Faith

Death & What Comes After

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What do Christians believe about death? What happens next? Let’s explore these questions together by taking the whole experience, step by step. First of all, death itself. Christianity teaches that death is not natural to the human race—that God did not originally intend for people to be mortal and die. Nor did he intend for people to get sick, to be injured, or to have their bodies simply wear ou...

Virtues

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Honesty. Truthfulness. Purity. Kindness. Forgiveness. Courage. Humility. Obedience. Integrity. Faithfulness. Trustworthiness. Peace. Mercy. Compassion. Perseverance. Love. Hope. Moderation. Generosity. Wisdom. Patience. Common Sense. Diligence. Forgiveness. Endurance. Cheerfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. Serenity. Loyalty. Contentment. Strength. Joy. Purity. Unity. Faith. Respect. Dignity. Hono...

Being a Good Person?

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“I’m a good person.” “I try to live a good life.” “Everybody’s got their issues, but X is one of the good guys.” We hear these kinds of statements constantly. We might even say them ourselves. But what does it mean to be a good person? What does our culture have to say about it? I checked Twitter to see what came up the most commonly. People were saying things like “being a friend,” “having good m...

Self-Control

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Self-control is one of those things we all wish we had more of. For a lot of us it’s food (pepperoni pizza, mmmmm); for others, video games, or texting, or constantly refreshing Twitter. For some of us, it gets to the point where there’s an actual addiction involved, and then our problems get even harder to deal with. But self-control goes beyond just dealing with temptations to pleasure. Ever try...

Fear

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The horror writer H. P. Lovecraft says that “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” While I’d disagree that fear is the strongest emotion, it’s surely one of the strongest. What else can get your heart racing (and your feet pounding!) the way fear does? …Which is why we’re all interested in getting rid of our fearful ...

Peace

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You may have come to this article wondering, “Where can I personally find peace?” If by that you mean “How can I get bad crap to stop happening in my life,” unfortunately, the answer is “Nowhere.” Nobody’s found a pause button for life yet. If you do find it, let us know! We’d like to use it too. But maybe you don’t mean that. Instead you mean, “How can I continue to live my life and still find re...

Sex

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If you’ve gotten the impression that the God Christians follow doesn’t like sex, or that the Bible is a prudish book, is it a surprise to hear that isn’t true? Is it a shock to hear that God celebrates sex? Many Christians themselves are taken aback by the unembarrassed sensuality found in the book called “Song of Solomon,” which is right in the middle of the Bible. As one lover proclaims to his p...

“You’re my only hope.”

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“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Early in George Lucas’s epic work, we see a hologram of Princess Leia begging the old hermit Ben Kenobi for help. When George Lucas wrote the prequels several years later, Qui-Gon Jin was convinced that Anakin, the little boy who would eventually become the baddest villain in the galaxy, was the hope that would bring balance to the Force. In the late...

Hope

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“I hope it doesn’t rain during the picnic tomorrow.”  “I hope their marriage works out.”  “I hope this new year is a good one.”  “I hope she forgives me.” “I hope the last second three-point shot goes in!” You don’t have to go far in life to hear people using the word “hope.” In that sense, hope is an everyday human occurrence. But hope is also a central part of the Christian experience—a virtue t...

Loneliness

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Loneliness is an odd thing. We all recognize it when it happens, and yet it’s not that easy to get at what exactly it is, or how to prevent it. A person stuck at home because of illness or disability is likely to be lonely with very little human contact, but so is a mother or father of young children who spends the whole day with under-fives and can’t even get enough privacy to go to the toilet al...

Who is Jesus?

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Trying to describe Jesus is…difficult. I know him, but not in the usual way, where we’ve met face to face and had many long conversations in ordinary situations. In fact, I haven’t seen him face to face—not yet, anyway. And we’ve had many conversations, but they aren’t of the “Which sandwich would you like to get today?” variety. Nor can I clearly quote what he’s said to me in the same way I might...

Happiness

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Happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, right? I certainly do. After all, the right to the “pursuit of happiness” is written right into the U.S. Declaration of Independence! And pursue it we do. Why else do we throw so much money at toys, at amusement, at sex, at experiences ranging from helicopter skiing to dog sledding? Why spend so much time constructing miniature railroad worlds, building enorm...

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