Here’s the last 100 posts on Average Us in reverse chronological order.
Jesus Will Always Surprise You - In the gospels that record His life, Jesus rarely sounds like the nice man you learned about in Sunday School. Reading the gospels will keep us from a tendency to tame Jesus in our imagination.
How Routine Effects Your Well-Being and Mental Health - Don't just take life as it comes; create the daily and weekly routines that will help you make a life instead.
Why Faith Won’t Save You, And What Will - One of the things I hope to do on Average Us is help the average you grasp the rich hope that is yours in Christ. Thus, the tagline: “Real hope. From God. Through Christ. For us.” But, average Christians like me have been raised in average churches where biblical and theological instruction in this real, … Continue reading Why Faith Won’t Save You, And What Will
The Spiritual Health of Pentecostalism — Part 1 - Is Pentecostalism spiritually healthy? Is it a faithful manifestation of the ancient faith revealed by Scripture? Is pentecostal emotionalism a spiritual blessing, or psychological baggage? As in most things, the answers aren’t a simple yes or no. Nothing is perfect under the sun, and that includes the way Christians—all Christians (including me)—believe and practice our belief. But, I feel compelled to … Continue reading The Spiritual Health of Pentecostalism — Part 1
No Fear Can Rapture My Soul - There is no fear that can rapture my soul In Which He can't see, for which I can't be made whole This darkness is impending, the dreaded black hole And yet, He is here, nothing is beyond His control...
America’s Panic Attack Over Trump and 8 Ways To Love Our Neighbor - America is having a political and cultural panic attack. This should be obvious to you regardless of who you voted for. (Full disclosure: I voted for a write-in candidate). I cannot remember a time when more anxious attention was given to what the President would do, or say, or tweet next.
I Designed and Built a Complete Kitchen from Scratch–Now What? - Hey 2017, what am I gonna do with you? Please, don’t leave me in a funk. You showed up just a few weeks after I completed some pretty major projects at home and the office. And so far, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs wondering, “Now what?” I need something to do. As Colonel Brandon said in Sense … Continue reading I Designed and Built a Complete Kitchen from Scratch–Now What?
The Christian Missionary: A Rare Statistic - Hello reader, I hope you will take 8-minutes of your Sunday to watch this compelling and thought-provoking video produced by a Christian couple I support in mission. The subject is the unreached people groups of the world. The imagery is bold, in-your-face (literally), and the content will make you think, ponder, and I hope, pray. … Continue reading The Christian Missionary: A Rare Statistic
Why I Want Black Lives to Matter to Me - Another police shooting of a black man. This time in St. Paul, Minnesota. The string of these awful events is making me increasingly uncomfortable with myself. I know, I haven’t blogged for months while building a custom kitchen for Dawn (it takes lot of time), and this post is an immediate departure from the usual Average Us theme. … Continue reading Why I Want Black Lives to Matter to Me
Can Humanism Save Humanity? - Recently, I have been watching Ken Burns’ excellent 1996 documentary, The West. You could say it’s a 9-part commentary on how the American west was won. But, it would be more accurate to say that it’s a chilling and brutal story of how human beings of any race will hate and kill each other whenever they have the power … Continue reading Can Humanism Save Humanity?
Donald Trump and Christian Identity - Donald Trump. His name is a lightning rod. ⚡️ Whether you support his 2016 U.S. presidential candidacy or not, you probably have more visceral reaction to the mention of his name than to any other candidate. And now, his name and his campaign trail success is having another, albeit unintended, effect: It’s making Americans wonder … Continue reading Donald Trump and Christian Identity
When Jesus Visited Me - Some things you never forget. I’ll never forget how Jesus visited me in my hour of weakness and fear. 2015 was a whole year of increasing pain and declining health that resulted in two discectomies and 3 months of recovery. I was frequently discouraged, often in pain. Yet, praise Jesus, I was never alone. Related post: What Faith … Continue reading When Jesus Visited Me
5 Reasons To Consider Leaving Your Church - You may know that I have a great concern about the disunity of Protestantism, and the anti-gospel, anti-doctrinal, pro-consumeristic tendencies of many churches in America—something I call: Ameri-Christianity. I have personally sat through works-righteousness moralistic sermons in a variety of churches: from the National Cathedral, to small Methodist and Pentecostal churches, to Baptist and non-denominational mega-churches. … Continue reading 5 Reasons To Consider Leaving Your Church
Why Do You Believe? - In this age where many Christians are constantly looking for some new experience, new purpose, new word from the Lord, or new touch of God, we often forget that what is old is what lasts. It’s the good old Bible that God inspired and preserved for millenia to show us what we should believe about Him, how … Continue reading Why Do You Believe?
