Matthew tells us the rich young man “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22). When told to sell what he had and to give to the poor, he walked away, leaving the opportunity of eternity for his earthly kingdom. Perfection, it seems, cost too much.
Friendship isn’t always comfortable. Continue reading
When I was little, I remember praying with my head bowed, my eyes closed, and my hands together. Prayer, at that point, seemed tied to posture, as if a change in posture might lessen the validity of the prayer. At least, that’s how my little mind viewed the situation. As I grew, I learned that one could pray without folded hands, without a bowed head, and even without closed eyes. Such discoveries brought a newfound freedom to my prayer life, yet they also became opportunities for the flesh as I began to self-righteously look down on others who still maintained the posture of the early days of prayer. I thought that I’d grown beyond the need for such posture, that I’d grown so mature in my relationship with the Lord that posture and setting became concerns of the past. I’m beginning to reconsider the importance of posture, however. Continue reading
Conflict among Christians can terrify me.
Whom do you serve? Whom do you truly follow?
People enjoy fighting. Continue reading
In high school and college, I saw a number of people set boundaries on their lives for the sake of holiness and purity. Friends of mine would declare a “Facebook fast” and would deactivate their accounts for months at a time, citing their need to strengthen a relationship with God as the motivation to abstain. Other friends would declare a year of singleness, determining not to date for twelve months in order to refocus on the Lord. Others set boundaries on existing relationships (“we will not be alone in a bedroom together”; “we will not hang out past 11:00 pm unless others are present”; “we will not kiss until marriage”). At the outset, hopes were high for the excited individuals, each one intent on drawing nearer to God. But not every promise produced the desired result, and not every pledge proved effective.
Marriage is a journey. I had the privilege of watching two dear friends begin that journey on Saturday, and I loved seeing their excitement for the road ahead. As they exchanged their vows and reflected on how God had so perfectly led them together, I saw yet another picture of God’s love for us. The simplicity and humility shown was beautiful, and it pointed to the pure example of Christ, who died for his enemies to make them adopted children of God.
As new marriages are beginning, others I know are marking the first of many anniversaries, allowing me to see couples in a various number of early stages. Not surprisingly, I’m learning a lot by watching those facing the challenges that time brings. Today, I wanted to continue adding to a post I wrote in June. I pray God will encourage and challenge you through these observations. Continue reading
I spent roughly the first seventeen and a half years of my life in the same city. I only ever attended my home church, I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and my circle of friends consisted almost solely of kids I’d grown up with at church and a handful of students I’d met through state youth choirs and events. My parents and extended family are largely Christian, and the friends I made in my neighborhood growing up were from much the same background as I. All in all, I lived a somewhat sheltered life.