Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Why Persistent Prayer Is So Difficult

Most of my blog posts are a personal reflection of something I am learning, experiencing or with which I am struggling. The latter fits this post. I’ve recently admitted to myself, and God, that my prayer life is nearing extinction. I pray throughout the day, but the fervor and the dedicated times of prayer have waned. I’ve found myself needing to go back to training camp for a refresher on the basics of living a life that honors God. Prayer, persistent prayer, is one of these basics.

sharkThe Shark Who Gave Up

There was a study I remember from my psychology class in college that left an indelible impression upon me. A shark was put into one side of a tank which was divided by a clear glass panel. On the other side of the tank was a school of smaller fish—a perfect dinner for the shark. The shark would dart toward the fish, but each time it would ram its nose into the glass barrier. The shark tried and tried again. Each time it scurried toward a fish it would abruptly hit the glass. Finally, the shark gave up and quit darting toward the smaller fish. What happened next in the study is truly fascinating. Continue reading

A High School Graduation Letter to Our Daughter

img_0018One of the purposes of this blog is to preserve a little family history. This letter to our daughter upon her graduation last year is a piece of our history. I’m not sure why I am just now getting around to posting it. Lydia will soon be leaving home for her sophomore year of college. I guess late is better than never.

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Lydia,

Forever etched in my memory is that wide-eyed little redhead newborn staring off into the new world as you were swaddled against mom on that glorious summer day in Johnson City, TN. You exploded into this world with personality and have never looked back. Our family has been blessed with you.

Now, high school graduation! Our memory bank is full of specials moments like the numerous times we heard, “Oh, she looks like Little Orphan Annie.” The little girl who has spent hours and days casting fishing lines with me on the piers of Weiss Lake is now in line to receive a diploma from Brookwood High School. My Lilly, my Braves buddy, who could amaze me with stats about every player and bemoan the decision of Bobby Cox to send in Dan Kolb to pitch, is now getting ready to learn how to pitch education, marketing or some other marketable skill. The two-year old who once backed a car between two trees, through a fence and into the side of a neighbor’s garage is now preparing to drive off to Georgia College and State University.  I’m going to miss you.
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Does the Bible Downplay Physical Exercise?

BodyBuilderShould Christians put much effort into physical exercise? The question is prompted by a perplexing phrase in the Bible.

The church our family attended when I was young used the Old English translation of the Bible known as the King James Version, (KJV).  The KJV translated the phrase this way, “For bodily exercise profiteth little.”* Therefore, we could conclude the Bible downplays the value of physical exercise. But does it?

If the Bible deemphasizes physical exercise then many of us have a problem.

I am a proponent of physical exercise. As a member of the Metro-Atlanta YMCA, I regularly engage in “bodily exercise”—and my current level of Platinum, earned by workout points, evidences my commitment. I also have a drawer overflowing with t-shirts earned from running races. And hanging on a wall are medals that were gently placed around my neck after crossing the finish lines of marathons. My passion for wellness is further evidenced by my Raving Wellness Blog and periodic presentations on corporate wellness.  I believe in physical exercise. Yet, is there a conflict for me and others who profess an adherence to the Bible and who are also committed to physical exercise? Continue reading

Picasso-like Christianity

I once heard a good piece of advice: Never agree to plastic surgery in a doctor’s office with paintings by Picasso.

Nothing can botch our Christian faith more than prominently placed inaccurate beliefs—beliefs that are often introduced to us in the first years of life.

A common song in my childhood Sunday School went like this:Bible

Every promise in the Book is mine!
Every chapter, every verse, every line.
I am standing on His Word divine,
Every promise in the Book is mine!

Oh, how we sang it with uninhibited enthusiasm! The meaning was clear; every promise in the Bible was for me.

The Bible is full of promises. Yet, I challenge the statement that every promise is the Bible is for me. I do not believe it. Continue reading

Faith as Therapy?

Why would I as an evangelical Christian who professes the uniqueness of Christ agree with Dan Buettner when he writes, “It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindi.”

For those who know me, hearing that I concur with a statement such as this would be shocking. Some would think I had lost my faith. Yet, I do agree with Buettner on this statement because of the context in which he writes it.

Dan Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones, a New York Times Bestseller. The Blue Zones is a book providing “lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.” The research is conducted among four groups of the people who have a significantly higher percentage of inhabitants living to be centenarians, (100 years of age or older). The four Blue Zone communities are found in the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Continue reading

Worship for Dummies

Like a Georgia Pine in a sea of Dogwoods, Marva J. Dawn’s Reaching Out without Dumbing Down. A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture, stands out among the myriads of writings on worship. It tops my list of books on worship.

Knowing how to fit culture into our worship—and not the other way around—is the primary focus of Dawn. Culture cannot be avoided in our worship, and true worship should not elude us because of our culture. Dawn’s concern is that the American Christian’s worship is being “dumbed down” because Continue reading