Happy Thanksgiving, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving friends and readers! I know we have all experieced the averageness of 2015. There is much to bemoan in the world, and probably in your personal life, too. I’m sure. In the world, I am concerned about the state of race relations in America, and terrorism in the world, and the dissolution of ethics that … Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving, 2015
Learning to Pray My Fears (and Phobias) - Living with fear is something that everyone who lives in the world must do; but praying our fears is the privelege of God’s people. All through the Bible, you will find the prayers of people dealing with fear: Moses, Elijah, David, even Jesus. Especially Jesus. His prayer in Gethsemane before the crucifixion is the prime … Continue reading Learning to Pray My Fears (and Phobias)
What Faith Looks Like When You’re Afraid - The thing I dread most has come upon me and, I’m afraid. Since mid-February of this year, I’ve been dealing unsuccessfully with lower back pain. I ignored it for a little while and continued to run and lift weights. One of my joys in life is meeting friends to run 10-14 miles on Saturday morning, … Continue reading What Faith Looks Like When You’re Afraid
So You Call Yourself a Christian?—10 Things Jesus Said That Make Me Reconsider - I’m confused. What does it actually mean to be a Christian? I mean, I read Christian things from Ameri-Christian culture via social-media… And then I read the Bible. And the differences make me wonder about myself, about American Churches, and about what I now call Ameri-Christianity. AMERI-CHRISTIANITY The principle growth strategy of many churches is to … Continue reading So You Call Yourself a Christian?—10 Things Jesus Said That Make Me Reconsider
When Your Surgeon Looks Disappointed - “Did the surgery turn out as you expected?” I asked. “No,” he said with genuine disappointment in his eyes. “I performed the same surgery on a lady the same day as yours, and she is up and around and doing well.” On October 2nd, 2015 my surgeon attempted to correct a herniated disc problem that … Continue reading When Your Surgeon Looks Disappointed
HELP!—Weird Things Are Happening in Our Church - A reader recently contacted Average Us to ask about something that is troubling him about his church: a lot of abnormal behavior promoted as inspired by God. Knowing that I had once been a pentecostal pastor, He asked if I was familiar with this, and what he should think of it. Since I have been asked about this … Continue reading HELP!—Weird Things Are Happening in Our Church
Our Need His Help - Heavenly Father, Make us always aware of our great need; And always aware of Your constant grace. Lord Jesus, Make us always aware of our great need; And always aware of Your perfect redemption. Spirit of God, Make us always aware of our great need; And always aware of Your supporting strength. Almighty, Triune God, Make us always aware … Continue reading Our Need His Help
Waking Up in Pain - L3 and L4. Herniated Discs. Two of them. Two rounds of epidural cortisone injections. Moaning in my sleep. Waking up in pain. Fearful commutes to work. Strategically considering the distance to the men’s room. Sometimes feeling old and weak. (Vanity never quits.) Sometimes feeling discouraged. Chronic pain does that to you. No running. No hiking. … Continue reading Waking Up in Pain
Why Does God Make Life So Hard? And What He Wants Us to Do About It - The early 90’s were a rough time for me. I had moved my family from a difficult financial situation in Minnesota, to a worse situation in Georgia. Our long-term plans died on the vine. I was under-employed working two part-time jobs. Debt and bills were always a problem. We lived paycheck to paycheck. We had … Continue reading Why Does God Make Life So Hard? And What He Wants Us to Do About It
Why You Should Know The Apostles’ Creed - Does your church recite a creed during its worship service? Growing up as a Pentecostal Christian, the churches I attended never did. I was never taught about the historic creeds of our faith. I’m not even sure I ever heard the word creed. Creeds—historic confessions of faith—weren’t valued as part of the ideal worship service. That … Continue reading Why You Should Know The Apostles’ Creed
Project Semicolon Starts a Tattoo Trend - You may have heard about a growing trend via USA Today or Huffington Post that is raising awareness of mental health issues: people are getting tattooed with a semicolon. Why a semicolon? According Amy Bleuel, founder of the faith-based Project Semicolon, A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not … Continue reading Project Semicolon Starts a Tattoo Trend
Making Spiritual Life Adjustments - Any Christian who is familiar with the Bible knows that the most significant aspect of the Christian life is God’s grace: salvation is His gift. It is by grace alone that we are saved, through faith in Christ alone. He or she also knows that the most significant and practical way to experience God’s grace is to … Continue reading Making Spiritual Life Adjustments
Christian as an Adjective - Christian faith empowers a Christian life. It clings to Christian hope, embraces the Christian Word and Sacrament, builds Christian community and loves the Christian Church. Does the adjective, Christian, describe “my” faith?
