God made us to be emotional beings. We experience millions of varying emotions over the course our lifetime from elation, to horror, admiration to disappointment, anger to joy.
If God designed us to express and experience emotion, it is no surprise then that for many of us, our emotions are critical in guiding and directing us.
Yet, as believers, should we always yield to our emotions? Better yet, is it always safe and wise to follow our heart, wherever it may lead?
Because I can’t help but wonder, in all of the ways the Lord gave us to help guide us in making wise decisions–the counsel of others, the Bible, prayer, common sense, our intellect, and our heart–if following the latter is always the best choice.
Christians are territorial. Have you ever noticed this? We often walk around like we’re the *ish* and project a certain air of supremacy or snobbery.
We lay claim to our Christian-y things, like our music,our movies (which generally stink, by the way), our Bible, our worldview, our morals, our churches…
We are not very good at seeing other peoples’ boundaries. We only see our own. Often times, we only operate within our own sphere, but why? Why are we so territorial when it clearly contradicts the Gospel? Continue reading The Territorial Christian
You might be thinking that this title sounds familiar and you’d be right. A while back I wrote a post called “The Top 5 Lies Christians Believe,” and among them was the lie that Christians think happiness is a guarantee of following Christ.
I’ve had enough people write me and disagree with me on this particular point that I thought I should address it in its own post.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like this idea–the idea that happiness is not necessarily guaranteed to us believers. I don’t like thinking that God is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness or more concerned with His glory than my good times.
But when I look at the Word and when I listen to the Holy Spirit, I have never been left with the feeling that my happiness is important. That doesn’t mean our happiness is irrelevant to God, but rather less important than we tend to think.Continue reading Does God Want You to be Happy?
Did you realize that we are almost halfway through the year? 2012 seems to be flying by, and yet there is still so much more I’m hoping to accomplish this year.
As for blogging, this year has been the best yet (which makes sense since this is my second year of blogging). With that being said, I thought I’d steal borrow a post idea from Frank Viola, and share with you the 10 most popular posts of 2012…so far.
In no particular order, here are the 10 posts you have loved the most, shared the most, and I assume, enjoyed the most this year:
1. In Hot Pursuit: Should Men or Women Pursue? This one is funny to me because at the time, this post was sort of a flop. But, it has had some strong search activity. Looks like lots of people are searching for the answer to this question.
Most of us who have been in the church for any amount of time have read the story of the prodigal son. A young man, sets out on his own, only to squander his inheritance, forcing him to return to his father’s home, broken and penniless.We have perhaps even heard a few sermons preached on this parable. And from time to time, we may have even heard others (or even ourselves) refer to people we know as “prodigals.”
What we usually mean when we say this, is that so-and-so had walked away from Lord, but has now returned. They came back to the Lord, just like the son who returned home in the parable Jesus spoke.
I used the word prodigal from time to time and I’m embarrassed to admit, I didn’t really know what it meant. I assumed I knew and that was enough. Until one day, I heard a wiser older Christian in my life explain that when you run across a word in scripture that you don’t know, you should find a dictionary and look it up.
How novel, I thought. How very elementary school.
But one day, when reading my Bible, I found myself at the story of the prodigal son. Of course, the word “prodigal” isn’t actually used in scripture, but I suddenly had the idea to find that oh-so-childish-dictionary.
I was surprised to find that the word “prodigal” actually has nothing to do with the concept of returning or coming back to anywhere. In fact, it means something different all together.
But what is perhaps even more surprising, is that the real definition of “prodigal” did apply to me. I was a prodigal daughter and all that time, I had had no idea.
Marriage is full of compromise. Or at least, it should be. And if anything has taught me how to phrase, re-phrase, pause, evaluate, and listen before speaking, it’s marriage.
It might be easy to assume that I speak to my husband in much the same way that I write on this blog–with passion, spunk, a bit of edge, and a whole lot of Truth. While I’d like to say that’s the case, it isn’t always. Sure, my husband gets large doses of my sass (which he likes by the way), and Truth (which he always receives with humility). Yet, when it comes to bringing up an uncomfortable subject, I have learned that nothing helps your man feel more like a man, than a whole lot of respect.
Of course, I didn’t always know this. I mean, I knew it intellectually. “Husbands need respect. Yadda, yadda, yadda,” but that doesn’t mean I felt convicted about this Biblical command to wives. But after putting my foot in my mouth too many times to count, I learned a very simple trick for bringing up something unpleasant to my husband without making him feel threatened or defensive.
