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.
Because of the ceaseless conflict with Satan (and our own fleshly nature), it is our responsibility to stay grounded on the foundation which Christ has laid for us. Are we looking to Him to be the source of our strength or are we relying on our own power? Are we determining daily to stand firm against Satan's schemes, or do we cave to convenience?
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?
The Bible is one of the most criticized books in the world. While many of us as Christians accept the Bible as God's preserved word for us, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect non-believers to regard it with the same reverence. Most have not devoted extensive time or research to its validity and so they parrot the old argument, "It was written over 2000 years ago. It's a biased, outdated, work of fiction by some crazy men." This post will not be a fully extensive argument regarding the accuracy of the scriptures. There are books aplenty which can go into greater detail, and I will give you a few links within this article. This article is simply intended some facts, quotes, and sources to light that may be unknown to many people. It is my hope to enrich the faith and conviction of believers and provide some thoughts to ponder to the skeptical.
Psalm 119 centers on God's word---it's beauty, power, value, quality---and it will be our focus in this month's scripture writing. Because we love God, we treasure the words He has inspired and preserved for our benefit. The creation declares His glory, wisdom, and majesty, but His word gives us insight into His plan for mankind, His righteous nature, and His steadfast love for us.
When our valleys last longer than expected, the people we expect to be with us grow fewer and farther between. Take, for instance, the long road of grief. When we lose someone, there is an instant outpouring of support. The refrigerator fills with meals. Phones vibrate with texts. The ads in the mailbox get outnumbered by sympathy cards. The scent of lilies and roses permeates every nook and cranny of our home. Our front door becomes a revolving door as people come and go in order to sit with us, and possibly cry with us. Within a few weeks (or even days), the flow of support slows to a trickle. Life moves on, but the grief does not. And that, my friends, is one of many such valleys. Take heart, God will get you through your valley.
Before we can have an intelligent discussion about hot-button issues, we must establish that there is a standard for truth, and that such a standard is far greater and more reliable than popular opinion.
Last week, my family visited Arches National Park for the first time. What I treasured most about this trip was not the awesome landscapes, but something far more priceless: a deepening trust and affection between my husband and our children.
We often hear the quote, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Children might attempt to cook (or pretend to cook) alongside their parents or work on their toy car while their father works under the family car. A budding artist might attempt to reproduce the signature technique of a master artist. In each case, the imitation springs from admiration. Similarly, when we are united with Christ, we are so in awe of who He is that we attempt to imitate his example.