A Good Friday Resolution - Wherever you are, whatever goodness and badness of life you have experienced, in this moment as you are reading, please know this: There is more to life than what you see and experience now. To be clear, there is another life than the one you see and experience now. And it is infinitely better. I … Continue reading A Good Friday Resolution
What Bethlehem Taught About Marketing Jesus - Around 2,000 years ago Bethlehem hosted the most spectacular event since, “Let there be light.” It was completely unique; utterly new. Nothing like it had been done before, or since. It was the incarnation of the eternal Son of God in real human flesh and bone, the Son of Man, born to save us. It was … Continue reading What Bethlehem Taught About Marketing Jesus
Can’t Anyone Teach Me How to Pray? - “Can’t anyone teach me how to pray?” Flannery O’Conner once wrote in her journal. You’ve asked it. I’ve asked. We all have. We still do. How do we address an infinite, all-knowing, almighty being who is completely invisible to each of our five senses? And yet, as Tim Keller observed in the opening pages of … Continue reading Can’t Anyone Teach Me How to Pray?
35 Years of Faith in Jesus: Why I’m Still A Christian - I have been a follower of Jesus longer than He actually lived on the earth. That’s a humbling thought to me. I was 16 when the journey began, birthed at the height of pimples, hormones and insecurity. A lot has happened since then, and if I could tally up my failures, mistakes, and sins—the things that would … Continue reading 35 Years of Faith in Jesus: Why I’m Still A Christian
2014: A Year In Review - Thank you! For every post you’ve read or shared, thank you. I enjoy writing this blog. I’m glad to have this technological opportunity to publish words that, I hope, will encourage you to following Christ. Life is hard. We all need encouragement and instruction. I hope you find both here. Here’s what most of you found encouraging … Continue reading 2014: A Year In Review
8 Life Changing Resolutions for Frustrated Christians - If you’re a frustrated Christian, I’ll venture to tell you why, and what to do about it. Frustrated with your spiritual life? With other Christians? With church? With Christianity? With God? I’ll make this short and direct. It may sting a bit. ❯ WHY YOU’RE FRUSTRATED In my role as a christian disciple-maker, I’ve found that frustrated … Continue reading 8 Life Changing Resolutions for Frustrated Christians
The Danger of Sleepovers: Tim Challies’ Top Post of 2014 - Hello and happy new year! Are you familiar with Tim Challies’ excellent (and popular) blog? I follow it and recommend you do the same. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on Tim’s blog: His #1 post of 2014 was a thoughtful examination of the dangers to children inherent in sleepovers. This is highly recommended reading … Continue reading The Danger of Sleepovers: Tim Challies’ Top Post of 2014
Who Can Enter the Kingdom of Heaven? - I read this recently… “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the … Continue reading Who Can Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
Do You Want My Good Thoughts, Positive Energy, or Prayers? - Thanks to the social web I get to hear about the needs and concerns of the people I friend and follow: Someone’s mother is in the hospital. A cousin was in a car accident. A friend is getting a divorce. You lost your job. You know people in your social web will care about your … Continue reading Do You Want My Good Thoughts, Positive Energy, or Prayers?
