Redeeming LGBTQ in Christ For Catholics, sexuality does not start with sexuality. In a fallen world, it starts with the cross—and almost everyone harbors stereotypes when it comes to the cross. Some worry I’m about to get wildly conservative. Others are afraid I’ll be too liberal. Some would like it if I said we were going to find a healthy balance between unhealthy extremes. On a freezing cold January afternoon, I was sitting in the middle of a crowded bar sipping espresso with my friend Pip. An interesting statement. “Pip, are you telling me you think God loves you?” Happily he replied, “Exactly! “So you believe God loves you even though you’re gay?” As I looked at his bright, slender face, I was struck by the earnestness of his voice. I’ll never forget those two words. Why not? Then I leaned in and said, “Pip, I know God loves you.” He thought for a moment and then responded. So “L” is for love. The hope Pip has for his life is the same hope that Jesus identified for each of our lives. “So what do you do?”
Silencing the Slanderous Accuser of the Brethren I’ve faced my fair share of slander from the accuser of the brethren. Sometimes it comes through religious spirits that type 50 words per minute and rip off an email without considering the spirit in which they're written. Other times it comes through atheists or radical gay activists who mock and condemn me for voicing God’s Word. Still other times it can come from who you let get close to you that have believed the enemy's lie. Of course, it’s no coincidence that the slander always makes its way back to your ears. Slander is not pretty. But what if you are the one being slandered? How to Respond to Slander How you respond to mistreatment is one of the most important aspects of your spiritual life. As I said, I’ve endured plenty of mistreatment during my life, and I can honestly say that I count it a blessing. No one likes to be slandered. Understanding how seriously God takes slander has had a twofold impact on my heart. Transferring Your Personal Rights Did you enjoy this blog?
Not a sparrow falls…or a swallow | Bootcamp NW I’ve been sitting on this blog post for the last week trying to decide what I could say about the story, but instead I’m just going to tell the story and you can make any conclusions you like. On Saturday morning of our April 2013 Bootcamp JB and I were running a little late to breakfast and we were the last people in the cabin. As we’re just about out the door I see a bird hit the big A-Frame window and fall the 20-30 feet to the deck. We walk out and see this poor creature is in bad shape. Its breathing ragged its eyes are rapidly dimming and something sharp and white is protruding from the side of his face. Before… But then after a short pause JB says out loud what also just came to me, “let’s pray for him.” With that behind us, JB goes back inside to grab a box lid and some ripped up paper towels to give the guy a least a little warmth. A few seconds later, JB comes out with the box top and I open my hands to let go of this wounded thing. After…
3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don't Leave the Church by Jon Nielson What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? “What do we do about our kids?” The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes. I’m a high school pastor, but for once, they weren’t talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. Each had a story to tell about a “good Christian” child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years. The daunting statistics about churchgoing youth keep rolling in. It’s hard to sort through the various reports and find the real story. 1. The Apostle Paul, interestingly enough, doesn’t use phrases like “nominal Christian” or “pretty good kid.” We need to stop talking about “good kids.” Read Trait # 2 >>
10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s | Young Adult & Singles Ministry In Dallas No one ever plans to ruin their life. Nobody makes that a goal, or a New Year’s resolution, or an integral part of their 5-year plan. Kids don’t sit around and dream about growing up to be an alcoholic; students don’t go to class to learn how to be bankrupt; brides and grooms don’t go to the altar expecting their marriage to fail. Nobody ever plans for it, but it does happen. Most of those choices take place when people are relatively young—old enough to be making important decisions about their life, but young enough for those decisions to snowball and grow to have disastrous consequences. How can we avoid making such mistakes? 1. This was the biggest lie I believed in my twenties. The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. – Proverbs 14:15 2. Ah, Dallas, the city that practically invented the term “$30k millionaire.” The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7 3. How do addictions happen? 4. 5. Want heartbreak? 6.
Spiritual Gifts Tests Adult Test The adult spiritual gifts test is geared towards those with a good understanding of themselves and where they are in their walk with Jesus. This test is appropriate for new believers as well as mature Christians. This test is also suitable for some who are young, even those still in high school, who have a more developed faith. Youth Test The youth spiritual gifts test has been aimed at those in Junior High and High School. What People Are Really Thinking When They Invite you to Church | Angela Jamene In the new era of "The Pope Francis Effect", and people of all walks coming out for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a lot of previously shy Christians are feeling more confident stepping up and out, and inviting you to church. Which can be really annoying when you have zero interest in going to church, maybe that's why you're reading this. You may even be reading this thinking some version of "Anyone who would believe in some all-powerful man, who watches every little thing that every single person does, telling us to love each other, while he lets whole nations suffer from starvation and genocide, is out of their mind." That's what I used to think. But I don't anymore. Just over two years ago, I picked up a free bible, I had read it before but, this time, almost instantly, in a wave of emotions and realizations and revelations and a wide variety of indescribable sensations, I became a Christian. It was like that. That's what they want for you.
Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I'd be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt. I grew up in the Episcopal Church in Alaska, but my belief was superficial and flimsy. It was borrowed from my archaeologist father, who was so brilliant he taught himself to speak and read Russian. Leaning on my father's faith got me through high school. After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. Very Open-Minded To the extent that I encountered Christians, it was in the news cycle. A few months into our relationship, my boyfriend called to say he had something important to talk to me about. As he talked, I grew conflicted.
Impossible Possible | Become Good Soil Recently, I was picking up the neighborhood boys to drive them to school along with our kids as is part of our Thursday morning liturgy. But on this particular day, things were a bit different: our little buddy TJ had declared war on kindergarten and was standing his ground with every bit of strength he could muster. TJ was a wreck. If you’re a parent of young kids, you know this story or some version of it, as you’ve lived it time and time again. To be honest, I had no idea what to do. Part of me wanted to offer compassion and let the screaming little guy stay home with his mom as he was demanding. Beginning with the first day of life outside the womb, every child is asking two core questions: “Am I loved?” I stood a few feet away from TJ and his mom under the canopy of an ash tree dressed in autumn gold. Grasping for tenderness and firmness, I reached down and picked up the raging, tear-filled boy and wrangled him into the seat of my truck. None of it. “Yes.” Of course he did. Ask for it.
'The Love of Most Will Grow Cold,' Jesus Prophesied Summary: Jesus ominously warned that in the latter days the love of most believers would grow cold! But there is a simple solution that will keep your love for Him strong and growing. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Most people’s love will grow cold. • This is a warning from Jesus for the end times. • I want each of us here today to “stand firm to the end.” • (1) Firm against the increase of wickedness in the end times. • (2) As this rampant wickedness grows, Jesus warned that the love of most will grow cold (NIV). • I want to share with you today some warnings and some encouragement from the Scriptures that will help you keep your love for God burning brightly in your hearts. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. • Recall the apostle John’s words (1 John 2:15): “Do not love the world or anything in the world. • There’s the danger.