you’re questioning if there’s something more. Maybe you’re longing for something to come along and fill what’s missing. Maybe you’re craving hope in the midst of your chaos, but you just don’t know where to turn. Maybe you’ve been trying to fight your battles alone while wishing there was a better way.

 We get it! Because we’ve all been there too . . .

But we met someone who changed our life.

We met Jesus. Now, before you start thinking, “Not this religious stuff again,” hold on for just a moment. We’re not talking about meaningless rituals with a long list of dos and don’ts. We’re talking about actually meeting Jesus - the one who can change your life!

Perhaps you’ve heard about Jesus too, or maybe you really don’t know anything about him. No matter where you’re at on your journey, or how you landed on this page, we’re just happy you’re here now to ponder the question, “Do I need Jesus in my life?” The answer to that question is more than an emphatic “yes,” but let’s go a little deeper.

Life . . . is . . . heavy.

Did the evening news last night leave you weighed down by problems, chaos, and negativity? We understand it’s really easy to feel that way because we live in a broken world, and we’re surrounded by broken people, broken relationships, and broken systems. And here’s the thing - each one of us is broken too.

Life was never supposed to be this way.

Did you know that God originally created a beautiful world where everyone and everything lived in harmony? That’s exactly right! In fact, within that perfect design, each one of us was given a purpose - to love God, to worship him, and to walk with him (Genesis 1:31a; Psalm 19:1; Matthew 22:37-38).

Sin turned what was beautiful into something broken.

Sin entered the world and made a mess of God’s perfect design. Sigh . . . we have Adam and Eve to thank for that! Sin means that we selfishly ignore God’s plan and try to do things our own way. I know we don’t like to use the ugly word “sinner” when referring to ourselves, but the Bible says that we have all sinned and that its consequence is separation from God - both now in this life and for all eternity. Friend, we’re talking about separation forever, and that’s a really long time! (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23a).

Sin never leads us to good things.

Life doesn’t work out well for us when we ignore God’s plan. We may try many different things that make us feel good for a time, but those “remedies” are only temporary and ultimately lead us down unhealthy paths. We must learn to say “no thanks” to those temporary highs and instead, find a permanent solution to our brokenness (Romans 1:25; Proverbs 14:12).

We need a Rescuer.

The good news is that God meets us exactly where we are - no matter how bad we’ve messed up. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to this world to do what each one of us could never do on our own. You know that heavy weight you’ve been carrying? You can lay it down because Jesus will carry it all. You see, he already took our sin and shame, carried it to the cross, and canceled all our debts by sacrificing his life. Yes, God loves us that much! (John 3:16; Colossians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

We must admit our need for help.

God is holding out his hand to pull us up, but we have to reach out and accept it. We must turn from trying to do things on our own, put our trust only in Jesus, and make a personal decision to live for him. Admitting our need for help? We know that’s not easy, friend, but it’s SO worth it! Why? Because Jesus promises to save us and turn our life in a new direction (Mark 1:15; Ephesians 2:8-9).

 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

(Want to know more about accepting Jesus as your Rescuer? Read the post below called How do I get to Heaven?)

Accepting help leads us to something beautiful.

Our relationship with God is restored and he gives us renewed hope and purpose in the middle of this crazy world. Jesus is our friend who walks with us at all times, and when we fall, he will help us to get up once again. He never leaves us to do this life alone. Now, how comforting is that? (Hebrews 13:8; John 10:10).

(You likely still have questions about what a life with Jesus looks like. To learn more, read the posts below called I’ve accepted Jesus. Now what? and What does a new life in Jesus look like?)

So, the answer is simple, friend . . .

We need Jesus because our world is broken. We need Jesus because WE are broken. We need Jesus because this life is messy and we can’t do it on our own. And we need Jesus because he is the only one who can make us new.

The love of Jesus changes everything, transforms lives, and gives hope. If you would like to learn more about finding that hope, we would love to come alongside you on your journey. You’re welcome here at Berean, and you’re invited to come as you are.

Still have questions? We’d love to grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and chat as long as you need, or we can answer your questions by email or phone - whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Even if you don't live near Berean, we would love to share more with you about the hope you can find in Jesus.

Connect with us here to start the conversation today!

How do I get to Heaven? 

Another day. Another headline in the news. Another shocking post on Facebook. Another thing in our world is spiraling out of control . . .

This world is crazy. This life is crazy. And friend, I’m guessing your day-to-day might feel a little bit crazy too.

Do you find yourself longing for something certain? You know, something sure that you can put your hope in now and even when you’re gone? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s something better after this life? Something far better than what you’ve experienced on this earth? Is Heaven even for real? If so, how do you get there?

Well, we’ve got some good news. Actually, it’s not just good or even great news. It’s the BEST news ever - and it’s for you!

Heaven is for real and there’s space for YOU.

The Bible says that there is an awesome place prepared for each one of us in Heaven. But, hold on, there is one catch. We must reserve our spot by accepting Jesus as our personal Savior. Are you a good person? Well . . . that’s great, but it won’t get you to Heaven. In fact, no amount of good things you do will ever get you there. The truth is there are many very good people who will spend forever in Hell because they did not accept Jesus. It’s like they did all the good things to prepare for the show, but they didn’t make their reservation (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:4; Psalm 16:11; Romans 10:13; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:46).

So, how do you get to Heaven?

