During election years, I often wish I could drown out the endless political noise. The mudslinging, the anger, the debates barely worth watching—it’s all a bit maddening. Then, of course, one has to make a decision as to which candidate is best (although, more often than not, it feels like voting for "the lesser of… Continue reading Shining Your Light During An Election Year
When it comes to "working for the Lord" we often think of preaching, teaching, praying, studying, hospitality, etc. Is that the only work we do for the Lord? What attitude are we supposed to carry into our jobs? Our homes? Our schools?
"I" problems are nothing new.
There's a lot of discussion regarding the "I" problems among Christians today, particularly in a culture still learning to navigate social media. So much emphasis is placed numbers---number of likes, number followers, number of shares, dollars earned, etc. The "self" focus has become even more pervasive. It's slipping into Christian music and books. It's becoming deeply ingrained in church culture, particularly in America.
It's time to shift our focus.
We carefully construct plans for our vacations, finances, homes, futures, etc., only to have them violently overturned in an instant. Our disappointment is only rivaled by an intense feeling of helplessness as we watch smoke rising from the charred remains.
"The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew..."
You may (or may not) have noticed fewer blog posts lately. Many of my own careful plans (including blogging) have been repeatedly upended this year. So, if you're feeling a bit frustrated, I'm right there with you!
So what can you and I learn from the ashes of our ruined plans?
"What devotional do you use with your children?" I cannot count the number of times I have seen this question posed within various social media groups. Typically, the questioner wants an app, curriculum, or book. If I ever find one I like, I'll be sure to share it with all of you... When my children were… Continue reading At-Home Devotionals With Children
"...in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in… Continue reading Be Prepared
We either worry too much or we don’t care enough. Inevitably, we put far too much stress on the unimportant while neglecting the important. We expect our chosen formula to yield certain results, only to find ourselves deflated when our fearfully and wonderfully made children don’t conform to the “norm.”
How do we find the balance between fear and flippancy?
Within our congregations, and even the broad spectrum of the "Christian" community, there are people who are considered "pillars" by virtue of their status, deeds, or popularity. They might be the individual who brought us to Christ, the preacher in our local church, or a widely respected speaker or author. Sometimes these pillar-people are dear friends or members of our own family. Pillars all have something in common: they are human, just like you and me.
As a child of God, you are swimming against the current. If you try doing this alone (without Christ) it won't work. You will fail. We need Christ---His power, His wisdom, and His saving grace. Jesus also established the church so we would have support from fellow believers.
Within each one of us is a longing to be seen. It is this very longing that makes social media such a powerful medium. Every post offers a glimpse into our daily life. We can share our favorite foods, our cute pets, our cutting complaints, our magical moments. Better still, we get to control how much we reveal, making our lives look "practically perfect in every way"! Yet does anybody---on social media or in our day-to-day---really see us as we are? Do they see our grueling work (or, at times, embarrassing laziness)? Do they see the tears? The frustrations? The joys? The longings?