October 15, 2017

Do Personality Tests Add Value?

Personality tests are all the rage right now. From the "just for fun" quizzes on Facebook (what color are you? which state should you live in? who's your historical twin?) to the more serious assessments used in the workplace (MBTI, StrengthsFinder) and counselor's office (Love Languages, Birth Order, Enneagram), we are a culture consumed with learning more about ourselves. Is that a bad thing? No. It can be useful, and even necessary, for growth. Do we take it too far? Probably. I tend to roll my eyes at the silly little Facebook quizzes. According to those, my tastes indicate I have a Master's degree, my dog personality is a mastiff, and I'd wear a yellow shirt on the Enterprise [...Read More]

Peace in the Midst of Your Storm

Wildfires raging out of control in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Catastrophic record-breaking flooding in Texas. Severe threats from Irma across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. How can you find peace when you lift up your eyes and all you see is orange sky and smoke-covered sun? When you wade through chest-high water to find your home of thirty years destroyed beyond repair? When injury and loss capture every waking moment? Life gets turned upside-down and there’s nothing anyone can do to make things right again. No amount of time or money can replace what's been lost. No amount of comfort can fill that emptiness of grief. How can there be peace in the midst of [...Read More]

Have Events Lost Their Significance?

In this social media age, events either get blown out of proportion or glossed over too quickly. The Great American Eclipse was one of those. How many people do you know who decided to watch the eclipse, either online or in person, just because it had been so hyped up by the media and their friends? And of those who watched it, how many got up as soon as it was over and immediately put it out of mind? It was the cool thing to do, so they did it . . . but once it was over, it was time to move on. I think, as Christians, we should have a more thoughtful way of experiencing things - whether we observe them firsthand or merely read about them online. Social media is great for catching the [...Read More]

Let Your Soul Be Stirred to Action

I decided to add a "current events" category in my reading challenge for this year, not because it's something I particularly enjoy, but because I think it's helpful and good to be informed of what's going on in the world at large. I'm not a news junkie, political die-hard, or economics geek; but there's other issues in our world that we need to stay aware of and, as Christians, be praying for on a regular basis. Many of these issues are hard to learn about: human trafficking, race riots, poor treatment of veterans, poverty in third-world countries, girls who aren't allowed to attend school, the abuse of women in terrorist organizations, persecution of Christians, bondage of everyday [...Read More]

For When You Feel Like A Failure

Do you ever feel like a failure? Or get upset because you don't live up to your own expectations of what you should be able to accomplish? Last week, we had VBS at our church. There was a girl who needed to talk about something, and my tongue tied itself up terribly. I just couldn't get started with the conversation! Now, it might have had something to do with the fact that I'd just been pulled from doing crafts with the younger kids, and she was an older kid who had just come from lesson time. Plus, she's a kid who doesn't say much. I had no idea what she'd heard during the lesson, she had no idea how to explain what she wanted, and I just stumbled around trying to get the conversation [...Read More]

God’s Strength Is Enough for You

A lot of people can quote the first half of 2 Corinthians 12:9, but I’m not sure how many actually understand the power and strength imparted in its fourteen words of divine promise. I didn’t, until I actually lived it for myself. I didn’t really understand until I’d been diagnosed with a life-altering illness. Until I had absolutely no more spoons. Until I was called to spend more than I had of energy, strength, and life. We probably all know the back story of this great promise. God had graciously chosen to allow the Apostle Paul to suffer some sort of chronic physical affliction, from which he desperately sought deliverance. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been to that [...Read More]

How Does the Gospel Transform Productivity?

Like most of you, I live a busy life with too many things on my to-do list and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Poor planning, unforeseen interruptions, and just life in general all combine to make productivity much harder than it should be. And one glance at the personal development section at Barnes & Noble reveals that many of us feel that way! In fact, a quick search for "productivity books" on Amazon returns over 36,000 results. I guess we have a problem with getting things done. Is the answer simply learning various methods and strategies to streamline our work and do more in less time? I don't think so. To be sure, those methods can be helpful -- almost anyone [...Read More]