Evil, God, and an Atheist’s Challenge - I have been reading through the book of Job again and, as always, I find it both a fascinating story and humbling reminder of my place before my Creator. Somewhere during the early chapters I felt inspired to tweet some of the key lessons I see in Job: I hoped a few people might read this and … Continue reading Evil, God, and an Atheist’s Challenge
Secrecy and Publicity in Christian Life - Last week I attended a special thanksgiving service at our church. At this service, everyone was invited to stand and offer public thanks to God for His good work in our lives. One mother read a Psalm and thanked God for the health of her baby. A little boy thanked God for his mommy. An … Continue reading Secrecy and Publicity in Christian Life
She Needed to Know: Is Jesus Pro-Women? - Dawn and I recently had a conversation about feminism with a young woman we have known and cared about for a long time. The topic centered around how society had made this young woman feel “less than…” and how she felt that the ideals of feminism defended her value as a woman. She identified “society” … Continue reading She Needed to Know: Is Jesus Pro-Women?
What’s the Big Deal About Jesus? - Who is this Jesus we Christians say we believe in? What’s the big deal about him, anyway? Why does he matter when life is beating me down? Isn’t it enough to just believe in God? These are the questions a Jewish tax collector named Levi Matthew wanted to answer when he wrote The Gospel of Matthew, … Continue reading What’s the Big Deal About Jesus?
Get Ordinary, the New Book from Michael Horton - Hey there! I want to tell you about Dr. Michael Horton’s new book, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World. I just downloaded the book and am excited to read it. I have heard Dr. Horton discuss this theme several times on his excellent podcast, The White Horse Inn, and I couldn’t agree more with his perspective. … Continue reading Get Ordinary, the New Book from Michael Horton
The Only “Blog” I’ve Ever Blogged - It’s almost 2 o’clock on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Centreville, Virginia. I’m sitting on my brother’s new deck (attached to his house ;) reading, thinking, praying, and now doing something I’ve never done before. I’m simply writing this update on Average Us. It’s what blogging used to be: a note, a letter, a status, a … Continue reading The Only “Blog” I’ve Ever Blogged
29 Ways People Who Live in Peace and Safety Need God’s Help Right NOW - Unless you live under the current threats of ISIS or Ebola, this is what your life looks like: You wake up. Live your life. Go to sleep. Wake up. Live. Sleep. Wake… And if you’re average like me, hardly one of the thousands of thoughts that occupy your attention during the living is of God. … Continue reading 29 Ways People Who Live in Peace and Safety Need God’s Help Right NOW
I Would Never Believe - A historical, apologetic poem… I would not believe in a hidden Creator; I would not believe in original Man; I would not believe in an ark on a great flood; I would not believe in God’s bow or God’s plan. I would not believe Abram heard a voice calling; I would not believe he was … Continue reading I Would Never Believe
Why I Choose to Live, Not Die - Since the sad news that Robin Williams took his own life, I have seen some heated debate over two related issues: whether the suicidal have a choice, and whether suicide is selfish. I may be coming late to the party, but I needed time to sort through what was being said to articulate my feelings … Continue reading Why I Choose to Live, Not Die
Most Viewed Posts This Week - It’s always a bit of a surprise when a new post gets a lot more traffic than usual, and when an old post gets more and more attention. The most viewed posts this week are this new post: 6 Ways to Love Someone With Anxiety or Depression… and this year-old post: God’s Will and Your Big, Stupid … Continue reading Most Viewed Posts This Week
6 Ways to Love Someone With Anxiety or Depression - The following is a guest post I wrote for Anne Marie Miller’s website on June 16, 2014. It was republished by ChurchLeaders.com. I wanted to share it with you today, here on Average Us.—Lon You’re probably familiar with this passage of the Bible written by the Apostle Paul: Love is patient and kind; love does … Continue reading 6 Ways to Love Someone With Anxiety or Depression
Where is God When All Your News Is Bad? - Here’s the news Dawn and I have received in the last 24 hours: 〉A loved one’s recent surgery to remove a lump in his colon revealed cancer in four lymph nodes. 〉An elderly woman whom I had once pastored, and who had always loved Dawn and me unconditionally, died yesterday from Alzheimer’s and cancer. 〉My … Continue reading Where is God When All Your News Is Bad?
