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Guest authors provide news and commentary.
Posted 11/21/14 at 3:59 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Wade Burleson
Life is all about relationships. Relationships with people are as risky as they are beautiful. The people you and I love are seemingly capable of hurting us the most. Over the course of a lifetime of experiencing both helpful and hurtful relationships, I've learned a few things that help me when I'm in the middle of a rocky relationship with a friend or loved one.
I will focus on the trouble within me.
Every external action by me is the result of an internal reaction in me. I can't control the thoughts, actions, perceptions, or character of others I love, but I can trust the promise that "Jesus, who began a good work in me, will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:7). The problem I face is a heart problem, and the Great Physician is the only One who can give me a heart change. I am by nature selfish, vain, indulgent, and deceitful. Jesus alone can change me internally into a selfless, humble, disciplined, and transparent person. It requires the grace of God to transform me from what I am by my nature into what I am becoming by His grace. My focus needs to be on the trouble within me and the only Hope I have for real change. When I am only focused on the problems I perceive in others, I am never moving toward any real and lasting solutions for me. FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:57 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Elsewhere I’ve written about many myths and outdated grammar that people routinely think are correct, and they’re driven crazy by authors who are “wrong.” In some cases the authors are wrong, in many cases they are right and the reader is wrong, and in many other cases, either way of saying it is fine.
Having received such letters, as all writers do, I’m the last person who wants to be picky about either grammar or punctuation. But let me choose an example that may be the single most often misstated term in punctuation. That’s the backslash versus the slash, which is now often called the forward slash. At least 90% of the time these terms are used, it’s incorrect. For instance, people in radio and on TV habitually say “backslash” when referring to website addresses.
Suppose someone wanted to link people to my different books on Heaven. They could write http://www.epm.org/heaven. That is correct as written (even though in most cases you don’t need the http:// or the www, but there are exceptions). FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
With every week that passes by, it seems that another celebrity is caught up in some sort of scandal. Whether it be family drama, something they said, or racy photos, the Kardashians continue to pop up in the tabloids and mainstream media outlets.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve never seen an episode of The Kardashians. And while I’ve found myself laughing on multiple occasions, most of the time I’m thrown off by their language and lack of respect for their bodies. This isn’t a life that I’d want my future daughter to aspire after, and I know they’d agree with where I’m coming from.
Kim Kardashian once said, “I couldn’t sacrifice my heart for a publicity stunt.” But I can’t help but wonder if that’s actually what she did with the release of her latest photos. I do my best to stay away from sites that I believe may have questionable content, but sadly my twitter feed was filled with the photos that I would have been perfectly fine without seeing. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:45 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
One of the most common reasons why Christians may divide into different camps even within their own ministry networks or denominations is how they perceive what God is doing in their lives and ministries. Believers can have tunnel vision, where they only see their perspective. For example, when a Gospel minister operates under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, God Himself is flowing through them to preach, teach, or heal. When we minister like this it can be exhilarating to know that a mere mortal, can be used by Omnipotence to affect another person’s life for eternity. This anointing allows us to experience real results as we operate under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.
There is no mistaking what is flowing through you now; you know this is God and the people’s response seems to validate it. Not only has this touch of God blessed those you were ministering to, but it also greatly affected your life as well. Fresh in your mind is the new contrast between the “normal you” and the “empowered, anointed you.” Suddenly this contrast exposes weeks, months, even years of un-anointed preaching or teaching in your ministry. Now you are really sure you know what is God and what isn’t God. This is like your first teenage crush; often the emotions are so overwhelming you aren’t even aware of how you are acting. FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:38 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario and Saskatchewan. This week’s is about how we perceive our work and fulfillment.
What’s the purpose of work?
Is it to earn a paycheque? To find purpose? To amuse you, fulfill you, challenge you?
A century ago people would have found that question strange. Most were just looking for a way to put food on the table. Remember Bob Cratchit from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? He labored under Scrooge’s critical eye not because clerking brought him intellectual stimulation or gave him fulfillment, but because he needed that meager income to support his family–including Tiny Tim.
With starvation and nakedness far down on our list of worries today, work has taken on new importance. Our basic needs are met with relative ease, compared to generations past, so we can now take a step back and ask, how do I want to spend my time? Considering that if we work full-time, we spend 40 of our 112 waking hours a week at work, we want to make sure they’re well spent. It’s not enough to earn a paycheque anymore; you have to be fulfilled. FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:34 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
“Sing unto the Lord a new song” (Psalm 96:1; 98:1; etc).
