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

Tuesday Rambling 2.20.18 – Guns, Schools, Questions, and Listening

Heavy rambling this morning…

  • I write this morning from a position of questioning. Questioning due to lack of concrete answers, questioning due to my own slow and heavy processing…
  • Question: in what measure can you understand the interests of others in this situation?
  • For example: if your discussions about the latest tragedy have overlooked the trauma and grieving of an entire community (and by extension thousands of lives), then what is wrong with you? Seriously, what is wrong?
  • How do you hear the activism of the students affected by the tragedy? Could their tangible hurt, grief, and anger possibly drive them to speak out for meaningful change?
  • On the other side, might those angling for political gain see the trauma of teens and families as fertile ground for activism?
  • Do you understand our media will thrive on our nation’s division, the screaming and shouting making great headlines and driving ratings?
  • How can you use passionate conversations to unify?
  • Do you realize not everyone will agree with you? Examples: Not every teacher will want to carry a gun; not every gun owner loves and funds the NRA; not every gun owner has the same opinion about semi-automatic weapons; not every school administrator comes to the table with the same beliefs about security; not every person who wants some guns outlawed falls into some demonized political camp.
  • The bottom line: will we listen? Can we encourage healthy understanding and debate?
  • Does “pro-life” as created by God  really matter to us in this discussion? Why? How?
  • Would someone listening to you have the ability to observe your priority for life over the importance of gun rights or other solutions you might propose?
  • Do you have any understanding of mental health issues? What research and facts can you provide for preventing the mentally ill from harming themselves or others?
  • Does love and care for the mentally ill drive how you speak of them in this issue?
  • Do you understand how the trauma of this event will bring mental and emotional challenges for those involved for years to come?
  • How should Christians speak differently in this discussion as our beliefs drive us?
  • As the title of my blog challenges: how can we think and act in ways that show the world our worship of our Creator, Savior and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

Monday Challenge 2.19.18 – Black History, College Anxiety/Depression, Bible Study Mistakes

Monday Morning again. I hope a challenge to your thinking will jolt you a bit. I found these articles interesting and wanted to share:

Black History Month

This story of the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ strike really challenged and inspired me. I hope it does the same for you.

Question: Did you know about this? (I couldn’t remember reading about it.)

This article explores the faith of U.S. slaves. You might describe it as truly miraculous that faith even existed.

Question: How did this article help you understand the slaves’ struggles better?

Bible Study Mistakes

Do you make any of these five mistakes studying the Bible?

Question: Which mostly likely sidetracks you in your study?

College Students’ Anxiety and Depression

____ in 5 students struggle with anxiety and depression. Read to find out and explore some of the causes.

Question: What can you do now as a student, parent, or grandparent reading this?

Tuesday Rambling 2.13.18 – Dear Rich American Friends

Let me ramble a bit about riches, America, and Jesus…

  • First off, we all fit the category. Compared to the rest of the world, “rich” describes every American.
  • If you don’t understand that first point, do some reading and increase your gratefulness for what we have in this country.
  • The Bible warns about riches. Jesus spent time warning people about how riches can act as a barrier to heaven.
  • A rich young man came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Jesus challenged him to sell everything, give to the poor, then follow Him. See the story in Luke 18.
  • No, Jesus isn’t telling us to rid ourselves of possessions or earn our way to heaven. For this man, his riches took the place of God.
  • Now, we may not need to sell everything, but we may need to hear the warning. Our “things”, or better our desire for things and the prestige or attention that comes with them, can take the place of God.
  • The disciples ask: “Who then can be saved?” Great question. Jesus says God makes all things possible – even when man can’t see the possibility.
  • In the next chapter, we encounter the story of Zacchaeus. He had money and power issues, big time. As a chief tax collector he had people working under him. Tax collectors made their living by charging too much and living off the excess payments.
  • But Jesus sought Zacchaeus out, and Zacchaeus experienced true salvation. I don’t use that word lightly – Jesus used the word in the story. And what happened when Zacchaeus experienced true salvation?
  • He invited Jesus in to his home. We should invite Jesus into our lives.
  • He released riches as a sign of releasing the control they had on him.
  • He gave money to the poor. This should stand out to us – how much do we give to the poor as part of our relationship with God, flowing from our salvation?
  • And here, Jesus does what just a couple paragraphs earlier his disciples think impossible: he saves a rich man.
  • Possible, yes. Difficult, yes. God is good, but we should heed the warning.
  • Do your riches control you? How would you know? How do these stories help?

Monday Challenge 2.12.18 – NFL History Memo, Screen Time and Race, Nepal Religious Freedom

Good Monday morning! I share articles every Monday which I found interesting. Doesn’t always mean I agree, just sharing a challenge. Hence the name…Monday Challenge!

Enjoy. As much as you can on Monday.

Observations on the NFL and Negro Players

This story highlights a memo written in the 1960’s. It gives an insight into the way the league was thinking quite a while ago.

Question: How does this historical document color (no pun intended) the way you see the present?

Nepal Religious Freedom

…or the lack thereof. This piece details the difficulties presented by new laws.

Question: How important to you is an understanding of global issues facing believers?

Screen Time and Race?

Take a few minutes for a challenging read. What happens when schools promote screens as progress and parents don’t know how to or don’t care to manage them with their children?

Question: How much do you know about poverty and how do you think about stories like this?

The News

How the news destroys wisdom and understanding.

Question: Of what worth is the “news” you consume?

 

Tuesday Rambling 2.6.18 – Rambling About This Is Us

Rambling about the popular show This Is Us

  • I have watched many episodes of the show, so I’m not commenting without experience.
  • If you don’t watch the show, you probably heard something about it through social media posts – the show’s popularity continues to skyrocket.
  • Why the show’s popularity? Good question.
  • Clearly, This Is Us. This show reflects the lives of many Americans – broken, difficult, strained relationships – and all with clear roots.
  • In my opinion, the stress over losing a dad like Jack plays very well to many Americans who’ve experienced traumatic losses.
  • Jack truly portrays a hero’s hero – selfless to the end. One commenter even suggested he knew he was sick and waited until his wife left the room to succumb to his symptoms. Not sure about that, but it fits his character.
  • Who wouldn’t want a dad like Jack – adoptive father, faithful husband, and work the fingers to the bone man?
  • America and trauma. My fear is many can relate to the show due to unresolved trauma.
  • None of the characters – twenty years after the shocking loss of a key character, has shown much progress in resolving the trauma.
  • Alcohol, career, food, sexual pleasure, living out dreams – all of these at times dominate the characters’ efforts to move through life.
  • I also wonder if viewers’ difficulty with watching the episode of Jack’s death ties into inexperience with trauma or unresolved in their own lives.
  • Let me encourage you if you’ve read this far: you don’t have to stay stunted by trauma. The Bible offers real hope to countless traumatized individuals.
  • Salvation itself – a right relationship with God – is indeed offered through the traumatic killing of God’s son Jesus. That murder represents the only sacrifice God finds acceptable for our sin. So, yes, God can relate. He invites us into relationship through Jesus.
  • So I encourage you to put your faith in Jesus. Study God’s Word. You can find hope as God communicates He loves you and can use your trauma to shape you and form you into levels of maturity you may have never considered.
  • So I’ve talked a bit about spirituality. Unfortunately, the show has very little if any spiritual element.
  • Characters walking difficult roads without God who desperately wants to help. With a declining spirituality in our country and media, it does a good job of revealing that after all…This Is Us.