God's Comfort

God's Comfort

You know what I want from God when everything is going wrong? Hugs. Explanations. Lightning bolts directed at certain people (just being honest).

You know what I don't want? A rod. Or a staff. 

Yet in Psalm 23 that's how David said God gave him comfort when he was dealing with difficult situations.

So, how can that help me when I deal with life's challenges?

Don't Get Mad. Or Even.

Don't Get Mad. Or Even.

I've been treated unjustly more than once in my life. I'm willing to bet you have as well.

In the midst of situations like that, don't you absolutely want God to take up your case? To make everything turn out right for you, and also, if it's not too much trouble God, to teach that jerk a lesson?

I think David has some insight to share for us that will help us lead spiritually healthier lives in the midst of these challenges...

It's All About Relationships (or How To Do Christianity Wrong and Make This World Worse Than It Already Is)

It's All About Relationships (or How To Do Christianity Wrong and Make This World Worse Than It Already Is)

Lately, I've come to a realization: that the primary way our world is broken is found in one primary area: relationships.

Where there is a lack of relationships, the void that exists causes great pain to people. 

Relationships are not always easy. It involves caring about other people and communicating.

I've had both negative and positive examples of this in my life lately. Lemme share a few with you...

Can Jesus Redeem Facebook?

Can Jesus Redeem Facebook?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I suspect many people share this sentiment.

One multiple occasions after having negative interactions or experiences, I have considered not only removing the apps from my phone for facebook, twitter and instagram, but deleting my account altogether.

Maybe you have considered this as well. When I start feeling overwhelmed by this feelings, I can often wonder whether Jesus can use facebook for any real good in our world.

Trusting Jesus (and GPS)

Trusting Jesus (and GPS)

Can I be honest for a minute? The last year of my life has been pretty difficult. I've had to look for ideas and concepts to keep my sanity.

One of the things I've focussed on comes from the famous Corinthian love passage: "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

I'm not very in touch with my emotions, but I love God as best I can. 

Hope has become too painful in my life because I confuse it easily with creating my own expectations, so I'm trying to stop doing that. I call this the Shawshank protocol.

I equate faith with trust. Trust is essentially the last thread left that I'm holding onto. 

The Worst Part of Religion

The Worst Part of Religion

Most people would probably consider me to be a religious individual. I believe in God and regularly read the bible and pray and go to church. I involve myself in charity work and generally try to be a not-terrible individual. Some days are better than others as far as that goes. Let's put it this way, sometimes, I totally get why Jean-Paul Sartre would say that "Hell is other people".

So, when I tell you what I consider the worst part of being religious to be, you know that I’m doing it not as somebody throwing rocks at the establishment, but as somebody who cares about it.

Seriously, God?

Seriously, God?

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have moments that cause me to say something along the lines of "Seriously, God?"

When some things (or everything) simply doesn't make sense in my life, I quickly discover a bit of entitlement I hold in my heart - that God owes me a life that makes sense, or at least an explanation when it doesn't.

I know this is completely contrary to many scriptural examples, but sometimes I'm way too selfish to care.

Here's Why Disengagement Is A Bad Idea

Here's Why Disengagement Is A Bad Idea

If we are worried about unhealthy relationships, proposing a solution of having NO relationships is lazy, foolish and ultimately harmful. We must be willing to seek how Jesus points us to having healthier relationships.

Jesus always wants us to have a better, healthier, fuller life than what we would choose for ourselves. 

When dealing with dysfunctional situations, I think the answer for a Christian should never to be turning a blind eye or a deaf ear.

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Have you ever been in a room and started to wonder about the other people? Am I the youngest person in this room? Or the oldest? Am I smarter than everybody else in here? Am I better looking than him or her? If everybody in here gave my appearance a grade, what would I end up with. Well, at least I know I would do better than that guy...and she would definitely get a lower score than I would.

We take some comfort in knowing that while we may not be at the top of the pile, we’re definitely not at the bottom of it.

Maybe you’re drop dead gorgeous. Or crazy smart. Or filthy rich. Even if you’re the tops in some setting, I could probably find a bigger room with more “competition”. Or, I could just change the category to find an area where you don’t want to put yourself up for comparison.

That’s the danger of comparison: you’ll always find somebody better than you in something.

Jesus and the Politics of Fear

Jesus and the Politics of Fear

American politics, and the 24 hour news networks which go along with it, have become conduits of fear mongering. This is in stark contrast with how Jesus interacted with the crowds in his ministry. As followers of Jesus, what do I need to keep in mind if I choose to be involved with the American political system?

How I Try To Manipulate God (or, You Should Be A Mentor)

How I Try To Manipulate God (or, You Should Be A Mentor)

One of my hobbies is trying to manipulate God.

I don't think it's a particularly healthy hobby, and it's certainly not a productive one, but what can I say? I'm really self centered, and like a car with a "pull" to one side or the other, I often find myself drifting over the line into this silly behavior when I'm not fully engaged in living an emotionally and relationally healthier life which Jesus calls me to.

My goal in the deals I offer God is to make what I'm offering so helpful, so useful to God, that God would have to be crazy to say no. And since we know God isn't crazy, it basically a full proof plan. 

To steal from the Godfather, I make God an offer he can't refuse.

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Recently, I've spent time thinking about what would have happened in the 1960s if people had ignored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and listened to more militant voices.

America would almost certainly have descended into another civil war.

I am very worried that we are moving towards learning the reality of that "what it" question today.