Where to Find an Authentic Man - Contrary to what I’ve seen online, authentic manhood is not about “unlocking your inner bad ass.” Here’s a few brief thoughts on the subject… Jesus is the most fully authentic person—the most believable man—I am aware of, indeed, that I can imagine. He left behind infinite superiority to put his life at risk to the … Continue reading Where to Find an Authentic Man
What Does it Mean to Believe in Jesus? - It’s common knowledge that the heart and soul of Christianity is belief in Jesus. But, what does it mean to believe in Jesus? That question is the basis of Paul’s teaching about the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. And it is apparent from Paul’s comment in verse 2 that belief in Jesus can be “in … Continue reading What Does it Mean to Believe in Jesus?
Dreams, Disappointment, Hope, and Why This Blog Is Called “Average Us” - Well over a decade ago, a good friend challenged me with this question: What do you dream about? I remember feeling creases deepen on my brow as I answered emphatically, and somewhat bitterly, I don’t dream. I’ve had enough disappointment already. This post is about why I stopped dreaming, how I eventually discovered that hope … Continue reading Dreams, Disappointment, Hope, and Why This Blog Is Called “Average Us”
Surprised by Joy (of Church Membership??) - Sunday morning a few weeks ago, as Dawn and I stood before the congregation of Ivy Creek Church declaring our vows of membership, something unexpected happened… A surprising joy washed over me. [handmade project photo courtesy of Lisa Leonard Online] It was sudden and strong, unlooked for and unhoped for. It was the sort of arresting … Continue reading Surprised by Joy (of Church Membership??)
Sunday Call to Worship: Give Thanks to the Lord - PSALM 107:1-2 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble. DOCTRINE The psalmist sings out the call for God’s redeemed people to come before Him with gratitude in their hearts and on their lips. … Continue reading Sunday Call to Worship: Give Thanks to the Lord
Sunday Call to Worship: The Lord Is Robed in Majesty - The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.—Psalm 93:1-2 DOCTRINE The Psalmist uses the metaphor of a mighty King in majestic robes, … Continue reading Sunday Call to Worship: The Lord Is Robed in Majesty
Have You Seen Our Most Recent Guest Post? - Hey there! Lon here, letting you know that I recently had the privilege of guest posting on Anne Marie Miller’s blog! The post explores what 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) looks like in real life when the person you love struggles with depression or anxiety. It was quite well received on Anne’s blog and I hope … Continue reading Have You Seen Our Most Recent Guest Post?
12 Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Church (for the Worse) - Ask ten Americans if they believe in God and seven will say, “Yes.” source However, probe a bit deeper and you’ll find that only two of those seven believers went to church last Sunday. source Now, let’s ask what that Sunday worship service was like for our two church attenders. How does it compare with the historic church? What … Continue reading 12 Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Church (for the Worse)
Sunday Call to Worship: Our Judge is Our Savior - The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.—from Paul’s sermon to … Continue reading Sunday Call to Worship: Our Judge is Our Savior
Why Dream Worlds Always Disappoint - I WANT TO DREAM… of a life, of a world… where I’m free from the bondage of mental illness. There, I’m free from my limitations, and the world is mine. My energy is limitless; nothing overwhelms me. Whatever I put my mind to, I can do. I have dreamed of this world since I was a … Continue reading Why Dream Worlds Always Disappoint
Sunday Call to Worship: The Earth Is the Lord’s - The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, For he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.—a Psalm of David (Psalm 24:1-2) DOCTRINE Everything belongs to God. What you have. What you need. What you desire. Everyone belongs to God. You. Those … Continue reading Sunday Call to Worship: The Earth Is the Lord’s
How My Pastor Teaches on Money and Giving: 8 Biblical Themes - Some of the most popular posts on Average Us are my posts about tithing and giving. If you’ve read any of them, you know I take the position that there is a very good reason why Jesus and the Apostles never taught tithing. Keep reading and you’ll see why.
