Ready to Marry?

Marriage. Almost everyone has an opinion about this institution. Some think it’s antiquated; others treat it like a terminal illness. Romantics see it as a lovely ending, and cynics see it as a trap. Countless studies are done each year, seeking to determine the right age, the right living conditions, the right personality types…treating marriage like a math problem that simply needs the right formula. And yet, despite all these studies and all these experts, the divorce rate keeps rising. As my kids get older, and we start talking about their futures, I am tempted to just go with the “wisdom of the age” – finish college, get a job, date around, enjoy life before “settling” down. But the truth is – that advice is...

Unburden Yourself

We are weighed down – by expectations, by situations, by attitudes, by guilt, by life. It can get overwhelming, all those burdens. Sometimes I feel suffocated by them all. I know I’m supposed to “cast my cares” on Jesus. But how does one do that?  I have been thinking through this lately, and I have come up with some ideas. First, I have realized that we have to define our burdens. I think there are two basic types, and each needs to be dealt with in a different way. Burdens others place on us. These are burdens we didn’t choose, burdens dumped on us by sinful people or tragic circumstances. We deal with these by daily surrendering these burdens to Jesus – laying them down at his feet and asking Him to carry them for us....

What the &%$@ Is Wrong With Cursing?

I get this question from teens all the time. Words are words, right? Why do people make such a big deal about certain ones? And, technically, yes, words are just words. A conglomeration of letters. There are plenty of words we can say in other languages that just sound funny to us, but would be offensive to someone who speaks that language. So why be so uptight about “curse” words in our own language? Why are they so taboo? First, it’s because we as a society assign meaning to words. If we lived 400 years ago, the word “swive” would be highly offensive. Today, it means nothing. We don’t use that word anymore. Therefore, in our 21st century society, it is not offensive. But other words are offensive. Often because they represent...

Check Your Fruit

You know how, when you’re with good friends, you’ll do a “breath check”? A quick puff out to make sure that garlic from lunch or coffee from Starbucks isn’t stinking it up every time you talk? Those are important. Helpful. People who breathe your air are grateful for the time you took to ask that question. But, as important as breath checks are, there are other checks that are even more important. A “fruit check” is one of them. The Bible often uses the metaphor of “fruit” to describe a vibrant Christian life. Christians who are growing in Christ are bearing fruit, and that fruit is noticeable to others. What, exactly, should we be demonstrating? The Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,...

What is Good Friday?

What is Good Friday? It is the day Christians remember Christ’s work on the cross. On Good Friday, Jesus was led to his execution. He was sentenced to a death so horrendous that it was reserved only for non-citizens of the Roman Empire. Not even the worst Roman citizen would have to endure this. And Jesus was sentenced for one reason: Because he claimed to be God. He wasn’t killed for being a good person, for being a wise teacher, for hanging out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He was killed because the Jewish leaders of his day found his claims of deity to be blasphemous. They did not believe he was the promised Messiah. And they understood – rightly – that that is exactly who he was saying he was. But Jesus was the Messiah. He was God in the flesh, come to...