Archives For Faith

Doubt is not the same as unbelief.

If you’ve ever been told to “let go of your doubts,” or “just trust God.” If you’ve ever been told your faith was weak, or been rebuked for your doubt—as if doubt was the same as unbelief—then, read on.

This post will help you.

Doubt is not Unbelief

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You know it’s important to know your strengths. And that’s where the self-help books will have you focus. This makes sense when your goal is to gain position, authority, influence.

But not if your goal is to be like Christ.

The Bible presents a counter-intuitive, even risky, view of strength and weakness. It’s that, paradoxically, it’s more important for your ultimate good to know your weakness, than your strengthto know, just how far that weakness goes.

Do you know it?

weak

[Photo courtesy of Flickr]

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Thank You for Making Me Who I AM

Lon —  January 13, 2014 — 2 Comments

We are who others make us.

That’s not absolutely true. But much of the good (and bad) we experience in life is due to the influence, support, and at times, correction of others.

Lon Eating a Baguette in Starbucks

Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, reminded me that “no one…ever makes it alone” (115). This made me want to thank the family, friends, pastors, teachers, and bosses who have had a positive hand in the making of me, average as I am.

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Hello Friends,

Dawn and I have been visiting our daughter, Haley, in a place that rhymes with pants ;). In our absence we’d like to re-share a few posts from our archives on a theme that is very important to us:

What are the facts and fictions about Christian faith and how can I trust it?

In addition to the post below on the difference between faith and wishing, here are links to several other posts on this theme that we believe you will find helpful for better understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Christian faith. You can pick and choose, or bookmark this page to read each at your leisure. If something resonates with you be sure to leave a comment or question. We love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for being a loyal reader. Grace and peace to you.

  1. What Makes Faith “Christian?”
  2. Treating Prayer Like Magic
  3. Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD
  4. Is Christianity a Superstition?
  5. The Religion About a Relationship
  6. Crazy Stuff Christians Believe
  7. Knowing Your Are a Christian

The Difference Between Faith and Wishing

During my early years as a young Christian, I gathered some wild ideas about faith. The first influencers in my young Christian life were the TV preachers of the late 70s – yeah, I know – and the pentecostal movement from which I first heard the gospel about Jesus (well, sort of anyway).

From these two influencers, I heard all sorts of things about the words faith and believe. I learned that if I truly believed I could heal people, or be healed, I could rebuke the devil, I could tear down strongholds (some of you non-pentecostal types are wondering what that means), I could speak God’s will about people’s lives, I could even “take dominion” over mosquitoes.

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Good Friday has come and gone. Easter has come and gone.

Now what?

Well, that depends on your view of Easter. If you view Easter as a Christian metaphor about newness of life and hope for tomorrow, then you can pretty much go on as you were, trying to be a good person (or not) with your vague hopes for tomorrow.

Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, by Alexander Ivanov

[Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, by Alexander Ivanov. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.]

But if you believe that Jesus was literally, physically, permanently raised from death like Dawn and me then the resurrection can and should have huge life-changing implications for your tomorrow. And by life-changing, I mean both how God changes your life, and how you seek to change.

Here’s eight “Now what?” implications every new believer in Jesus’ resurrection should think about. This isn’t a to-do list, it’s a to-think-study-pray-about-what-it-all-means list. This will take a lifetime, so I recommend you get a Bible, find a church, and get started.

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This Sunday, March 24th, is Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition. On this day we celebrate the day that Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem to shouts of, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Palm Branches

[photo by Wallula Junction on Flickr]

It’s called Palm Sunday because the crowds cut palm branches to lay in the path of Jesus as a sign of joyous welcome. You can read two of the historical records in Matthew 21:6-11 and John 12:12-15.

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Crazy Stuff Christians Believe

Lon —  December 11, 2012 — 1 Comment

Rational. Credible. Objective. Cogent. Reliable. Attested by history.

These words describe the Christian faith.

So for example, when Luke wanted to be clear that he was not writing a collection of folk-stories about Jesus, this is what he told his audience up front [emphasis, mine]:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. — Luke 1:1-4

This is the way you write when you want to report an objective record of history to convince someone of something you regard as true, and not Aesop’s fables.

open book

“Nonsense,” says the modern person. In his or her modern mind, Christians believe a lot of crazy stuff that sounds more like myths and fairy tales.

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