Faith

Changing the Mind of a Sheep

Read Time: 7 min.

I like historical fiction—books, movies, TV. I especially like the kind that has a plot based on some kind of shadow agency, secret society, or cabal that is mysteriously at work in the story yet lurk in the background. The Illuminati. The Culper Ring. The Trilateral Commission. All kinds of stories include groups like these meddling in world events, often for the sake of power. The identity of th...

Our Golden Age?

Read Time: 5 min.

We tend to think about past times, especially good ones, in terms of a Golden Age. Reflecting on those times often makes us nostalgic. Growing up, I’d often hear older people, using cliched aphorisms, tell about their early life experience. “When I was a kid, I had to walk to school through 2 feet of snow uphill both ways.” Indeed, such sayings were good for a (half-hearted) laugh. But by saying i...

Perpetual Long Division

Read Time: 8 min.

If you were gripped with fear when you read that title, don’t worry. We won’t be talking about mathematics here.  Rather, a different kind of division is our concern. Social division. Just last week I saw a Twitter post from a person I really respect. He is the editor of a reputable Christian magazine and has a significant following. I’ve never agreed with him on everything. But he often has ...

Making Decisions in a Time of Panic

Read Time: 7 min.

The other day my youngest (toddler) daughter hurt herself while playing outside. My wife and I weren’t immediately sure how bad she had hurt herself, but certain indications made us wonder if we needed urgent care or possibly a visit to the emergency room. But this decision was suddenly more complex than it was a few weeks ago. The current pandemic has caused many of us to face the process of maki...

Overcoming the Feeling “I Am Not (Doing) Enough”

Read Time: 7 min.

It is probably safe to say that humans regularly compare themselves with one another. We wonder, for example, if we are as happy, good looking, physically fit, smart, or successful as those around us. We’ve likely been doing this since the beginning of our existence. Yet, it seems in our time we have endless opportunities to compare ourselves with others.  One obvious place we see this is soc...

We Are Not Our Plans

Read Time: 6 min.

David Brooks recently observed that moments of suffering help us to realize that all of us think we are “our plans.” Our lives and identity are shaped around what we are planning for ourselves and our futures. Most of the time we take this for granted; we don’t think about it. But moments when our plans are thrown into question and our expectations are dashed, these are the times when we...

The Meaning of a Single Hug

Read Time: 5 min.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a 20th century martyr. He was killed for his involvement in a conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. Prior to his death, he was in Nazi custody for more than two years. Bonhoeffer was a pastor but served most actively as a teacher before his arrest. He spent a majority of that time at Tegel prison in central Berlin. Not far away was the home where he spent much of his youth a...

Death & What Comes After

Read Time: 7 min.

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

Read Time: 3 min.

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?

Read Time: 5 min.

“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

Read Time: 3 min.

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

Read Time: 3 min.

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 ...

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