It’s not as complicated as you may think. Let’s take a look:

  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner. Who . . . me? Yes - you and us too! We are all sinners. We have all made mistakes. At times, we’ve all pushed God aside to do things our own way (Romans 3:23).
  • Acknowledge that your sin separates you from God. Sin leaves you lost. Sin leaves you broken. And if you let it continue, sin will keep you separated from God both now in this life and for all eternity. Wow, eternity is a really long time, friend (Romans 6:23a). 
  • Realize that Jesus is your only hope. God meets you in your mess, and he made the only way for you to come to him - through Jesus, his Son (Romans 6:23b; John 14:6).
  • Believe that God loves you and sent his only Son to die on the cross to save you. Wait. Read that again to let it actually sink in. God gave his only Son as a sacrifice to cover ALL your sin and cancel ALL your debt. Yes, he loves you THAT much (Romans 5:8).
  • Make a personal decision to accept and follow Jesus. This happens when you turn from your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you, and invite him into your heart and life. This is all between you and Jesus. Nobody else can make the decision for you (Romans 10:9; John 3:16).
  • Realize that salvation does not come from any good works of your own. Have you ever heard of grace? It's receiving favor and mercy that we don’t deserve. Now, it may not be all that common in our society today, but grace is what Jesus is all about. Salvation is a free gift from God. You don’t have to strive for it. You don’t have to earn it. Just open your heart and accept it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • Realize that anyone can receive this free gift by calling on Jesus’ name. You are not disqualified because of anything in your past. You know that thing that keeps you up at night? That big mistake you made? It doesn’t exclude you from grace. Not one single thing can stop God’s love from reaching you (Romans 10:13).
  • Realize that nothing can separate you from God’s love. Once you let God’s love find you and save you, nothing can take it away. Your hope is secure in Jesus’ finished work on the cross (Romans 8:38-39).

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

Want to talk to someone about Jesus?

Still have questions? Feeling a bit unsure? We’ve got you, friend! We’ve been in your shoes and we know that making decisions like this can feel scary. We want you to know you’re not alone. We’d love to grab a coffee and sit down for a chat. Or, we can answer your questions by email or phone - whatever makes you feel comfortable. You matter, and we will talk as long as you need. Just email us here to start the conversation. 

Want to accept Jesus right now?

If you’re ready, there’s no need to wait! You can accept Jesus from the comfort of your own home or wherever you may be. There doesn’t have to be a perfect moment. What matters is that you make a personal decision to follow him. 

This prayer will help to guide you.

Dear God, I acknowledge that I am a sinner lost in brokenness and that because of my sin I am separated from you. But I believe that you sent your only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay for all my sins and forgive me so that I can have a new life in you. I invite you to come into my heart and into my life to save me. Transform me from the inside out. I want to live for you! Amen.

Be bold. Don’t keep a secret!

If you invited Jesus into your life, we’d love to hear about it! Remember, it’s not about praying a quick, simple prayer and then plowing through life the same way you did before. You’ve just met the Creator of the Universe, friend! And guess what? He wants to walk with you and totally transform you to do amazing things in and through you. 

Connect with us here and let us know about your new decision to follow Jesus. We’d love to celebrate with you and help you start on this new path with Jesus as your guide. You’re also invited to join us for worship. Can’t attend in person? You’re always welcome online. And remember, if you’ve found Jesus, don’t keep him to yourself. Share the Good News with all those around you. It’ll change their life!

Get ready for the journey of a lifetime!

What does a new life in Jesus look like? 

Still pondering, friend? Still trying to decide if you’re going to take the leap and accept Jesus? Well, we certainly can’t make that decision for you, but we can tell you that it’s totally worth it! Jesus takes what is broken and transforms it into meaning and purpose. He takes your mess and turns it into a message. He takes your old life and gives you a new life in him.

Now, a new life in Jesus does not mean that things are easy. Your problems don’t suddenly go away. Your life doesn’t become perfect. And that long list of wishes? Well, you still won’t get everything that you want. But what it does mean is that you have a Savior and a Friend walking with you and a true joy and peace to fill your heart no matter what comes your way. Let’s dive a little deeper!

Life is SO MUCH better with Jesus.

So, what DOES life with Jesus look like?

As you get to know him, you will learn some beautiful truths that can change your life.

Yes, they actually are true and they are found in the Bible - God’s letter to you. So, as you read them, come to believe them, embrace them, and live them. You won’t regret it!

  • God created you and he knows you better than anyone. Do you ever truly wonder where you came from? You were created by God. His hands made you. And not just that - you were made in his image and you are fully known by him. You matter to him. Actually, he’s crazy about you (Psalm 139:13-14).

  • God loves you unconditionally. He gave you his love as a free gift. And you know what? It’ll always be there. You don’t have to earn it. You don’t have to fight for it. You don’t have to wonder if it will change over time. Nope, not even close! God’s love has no limits, and nothing can ever take it away (Romans 8:37-39).

  • God gives you a family. He calls you a son or a daughter. Do you ever just want to fit in? You know, have one place that you for sure belong? There is a place for you in the family of God. You are his child (2 Corinthians 6:18).

  • God gives you a true friend. You can talk to him anywhere and anytime about anything. His line is never busy. You are never a bother to him. So let it all pour out, friend. Hold nothing back. Share what’s in your heart . . . because he wants to hear it! And when you do, you will come to know him and his love on a deeper level yet (Hebrews 4:16).

  • God sets you free. Have something heavy on your heart? Whatever burdens you are carrying, you can lay them down at the feet of Jesus. Yes, we truly mean whatever! Whatever worry, whatever mistake, whatever fear, whatever pain, whatever mess you have - you can lay it all at his feet. And guess what? You can leave it there. You never have to pick it up again because God carries it all on his shoulders. Life shouldn’t be heavy. Let God make it light! (Romans 8:1-2).

  • God guides and protects you. As you talk to him in prayer and study the Bible, he watches over you continually and grants wisdom through all of life’s twists and turns. He sees you. He knows the paths that you are pondering. He knows what you are up against. And through it all, he promises to lead you in the way that is best for you (Psalm 119:105).

