Mercy or justice? We want people we think are "bad" to be punished and people we think are "good" to receive mercy (and normally that includes ourselves!). Too often our judgments are based on emotions. Is God both merciful and just, even though everyone around us suffers and dies?
It is easy to talk about following Jesus but sometimes those around us think we are a little odd. How do we know what to think, do and become to be sure we are truly following Jesus in spite of what is going on around us? What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Good thing for us, Jesus explained it for us!
Jesus' example teaches us to be compassionate, but In our world there are a myriad of causes we can support but we have limited time and dollars. What do we do? What causes should the Christian support? Where do we invest our time, effort and resources to be truly God-honoring followers of Jesus?
We all want to be successful at whatever it is we are focusing on. How do we do it? Be single-minded. Have your vision clear and your energy directed. It's not easy. We end up distracted, or we start something but don't finish or we even rationalize our way out of triumph. How do we put habitual double-minded thinking behind us and reach forward towards true, godly achievement?
Loving our enemies is probably one of the most difficult concepts that Jesus gave to his followers, however he is probably one of the GREATEST examples of truly living what he spoke. How did he show his love for those who cursed him and eventually killed him? How did Jesus show devotion to those who were devious and hostile, attachment to those who antagonized him and affection for those who became his adversaries? How can we adopt that same attitude of love in our lives? Listen to this week’s inspiring Christian Questions for the answers.
“When I grow up I want to get married and be a mom or be a dad!” For many of us there are simple dreams in life that germinate in childhood. As we grow they blossom into clear and exciting expectations. This expectation of growing up and getting married is so basic and so obvious that we rarely entertain the thought of it NOT happening. What if as you grow through life and come to the time when this simple and expected event is supposed to happen...and it doesn’t? What if you spend your life being single? There are those who say that remaining unmarried can be amazing and awesome, and that’s great. It can also be a turbulent, discouraging and derailing experience that overshadows and overwhelms adulthood. How do single Christians find their way to not only coping with this “single” challenge but living their lives with contentment, clarity and conviction?
Think about your life for a moment. Think about those things, people, places, experiences and memories that are most precious to you. The few thoughts that top this list are in all likelihood some of your greatest treasures. Now, think again about your life for another moment. Think about the things, people, places, experiences and memories that you obsess about – the images that you replay again and again in your mind that go ‘round and ‘round on that insatiable loop of conditioned and driven brain activity. The obsessions that top this list are in all likelihood your treasures as well. Kinda disturbing, isn’t it. So, what do we do about it? How do we learn to isolate and diminish those things which we cherish but hurt us? How do we instead focus on and appreciate those items that bring true honor, blessing and joy?
For most of us it’s simple. God is good, Satan is evil. They fight and God wins. God destroys Satan and all evil with him. It is simple and reassuring until we think a little more deeply about it. Where did evil actually come from? If God created all things then He must have created evil – why would he do that? If God wins the battle between good and evil and then destroys evil, would He be destroying one of His creations? If God truly is stronger than evil then we need to ask if God is even paying attention because one look around our world and it is obvious that evil is handily winning. So, are God and evil really a compatible pair – opposites that need each other to exist? Could God ever truly destroy evil or is the destiny of our world and our universe to be subject to both?
Loss brings grief. Everyone hurts when they suffer loss and many losses are met with grief. The recent Florida school shooting brings the trauma out in the open for all to see. Yet, before and after that singular tragedy there have been and will continue to be countless experiences of deep grief that are not so public. For many of us bereavement acts like a disease. Its symptoms can be deep and debilitating, and its cycle is repetitive and exhausting. Grief stinks and yet is an important and even healthy part of our coping with our traumatic personal losses. So, how do we go about finding the healing part ? How do we know what to hang on to, what to let go of and when any of this should happen? Finally, what can those of us who are not presently experiencing a personal loss do to help those who are in such pain and anguish?
We are losing our grip. Really. There is a battle for our children raging before us and we are losing it miserably. Raising children does not at all look like it once did a few generations ago. Back then, parents were expected to control their households and children were expected to grow up within that control. You might argue that such an arrangement was a little rigid. Perhaps. Now children and their feelings have become the idols of their parents' lives and those parents dutifully bow before and serve the desires, hormones and natural immaturity their children display. You might say that such an arrangement is a little - a lot - permissive. Absolutely! So, what do we do about it? How do we think, act and respond to our present parenting crisis? How do we swim upstream against the current of pitiful parenting and grab hold of and apply principles of powerful parenting?