Encouraging and Equipping for Victorious Kingdom Living

Pat Sikora

  • Verbal Abuse in the Church

    Does unity in the church require ignoring verbal abuse from the pastor or other members? In the interest of unity, should we just suck it up when we experience a pattern of abusive behavior? That’s the question I’m living these days. I’ve just been “fired” from my volunteer leadership position at our church. The how…

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  • Writers! Do You Have a Critique Group?

    I’ve been part of a critique group for at least 20 years. Maybe more. When I was a young writer, I didn’t think I needed any help. I got compliments on my writing. I had a book published. No big deal. But at a writers’ conference in California, I met a woman who turned out…

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  • Anticipating 2024

    Anticipating 2024 Can I make a confession? I hate Christmas! Or perhaps more explicitly, I hate all the extra work Christmas entails. I enjoy the lights, the decorations, the focus on the Reason for the Season, the traditional meals, and especially the extra time with the family. But I struggle to enjoy any it because…

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  • Guilt or Shame? Do You Know the Difference?

    We had completed a successful ministry session just a week ago, but Susan continued to say how dirty she felt every time she “let God down” by not doing everything perfectly. Many of the things she was reporting were not really sin. They were unhealed attitudes about herself. And frankly, some of them made sense…

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  • Let’s Take Another Look at Halloween

    As October rushes upon us, young and old begin thinking about Halloween. The stores have been filled with ghosts, goblins, and witches for at least a month already. Soon neighbors will decorate their yards with as much gusto as for Christmas. Halloween is the second most expensive holiday in America, close on the heels of…

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  • Forgiveness Heals

    “I want to forgive, but I just can’t.” “After what he did to me, I’ll never forgive him!” “I’ve forgiven and forgiven, but I don’t think it took. I don’t feel any different.” Forgiveness is an absolute key to healing. We simply can’t heal if we don’t forgive. But what is forgiveness and how do…

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  • Christmas: The Rest of the Story

    If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember Paul Harvey. He was a radio commentator who would begin a story and then go to commercial break. After the break he’d tell “the rest of the story,” which would put an entirely different spin on the original tale. Back in December, I had the opportunity…

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  • From Grumbling to Gratitude

    Are you a grumbler? Complainer? Many of us are… We see the impact of the Israelites’ grumbling and complaining in the book of Exodus. God repeatedly provided for them, always in miraculous ways. And yet, over and over, the Israelites grumbled, complained, and whined. They didn’t like the water. They didn’t like the food. They…

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  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KINGDOM NOW!

    Kingdom Now: Pursuing Unity in the Body of Christ to Change the World debuted just one year ago. Since that time, many have had the opportunity to do the study either alone or in groups. Feedback has been excellent, especially from groups. This study is so timely and frankly, urgently needed. As we see the…

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  • Communion: Do I Love Enough to Stay?

    When I take daily communion these days it’s usually for a severe physical need. Seems like I always have something going on. Physical, emotional, spiritual. And I always wonder if God will come through THIS time. Then I remember that He always has. I remember that so many of my prayer requests are no more.…

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  • LIKE A GOOD SOLDIER

    Near the beginning of the war in Iraq, our friend, Jesse[1], was unexpectedly called up. A physician in his 50s and a member of the reserves for years, he certainly didn’t expect to see active duty. But there he was, living in a tent and eating dust, his medical practice on hold and his wife…

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  • HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME?

    My four-year old grandson is experimenting with the concept of like and love. Out of the blue he’ll tell me where I fall in his hierarchy of affection. One day he’ll “like like” me. Another day he’ll love me, “but not as much as Mommy.” It’s almost as if he’s rolling the thoughts around in…

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  • Concern for Your Body, Christ’s Body

    Have you ever pondered this remarkable creation called your body? Throughout history, we humans have studied and tried to explain the dynamic capabilities of this instrument.  Consider how the bones, muscles, and tendons work together to produce strength and movement. Wonder at how the bone marrow, the red and white blood cells, and plasma sustain…

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  • HOW DO YOU HEAR GOD

    How do you hear God? For much of my Christian life, I felt defective because people would ask what I heard God saying in response to a problem or a prayer need. I didn’t “hear” anything, so assumed God didn’t love me. After all, He wasn’t “talking” to me. Imagine my relief when I finally…

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  • A LIFE WORTH LIVING

    Whenever I see a caged hamster frantically racing around in his wheel, but going nowhere, I think I know how he feels. Maybe you do too—wondering what all the busy activities and tight schedules accomplish, fearing that one day you’ll look back on your life and not see much meaning to all the motion.    I…

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  • Devastation!

    Snow in Texas? Indeed! As many of you know, Texas experienced a highly unusual and devastating snow/ice/rain storm in February. And as many of you also know, we moved to Texas a couple of years ago. So yes, we experienced about five days of utter devastation. We were without water for five days and without…

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  • Confess Your Sins to One Another

    One of the most troubling and confusing chapters in Kingdom Now: Pursuing Unity in the Body of Christ to Change the World is Chapter 6, “Confess Your Sins to One Another.” Despite being perfectly biblical (see James 5:16), it befuddles both Protestants and Catholics alike. Protestants think that confession to another person isn’t a common…

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  • Joy in the Midst of Disruption

    Disruption! How we hate it! And yet, doesn’t that seem to be the stuff of the Christian life? I don’t know about you, but I honestly don’t know many Christians who actually have the cushy, comfy life they long for. And if they do, it doesn’t last forever. I’ve done a lot of counseling and…

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  • More Thoughts on Communion

    A few weeks ago, in response to my post on communion, a reader asked for more info on taking personal, daily communion. I recognize this is a practice not accepted by all streams of Christianity. Some believe that communion, or the Eucharist, can only be administered by an ordained member of the clergy. Early Church…

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  • My Anchor of Hope

    How’s your hope quotient? It’s no secret that we’ve come through one of the most challenging and turbulent years in my lifetime (and I’ve been around for a while!). We’ve lived through a toxic stew of a worldwide pandemic (complete with illness, death, shutdowns, and shut-ins), a venomous election (complete with alleged fraud and deceit),…

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