  • God is your rock and steady anchor. In a world that is full of artificial relationships and digital lists of “friends,” God is a forever faithful friend. Who needs 10,000 on Facebook when you can have the One who stays? People will change. Circumstances will change. But God always remains the same. He will never leave you. He is your Rock that can’t be moved. He gives a peace that surpasses what you’re going through (Hebrews 13:8).

  • God gives you value and worth. The world may try to define you, but it is the love of Jesus that gets to define your story and assign your worth. Tune out the noise of the world and put God’s truth on the playlist of your heart. Embrace your identity in him because he calls you worthy (Luke 12:6-7).

  • God has a future prepared for you. He’s got a plan, friend, and it’s a big one! And you know what? He wants you to be part of it! You have unique talents. You have special abilities. You have a personality that was given specifically to you. God is able to use it all far beyond what you could imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

  • God gives you a beautiful inheritance and a hope that never fades away. When you invite him to be part of your life, he saves you and prepares for you an eternal home in Heaven. You know all those other things you crave in this life? Well, eventually, they will all fade away. But the confidence you can have is this - the hope and foundation you have in Jesus will stand forever (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Live the new life - together!

Just as Jesus wants to bring you into a personal relationship with him, he desires you to connect and live in community with those around you. You’re invited to Berean because we want to do this life with you, friend! You will find others to walk with you, encourage you, and cheer you on as well.

And, if you still have questions, we’re here for those too. We’d love to pull up a chair and chat over coffee. Or, we can talk by email or phone - whatever makes you feel most comfortable. What matters is that you’re not alone.

Email us here to start the conversation today!

I've accepted Jesus. Now what?

Friend, however you’ve come to faith in Jesus, we couldn’t be more excited for you. You’ve made the most important decision of your life -  and that’s amazing news!

But maybe you’re feeling fantastic and a bit overwhelmed all at the same time. Perhaps you’re asking, “Where do I go from here? What does this all mean?” We get it! We’ve all felt that way too.

Your next steps are to pursue Jesus. Sounds simple, right? But here’s the thing. While following Jesus has some one-time, definitive steps, it also requires continuous, daily actions. It’s a daily choice. A daily commitment. A daily vow to keep believing, trusting, and growing - it’s a journey!

Because a journey is always better together, we're right here with you. So, even if you feel a little bit shaky, let’s jump right in!

Celebrate what God has done for you.

When you accept Jesus, that’s a reason to celebrate! Share your decision with others by following Jesus in baptism. For a new Christian, baptism is the first step in obedience after salvation. It’s a beautiful picture of what God has done for you. Your life has been changed. You’ve been made new. God has done amazing things. Why wouldn’t you want to share that? To learn more about baptism and how you can be baptized at Berean, click here.

Find your place, because YOU are needed.

You were never meant to do this life alone. Join a local church and go all in. Church membership isn’t some old-school thing. In today’s low-commitment culture, it makes a powerful statement of your decision to follow Christ.

Once you join a church, get plugged in to a Small Group. These smaller gatherings make a large church feel small by deepening connections and fostering friendships. Encourage one another. Laugh together. Cry together. Cheer one another on in your faith. Just do life together. Why? Because life’s better when you’re together! To learn more about church membership at Berean click here or to find a Small Group click here.

Discover the true friend you have in Jesus.

Have you ever had a friendship with someone you didn’t talk to regularly? Maybe you had a surface-level relationship, but how about a deep one? It’s difficult to build something meaningful if you don’t interact on a regular basis. The same is true of your relationship with Jesus.

Did you know that Jesus is crazy about you? Did you know that he can’t wait for you to connect with him? Did you know that he cares about everything you’re going through?

He sees you. He loves you. He feels what you are feeling. You matter to him and he wants to hear everything that matters to you. So, talk to him just as you would your best friend because that’s exactly who he is!

Dive deep into God’s Word, the Bible, to learn more about his character, his promises, his plans, and his purpose. Need a Bible? We’ll help you get one. We know that reading the Bible can appear daunting at first, but don’t get bogged down by the size of it! Unsure where to begin? The book of John is a great place to start. Don't worry. There’s no rule about how much you have to read at a time. Start by taking in small doses of truth, and as you read, you just might find yourself with a hunger for more!

Share your hope with a world that is hurting.

If you just received the best news of your life, you certainly wouldn’t keep it to yourself. So, why keep Jesus to yourself? Why hide the light that now radiates hope in your heart? Share the story of what God has done for you. Bless others with his love by coming alongside them, caring for them, and listening to them - in your church, in your community, and around the world! Find ways to serve at Berean or in the surrounding area. Wherever you are, you can make an impact!

We’re here for you. Let’s chat!

We really mean it, friend. You don’t have to do this life alone. We want to walk with you on this new journey, cheer you on, and support you. We’d love to pull up a chair over coffee or answer your questions by email or phone - whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

Start the conversation today by emailing us here. We can’t wait to connect with you!

Am I enough?

Have you ever asked yourself this question, friend? Once? Twice? Maybe even a hundred times? In a society of picture-perfect Instagram photos and embellished realities, it’s no wonder we lie awake at night with this question on repeat. Our culture of comparison leaves us feeling inadequate, or at the very least, less than.

It’s exhausting . . .

Your status at work, your level of education, the size of your house, the shape of your figure, the number of “followers” you have, the amount of money in your bank account. Ugh . . . our society certainly sets the bar high, doesn’t it?

So, how are you feeling? No, really, how’s this all working out for you? Feeling tired? Maybe even exhausted? We know that feeling well because we’ve been there too. So, what do we do? Strive every day to measure up? Or, is there a better way?

