Stress is all around us and unfortunately, within us. We know stress is not good for us. Physically it wrecks havoc with our bodies. Mentally it causes us to make poor, rash decisions and not work up to our full capacity. It causes us to lash out at those around us and causes damage to relationships we once cherished. Having the peace of God does not mean all is quiet in our lives. It means that even though everything is falling down around us, we are still able to hold onto our anchor in the storm and remain balanced and content. Easier said than done! What are some practical ways we can accomplish this so we can have a strong, steady walk with the Lord instead of being distracted and always giving our second best? Stay with as we explore true peace to combat all of the anxiety this world has to offer.
Here’s a question...what do the 4th of July and Thanksgiving have in common? The most obvious answer is these two celebrations are uniquely American in that their very founding was undeniably linked to the founding of the United States. The less obvious answer is that these two holidays were also founded in humble recognition of God Almighty. Just read the first and last parts of the Declaration of Independence and the first declarations for Thanksgiving and you will see that God was first and foremost. Here we are about 240 years later and God is no longer first and he certainly is no longer "for most." So, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday what can we do to relight our own fire of gratitude towards God and towards one another? Let’s start by talking about it!
People want to be happy. They think about it, they talk about it and they do things do find happiness. The United States' Declaration of Independence speaks of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Yes, we all want to be happy but have you ever thought about “joy”? Have you ever heard of people wanting and pursuing joy in their lives? Happiness and joy have several similarities in that they are both elusive and often fleeting. But joy, well, there is something profoundly special about joy. You see, joy is deeper than happiness. It can become a state of mind that unequivocally transforms you. Here is the catch – if you go looking for joy, you are actually pushing it further away from you. So, how do we find joy? Or more clearly stated, how do we let joy find us and change us in our every day experiences?
What does it mean to be a Christian? Seriously, what is the real bottom line true meaning of following in the footsteps of Jesus? Is being a Christian like an entitlement program? By professing Jesus do we receive protection from evil, deliverance from trials or the healing of our maladies? Do we receive a promise of an abundant and prosperous life? Or, is being a Christian more like a “getting whipped into shape” work and endurance program where we lose our own will, learn to do without and have to somehow rejoice in tribulation every day of our difficult lives? Is the price of true Christianity a simple acknowledgment of Jesus being in your life or is it a “sell all that we have and change what we are” mentality? What DOES it cost to be a true Christian? Is it a price we are willing to pay?
Lying. Okay, we know it’s bad but is it really always a bad thing? From a parent’s perspective, it is one of those things that is perched at the top of the “never do this” list of moral and ethical behavior. With children, the boundaries are clear and easy to define, because as we show them the difference between honesty and dishonesty, we reinforce what it means to take the high road, to be trustworthy and to be an honest and dependable friend. But what about the myriad of circumstances that arise as we become adults and begin to live in a world that is not awash in a bold contrast of right versus wrong but instead is overwhelmed with delicate shades of grey – with value judgments, personal rights and the fine line of being offensive? Are “little white lies” always wrong? What about only telling part of the truth – does that constitute a lie as well? Can lying ever be good?
Gossip – is it ever useful or good or is it always a waste of time and bad? Have you ever stopped to consider just how much of our present culture not only accepts gossip but places it in the enviable and important position of being a core and driving value of our everyday existence? Think about just how many publications, TV programs, talk shows and news items are driven by gossip. Now think about how much of our conversations at our work place or with our friends revolve around gossip. If you see it as I do, we are relentlessly inundated with gossip at every turn. So, what can we do about it? What should we do about it? How can we reduce the role of gossip in our lives and what should we replace it with?
Faith is a part of life. Faith is not reserved for those of us who claim religion. On the contrary, faith is an integral part of human life, no matter what perspective you come from. We have faith in the people in our lives that they will be there for us. To varying degrees, we have faith in our doctor’s ability to take care of us, our employer’s responsibility to be fair to us and our co-workers sensibility to do their fair share with us. We have faith in the internet as a window to the world, and we have faith in the antivirus software we use to protect that window. So, how does the faith we find everywhere in life compare to religious faith? Is one kind of faith reasonable while the other is sensational or are they the same?
Faith is a part of life. We here at Christian Questions have been blessed to be given the opportunity to live with faith as a basis for our lives. Doing this radio broadcast for the last 18 years has taught us much about faith and much about what is required to keep our faith not only intact but vibrant and flourishing in a backwards, crazy and godless world. You see, while faith is a gift, it is the type of gift that requires attention, work and a lot of discipline. If we consistently feed our faith with these things then our faith in turn can feed us. Being fed by faith produces a life's hope that can truly transform your everyday life! So, come along with us on our journey back in time…
Everyone loves a hero. Everyone loves to watch “that guy” as he (or she) defies the odds, stands up against darkness, evil or injustice and fights – sometimes he fights alone and sometimes his fight inspires others to stand and fight with him. We admire the guts, the vision and the strength of such people, for they in their heroic actions represent what we would like to be. So, what makes someone a hero? Is it one heroic action or is it a life lived in a heroic way? Do people become heroes because of their strength or in spite of their weakness? Are heroes made or are they born? How can you and I become more heroic in our everyday lives?
Most of us really don’t like ourselves. We are too tall or short, too fat or thin, too reserved or too lazy. We don’t like ourselves because we don’t think before we act or we think too much and don’t act at all. We don’t like ourselves because we are not attractive enough or we don’t have enough charisma or we are too lonely or we run away from our problems. Maybe we think we are too forward and forceful or too confrontational or maybe we think we are too analytical, too self-conscious or just plain wimpy! Whatever the case, we seem to be unhappy with ourselves, which brings us to the question – as a Christian aren’t we supposed to not like ourselves so we can be more like Jesus? So, shouldn’t we be happy in our unhappiness? Let’s stop already! Too many questions – let's find some answers!