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...

Matters of Life and Death

I woke up last Sunday to the news that my mom (age 62) has cancer. Those of you who have gotten news like that know that it is a major perspective-changer. I know words this Sunday that I’d never heard of last Sunday – words like ‘peritoneal’ and ‘carcinomatosis’. I know about Stages and cancer centers and the fact that not all chemo is the same and wigs cost a ridiculous amount of money and some doctors are just not nice people. I also know that I have an amazing family – on all sides. I have wonderful friends – ones that I see often and ones I hardly see at all. I know that people who have walked this road before reach out and offer help and hope. I know that, when you get news like this, life-changing news, what...