There’s a better way, but it’s not your way.

Want to know the truth, friend? You’re not enough. In fact, none of us is - at least not on our own. You see, without Jesus, we’re all broken. We’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23). We’ve all made our share of mistakes. That puts us all on an equal playing field from the very beginning. With God, there is no status of high, low, or somewhere in between. We all need him just the same.

The good news is that when we accept Jesus, he makes all things new, gives us a secure identity, and makes us enough - in him!  

Don’t look around . . . look up!

Stop looking around at everyone else to determine your worth. Instead, look up to Jesus! He tells you who you really are. Whenever you begin to doubt your enoughness, remind yourself of these powerful truths:

  • You are wonderfully created. Did you know that before you were even born, God carefully planned exactly who you would be? You are part of his design. You were crafted by his loving hands for a purpose. You are his masterpiece. Embrace who God made you to be because no part of you is a mistake (Psalm 139:13-17).

  • You are beautifully unique. Stop comparing your appearance, abilities, or achievements to those around you. You’re not supposed to be just like someone else. Remember, friend, an original is always better than a copy! God gave you special gifts that are unique to you (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

  • You are noticed and known. You do not need to strive for your status. You do not have to long to be seen. God always sees you and knows you. You are never overlooked or cast to the side (Psalm 139:1-7).

  • You are loved and accepted. Your acceptance is not based on who you are, what you’ve done, or even where you are going. God’s love is so much different. It does not keep a record of rights and wrongs. It meets you right where you are - mess and all! It welcomes you with open arms (1 John 3:1a).

  • You have a purpose. You were created to be part of God’s bigger plan. God doesn’t look at your list of experience, achievements, or credentials as defined by society. Rather, he simply desires your surrender. When your heart is open to him, he can use your life in ways you could never imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

  • You are worth it. Jesus could have looked at your mistakes and shortcomings and chosen to walk away. Instead, he lovingly looked at your weaknesses and gave his life to cover them all. He died on the cross to cancel your debts and welcome you into his family. Believe it! Because you are worth it to him (Romans 5:6-8).

What will your choice be?

You can let this crazy world define you, or you can let Jesus assign your identity. Friend, it is only the love of Jesus that truly matters and gets to define your story and assign your worth.

Decide today to find your value, not in what is temporal, but in what is eternal - the promises of God! (2 Corinthians 4:18).

(If you’d like to learn more about finding Jesus and making him a true part of your life, read the article above called Do I need Jesus in my life?)

YOUR story matters and YOU belong.

There’s a place for you here at Berean! No matter your story or your experience with church, you are welcome here.

Berean is a community of hope where the love of Jesus defines our story and transforms lives. You will find a family who will love you, encourage you, and walk alongside you on your journey. 

Have questions? Let’s grab a coffee and chat! Or, we can talk by email or phone - whatever makes you most comfortable. Even if you don’t live in the area, we would love to connect with you. Email us today to begin the conversation.

Remember, you matter and you are enough - in Jesus!

Does anyone love me?

Life has hit you hard. Some you trusted have let you down. Some you really loved have disappointed. Some you faithfully stood by have even walked away. Some have changed. Some have left. And you’re trying to sort through it all. It’s lonely. It’s heavy. It’s hard.

You’re questioning if real love exists because, well, you’ve just been hurt too many times. Maybe you’ve been the recipient of conditional “love.” You know, the kind that says, “You do this and then I’ll love you.” Perhaps you’ve had a feelings-based “love” -  the kind that says, “I’ll love you when I feel like it.” Maybe you’ve only experienced physical “love” with no real connection. Or, perhaps you’ve had a “love” based only on words with few actions to back them up.

We all crave love, but what is it? What is it supposed to look like? Where should we look for it? And . . . does anyone actually love us?

Well, we have some great news, friend, and we hope you’ll stick around for it!

True love exists and it’s for YOU!

There is a love that is true. There is a love that chooses you. And there is a love that goes against what you’ve experienced in our culture and in our times.

This kind of love . . . you don’t have to wish for it. You don’t have to fight for it. You don’t even have to look for it, because it has already found you.

This love is the radiantly authentic love of God. Now, before you dismiss this as just another crazy, religious idea, why not try God’s love to see if he’s different? Why not actually experience him for yourself? He just might surprise you!

So, what is this love all about?

The characteristics of God’s love could more than fill a thick book, but let’s consider just a few:

  • God’s love is proven. God said that he loves you and you can know for sure that he does because his words were supported by actions. They were not meaningless fluff or flattery but proven to be true when he gave his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to save you (1 John 3:16a).

  • God’s love is sacrificial. It’s a strange concept, friend. We get it because we’re so used to a culture that always says “me first.” But you know what? God put US first. He didn’t pursue his own agenda. He didn’t seek his own comforts. He didn’t dwell on his own needs. He saw US . . . and he gave it all to save us (1 John 4:10).

  • God’s love forgives. I’m sure you have that one person in your life. You know, the one who keeps a mental checklist of all your offenses? The one who plots to repay you for all your wrongs? The one who won't just let it go? Well, God’s love is so much different. That mess you’ve made? He wipes it clean and gives you a fresh start. He doesn’t remember your mistakes. He never holds grudges. And he doesn’t seek to retaliate (Micah 7:18).

  • God's love sets you free. You are not a prisoner of your past, present, or future. Nothing you have done nor anything you will ever do can change how God feels about you. He breaks your chains. He lifts your load. He sets you free! (Romans 8:1-2).

  • God’s love is strong. We know it’s hard for you to trust, friend, because that relationship you had crumbled when put to the test. But God’s love never fails. That’s a promise. Through your most difficult days. Through your darkest nights. God’s love remains faithful through them all (Romans 8:38-39).