Come Let Us Worship Together - Who Is Like Our God? Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?–A Song of Moses, (Exodus 15:11) DIDAKE (teaching) There is no God like our God, no God but our God–a holy and majestic God, who performs wonders to redeem … Continue reading Come Let Us Worship Together
Photo Friday: Two Hours in Vossevangen, Norway - Hello again! Lon here, wishing you a happy Friday and weekend. What are your plans? I hope they include joining with your neighbors in worship. Let us always remind each other of the boundless love and mercy which God has poured out on us in His Son. I hope these two photos from Vossevangen, Norway … Continue reading Photo Friday: Two Hours in Vossevangen, Norway
Review: “That Jew Died for You” - I was recently invited to review That Jew Died for You, a new video produced by the Jews for Jesus organization. This black and white short film (3:21) depicts a train load of Jewish men, women, and children, blazoned with 6-pointed stars, arriving at a Nazi concentration camp. The frightened, despairing Jews are queued up and sorted, … Continue reading Review: “That Jew Died for You”
Should Average Us Offer a Call to Worship? - Hello everyone! Thank you for reading Average Us, and responding with your comments and questions. Dawn and I really appreciate that you share your precious time with us. I’m writing to ask you a favor. I just want some feedback from you please… I have thought about adding a regular post series designed to be a … Continue reading Should Average Us Offer a Call to Worship?
Read More (Start Here) and Escape This Confining Trap - I wish I could read. Well, I mean, I can read, but I wish read well. More. Much more. Faster. A wider variety. With higher retention. But, it seems, I can’t.
How to Pray When Tragedy Kills - 188 dead. 114 missing. 174 rescued. As I write on Sunday afternoon, these are the latest numbers from the SEWOL Ferry tragedy in South Korea. It’s utterly, unfathomably, heartbreaking. Since the ferry capsized on April 16th I have been absorbed by this story of human errors and poor judgment which quickly escalated to a disastrous … Continue reading How to Pray When Tragedy Kills
Easter: Imagine Sorrow Changed - Hello Everyone, We all know that tomorrow is Easter. We all have our family traditions for celebrating it. May the warmth of your celebration be everything you hope. But, I’d like to ask that you join me today and tomorrow in imagining what it must have been like for Jesus’ followers early that Sunday morning, … Continue reading Easter: Imagine Sorrow Changed
Photo Friday: “It’s Friday…” by S. M. Lockridge - On this Good Friday, the day Christians worldwide remember Jesus’ God-ordained crucifixion by the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23), I will dispense with the usual Photo Friday to share this video instead. The audio is an excerpt from S. M. Lockridge’s famously inspiring sermon, “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.” May your faith and hope be renewed! … Continue reading Photo Friday: “It’s Friday…” by S. M. Lockridge
The Rider - Is it history, or legend, that retells the scene upon the ancient road strewn with palms from Bethany to Jerusalem? Who was that rider who inspired joyous shouts that day? Was he a man of regal bearing, whom one might admire though centuries distant? Was he kingly such as fitted the kingdoms of men? Was … Continue reading The Rider
Why Your Church Isn’t Taken Seriously - Hello friend, Please forgive this departure from the hope-inspiring content you normally find on Average Us. I care about the Church, God’s Church, your church. But our churches have a problem, and I wonder what we can do about it… Your church is irrelevant. Though you may love it, with few exceptions, your community no longer … Continue reading Why Your Church Isn’t Taken Seriously
Selling the Gospel—The Christian Hype That Stifles Christian Hope - Jesus may have been the worst salesman ever. And the good news he announced is definitely the worst sales pitch ever. It could be lampooned like this: “Repent and surrender everything you have and everything you hope to be to me. Do this, and your life might be worse—maybe a lot worse. Eventually, I’ll give … Continue reading Selling the Gospel—The Christian Hype That Stifles Christian Hope
Photo Friday: Looking Up in Charleston - [Ceiling of Charleston City Market. Nikon D40. March, 2014.] This Photo Friday I’m posting two of the few decent photos I took on a recent visit to historic Charleston, South Carolina. Dawn and I celebrated our anniversary (#28) a bit late this year, and I took the pic above while perusing the Charleston City Market. Later, while enjoying … Continue reading Photo Friday: Looking Up in Charleston
Practically Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know About Finding God’s Will for Your Life - “He’s so full of the Holy Spirit, he won’t drink a cup of coffee unless God tells him to.” Years ago, that’s what someone told me about a Christian leader he was all fired-up about. Wow! I wish God spoke with me that way. Then I could be sure I understood His will for my … Continue reading Practically Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know About Finding God’s Will for Your Life
