Our culture rarely deals intimately with death any more: we have cordoned it off, confined it to funeral homes and hospitals, done everything to keep it separate from us as we try to think up ways and means to evade the inevitable ourselves. But it wasn't always that way. And I suspect that in the interim, something has been lost.
On a frightening level, I suspect that most of us are just deeply distracted day to day. That's why taking a step back is necessary. [Click title to read more.]
I'm not sure I like how limited the phrase "I was saved" can be, that it refers to salvation in the past tense. When I hear the phrase "I got saved" I always picture Jesus scooping up someone from the "nonbeliever" box and then dropping them in the "believer" box. Poof. There you go. Finis. The transformation is complete! It isn't. But sometimes we act as though it is. [Click title to read more.]
If we aren't careful, we can reduce the revolutionary concept of cultivating careful, loving speech - words that are like "fresh water" (James 3:11) - to anodyne truisms like "don't use profanity" or "don't gossip" and sometimes "don't say mean things about people" and pretend that's enough. In reality, mastering godly speech is a far more difficult and complex endeavor. [Click title to read more.]
The thing is, peer pressure to participate in certain activities or trends or events exists among Christians as much as it exists in any other group, and I'd argue that for Christians it's especially difficult to navigate, because we often wonder if it's okay not to like something "godly," or to want to do something different than all of the believers around us are doing. When is it okay to take a pass and not participate, to be the odd duck of the group? [Click title to read more.]
The Bible exhorts us constantly to be awake and alert - to keep our lamps lit, to keep our eyes open. These admonitions are usually given in the context of Christ's return, to remind us that we never know when He will come. This is true, and yet I think those instructions are also useful to apply to the current moment, as well. [Click title to read more.]
It's a painful place to be, stranded on the shore while others cross the water. [Click title to read more.]