  • God’s love pursues you. No matter how far you fall from him, he never stops seeking you. He looks for you when you’re lost, and he is there to rejoice when you return. He is there to comfort you, to heal your pain, and to bring you back to where you need to be (Ezekiel 34:15-16).

  • God’s love is steady. It doesn’t change depending on his feelings or his mood. It’s not based on the things you do or don’t do. His love is sure and constant, never changing from one day to the next. What you see is what you get. You can always count on him (Hebrews 13:8).

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

  • God’s love is pure. He loves you simply because love is who he is. Love is the very essence of his nature. His love has no hidden agenda or ulterior motives. It’s not about what he can get from you, but rather about the authentic relationship he desires to have with you (1 John 4:7-8; 1 John 1:5).

  • God’s love is patient. He doesn’t give up on you when you don’t measure up or when you make mistakes. He faithfully walks beside you, even when you have questions, doubts, and fears. He is slow to anger and quick to show mercy (Psalm 86:15).

  • God’s love always protects. As you come to know him more, you will learn that his love cares for you and provides you with wisdom. You are safe in his love. Are you still fighting anxiety from that past relationship? Rest assured, friend. There is never a reason to fear in the loving arms of God (1 John 4:18a).

  • God’s love provides. Will he give you everything you want? Well, no, he’s not going to do that. But he will always take care of everything you need. He sees all your cares and concerns, and he’s right there in the midst of them all (Matthew 6:25-26).

  • God’s love satisfies. Still feeling broken by a relationship that didn’t work out? It’s okay, friend, because God’s love will never leave you lacking anything. His love alone can complete you. He can satisfy every longing in your heart (Psalm 107:9).

  • God’s love has no end. His love does not fail when you pass through the storms, nor does it fade as time goes by. It is always faithful and withstands any challenge that comes its way. It never loses hope. It always perseveres. It stands the test of time (Lamentations 3:22-23).

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Start living loved!

Want to learn more about God's love? You’re invited to Berean! We’d love to share with you more about the One who loves you and will never leave your side. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, or what anyone’s told you before. You are loved. You are worth it to God. And you are wanted here!

If you’d like to chat more, we’d love to grab a coffee and answer any questions you may have. Or, we can chat by email or phone, whatever makes you most comfortable. Email us here to start the conversation today.

God’s love is all of these things and so much more. It’s the greatest gift that you could ever receive. But don’t just take our word for it.

Experience God for yourself and start living loved!

What is my purpose?

Ten thousand followers. A picture-perfect feed. A post that’s gone viral. It’s what we all want, right? We want to be an influencer. Well, okay, maybe we don’t all want to be a social media star, but we all want our lives to matter, right? We want to make a difference. We want to be needed. We wish for the effort we make every day to bring value, not just to our own lives, but also to those around us. And, in some way, we just want to make an impact.

But, we grow discouraged by the routine. We feel stuck in the mundane. We lose our sense of direction. And, well, we begin to feel empty.

Is that you, friend? Are you trying to find your place? Are you wondering why you are even here? Are you striving to better yourself with the hope of stumbling upon what you were made to do? We’ve been there too because deep inside each and every one of us is the longing for purpose.

Can we let you in on a little secret?

Your purpose is not a mystery. You’re making the quest for meaning so complicated when in reality the answer is right at your fingertips. Really, we’re not kidding, friend! It’s actually quite simple. Did you know that the Bible is God’s love letter to you and your guide for navigating this life? That’s exactly right, and within its pages, you can find exactly why you are here. You can walk with great assurance that you indeed have an extraordinary purpose!

You are here in THIS time and THIS place for a reason.

You are here because God created you. He has all your days carefully mapped out. He chose the day that you would come into this world and he knows exactly the day that you will leave. Think about it, friend. There is an exact window of time that he wanted you here - not too early and not too late (Psalm 139:15-16).

He needs you right where you are. That one who is fighting loneliness? He needs you here to be their friend. That one who is feeling lost? He needs you here to share hope. That precious child? He needs you here to be their mother or father. That person you’re doing life with?  He needs you to be an encouraging spouse. That company down the road?  He needs you for that job. That neighbor going through a tough time? He needs you to love them. He needs you to stand up and fight for that cause in your community. He needs you to share a smile with that stranger who longs to be seen.

He still has tasks for you to accomplish, people for you to meet, jobs for you to do, and encouragement for you to give. He still has good things for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). Do you have breath in your lungs? Then you are here for a reason!

You are here to be part of a bigger plan.

Matthew 22:37-38 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Do you see it, friend? These simple verses share your primary purpose on this earth. You are to love God with every part of your being and to walk with him. He is a relational God and he desires a personal relationship with you. He gave you the ability to love, laugh, wish, think, hope, care, and feel. He made you with all the qualities necessary to build meaningful relationships, not just with those around you, but also with him.

He wants you to talk to him as you would your best friend, to seek his help and guidance, and to live your life in a way that points others to him. Because you know what? He can use you far beyond what you could ever imagine. He has a bigger plan for this crazy world and he wants you to be a part of it!

You are here to be a light.

Matthew 22:39 says that the secondary purpose for your life on this earth is to “love your neighbor as yourself.

As you learn to love Jesus, he will infuse you with a love for others. He desires to use you as a vessel of hope to a world that is hurting. Many are lost and confused. Many are battling loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Many are searching for the light, but they don’t know where to find it. YOU can show them the way. YOU can be a light in the darkness. YOU can point them to the One who will change their life.

So, embrace your purpose. It’s right here and right now!

You see, the purpose for your life is actually quite simple: Love God with every part of your being and then go love others as best as you can with that same kind of love.

