Porn has been the hardest addiction for me to overcome, since I gave my life to Christ. I think I saw it first when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was a random thing at first, but I quickly became a slave to porn. I was trapped by lust and had trouble looking at women without thinking degrading things of them. Love became a foreign thing and instead was replaced by lust. As the years went by, this addiction, this sin, began to eat at me. Now, ten years later, I finally had enough. I decided it was time to break the chains of sin. It was time for a change.
Most of you reading this have at some point in life been hurt by someone. You may have been lied to by a close friend or relative. Maybe you experienced emotional abuse or even physical abuse from someone you believed cared for you. I personally felt pain from a distant relationship with my father. Whatever the source of pain, the root is sin.
If you’re like most people, you have a hard time dealing with suffering. Most of the time it’s not so much the actual suffering that hurts us, but more so the timing of God’s healing through suffering. We live in an age of instant gratification. We want something and we want it now!
It’s almost that time of year again. Garden season! Which means getting down and dirty, digging, planting, and patiently waiting for the fruits of our labor. For me that means yummy tomatoes, jalapeños, and various spices like basil, parsley, and cilantro to fill the home with sweet aromas. When it comes to gardening, the quality of the fruits produced is determined by the quality of the soil it is planted in and the attention the gardener gives it. As Christians the quality of life and the fruits we produce depends on where and, more so, who we are rooted in.
What is prophecy? How does it work? Who is the gift for? In his book, "Translating God," Shawn Bolz answers all these questions and more.
"6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:6-11
What makes a church? Is it better to be gospel-centered or community-centered? In their book, Total Church, co-authors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis argue that in order for a church to thrive, it must be a total sum of both strong teaching and intentional community.
My first week in Nepal was coming to an end. I was two days hike, deep in the Northeastern Himalayan hill country. I had a bummed shoulder and the first signs of a cold were creeping in. Night came and morning rolled in quickly after. I woke up and felt as if a heavy burden had been laid over me. I struggled to keep tears back as my colleague sat only a few feet away and I was embarrassed. I hid my face in my Bible, trying to calm myself, when my good friend walked in and asked, "Are you ok?"
"7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:7-11 Read more to see what good gifts the Father has for you!
What's the price of discipleship? What will it cost you to follow Jesus? The answer: EVERYTHING. Check out our first book review and see how we rated it.