Photo Friday: Tulip Magnolia in Bloom - [Tulip Magnolia Blooms. Nikon D40. March, 19, 2014.] ⊕ full-size image This Photo Friday I hope you will be encouraged by this sign of spring in my front yard. Wherever you live in North America, spring is on the way. Soon warm sun, blues skies and fresh air will lift your mood to make whatever struggles you … Continue reading Photo Friday: Tulip Magnolia in Bloom
Photo Friday: Kjerisa’s Eyes - [Kjerisa’s Eyes, by Ellie Hetrick. February, 2014.] This Photo Friday I want to share this photo of our third grandchild, 6-month-old, Kjerisa. Those eyes! Looking directly at her mom, Ellie, after bath time. Kjerisa’s eyes reveal her open trust and love for her mom. There is no fear. Nothing guarded. Nothing artful. Only peace and … Continue reading Photo Friday: Kjerisa’s Eyes
The Best Natural and Spiritual Ways to Manage Anxiety and Depression - The love of my life suffers with anxiety and depression. If you have ever experienced them, you know suffer is the right word. And often, you don’t know why you’re suffering. Dawn occasionally experiences physical pain or crawling skin. Sometimes she can’t focus. She cries a lot. Sometimes life overwhelms her. She may struggle to make decisions. … Continue reading The Best Natural and Spiritual Ways to Manage Anxiety and Depression
Why Jesus Is Our Hope of Glory - [Jesus enthroned in glory. Nikon D40. Notre Dame, Paris. May, 2013] “Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!”— a prayer of King Solomon (Psalm 72:19, ESV) It seems to me that this is the ultimate prayer because, in it, we pray for God’s ultimate … Continue reading Why Jesus Is Our Hope of Glory
Three Ways Doubt Can Strengthen Your Faith in Christ - 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.
Seven Truths About Suffering That Bring More Comfort Than Knowing “Why?” - “Why?” “How long?” That’s what we really want to know. We want God to answer, to give an account of Himself. “How long will the pain last?” “Why did he leave me?” “Why did she die so young?” “How long will I be unemployed?” “Why won’t they leave me alone? “Why me? Why now? Why … Continue reading Seven Truths About Suffering That Bring More Comfort Than Knowing “Why?”
Why It’s More Important to Know Your Weakness Than Your Strength - 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 … Continue reading Why It’s More Important to Know Your Weakness Than Your Strength
How to Drive On an Icy Road—7 Simple Rules - Hello! In the wake of this week’s Atlanta Snowpocalypse, I want to share these seven tips for how to drive on icy roads. I’m a child of New England winters and Minnesota deep freezes (with no accidents), so driving on icy roads is not new to me. I waited at work until most of the … Continue reading How to Drive On an Icy Road—7 Simple Rules
Thank You for Making Me Who I AM - 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. Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, reminded me that “no one…ever makes it alone” (115). This made me want to thank the family, … Continue reading Thank You for Making Me Who I AM
Most Average Posts of 2013 - Hello Average Us Readers! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts here on Average Us. Dawn and I feel honored that you give your valuable time to visit with us here. We aim to be helpful to you by being transparent about our spiritual journeys, both the good news about Christ and … Continue reading Most Average Posts of 2013
How Much Should You Give to Your Church?—18 Questions to Help You Plan Your Giving Next Year - How much money should you give to your church next year? Good question. You could tithe if you wanted. There’s an appealing simplicity to tithing. Just do the 10% math on your paycheck and you’re done, ✔. That was the basis of my personal giving formula for many years: 10% of income for Church general … Continue reading How Much Should You Give to Your Church?—18 Questions to Help You Plan Your Giving Next Year
When Bad Things Happen - [Our son’s delivery van after a collision on December 19th, 2013.] This Photo Friday I’m sharing a photo of the Freightliner delivery van which our son, Häns, was driving yesterday when a large SUV crossed into his lane and hit him head-on. Bad things happen. In ancient times Job asked, Shall we indeed accept good from … Continue reading When Bad Things Happen
The New City Catechism iPad App Review (and Why It’s Worth Your Time) - 2013 is drawing to a close and so is my journey with Heidi through 52 weeks of the New City Catechism. At this writing, we’re on question 51 of this free Christian education app for iPad, a joint project of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, and The Gospel Coalition. We’ve enjoyed many conversations as rich … Continue reading The New City Catechism iPad App Review (and Why It’s Worth Your Time)
Why We Need Tidings of Comfort and Joy - Today, this second Sunday of Advent, I listened to a sermon which gave voice to something I’ve bee thinking and feeling a lot lately: I’m sick of living in this world. I know that sounds negative and perhaps, makes you wonder about my emotional health and what kind of sermons I hear. But, I believe my … Continue reading Why We Need Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Thankfulness - Thankfulness is the natural expression of a humble mind.
