Terrorist attacks in France, an earthquake off the coast of Japan, suicide bombings in Lebanon, and on and on it goes. It’s been a difficult week for many throughout the world. This series of unfortunate events has sparked a movement of prayers and broken hearts for the world around us. But I have to ask myself, is that really enough? Continue reading
Today as you read this, thousands of babies will be aborted and their body parts probably still sold; millions of children (majorly girls) are still being forced and trapped in labor or sex trafficking, and by the time you finish this article, at least one person in the United States will have been sexually assaulted
As Christians in the United States, we embrace the premise that God has destined us for “a time and place like this.” We rally around the fact that we live in 2015, and God has purposed us to be a light in today’s cynical and hypercritical culture. But when it comes to politics, that mentality often changes. For some reason we then believe that God must have made a mistake, or at least that’s what our actions say. I have noticed over the past year or so the increasing number of Christians who openly bash the President and the government. Which, in all fairness, is no big surprise given the focus on hot-button topics such as gay marriage and abortion. Continue reading
I’ve often said or heard this excuse and maybe some of you have as well when your faith started to feel like a duty. “Reading the Bible everyday is too religious.” The cycle usually goes something like this: We have a radical spiritual experience and realize that we really need and want to get to know the Bible better. So we are all excited and determined to read through the whole thing.
The next morning we will get our coffee and a journal, snap a selfie for Instagram and start at “In the beginning”. We read a couple chapters, slowly coming down from that spiritual high. But as the days go on and Genesis turns into Exodus and then Exodus turns into Leviticus we find ourselves not being as gung-ho as we once were. We start to periodically skip a day, and then two. And before we know it, we are right back where we started. Continue reading
Being a Christian isn’t meant for you either.
I struggled being a Christian for the longest time—particularly because I couldn’t see the relevance behind it.
While growing up, I knew there was some significance to faith because we went every Sunday. Yet that curiosity slowly receded as the week went on. The farther we got away from Sunday, the more I questioned why Christianity was even relevant at all. Why did we need it if it didn’t apply to our daily life?
My neck started to ache as I was jogging backwards on one of the trails behind my high school in northern Minnesota. My gym teacher told me that if I could run the 1.5 miles backwards, then I didn’t have to go to class the next day.
Exhausted, I went up and down those hills, trying not to fall or run into anything. Being an athlete, I was probably a little overconfident in my fitness level. But I had started, so I couldn’t give up.
Eventually I made it back to the front doors and, disoriented, walked forward up the stairs and to his office. “I did it!” I said proudly. “I made it the whole way, without running forward once.” “Nice work, you don’t have to come to class tomorrow,” he replied, “but neither does anybody else.” Continue reading
Lets face it, it seems like every time you go on Facebook somebody new has either gotten engaged, gotten married or had a baby. Hundreds of people show their support by giving it a ‘like’ or leaving a comment. In the same way, I see a lot of articles that are for married couples, single people or maybe those who are engaged. But what about the rest of who don’t blow up your newsfeed because we are only, dare I say it, dating.
Maybe when we get engaged people will start to show their support or give us some godly direction about relationships. But until then, it seems as though we are on our own to figure out this whole relationship thing. I’ve never been married or engaged, so it wouldn’t make sense to give advice about how marriage should work. But with God leading, and us intentionally seeking out older couples for advice, my girlfriend and I have learned a few things about pre-marriage, pre-engagement, dating. Continue reading
I recently ran a survey asking people for raw, unedited and real answers as to why they don’t go to church. Partially out of curiosity, but I also wanted to know what we, as Christians, were doing that dissuaded them from following Jesus. I was humbled by the generous amounts of honest answers, but I was also appalled at how unbelievers would describe the church and those of us who claim to be Christians.
“Churches prevent people from truly loving others.”
“Because I can’t find a church where my girlfriend and I are accepted.”
“As a mom and wife, I looked for another church yet really struggle with the feeling of friendliness.”
“Don’t feel apart of 95% of churches that I go to. Churches are supposed to be familes right? So why do people in churches tear each other apart…” Continue reading
Think of a time that something bad or unfair happened to you that you didn’t deserve. How did you handle it? Did you keep a positive attitude and respond with hope and joy? Or did you throw your arms up, say a few choice words and play the victim? I can relate to Dwight Howard above. Throughout high school and college basketball, I would throw my arms up and run my mouth anytime the refs called something that I didn’t agree with. Sometimes I knew that I didn’t even touch the shooter, but the refs still called a foul.
If I couldn’t handle myself well over one bad call in a high school basketball game in northern Minnesota that nobody cared about, how could I possibly handle the unjust suffering that Peter describes in the New Testament? At the time, I didn’t realize how destructive complaining could be.
I was free falling from a 45 foot cliff (not very impressive, I know) in an old iron-ore pit in northern Minnesota. It only took about an hour for me to gather up the courage to take the leap and jump. Well, actually that’s not true. It only took about an hour for my brother to push me off after getting sick of me repeating, “Okay, I’m really gonna do it this time.” Continue reading