I read this quote the other day, and I have to say, I completely disagree with it:
A good church is a Bible-centered church. Nothing is as important as this–not a large congregation, a witty pastor, or tangible experiences of the Holy Spirit.”― Alistair Begg
I mean, on the surface, I think it sounds right. We know that as believers, the Bible is our bread. It is God’s very Word to us, able to divide joints and marrow (spiritually speaking). But is a Bible-centered church really the most important thing in creating a “good church” (whatever that means)?
Consider the Acts church, which grew rapidly and spread the Gospel like wild fire. Do you think the thing they focused on most, was the Bible? Was it within the Bible, and from the Bible, that they found their strength and power?
I doubt it. I think the Acts church focused most of their energy on something else entirely.
I once heard a pastor at a local Phoenix area mega-church talk about the 3 kinds of churches that exist. The first church is a Bible church, that focuses primarily on the Word. The second is a Jesus church that focus mainly on the Person of Jesus. And the third kind of church, he said, was a Holy Spirit church, that was more so preoccupied with things of the Spirit.
Today’s guest post is written by none other than my awesome cousin, Ryan Goble. Ryan is a recent college graduate and when I asked him to write about some of his observations about young single women and the ways they view men, he didn’t let me down. His thoughts here are insightful, challenging, and, in my opinion, right on. I hope you enjoy!
Lately, I have noticed a trend among college women and especially Christian college women. I see this trend as a cancer in the church that desperately needs to be cut out before it kills a generation of men and women…
For generations it has been expressed that men are the ones who deal with issues of lust and desire. Yet, with the modern day movie and music star, I believe that our women are being greatly affected by society’s lies of what they should be looking for in a man. I believe that this issue has been buried so deep that we often do not even see it as an issue.
Have you ever been with a group of women and listened to them talk about how they are “in love” with their favorite movie star? Or how they are going to watch their “boyfriend” on the big screen? Do you know women who talk non-stop about the men they idolize and how great it would be if they could just be married to them?
Have you ever heard women talk about a man’s abs or his arms in ways that their husband (or future husband) would NOT be happy? If you haven’t heard a woman talk like this, I’m happy for you, because as a man, it sucks.
Is it just me or does it seem that lately, instead of people attempting to improve themselves, the new fad is to simply accept yourself for who you are, even if who you are isn’t that great?
We talk about being easy on ourselves, being kind to ourselves, being our own best friend. This seems absurd to me. How can I be my own best friend? And why would I want to?
Here’s another one of my favorites: “You can’t love anyone else, until you love yourself.” Or the variation: “No one will love you, until you love yourself.” When did loving yourself become a prerequisite for loving others or being loved? I know a guy named Jesus, who would probably disagree with this sentiment.
Yet, we’ve heard this mantra time and time again. We tell people that they’ll never find love until they learn to love themselves. We’ve heard Oprah and Dr. Phil tell us that loving ourselves is necessary if we’re ever to find true happiness. But when I think about this, an image pops in my mind that actually causes me to laugh out loud:Continue reading God Never Said to Just Love Yourself
Happy Friday Rejects. How are you? Well, I hope. As for me, I’m pretty darn sick, which also means I haven’t been my usual blogging self. Hopefully, by next week I’ll be feeling better and ready to take on the world (which just means write some actual blog posts). In the meantime…
Here’s what I managed to read and discover this week though between hot cups of tea and honey and much needed naps:
The Importance of Being Earnest and Ann Voskamp. I’ll admit that I’m not the world’s biggest Ann Voskamp fan. I love what she writes, I just don’t prefer how she writes it, but her prose is what so many people really love about her. All that aside, this post challenged me to rethink the way I perceive her and not just her, but any bloggers, writers, or individuals who are different from me, as a whole.
Love People, Not Projects. A short, but power-packed post from none other than Jamie the Very Worst Missionary (who, by the way, I want to be like when I grow up).
Oh, Hello Friend. I discovered this little gem of a blog last week and am addicted. It’s not a “Christian blog,” but it is a total chick blog filled with lovely things for you and your home, that happens to be written by a Christian. Cool.
Praying for Pentecost. I really enjoyed this post from the always brilliant and challenging Q Blog. Here’s a taste: “For our own pentecost, we need then to pray for the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of depth, the spirit of courage, and (given the over-sophistication of so much of today’s entertainment) the spirit of chastity.” So good and there’s much to chew on.
Quiet Anthem.This is the blog of Renee Ronika Klug, who I “know” through friends here in Phoenix. She is a wonderful writer (and I’m not just saying that). She is quite talented and has a remarkable way of weaving beautiful prose into stories of grace and hope. I think you’ll be happy to have found her. And how great is the name of her blog…Quiet Anthem?
Biblical Balance? This is a post that discusses what it means to be Biblically balanced…an interesting read, to say the least.