Stop waiting. Stop wishing. Stop stressing. Stop searching. Your plan is happening right here and right now. You’re exactly where you need to be.

Discover a place to grow in your purpose.

Want to go deeper? You’re invited to Berean! Here you will find a place to connect, deepen your knowledge of Jesus Christ, and become equipped to walk in him and share his light. You will also find others to cheer you on no matter where you’re at on your journey.

Have questions? We’d love to talk! Let’s grab a coffee or chat by email or phone - whatever makes you feel comfortable. Email us here to start the conversation today.

We can’t wait to grow with you!

Is there hope for my depression? 

Sadness. Anxiousness. Hopelessness. Sleepless nights. Is that you right now, friend?

What’s on your mind? Is it the mess at home? A strained relationship? A health crisis? A toxic work environment? Or, perhaps it’s the loss of a loved one, a prolonged period of stress, loneliness, the trauma of an abusive past, or an uncertain future.

The causes of depression are many. Sometimes even unknown. But what is certain is that this is real. You know how you feel. You just want it to go away, but you don’t know what to do. You’ve been criticized for it, shamed for it, and told to just “get over it.”

We want you to know we’re here for you. We’re not medical doctors or mental health professionals, but we care about you. And guess what? Help is available.

This life is hard. We get it. We struggle too. But though we know this life can hurt, we also know that there is hope - and this hope is for you!

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.

In fact, God created you with feelings and emotions. He gave you the ability to feel joy and also to feel pain. To smile as well as to cry. To jump for joy and to let the tears freely fall. It’s okay. Nobody can be happy all the time. Even Jesus himself displayed emotions including, at times, sadness (John 11:35; Luke 19:41; Hebrews 5:7). It’s okay for you to feel all your emotions too.

But persistent sadness may be a warning flag.

Everything in this life has a time or a season. Moments come and they go. So, too, do our emotions. Just like our moments of happiness do not last forever, our times of sadness shouldn’t either. The Bible says that our sadness should only be for a time or for a season and that joy can be restored at the dawn of a new day (Ecclesiastes 3:4; Psalm 30:4-5).

There is a difference between sadness and depression.

Sometimes your sadness may begin to heal once you recognize the cause of your feelings, acknowledge them, and seek a safe outlet to talk about them. Perhaps what you need is simply to talk to someone you trust - a confidential, caring friend who is willing to listen – so that you can express what’s going on. Maybe more than anything, you just need a non-judgmental person who will show up and walk with you.

But other times, your sadness seems to have no end, and you feel that no matter what you try it won’t go away. It just feels like there’s no hope. This kind of sadness is depression. The degrees of depression vary from mild to severe. If you are feeling hopeless, and your depression is impacting your life in a very real and negative way, it is time to seek help.

It’s okay to seek professional help.

Friend, we know that depression is very real. We know it hurts, and we in no way want to downplay its seriousness. Just as you would for any other illness, there are times it’s wise to seek the help of a medical professional for depression. It’s okay to talk to a doctor, a counselor, or a mental health professional. There’s no shame in that. Email us here. We’d love to chat and get you connected with someone who can help.

There is also someone who can change your life.

When nothing around you brings joy, there is Jesus. Allowing Jesus into your life is the best decision you can ever make. When you find him, he gives a joy that goes deeper than your circumstances. He gives a hope that is above anything you are going through. He promises that the trials of this life will one day fade away and that he will wipe away every tear from your eyes.

Now, it doesn’t mean this life will be easy, but because of Jesus’ promise you have a forever hope to which you can cling.

Jesus will always remain the same, and no matter who or what changes around you, he will never walk away from you (Revelation 21:4; Psalm 16:8-9; Romans 15:13; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 13:8). Be sure to read the articles above to find out more about this Jesus and how he can change your life.

Write these truths on your heart and remind yourself daily.

You can be intentional about filling your mind with good things. Try these affirmations to fight back against your depression:

  • God cares about my suffering (Psalm 34:18).
  • God will never leave me alone (Isaiah 43:2).
  • God’s love for me never changes (Romans 8:38-39).
  • God defines me; my depression doesn’t (Psalm 139:14).
  • God still has good things planned for me (Ephesians 2:10).
  • God is going to help me get through this (Psalm 46:1).

You don’t have to face your depression alone.
Asking for help? We know that’s not easy, but it is SO worth it! We really mean it. You don’t have to go through this alone. Whether you’re seeking the help of a professional, needing to talk to someone who will listen, or wanting to learn more about Jesus, we’re here for you!

No matter what you’ve been told in the past. No matter how others have made you feel. We want you to know that you are loved just as you are. You’re not a bad person. You’re not less than because of what you’re going through.

And you should never be ashamed to talk about your struggles. After all, we’re all only human and we certainly have struggles too.

At Berean, we would love to walk with you through this journey. Let’s chat over coffee or by email or phone - whatever makes you feel most comfortable. This is a safe space for you to share. We’ll keep things confidential. We’ll listen with love. And we’ll stay through it all.

Email us here to start the conversation today!

Should I just end it all?

Life is hard right now. In fact, it’s really hard.

Something happened. Something has left you with intense emotional pain. You’re feeling stressed. Depressed. Hopeless. Alone. Empty. Maybe unfair things happened. Things you didn’t expect, cause or deserve. Your life is a mess - or at least it feels that way. You feel like no one cares. You just want an escape. Maybe you even want to end it all . . .

There is no doubt about it - this life is hard. But friend, before you let depression win, please read this page to the end. We’re not here to just give you a sweet pep talk about life. We’re here to point you to help, hope, truth, and light.

Suicide is a permanent decision.

