Christianity

Generosity and Our Tribal Hearts

Read Time: 3 min.

We often think of generosity as being willing to give our money to others. But this is a narrow definition. A wider definition of generous is, “having a kindly spirit.” Through the years, I’ve discovered many ways in which my spirit has not been so “kindly” toward others. But here I want to share three things that have made me a more generous person. And I think that’s a good thing. CONNECTION has...

Sufficient, But Not Saving

Read Time: 3 min.

I often notice that a lot of commercials and ads have one big message in common: if you’re not buying or doing or subscribing to or wearing such and such, your life is not as good as it could be. There seems to be almost a moral pressure to consume the advertised thing. It’s easy to wonder if I’m good enough, doing the right thing, living life the right way, or consuming the “right” things. These ...

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...

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Read Time: 3 min.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think technology is a little overrated. Yes, we can have pretty much anything we want delivered to us without even putting on pants. Yes, we don’t have to go through the hassle of making real friends when we can easily connect with people online. Yes, we don’t even need to know where we’re going before we get in the car. But just because we have unlimited power at our ...

Fear

Read Time: 4 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 ...

Who is Jesus?

Read Time: 12 min.

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...

Faith

Read Time: 3 min.

What do Christians mean when they talk about faith? Not Simple Confidence First, it’s not the same thing other people talk about when they say things like “you’ve got to have faith,” or “Just have faith and everything will turn out all right.” In those cases, people seem to mean a kind of generic confidence or hope—a sense of determination that we WANT things to turn out well, and therefore, myste...

Jesus and Battle Scars

Read Time: 3 min.

Years ago, when I was a young, naïve Christian teenager, I found myself in a lengthy discussion about faith with a non-Christian classmate. This particular classmate, who eventually became a very good friend, asked a lot of challenging questions about God, Jesus, and the Christian faith. By the end of the conversation, I came to the conclusion that he just thought too much to believe in the Christ...

Christmas and Comic Book Heroes

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve never been much of a comic book reader. I have, however, enjoyed many of the comic book-based movies from DC Comics and Marvel that have been popular in the last 10 years or so. The popularity of these movies, which seems to drive Hollywood toward making more and more of them (perhaps not always good ones), makes me wonder why our culture is so interested in these films. Add to the superheroe...

Abuse in the church—it has to end.

Read Time: 3 min.

One time, I wrote a letter to Pope Francis. I know…ridiculous. What wasn’t ridiculous was the message I wrote to him: that before he goes off to save the climate and solve the refugee crisis and bring peace to the Middle East, he first needs to take care of priority number one—addressing sexual abuse in his church. The Catholic Church has gotten the bad rap of being the sole proprietor of sexual a...