Faith

When Your Church Disappoints You

Recently someone commented, “Church causes more problems than it solves.”

It’s not a new notion. Churches have had issues since they were established more than two thousand years ago. Many of Paul’s letters specifically address some dysfunctional church activity.

The basic problem with church is it consists of people, and we tend to be fairly messed up. Church would be a great place if it weren’t for all those people.

I’ll bet Jesus had a similar thought. This world would be a cool place if it weren’t for all these messed-up people.

Learning to Live From Your New HeartPremium Content

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:7, 12, 13, The Message


One thing is for sure for the follower of Jesus -- God gives us a new heart! The significance of this gift is immeasurable. Our heart of birth had been broken, bruised, battered, used, diseased, rejected, hardened, and corrupted. In short; it is unfixable. That's why we are candidates for nothing less than a 'heart transplant'. Anything else would fall woefully short. Prior to the new birth our old heart is as the Prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: "sick, desperately wicked…Who can know it?"

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The Importance of Salvation

In comparison with salvation, all other subjects are trivial. To waste time in the pursuit of wealth, or in the chase of sensual pleasure, while our salvation is not secure, is more than folly -- it is madness. What, would you agree to dwell in the dark dungeon of despair forever and ever, for the sake of living a few years upon earth in a sumptuous house? Would you consent to endure the sting of the never-dying worm, and the torment of unquenchable fire, to all eternity, for the sake of gratifying your appetites and senses for a moment? No man would deliberately make such a determination; yet such is the language which many speak by their conduct. The world is pursued daily, at the risk of eternal damnation.

The resolution of attending to the concerns of the soul at a later time, answers no other purpose than to lull the conscience asleep. Where have we known a person, by virtue of these flattering resolutions, change his conduct? The next day is like the one that preceded it. Every succeeding year passes by, like those that went before. No convenient time for repentance and

What dynamic transforms us into the image of Christ?Premium Content

I think not! God forbid! May it never be!

    "I suggest that there is no other conclusion which can be drawn from those who teach versions of legalism? They say if you can make sin look grotesque enough, believers will stop sinning. How is that working for you? I have a Greek word for that philosophy -- baloney!" (Clark Whitten)


Either we choose to rest in the dynamic of Christ's finished work, or we will foolishly seek ways to finish it ourselves and continue in a hopeless journey of defeat after defeat! The following passages from Galatians could not be clearer as to what Our Father in Christ is offering to us!

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How Do You Live?Premium Content

Acts 17:28: For in him we live and move and have our being.

"Every woman on my dad's side of the family has died of breast cancer except me," a lady told me as I drove her to the airport.

I gulped before I answered. She was a miracle of God's grace and mercy. I wondered what work God has in store for her on earth.

I told her I'm also a miracle of God's grace and mercy. Twelve years ago I went through breast cancer treatment. Prior to my diagnosis, two cousins had died of breast cancer. My work on earth is not yet finished either.

My medical oncologist who oversaw my chemotherapy treatment had lymphoma, but she was fully alive and fully involved in the treatment of all of her patients.

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Tree Pose: Heart and Mind BalancePremium Content

I admit it; I've tried yoga. (This is not the point in which you laugh yet).

Although, my yoga odyssey is humorous to watch (both my husband and my cats cock their heads to the side in bewilderment), it has helped me to at least address, if not practice, the concept of balance. And one pose, in particular, seems to concentrate on that goal: the tree pose. Here's a quick rundown of that pose for those of you out there who are not bewildering your significant others and pets:

First, you stand still, while slightly shifting your weight onto your left foot. Next, take your right leg, bending your right knee, all while grabbing your right and positioning it on your inner left leg. Anyone fall down yet? Balance! Yes, wonderful, beautiful balance!

But wait, there's more.

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Jairus' Daughter - a Bible Story that Sparked My Eating Disorder RecoveryPremium Content

Could a simple Bible story spark eating disorder recovery? Well, for me, it did. The account of Jairus' daughter, found in Mark 5:35-43, became the catalyst to hope, life, freedom, and yes, my recovery. I chronicle my eating disorder odyssey, recovery included, in my book, "Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder." From this scriptural passage, I encountered tangible proof that God's Word was relevant and applicable. I learned some good news, all right.

Nothing's too difficult; no one's too impossible for God.
I saw that in Jairus' daughter. I have, likewise, seen it in my own life, as well as the lives of others. And this simple Bible story is now a declaration of hope to all young girls and women, dealing with eating disorders, food, weight and body image issues. You, too, can arise!

    "Little girl, I say unto you, arise." Mark 5:41

I had done and been so many horrible things. As far as I was concerned, I was on my way to hell. But I couldn't shake the thoughts of this story. Was there hope that I wasn't doomed after all?

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Is it OK to Make Up a God of Your Own in Recovery?Premium Content

Earliest A.A. Leaders Specifically Described Their Trust in God

Making Up Some "god of your own?"

Some today have made up their own gods and not-gods. They've called them chairs, somethings, somebodies, door knobs, light bulbs, the Great Pumpkin, the Big Dipper, and whatever they are told they can do praying to a tree or a table. In later A.A., treatment people, therapists, some AAs, and even clergy began thinking they were some new self-made, extra-terrestrial "higher power."

Not so with four important Early AAs.

A.A. Pioneers Heard: "God either is, or He isn't;" and they chose God!

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Is Your Protection Truly the Lord?

    Psalm 89:17-18 NLT
    You are their glorious strength. Our power is based on Your favor. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and He, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.


How much should we defend ourselves?
Perhaps the question should actually be, how much do we allow the Lord to defend us? Is our protection truly the Lord? Do we allow Him to work in situations and to take care of us? Do I?

I often wish that life would just stop for awhile and let me rest, that I could go through a few days without some kind of crisis. I would love to be able to get up, live the day, come home, go to bed, and simply breathe, rather than having to deal with the problems that come from living in a sinful world. I sure that many other believers have the same desire.

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