Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 10.21.15 – Relating To the Elderly

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Out of all the topics swirling around in my mind right now, this one stands out. I’m not sure where your attitude about the elderly may land. Maybe it’s worth a challenge.

Think. Act.

1. Do we care?

Let’s start here: do we even care about the elderly? How many elderly outside of your family would you call friends? Or contacts?

As you scroll through your phone, how many phone numbers of elderly do you see?

As an age group full of wisdom, beset with various struggles, in need in many ways, can we honestly say it’s on our radar to care about the elderly?

Have you been taught to stereotype older people as crabby complainers happy to stand in the way of progress? If so, consider backing away from that unhelpful slant and digging for a deeper perspective.

2. Yes, it’s complicated.

So let’s say we care. Then what? Well, anyone 30-50 may look at caring about the elderly in about the same way as caring about teenagers. Feelings of discomfort, unknown, and a large empathy gap may prevent us from trying.

I understand that. It’s complicated. Intentionally reaching out to people we don’t know can bring out fear, especially when an age gap almost ensures small amounts of things in common.

Pain, loss of loved ones, life long relationships ending, medical decisions: not much of this comes easy to people who have little experience with these dynamics.

But, should “complicated” prevent engagement?

3. Practical suggestions.

You don’t have to form deep friendships with elderly people in order to prove anything. You may have a desire but wonder where to start. If we will make any progress to greater understanding and wider perspective, some help may be in order.

Think through some of these basic suggestions, come up with your own, take a step.

  • Ask an elderly person their name. This allows their identity to come out. Nothing like an individual identity to tear down a large group stereotype.
  • Find out how to pray for an elderly acquaintance.
  • Ask an older member of your church how they’ve related to the recent sermon series. You might find some unique insight from their answer.
  • If you’re able to walk well, park as far away from entrances as possible, leaving spots closer for those who may not move as well.
  • Share a meal. This suggestion will challenge you to learn about anyone you don’t know as well.
  • Regularly send cards. For less money than you spend on pizza, you can communicate simple care and prayer in written format. Written format, remember, is a way most elderly have comfortably communicated for the majority of their lives. Communicating in familiar ways can only help expressing concern.

Think. Does anything here mean anything to you? Why or why not?

Act. Consider your care for the elderly. After doing that, consider doing something to bridge the gap of unknown and discomfort.

 

Tuesday Rambling 10.20.15 – About Ohio State Football

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Some truly rambling thoughts about Ohio State football.

  • Has frustration grown for you watching Ohio State’s football team this year?
  • First, ask: “How much of my identity revolves around the athletic performance of 18-22 year olds?”
  • Did you think, after the national title last year, that this year’s team would breeze to another title?
  • Did you feel entitled to a fall and early winter of easy glory?
  • This season can teach us a few things.
  • First, sports championships should be enjoyed way more than expected.
  • Can you enjoy what you truly have in life rather than looking forward to what’s next?
  • Second, do we recognize the uniqueness of each season?
  • This year’s team has different personnel. The offense shows progress. But the season is a process not an easily repeatable event.
  • Do our seasons of life and ministry take the same approach? Do we see each season as requiring special attention, with special purpose?
  • I might also point out that indecisiveness can hurt a team effort. A good portion of the season is gone, yet no clear vision for the most important position has emerged.

Monday Challenge 10.19.15 – A Mom Writes Her Sons About Sex, Kids and Phones, Gambling and Justice

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It’s Monday once again. Be challenged by these articles I found . . . well . . . challenging.

A Mom Writes to Her Sons About . . . 

Sex. This is a good article that will make you think if you read it.

Question: How did the comparison of sex to the gospel challenge you?

Share the Gospel, Don’t Just Talk About It

Don’t just talk about sharing the gospel, do it.

Question: How much is sharing the Gospel on your radar as a believer in Jesus?

Gambling and Justice

This article makes a link between gambling and justice for the poor.

Questions: Does this make you think in ways you hadn’t? Do you agree with the premise or not?

Kids and Phones

When should kids get phones?

Question: Do you find these guidelines helpful?

Think and Act 10.14.15 – Christian Missionaries Raped and Crucified

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I don’t know how you react when you read headlines like this. I don’t like typing it anymore than you like reading it. But it happens.

Check out this story from the ACLJ website to get better informed.

Maybe this type of stuff is news to you. Maybe it isn’t.

I write these articles to challenge thinking. I write these articles to challenge action.

When we read headlines and articles describing such atrocities, how should we respond?

1. We should let these stories affect us.

How else will we care? How else will God stir our souls to try to identify?

If denial or “that’s so far away I don’t have to care” mentality tend to come first for us, then start by simply allowing reality to set in. Fellow believers, missionaries, have met horrific endings to this earthly life. Muslim extremists have perpetrated this.

Weep. Grieve. The body of Christ worldwide is family. And family suffer death as others, forced to watch, look on helplessly.

Do you need to face reality?

2. We should let the responses encourage us.

Encouragement? From this? Kevin, are you sick?

No. I’m not. Follow my thinking.

If you didn’t read the article, you’d see that those women, while enduring public rape at the hands of their captors, sang and prayed.

Exactly how, as a believer in Jesus Christ, am I NOT supposed to take encouragement from this?

Many would describe this type of experience as the “ultimate test” of one’s faith in Jesus. When pressed to recant or endure something like this, these women, by the power of God, encourage those watching with a heavenly display of peace.

3. We should let these stories move us.

I am unaware of anyone sending Christian missionaries directly to witness to this category of extremist.

So, what do I mean by “move”?

These stories should inspire action.

How often do we regularly pray for the persecuted church? Pray against terrorists?

How often do we consider giving money to organizations aiding those fleeing terror, or pressing governments to defeat them?

If these stories affect us and encourage us, then let them move us as well.

Think. When you read the headline, what FIRST came to mind? Why? Think through it.

Act. Engage in these situations that seem far away. Ask God to lead you to meaningful action. Even if the first step is caring.

Tuesday Rambling 10.13.15 – When You Set A Goal and Fail

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So this past Sunday provided its share of disappointment. How about a little rambling?

  • The picture above shows great disappointment.
  • All summer long everything went right. Good miles, good health, good pace, great shape.
  • I made all of the typical sacrifices you’d have to make to get your body into peak shape. The goal to finally qualify for the Boston Marathon seemed within reach!
  • By the time Saturday morning had arrived, a brutal stomach illness had kept me up most of the night.
  • I felt a little better Saturday, so decided to give the race a shot Sunday morning.
  • The result? Just didn’t have it. Walked off the course at 17 miles, not willing to risk my health and certainly not in the need of the accomplishment of finishing another marathon.
  • Ya know what? This happens in life.
  • I could complain to God, screaming “Why!!!” the waste of time, energy, money? Why!
  • Or, I could realize that in 2015, I put my body in great physical shape and gave myself every chance to reach a goal I’ve always wanted to reach.
  • Sometimes it just doesn’t happen the way we think it should.
  • God is good all the time. I will never question that.