It’s irreversible. Once done, there is no going back. Not only is it permanent for you, but its permanence is also deeply felt by those you leave behind. Whether it’s a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a coworker, everyone who takes their own life leaves someone behind. Suicide not only takes your own life, but it also tragically affects the lives of all those around you.

Don’t make a permanent decision over a temporary feeling.

No matter how hopeless you feel, no feeling can last forever. Feelings are like waves. They flow strong and then later they subside. They come again, and then they go. They are always up and down. Don’t ever make a major life decision when you’re feeling down. You can’t think logically or clearly when you’re depressed. Wait until the strong emotions subside so you can fully process what you’re doing. If you find yourself in a really long season of depression, seek help right away (more on that below).

Remove anything that is not safe for you in this state.

If you’re fighting thoughts of suicide, take away everything you can think of that might allow you to make an impulsive decision to take your life. Whether it be pills, other drugs, weapons, a particular setting or situation, or even aloneness. Avoid the places that might become triggers. Spend as much time as possible in busy places if being alone is a risk. Do whatever it takes to remove the factors that would make it easy for you to hurt yourself. Find safe family members or friends and make them aware of your struggle. Let them know you may need them just to be present if you ask.

Focus on ending your pain, not your life.

You do not have to die to take away your pain.

We mean it! There is a much better way.

Seek help. It is ALWAYS available.

Seek out someone you can trust and tell them exactly how you are feeling. All you need is one. And if you’re unsure who to ask? We will be that one for you! That’s right. Here at Berean, we’re committed to walking alongside you. We will calmly listen with love and understanding. We will extend grace and empathy. We will strive to comfort and guide. We will let you know that you’re not alone. Sometimes all you need is someone who will listen. We want you to know that we will.

The Bible commands us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and we take that very seriously. Why? Because life is far better when we do it together. God created us to live in relationship with one another. Doing life together makes the load a little bit lighter and the joy a whole lot greater.

We’ll do everything we can to help you through this, and we’ll assist you in getting professional help if needed too. We’ll help you find and make the contacts you need for a doctor, a counselor, or another resource that can help.

Realize that your life has tremendous value.

You are not your anxiety. You are not your depression. You are not your illness. You are not whatever it is that you’re feeling or going through. It doesn’t define you - God does! And God says you are:

  • Loved (Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 4:9-11)
  • Beautifully created (Psalm 139:13-17)
  • Valued (Matthew 10:31)
  • Chosen (John 15:16)
  • Here for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Jeremiah 29:11)

God's plan for your life is far greater than you could ever possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20). It is far bigger than whatever it is you’re feeling at this moment.

Don’t take your own life! Help is available. You matter. Your life has value. And you are loved JUST as you are. Never forget that.

And whenever you need reminding, we’re here for that too. We’d love to chat over coffee or by email or phone - whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

Email us here to start the conversation today!

Need immediate help?

Call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are NEVER alone.

Should I get a divorce?

You’re no longer happy in your marriage. When you got married, maybe you were misguided into thinking that it would be a bed of roses - a cakewalk.

After all, you were madly in love. This person was your soulmate - how could anything go wrong, right?

But after you’d been together for some time, life happened and you grew comfortable. Before you knew it, you’d drifted apart and you were left wondering how you even got there. And now? There’s been conflict, perhaps even betrayal. You’ve been deeply hurt and you’re not sure you want to stick it out . . .

If that’s you, friend, and you’re actively considering divorce, we encourage you to think about a few questions first. We can’t make the decision for you, but we’d like to at least give you some thoughts to consider.

Have you thought about this decision seriously?

Divorce is not something that should be rushed. It’s a life-altering decision that should not be taken lightly. In fact, it’s not a one-time decision as much as it is a whole new journey. It is not only husband and wife who are affected, but children and extended family members as well. It has implications for friendships, finances, and all future family activities and gatherings. The price of divorce is high - emotionally, mentally, relationally, and financially.

Have you realized divorce is not a quick solution to your problems?

Divorce does not suddenly fix everything that’s wrong. It’s a process that will engage you with your spouse for years–even decades–after the formal litigation has been finished. You will always be connected to your spouse in some way, especially if you have children. These relationships can be complex and often quite stressful. In the midst of a divorce, you can choose to be civil and kind, but it is up to you and your spouse to determine if that will happen.

Have you considered your reasons for wanting a divorce?

The Bible describes marriage as a sacred union ordained by God (Mark 10:9). Did you know that God didn’t create marriage just to make us happy? In fact, he created it to be a beautiful covenant reflecting his relationship with the Church (Ephesians 5:25-33). We should not break the marriage bond just because it feels right in the moment or aligns with our hasty personal wants.

What are your reasons for wanting a divorce? Are you just not feeling it anymore and hoping for an escape from a problem?

The truth is that we won’t always feel in love with our spouse.

But, just as God chooses to love us in our imperfections, we too can choose to love our spouse even when things aren’t perfect. When we choose love over momentary feelings, it gives true hope for restoring a relationship.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re considering divorce because your marriage truly is damaging you - or maybe it has even become unsafe. There are certain behaviors that should never be condoned. If you are suffering abuse or betrayal from your spouse, the price of your safety or sanity may be a cost that is unbearable and unwise. In that case, divorce is sometimes the best decision.

Have you had healthy expectations from your marriage?

The grass will be greener on the other side - at least that’s what we like to tell ourselves. But if you’re trying to leave your marriage because you think it will be better “over there,” then you will most likely be disappointed. The truth is that no marriage is immune to disagreements and imperfections. Marriage is not always going to be a fairytale or Hollywood romance.

All marriages take work, care, forgiveness, and intentionality. Remember, anything of value is worth fighting for and requires consistent nurturing and attention.

Have you done your part?

