(Photo: James A. Washington) Have you ever consulted God before you made that stupid mistake or very dumb decision? I mean, is God in your inner circle of friends and family? Is He a part of that group in whom you confide about your most personal problems, your deepest feelings? Is He allowed to know your real goals, your real dreams, those things you tell only a select few? We’re talking about the good and the bad. If you, like me, had to think twice about this, then God is probably not high on your list of priorities when it comes to decision-making. I am now so convinced that had I known how much He loved me, I would have asked God to help me navigate my life ages ago. It is my current and permanent belief that had I done so, many of my stupid mistakes and dumb decisions would have indeed been avoided. You see, one of the great distractions in the physical world is relying too much on that which we can see and that which we can touch. It becomes our pseudo version of the … [Read more...] about Day-after stupidity is the absolute worst
Take heart i have overcome the world
iStock We’re told in the story of Christ’s birth that he was sent to bring “peace on Earth” (Luke 2:14). All throughout the Old and New Testaments, God echoes his promise of peace, and he invites us to be a part of the process as well. “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” Jesus told his disciples in his famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:9). I don’t know how much of the nightly news you’ve been watching, but it looks to me like we could use a little peacemaking. And I’m not just talking about in Israel, or Yemen, or Venezuela. I’m talking about amongst our very own family members, friends and neighbors. Take a quick scroll through social media and you’ll see family members in a war of words over a political disagreement. Friendships are often ruined with one harsh word. Neighbors never speak again after one trivial dispute. Perhaps you can recall a moment when you contributed to … [Read more...] about How to make peace in a world full of hate
CLEVELAND, Ohio - I received this email from Mike (not his real name). I ran into him years ago. We talked about our shared experiences of taking care of family members who had suffered major strokes. His note began: "We haven't talked for years..." Then he updated me about his family situation, adding his in-laws "now live with us." He added, "I do the same things ... change diapers, give baths." Now, the family challenge is dementia. His note didn't ask for sympathy. It was just a hello, an update and some kind words for some of my writings that have helped him over the years. His email also was a reminder of how wrong some of us were when we thought, "As life goes along, it probably will get a lot better." This is not to say, "Life stinks, then we die." It is to say suffering is a part of life. Not all the time. And in this country, we are immune from so much of the pain endured by the rest of the world. But it's real. I was talking to another friend, whose wife has severe … [Read more...] about Faith & You: Pain, suffering and me — Terry Pluto
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)Richard Gunderman, Indiana University(THE CONVERSATION) You can tell a lot about our culture by the way we talk about marriage. Take the upcoming exchange of vows between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Press coverage will focus on aspects like the cost of the festivities, the size of the crowds and the fashion choices of the wedding party. × Advertisement But since marriage represents one of the most important factors in predicting a person’s happiness, this marriage – and all marriages – deserve deeper reflection than the press tends to give them.Marriage is increasingly described as an economic transaction, with marriage rates dictated by the conditions of the “marriage market” – whether matrimony will improve or worsen one’s financial outlook. It increasingly serves as a “status symbol,” a means for couples to … [Read more...] about As the Royal Wedding approaches, what can one of the world’s greatest novel teach us about marriage?
I get the sense sometimes that many who claim to be Christians think suffering should not be part of their lives and they ought not to be mistreated by unbelievers. There are preachers who tell their listeners that God wants them to be healthy and wealthy (as many of those leeches are).Even if they use the Bible, the preaching of these frauds always comes back to that message, no matter where it starts. “Believe God for a miracle.” “If you are not healed, you don’t have enough faith.” “Send your money in and get a prayer cloth.”Some claim to get messages from God about healings that are going on right there on the spot.There are dear Christians who get caught up in all this and believe if they only had more faith, if they travel to be in attendance at a meeting, if they send in more money, they would be healed or their financial situation will improve.How horrific for the sick, the infirm and the poor!These false teachers can be quite … [Read more...] about Faith in Focus: Is your best life supposed to be now?