She has a marvelous voice, one anybody this side of Juillard would be proud to own. When she sang in church with her musician husband, they blended wonderfully and blessed the congregation. But she undermined her own effectiveness by her timidity, that paralyzing self-consciousness which froze her in place and refused to let her enjoy the moment.
Stage fright, we call it.
Who among us is unacquainted with that monster?
Most of us know precisely how she feels.
That’s why, on the final night of our meeting, as I expressed appreciation in private to this couple, I spoke to her quietly. “Can I tell you one thing about your presentation?”
She smiled shyly. “I know what you’re going to say.”
And she did, to a point.
I said, “You have a beautiful smile. Look at the sketch I did of you this week. You were smiling. But I want you to use that smile when you sing. It will double the effectiveness of what you share.” FULL POST
Posted 11/20/14 at 1:52 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
To my unborn child,
Your mom and I are so excited to meet you in a few months. I’m writing this letter to let you know how much I love you, cherish you, and care for you even though I have never met you. There are a lot of scary things happening in this world, and I pray that you will not have to face any of them alone, let alone at all. Your mother and I only want the best for you, and I hope this letter will one day find its way to you in some shape or form. I’m not sure if blogging will still be around when you’re old enough to read this, but I’ll make sure to leave this letter up as long as the internet will let me.
I want to reach out and encourage you to never back down from your calling, your dreams, and your faith in God. There are people in this world that will try to break you down, but I need you to be strong and hold on as long as you can. Make sure to always treat people with respect, purity, and love. And while much of this world may be filled with people who are sinister and crude, I pray that you will take the higher ground and be the difference the world is looking for. There are good people in this world, and I pray that you will be one of them. FULL POST
Posted 11/20/14 at 12:19 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
For all those who wonder if they will ever hear (or sense) God speaking to them, let me encourage you. God is still speaking, even if it feels like God is hiding. Heaven’s radio station transmits all the time. It does require some fine tuning on our part. Over time, you will gradually distinguish the voice of the Lord from all the other competing voices in your life.
This process usually takes time because God speaks from realms and in frequencies that the normal, natural you, doesn’t readily discern. In fact the Bible states;
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.1 Corinthians 2:14
Unsaved and unregenerate human beings fret against the ways of God. FULL POST
Posted 11/20/14 at 11:22 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Absolutely. And I think they figured it out around 300 A.D., when a group of bishops got together and wrote the Apostle’s Creed. It’s short, it’s to the point, and it’s everything that should unite us.
Interestingly, though, if you read that creed, you’ll find that it says nothing about tattoos or yoga or spanking or day care or alcohol or modesty or music choices. It concentrates on things like believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was crucified, died and buried; He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. You know, stuff like who God is; what He did for us in the past; what He does for us now; and what He’ll do in the future.
I’ve always been of the opinion that you can be a real Christian without having to follow a bunch of man-made rules. Real Christians can get tattoos. Real Christians can drink a beer after work or a glass of wine at dinner. Real Christians can do yoga, can date, can leave their kids in day care, can decide not to spank, can wear shorts, can listen to secular music, can kiss before they’re married, and can even vote Democrat (or Liberal). FULL POST
Posted 11/20/14 at 10:47 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
My wife Nanci and I raised two daughters whom I respect deeply. When the first was born the Christian doctor said to me in the delivery room, “Sorry, dad. It’s a girl.” I looked at him without appreciation and said, “I prayed we’d have a girl.” A girl was what I wanted and I’ve never had a moment’s regret that God gave me girls instead of boys. I look at Karina and Angie, now moms in their thirties, and I am delighted to see their hearts for Christ and the ways God has gifted them.
What a joy and privilege to have entrusted our precious daughters to the lifelong care of two godly men who seek to honor our Lord Jesus. Nanci and I couldn’t be happier with the fathers of our treasured grandsons. To have the husbands of my girls be the kind of men who honor and serve and lead them is a blessing and answer to prayer that overwhelms me at times and brings me to tears of gratitude to our Lord.
In this blog, Jen Wilkin shares some excellent thoughts on raising daughters who will attract the right kind of men: FULL POST