Have you tried to show grace and understanding to your spouse? Have you listened with an open mind to what’s on their heart? Have you tried to walk in their shoes? Have you prayed for your spouse and asked them how you can make the marriage better? Have you done the hard work of examining how you have contributed to the tension? Are you genuinely willing to forgive, reconcile, and restore? Now, does your spouse always deserve that? Probably not. But if you go the extra mile, and respond with kindness rather than spite, it can go a long way.

Every marriage takes two. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to make things right, your spouse will still ultimately want to proceed with divorce. At least in the end you can know you tried your very best.

Have you sought help?

Before dissolving your marriage union, have you considered your options to get help? Serious, skilled, and wise counsel can often identify the real issues leading to divorce and help you work through them. Seek help prior to any legal proceedings. With understanding and listening, many couples find hope and forgiveness and acquire new skills to renew their relationship.

Have you also reached out to God?

Every marriage needs support – a solid foundation. God is there, and he understands your heartache, fear, and raw emotions. Your church, your pastor, or a Small Group can also help to nurture you through the darkness. You don’t have to do this alone. God’s love and wisdom are right there with you (Hebrews 4:16).

The choice is ultimately yours, but we’re here to walk with you.

At Berean, it is our sincere desire to cheer you on in your marriage, to walk with you through periods of darkness and hurt, and to see your marriage renewed and restored to the fullest. However, we’ve never walked in your shoes.

Only you and God know what has truly happened in your home behind closed doors.

We can’t make the final decision for you, but we want you to know that we’ll walk alongside you. We’ll love you, listen to you, and encourage you in the best way we know how. And, if you’ve already gotten a divorce, we want you to know that we’re here for you too. You are welcome at Berean just as you are – married, divorced, hurting, or searching. The Church is full of imperfect people who are all in need of God’s grace and mercies. Our God is one of love and second chances for us all.

Need to chat? We’d love to pull up a chair over coffee or talk by email or phone - whatever makes you most comfortable. You may also wish to check out some of the following resources on Berean’s website:

Email us here to start the conversation today! Also, be sure to check out Clint and Michelle's story below from our Real Life Story Tellers.

Is there a way through my grief?

Life was going great. Then, it happened. It turned your world upside down. It stole your joy and replaced it with tears. It derailed your plans and shattered your heart, leaving you to pick up the pieces.

Hard times come when you least expect them, throwing you into a season of grief through which you’d never wish to walk. You’re filled with so many different emotions and you’re wondering if you’ll get through it.

We know it’s not easy, but there is a way. You’re not alone. Help is available. And you will make it!

Recognize that grief is normal.

Maybe others have told you to stuff your feelings away - to just move on and get over it. But that’s not how it should be. You don’t have to hide how you feel or pretend that everything is okay if it’s not.

In fact grief, with its different stages, is a healthy, natural process. I mean, you’ve just lost someone or something significant to you. It’s normal to grieve that loss. You must walk through grief and give yourself time to cope with your feelings so that you can adjust to the changes in your life. Grief is a process that you can and should embrace, allowing it to unfold naturally to help you on a path toward healing. Forcing yourself to just move on is simply not healthy.

Realize that your grief journey is unique to you.

Loss is a natural part of life, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a friendship, a job, a dream, a pet, financial stability, or your health. Grief is a journey that happens for all. But guess what? It’s not the same for all. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no one-size-fits-all or set time frame for grief. Be patient with yourself and don’t become weighed down by the expectations of others. This is your journey and your story.

You must walk through grief in a way that is healthy and natural for you.

Try to understand the many emotions of grief.

At first, you experience shock and denial. You can’t believe what happened and you’re not willing to accept it. Eventually, the truth sets in. Those around you return to life as normal. But for you? The loss suddenly becomes very real. And all the emotions? There’s certainly no shortage of them. Sadness. Anger. Guilt. Confusion. Anxiety. Depression. You’ll likely experience them all . . . and that’s okay. After all, you’ve been through a lot.

Accept the emotions but choose to rebuild.

At some point, you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. You must decide what to do with all those emotions. You can either allow them to bury you, or you can process them and seek a healthy outlet to manage them. Grief can affect you emotionally, socially, physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you fail to deal with your emotions, you will continue the downward spiral. You must channel all your emotional energy into rebuilding your life. This often begins when you accept help.

Seek out and accept the help of others.

There is no shame in asking for help. What you need most might just be a confidential friend who is willing to come alongside you and listen with love. Take away your grief? Well, they probably can’t do that, but they can let you know you’re not alone. They can be a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, a listening ear, and a safe space to share.

Embrace Jesus as your true Comforter.

No matter how much others care for you, there is truly only One who can heal your broken heart. That One is Jesus. He is your Comforter.

He sees your pain. He cares about your tears. And he will carry you through. When you have Jesus, you will still walk through seasons of grief, but you will no longer have to grieve without hope (Psalm 34:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Be sure to read the other articles above to learn more about this Jesus and his life-giving hope - for you! 

Know that we’re here for you too.

Here are Berean, we want you to know you’re not alone. We’re here to listen and walk with you through whatever it is you’re facing. In fact, we have a special program called the Stephen Ministry for this purpose. Stephen Ministers are confidential, Christian friends who are trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you through difficult times. We also offer a class called GriefShare to walk with you through the loss of a loved one and help you move toward rebuilding your life.

Have questions? We’d love to chat! We’ll answer them over coffee or by email or phone - whatever makes you feel comfortable. There is a way through your grief and we’re here to help you find it.

Take the first step toward rebuilding your life by emailing us here today!

Have questions about what you just saw or read? Let's chat!
Have you decided to follow Jesus? Let us know!

Email Your QUestions to Pastor DanI decided to follow Jesus!