The Apostle Paul said to the Colossian Christians, “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments (Colossians 2:4).” In this information age, we need this exhortation no less than the Colossian Christians.
We have become a society obsessed with getting attention and support – financial and otherwise – from everyone and anyone. Politicians cleverly use polling data and test verbiage in order to secure a favorable outcome from voters. Websites, app designers, and social media platforms design complex algorithms aimed at stimulating the pleasure center of your brain, so that you keep coming back for more. Continue reading
People say Christians are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good. While this sadly may be the case for some Christians, it ought not be so. Rather, it is the reverse. Christians are to be so heavenly minded they are actually of earthly good. Continue reading
Are you still growing in Christ? In the eighties, a popular book came out titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I mean no disrespect to that book, but a similarly titled book ought never be written about Christianity, All I Really Need to Know About God I Learned in Sunday School. We are to be continuously growing in our knowledge of God. Continue reading
Have you ever had a morning when the alarm went off and you hit the snooze button and pulled the sheets over your head, because you knew what lay ahead of you that day? Though I am rarely one to tarry in bed, I have had many mornings when the task list seemed insurmountable, and I was dropping balls faster than I could pick them up. How we start our day can determine how our day will unfold. Continue reading
Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Romans 10:5-13
A well-known Youth Minister once told the story of the year his youth group decided to forgo their usual annual carwash fundraiser and instead offer car washes for free to anyone who wanted one. It was intended to demonstrate God’s grace, which comes to us through no effort of our own.
During the event, a man drove up, rolled down his window, and asked the Youth Minister, “how much?” Pointing to the sign, the Youth Minister said, “It’s absolutely free.” “Oh, I know how this works, buddy,” the guy quipped, “you say it’s free but you really want a donation; how much do you want?” The Youth Minister repeated, “It’s free, because God’s grace is free.” The man rolled up his window and drove away.
I came across an online article entitled “3 ways to harness positive psychology for a more resilient you.” This was the first way: “Expressing gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you have – from a roof over your head to good health to people who care about you. When you acknowledge the goodness in your life, you begin to recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside yourself. In this way, gratitude helps you connect to something larger than your individual experience – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
This pop psychology is not wrong. However, Christianity can give a “name” to that goodness outside ourselves better than any other worldview. Continue reading
In the town of Wellsboro, Pa, where I live, we reached record-breaking rain fall. Water was overflowing everywhere. Every stream roared with rushing water. Every hollow was filled. Every depression in our yards seemed fit for an ant’s kayak. The apostle Paul identified overflowing with thankfulness as one mark of the Christian life (Colossians 2:7). Continue reading
We often hear that we are to love and pray for our enemies. But how does one do that? Psalm 4 gives us an example. Continue reading
There was a peculiarity about Jesus’ ministry that may surprise you in today’s content-driven, media-crazed culture. Throughout most of his earthly ministry, Jesus kept his identity under wraps. If social media had existed in Jesus’ day, he would not have used it. He would have been the person at the party saying, “No photos online, please!” Continue reading
Photo by Ari Koess on Pexels.com
Commitment is waning in our society. Sociologist Peter Berger once said, “The modern mind is distinguished by this: to the modern person, our needs and our own fulfillment is more real to us than any other obligation.” Berger is saying that if it comes to choosing between fulfilling our own desires or fulfilling our commitment to another – say a child, parent, boss, our membership in a group, etc. – we have a greater tendency to choose fulfilling our own desires than we did several decades ago. Many sociologists say this trend has only gotten worse since Berger said this. Continue reading