Christianity

Reclaiming the Holidays

Read Time: 4 min.

During the holiday season, I often get one of two troublesome feelings. First, I think that the whole month-plus is too hectic and too busy. The season feels overscheduled with events and get-togethers that are good and joyful, to be sure, and which I would probably miss if they didn’t happen. But in my more reflective moments, a deeper sense that something is missing creeps into my experience of ...

What We Hate Most in Others

Read Time: 3 min.

“You hate most in others what you hate most in yourself,” Mr. Baxter said, as he looked around my seventh-grade class. Then he focused his gaze on one of my fellow students in particular. She knew those words were meant for her. I saw her tense up. She did not take his words kindly. Why? Because instead of allowing for her to judge another pupil with impunity, Mr. Baxter turned the tables and push...

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...

Lessons from a Culture that Celebrates Life

Read Time: 4 min.

Finding his way through the vibrant “Land of the Dead” in the Disney/Pixar film Coco, Miguel sadly watches an older soul fade away in front of him. Perplexed that someone can disappear, even from the land of those who no longer live, he asks his trickster companion Héctor what happened. Poignantly, Héctor informs Miguel that, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—...

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: 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 ...

Who is Jesus?

Read Time: 11 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...