Come For Supper - Every Sunday our Father calls us in for supper, a simple meal of bread and wine, and reminds us a richer meal is coming.
I Want What You Have - I want what you have. No, not your house. Not your income. Not your position in society. Not your fancy vacations or clothes. Not your kids’ college sticker on your car. It’s your life. I want your energy. Your spark. Your enthusiasm for your job, or for decorating your house, or cooking a special meal, … Continue reading I Want What You Have
Slavery to Christ (Or, Why I Went to Church Today) - Last week I wrote I Didn’t Go to Church Today and explained why I thought that wasn’t a sin. I wanted to be transparent with you about how I live as a Christian. And I wanted to share a little about what Protestants have traditionally called, Christian Liberty, or Liberty of Conscience. Martin Luther first … Continue reading Slavery to Christ (Or, Why I Went to Church Today)
I Didn’t Go to Church Today - I didn’t go to church today, Sunday. In my weekly effort to share something spiritually helpful, or at least mildly interesting, this is the best I could do? Lame… Or, not. There’s a sort of helpfulness in honesty and transparency if it provides something worth consideration. I hope you’ll consider this…
Good Girls Aren’t Tempted to Have an Affair, Are They? - In 1995, I was in my thirties, a mother of two, Lon and I were nearing our 10th anniversary… And I was tempted to have an affair with a man at work. Me. The good little pastor’s daughter who never did anything wrong. Me. The college girl who went to Bible School to be a … Continue reading Good Girls Aren’t Tempted to Have an Affair, Are They?
‘Strange Fire:’ Addressing the Dangerous yet Popular Teaching of Charismatic Leaders - Question: What do Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Paul and Jan Crouch, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, and T.D. Jakes have in common? [Benny Hinn praying for a miracle] Answer: They’re all popular leaders with large followings within the Christian Charismatic community. The popularity of their conferences, books, television and radio programs makes them highly … Continue reading ‘Strange Fire:’ Addressing the Dangerous yet Popular Teaching of Charismatic Leaders
David’s Hope for Salvation in Psalm 3 - Hey there! How’s your hope in God holding up? If it’s starting to fade, I hope you’ll consider King David’s hopeful prayer in Psalm 3. David penned Psalm 3 on the occasion of Prince Absalom’s treachery against him. David’s enemies were confident that God would deliver him into their hands. But, he expressed his hope … Continue reading David’s Hope for Salvation in Psalm 3
How to Talk to God: 5 Things Jesus Taught Us to Pray - Quite often I feel at a loss to know how to talk to God. How do I approach Him? What do I say to Him? What needs to be said? I wasn’t born knowing how to pray. I wasn’t even born again knowing how to pray. I have to learn, and keep on learning, how … Continue reading How to Talk to God: 5 Things Jesus Taught Us to Pray
Why the Tithe Is Obsolete and What to Give Instead - I’ve written several posts on tithing and they are, by far, the most viewed posts on Average Us. It seems that a lot of you are interested in this subject and have questions about the typical Christian teaching you hear on it. In those previous posts, I reason that the tithe which God commanded Israel … Continue reading Why the Tithe Is Obsolete and What to Give Instead
Why Life Will Fight You for Prayer and Why You Should Fight Back - Christians pray. I’m a Christian. If you’re reading this, you probably are, too. Do I pray? Do you? We Christians believe God promises to hear us when we pray in Christ’s name. We also believe God commands us to pray seeking His kingdom, His will, and His blessing on our lives. And yet, the ordinary circumstances … Continue reading Why Life Will Fight You for Prayer and Why You Should Fight Back
Will God Forgive Me? Again? - Will God forgive me? Again? I asked this a lot when I was a young Christian. I was very uncertain about the answer. [Illustration courtesy of Martin Bolchover Art & Illustration] Sadly, I gave myself plenty of opportunities to ask the question; I am a frequent offender against God’s law, aka, a sinner. Like the Apostle … Continue reading Will God Forgive Me? Again?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — August 28, 1963 - I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.