Our congregation just elected me a deacon, and while I'm honored and all that, down inside I'm nervous and not sure I'm really up to it. I even wonder if God doesn't want me to do it. Do you think I should resign? - L.D.S.
For years I looked forward to retiring, and at first I really enjoyed it. Then we moved to a different part of the country. We don't know anybody here, and anyway, I feel so useless with nothing to do. Did we make a mistake by moving here? - G.R.
Q:Years ago, I decided I didn't want anything to do with God, but now I'm facing some serious health issues and I know I made a mistake. You'll probably say it's not too late to turn to God, but I have a hard time believing it. Why should I? — A.F.
Does God ever give up on us? I wouldn't be surprised if He's given up on me because I can't count how many times I've told Him I'll live a better life, and then I forget all about it. He must be very disappointed in me. — R.E.
I've had three bad church experiences, and I'm not going to let myself in for another one. The problem was always people who couldn't get along with others, mainly because they wanted to be in charge and control everything. Why is that? I still believe in God, but I've had it with church. — K.W.
"You are addicted." These were the most shocking and eye-opening words I had ever heard since walking into counseling for help dealing with pornography. Questions raced through my mind: "Addicted? How can I be addicted?" It's just a little porn. Never mind the fact that "just a little porn" had controlled my life for 12 years.
Tucked into southeast Europe, just across the Adriatic from Italy lies Albania, strung out along a mountainous coastline, unknown and unremarkable to most except for its post WWII declaration that it would be Atheistic: no religion allowed. Brutal. Harsh. Demanding. It was more than Communist in economic and social policy. Dictator Enver Hoxha prided himself on following Stalin. But he went further, declaring that anything religious would be outlawed. Churches, Mosques, Synagogues were demolish
I recently had the privilege of hearing Christopher Yuan tell his story at Victory Church in Lancaster, PA. While attending dental school, Christopher began living promiscuously as a gay man and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing, and discovered that he was HIV positive.
This is not an exhaustive treatment of a very weighty subject, but merely some thoughts for your consideration.
Suffering helps us grow spiritually and makes us stronger in the faith. It takes our faith from the realm of theory to reality, so we can start living out our faith in the real world.
For instance, we may be rebelling against Him, and He wants it to stop. This was the case with the reluctant prophet Jonah. Psalm 119:67 says, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word." So the Lord may allow a hard situation to wake us up to our real need-even something as tragic as the death of a child.
Youseff had been searching for the truth since he was a schoolboy. "When I still was at school, I wanted to know the 'true' religion. I started reading Koran and the Bible to see which of them would speak to me," Youseff shares
Have you ever met anyone who absolutely did not believe in God? I've met some people who claimed to be atheists, but after talking with them I decided they only said they were atheists because they thought it made them sound smart. - M.G
I believe in Pastors. To the skeptic, give Pastors a break. To the critic, Pastors are but men. To the cynic, Pastors are not what you think. I have never met a perfect Pastor.
I have never met a Pastor who claims to be perfect. Yes, Pastors are but men,
In order to write a blog about sobriety, I had to come to terms with what I was addicted to. I don’t fit any classic patterns and I’m not a sex addict or pornography addict, though at different times in my life, I have shared some of those traits. I never got into drugs because I knew I had an addictive personality and would’ve been a goner. So what is my “drug” of choice?
I am an artist and by nature we all live with a bit of insecurity. It has taken much growth and becoming comfortable in my skin to get to the point where I could accept the truth, no matter how ugly. My talent, looks, and weight have been sources of much uncertainty and self-doubt. I am my harshest critic, always have been. No one can tear me down like me. Oddly enough, the only thing that insecurity never stopped was my ambition.
When something bad happens to us, is it because God is punishing us? My husband is dying of cancer, and I can't help but wonder if God is punishing us, since we've never gone to church or been religious or anything. — A. McF.
Much of my 67 years of life experiences have been in the sports world, and in that time I've witnessed and been a part of some great comebacks. As a coach for the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 NFL Playoffs, I was fortunate enough to be involved in one of the league's most iconic comeback plays-the Music City Miracle. In a game we'd been winning throughout, the Buffalo Bills rallied to take a one point lead with 16 seconds left.
Q:My parents moved this summer, and that meant I've had to go to a new high school. But I'm really lonely, because most of the kids here are into things I don't agree with. Some even call me a "Jesus freak" because of my faith. Why did God put me here? — R.J.
Worship and prayer. Prayer and worship. Twin foundations for men who risk death each time they pull onto the track-and Andrew would know. The singer/songwriter who was named the 2010 CMA (Christian Music Awards) Independent Artist of the Year spends a lot of time in and out of the pit stop with NASCAR drivers. In fact, Andrew teamed up with Koch, Bayne, Stenhouse, Wise and McDowell-and RRT chaplains Ginger and Dennis Sanders-during the Texas tornado outreach.
When they step away from the roar of the engines, the hairpin turns and the adrenaline-fueled competition, you might be surprised at how NASCAR drivers spend their spare time. Some-like Blake Koch, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Josh Wise and Mike McDowell-pitch in to help those less fortunate-like they did on April 14 in tornado-ravaged Texas.
I’m not sure you have to have it all figured out. The “why’s” are questions that we sometimes won’t find complete answers for. We can, however, find insights by digging deeper into our heart’s condition, our past, and into God’s design.
Sometimes life feels like it's shutting down all around us. The government shuts down. Communication with our teen cuts off. Our marriage is on the fritz. Our health goes on hiatus. Everywhere we turn, life is shutting down. How do we get through? We can't logic our way past the problems. Or yell our way out. And we certainly can't drink our way to an exit ramp.
I don't know about other neighborhoods, but when I was younger we had the "do-over." If our feet went out from under us or we miskicked the ball in a kickball game, what were the first words out of our mouths? "Do-over!"
Q:My aunt believes that if you just have a sunny outlook on life you'll be healthy and almost never get sick. It seems to work for her, but is she just kidding herself? I have a hard time being optimistic with all the problems I have. — J.N.