For many of us, there is a paradox we struggle with everyday: We are smart, capable, and strong…and yet we feel powerless in many aspects of our lives. To make matters worse, during those times when we feel helpless or out-of-control, there never seems to be enough time, enough money, or enough willpower to resolve our problems.Read More
In psychology, there's a phenomenon called the 'hedonic treadmill' where we experience greater and greater pleasures and yet at less and less felt satisfaction. It's almost like how a lollipop tastes great at first, but once your taste buds acclimate to its sweetness, it begins to taste blander. Similarly, we often experience pleasures that fade in their potency over time.Read More
A few weeks ago, I was asked to write about how Jesus is enough for me. To be honest, I feel like that is a really big question to answer. There are a number of roads I can take you down, but I was told I had a word limit—so here goes nothing.
The author of the book of Hebrews is trying to remind the audience that they should keep their eyes focused on Jesus and not get distracted by other comforts that would compromise their heart—to remember that Jesus is enough. Easier said than done, right?Read More
For many of us, 2019 means fresh starts and new beginnings. When we think about new years, new year’s resolutions typically come to mind—losing weight, quitting a habit, changing something. We all know, however, how often new year’s resolutions last or work.
Why don’t new years resolutions work? They often fail for one primary reason—lack of discipline. Anything worth while in life requires discipline—the ability to say no to certain things, yes to other things, determination, perseverance, good time management, and more. Each year many of us long to read the Bible more but fail to. What needs to change?
As we leave 2018 and enter into 2019, we must see Bible reading as a discipline, and that’s a good thing! Like any discipline, Bible reading is something we must be committed to and willing to do regularly until it becomes a habit. After we’ve carried out a discipline regularly over a long period of time, that discipline becomes easier. This reality is also true for Bible reading.Read More
As we near the end of this Advent and Christmas season, we must go back to the foundational element for all of the other Advent elements, and that is Christ. He is the only way that we can truly have hope, peace, joy and love. As many people say this time of year, and as cheesy as it may sound at times, Jesus truly is the reason for the season! Christmas is about Jesus Christ.
The word Christmas literally means “Christ's mass,” which comes from the Latin word “‘to give thanks.” This points to the truth that we should give thanks to God for sending the gift of his son Christ into the world.Read More
Have you ever been out in the middle of a body of water? You know the type—the waters surrounding you are dark with nothing around for miles and the only thing separating you from the deep, dark water is the boat supporting you. Well, I’ve been on a small motor boat in the middle of the Nile River before and I remember the fear that swallowed me the moment I saw the angry looking crocodiles on the banks. I remember losing my breath for a moment when the crocodiles dove in the water as we approached their territory. My brain immediately began playing out scene after scene of our boat tipping over, everyone coming face to face with these huge crocodiles and losing a few limbs or my life. Needless to say, I had to preach peace to my anxious heart in the middle of the beautiful Nile River, because in that moment, it wasn’t very beautiful, but instead very terrifying.Read More
The Christmas season is upon us—a season with its own dedicated food, music and foliage; a season that sees our calendars filled with events; our houses filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of the season; and our hearts filled with Christmas cheer (or dread or anxiety or sadness or some combination of all these things). Basically, Christmas is a very full season. But in this season of “more” (more events, more gifts, etc.) Christians are called to focus on “less.” In the hustle and bustle of this demanding season, Christians are called to slow down and experience the simple gift of Christ.Read More
We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt it. The butterflies. The nerves. The excitement. The anxiety of what is to come or what might happen. Anticipation can cause us to feel “all the feels” at times: anxiety, excitement, and joy awaiting the expected arrival of someone or something. However, what are we called to do in the waiting? After all, anticipation can only exist when we are longing for what is to come, not what is already here.Read More
Disgust. We’ve all felt it, as it’s a universal emotion, but it’s an emotion we try to avoid.
When Pastor Dustin reached out to the counselors for help writing these blog posts, I was a little later than the other counselors in checking my email. We were given a list of emotions that were to be explored. Joy and trust were among the first chosen to blog about. Then the emotions of fear, anger and sadness were relatable enough and taken to explore. Disgust was one of the last choices and so I was stuck with it. I was literally disgusted I ended up with the emotion of disgust.Read More
Anger is not a sin; it is a God-given, God-experienced emotion. Sin enters when our response to the felt emotion goes against showing respect and dignity to image bearers, such as ourselves.
God experiences anger when Israel continues to return to idol worship and disobedience to their covenant (i.e., God’s boundaries he set up for the Israelite people to protect their relationship with Him and themselves). There are consequences to pushing against God’s boundaries such as distance from Him (i.e. Genesis 3:23-24). Many times in the Old Testament, we see God distance himself from the Israelites when they do not keep the covenant. However, He does not ever cease to offer an alternative response that would lead to restoration of the relationship.Read More