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 as the aroma of our local Starbucks where we meet each Sunday morning before church. Heidi generally orders a bagel or a Chai Tea Latte; I stick with my Americano.
Why would I take time for such an old-fashioned sounding thing as teaching a catechism? I’m glad you asked!
I’ll respond in the classic question/answer format of a catechism.
A few months ago I posted 10 Useful Things You Can Do When Someone You Love Wants to Dig a Hole–And Die In It about Dawn’s struggle with depression.
In that post I shared the story of how Dawn came to the point in her life where she began to see suicide as a solution, not a problem. Here’s an excerpt describing how she felt about suicide at that difficult time in 2002:
“One day during all this, Dawn told me how she fantasized about digging a hole in the back yard, about how she would lie down in the hole. She told me how warm and welcome it would feel to lie down in that hole, and die.”
Today, I want to tell a bit more about that story in order to share a few survival lessons that apply to all of us, whatever struggles we may face.
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.
- What Makes Faith “Christian?”
- Treating Prayer Like Magic
- Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD
- Is Christianity a Superstition?
- The Religion About a Relationship
- Crazy Stuff Christians Believe
- Knowing You 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.