When God Doesn’t Make Sense

burnout-384086_1920 pixabay public domain

Read John 11:1-6.

“So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” John 11:6

The Watney House Fire

From the street it looked like a one story house. But because it was built on a hillside, from the back you could see another level below with sliding glass doors opening out to a patio and back yard. This was the house where the Watney kids lived: Melissa, Mark, and Emma. Continue reading

Prayer and Church (And What An Agnostic, Progressive, Single, Childless Sociologist’s Book Says About Them)

Nicholas H Wolfinger Secular Sociologist Soul Mates Author

Nicholas H Wolfinger progressive sociologist and coauthor of the book Soul Mates

What An Agnostic, Progressive, Single, Childless Sociologist’s Book Says About Prayer And Church

I just read an article in Christianity Today about what an agnostic, progressive, single, and childless sociologist’s book says about prayer and church. Here’s a summary:

Research on the nation’s two largest minority groups, Latinos and African Americans, confirms that prayer and regular connection with a church community is of great benefit to marriages and families. (Later in the article we learn that this applies to the white demographic too.)

This research comes from the Oxford University Press book titled, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos. The agnostic progressive sociologist is Nicholas H. Wolfinger. To be fair, he coauthored the book with another sociologist, W. Bradford Wilcox, who is married, a catholic, conservative, and has children. When Christianity Today asked Wilcox why he chose to team up with someone holding a different worldview he said, Continue reading

Things You Should Know About The Author Of This Blog: I Recently Had This Conversation With Kathy

I recently had the following conversation with Kathy.

Kathy: “Sometimes you can be so dismissive.”

Me: “That’s ridiculous.”

(Kathy appreciates your prayers.)

When It’s Time To Die

Die to self

(From the archives)

It’s Time to Die

In a previous post we saw how important it is not to die indiscriminately. It was a post for people who can’t say no, as you might gather from the title: How Not to Become a Christian Doormat.

This post is probably more important and for a greater number because this post is for all of us who Continue reading

Joseph’s 5 Steps to Avoid Temptation: Genesis 39:6-23

how to resist temptation

(Tied for the most popular post of 2014 so far, from the archives)

Read Genesis 39:6-23

Genesis 39:6-23

I don’t know what Joseph’s early responsibilities were when he first began at Potiphar’s house, but they may have been intensely physical, because Joseph was ripped (“well built” verse six tells us). He was also a good looking guy. And because of this, Joseph’s master’s wife notices him, and begins to proposition him, without much in the way of subtlety either.

“Come to bed with me!” she says to him. Continue reading

Couples With Amazing Marriages All Do This One Thing

great marriages all do this one thing

…and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

A Spirited Exchange Of Ideas (An Argument) Between A Husband And Wife

Kathy and I are in the midst of transition right now, including relocating to a city nearly 300 miles away, the sale of our vacation rental business, and investing in a new area. And of course along with transition of this nature comes, shall we say, spirited exchanges of ideas between husband and wife. And that has me thinking about Continue reading

Female Logic At Starbucks

Female Logic Starbucks

Female Logic:

So this morning Kathy and I are walking out of Starbucks, and we’re crossing the drive through lane. And a guy driving an SUV is heading right for Kathy. So I grabbed her arm and guided her out of the way.

And she says, “What’s the big deal?”

And I said, “That dude just bought a coffee, maybe he’s a little distracted, and he’s headed right for you.”

And she said, “So what! The cops would have nailed him for hitting me anyway.”

Sigh.

(I know what you’re thinking, but there’s no need to fear for my safety–sharing this story was Kathy’s idea.)

[Image via Gexydaf – Creative Commons]

Love Like Jesus–Stay Married

Marriage Christian Love Like Jesus“When I married my wife, I had hardly a smidgen of sense for what I was getting into with her. How could I know how much she would change over 25 years? How could I know how much I would change? My wife has lived with at least five different men since we were wed–and each of the five has been me.

The connecting link with my old self has always been the memory of the name I took on back there: “I am he who will be there with you.” When we slough off that name, lose that identity, we can hardly find ourselves again.” -Lewis Smedes

How Jesus Loved People Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2012

Christian life with Jesus Christ1) Love Like Jesus series: The most popular posts of 2012 begin with a series. Jesus commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NKJV) But He never provided instruction as to how we’re to love–or did he? Posts from the new Love Like Jesus series examine every encounter Jesus had with a person or a group, in chronological order. Each interaction is analyzed and a way for you to make application in your own life is provided.

You can check out the top Love Like Jesus post by clicking on Love Like Jesus–Love the UnlovableOr check out the whole series by clicking on Love Like Jesus.

2) Senna Part 2–Teach Us to Number Our DaysOne of the most compelling stories I’ve ever heard is that of Formula 1 race car driver Ayrton Senna. I was surprised to find I’m not alone. Senna Part 2–Teach Us to Number Our Days is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written. We can learn some valuable lessons from his life. If you’re interested in Ayrton Senna, you might also like Senna Part 1–Senna vs. Prost–Esau Ran to Jacob.

3) Sex and Your Future–Trading 45 Minutes for 1,000 YearsContinue reading

More Important Than Your Marriage

More Important Than Your Marriage (Photo Credit: Christian Marriage Headquarters)

I just read a great article on marriage by Tim Keller. In it he quotes from John Tierney’s classic humor article Picky, Picky, Picky some of the reasons Tierney’s single friends ended relationships. (NY Times)

“She mispronounced ‘Goethe.’”
“How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?”
“If she would just lose seven pounds.”
“Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.”
“Well, it started out great … beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine—until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”… She had dirty elbows.”

Keller then proceeds to explain how the person who will fulfill us and completely accept us just as we are is never the person we marry, not for anyone. Wait around long enough and every marriage relationship winds up in the same place, a place where both husband and wife recognize they’re two flawed people who will each have to make changes and work at their relationship to make it worthwhile.

But why should we think marriage wouldn’t be hard work? Keller asks. Why should a baseball player think it wouldn’t be hard work to learn how to hit a curve ball? Why should a basketball player or a football player think it wouldn’t be hard work to make the playoffs? Or why should a writer think it wouldn’t be hard to write a great book?

Worthwhile things are hard work. Marriage is no different.

Perhaps, like many people, you’ve forgotten about a relationship more important than your marriage. Perhaps you’ve forgotten or neglected your relationship with your Creator.

That relationship can be hard work too.

Today your relationship with God is under constant assault by distractions: There’s sports, and travel, and work, and friends, and family — and then there are the screens. The screens are bombarding us with distraction like never before. There’s movie screens, and computer screens, and smartphone screens, and tablet screens, and TV screens. All of these distractions, most of which aren’t bad in and of themselves, are pulling on you, pulling you away from God. Sometimes it takes hard work to pull yourself away from all of these things to draw near to God. (James 4:8)

Go ahead, ask yourself, Am I treating God as I should? Am I honoring Him? Do I do that which I think will please Him? Do I live my life with the design to please Him? Is He ultimate in my life? And if I answer yes, does the way I invest my time, energy, and money reflect my answer?

Investing your time, energy, and money in God and your relationship with Him can be hard work at times. Just like a marriage you’ll have to make changes in yourself and you’ll have to work at your relationship with Christ to make it worthwhile.

But it’s worth it.

The return on investment is eternal.

You, and I, and every person has to ask, Do I believe I ought to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind? (Matthew 22:37)

And if the answer is yes, then comes the hard question.

Am I doing so?