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

2016 In Review: Top Articles I Wrote

I haven’t written as many articles as I have in the past. Nonetheless, let me summarize this year’s top articles:

7. The Brutal, Beautiful 2015

6. Project Shine 2016 – Awash In Provision

5. About the Akron Public Schools Decisions

4. Loves, Likes and Dislikes of Winter Jam

3. How To Ruin A Community

2. After Ten Years, Five Reflections on Losing Our Father

1. Gorillas, Parenting, Social Media, and Judgment (Coincidentally this, somehow, is the most read article in the history of my blog.)

 

2016 In Review: Top Clicked Articles

Linking to articles of (my and hopefully for your) interest rates among the most consistent things I do with my blog. Listed below find the top seven articles clicked from my site in 2016 . In order:

7. Raw Emotions On The Presidential Election

6. The LGBT fraud has been exposed

6. The Awkward Love Story Of Trump And American Evangelicals.

4. Women Teaching Men How Far Is Too Far (16)

2. Seven Reasons Not To Play The Lottery

2. Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know

1. We Lost A Child And Gained Something Greater

Tuesday Rambling 12.20.16 – Christmas Gifts – Receiving and Giving

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‘Tis the season for gifts – giving and receiving. Time to ramble.

  • My favorite kinds of gifts involve planning, scheming, plotting, surprise, and research.
  • I posted a status Sunday that has had me thinking: What if no one found out about the gifts you give or get this Christmas except the people who gave or received them?
  • Maybe that sounds boring, but it should at least test our hearts.
  • Do we need attention as a result of a gift? Or could someone’s reaction and enjoyment be enough?
  • Do the gifts we give cause sacrifice?
  • Do we give out of guilt, social suggestion (such as tips for service providers), or getting even? We should check our hearts here. If we receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, the gift giver receives glory and we can NEVER repay Him.
  • No matter the age, selfishness can creep into the process of receiving. More excitement to watch others receive gifts than to receive ourselves would indicate the development of maturity.
  • We should consider local, national and global opportunities to bless those in need with various gifts – such selfless giving reflects Christ and helps sharpen our perspective on materialism.

Monday Challenge 12.19.16 – Christmas Depression, Akron Heroin, Special Needs

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Good Monday morning!

A big weekend lies ahead. Before all the rush, take time for a challenge!

Christmas Depression

This article covers a lot of ground for an issue which impacts many this time of year.

Question: How do you deal with depression this time of year or help those who struggle?

Akron Heroin

This story highlights an Akron resident. For many this will sound extreme. After reading it, I think it accurately portrays the reality many (not all) people experience in fighting against both addiction and background experiences.

Question: What can you learn from a story like this?

Special Needs

This article brings to light many aspects of special needs parenting. “But we must be working from a deeper conviction…”

Question: How would you evaluate the most important need and related cost as identified by this article?

Bored With Christmas?

Does familiarity breed contempt? Good question.

Question: How can you worship afresh and anew this Christmas?

 

After Ten Years, Five Reflections on Losing Our Father

 

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Today (12.15.16) marks ten years since the loss of my father Roger Burkholder. Some reading this will have memories of my dad, others will not. I hope these five reflections will help you remember or at least understand my dad’s powerful legacy as well as process grief in general.

Five Reflections After Ten Years:

1. I wonder…

I wonder what my dad would have thought about our family developments over the past ten years. My brother and his family moved to Australia for four years. I got the chance to travel to foreign countries four different times for missions. My mom moved out of a one acre plot and into a condo. We adopted a daughter. It’s hard not to think back on those events and not retroactively “photoshop” my dad into them.

2. I know…

I know many men in my life who have taken on the needed role of my dad from time to time. Celebrations, encouragement, rebuke, advice have all come from men in our church, community, or family. I won’t list them here, but I praise God for the wise, steady counsel and presence of men who have either intentionally or unintentionally stepped into my life. You have benefitted me more than you know.

3. Pursuit and provision of education

My dad stepped out of family life in Northeast Ohio and into college life – across the state at a tiny school called Bluffton. There he met my mom which of course paved the way for my existence and our family. My dad’s life-changing decision to go to college must have provided the groundwork for his desire to make educational opportunities available to my brother and me. I know my life would have gone down an entirely different path without my dad’s foundation of education. I am grateful to this day.

4. Normal never returns.

I want to share a brief word about helping people who grieve. Generally in loss and especially in situations of sudden loss such as my dad, normal never returns. Waiting for people to “get over” their season of grief or “move on” places shallow expectations upon wounded souls. Birthdays, holidays, and special occasions arouse the sting of loss and force those in grief to confront and process yet another milestone.

Over the past ten years, very few people have directly asked: “How are you doing with the loss of your father?” Please do not let fear prevent you from asking this type of question to people you know enduring grief. Just giving someone a chance to talk and showing you can provide a safe place will mean a lot to someone who otherwise feels isolated attempting to navigate their grief.

5. Fixed and certain hope 

Grieving with the hope of Jesus Christ has saved me from trying to soothe my own pain. A couple relevant Bible verses will help you understand what I mean here:

I Thessalonians 4:13: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”

I Corinthians 15:54-55: “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

These verses show the limited influence death has on our lives. When we turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eternal life, we inherit the hope (fixed, certain hope) we will live forever with Jesus. This is the clear teaching of the New Testament. God raised Jesus from the dead to prove His power over death and repeatedly calls us to repent and come into relationship with Him.

Therefore, as a believer in Jesus Christ I live with and embrace a fixed, certain hope God will set me free from grief in eternity. Why would I not trust God’s power over death when His own Son rose from the dead to give me the hope I have?

I hope this truth will guide you as you process any specific grief in your life. The hope of Jesus can fill you as well. Please use the contact info on this page or contact me personally if you have any questions about a relationship with God.