- Have you ever experienced following your heart in a way that was simply making up your own truth as you went along? If so, how did that work for you?
- Where should living from the heart fit into the life of a Christ-follower?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A friend of mine recently recommended a book called Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don’t Give Away More Money. While this book isn’t a real fun read (it reads much more like sociology than your typical book on church) I am finding that it offers a lot of interesting insights on Christian financial giving. Passing the Plate is crammed with detailed statistics on giving that account for religious denominational affiliation and economic status going back to the 1920’s. The conclusions reached by the authors are that American Christians are not as generous as one might expect. The statistics give a picture that around 25% of Christians give nothing at all to churches and the overwhelming majority of Christians only give in the range of 2.5 to 4 percent of their income to church or charities annually.
- What have been your biggest barriers to giving as a Christian – debt, living from paycheck to paycheck, distrust of churches and charitable organizations, or some other reason?
- Why do you think that American Christians don’t give more of their money away?
- How can pastors and those who work for non-profit charities address these realities in a way that is not manipulative or whiney, but redemptive?
- Finally, how does theology (beliefs about God) play into the way Christians spend their money?
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“What Jesus did and said was designed to give a decisive answer, in deeds as well as words, to the question, What would it look like if God was running things?"
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Yesterday I was driving to New Orleans getting my daily podcast fix in as I crossed the Causeway. The podcast choice for yesterday was This American Life (one of my favorites). This particular episode kind of blew me away with a story about a guy named Jasper Lawrence who willingly infected himself with hookworms to cure his asthma and allergies.
Apparently developing countries don’t have near the problems with asthma and allergies that we do in the developed world and this is in part due to how clean we have made the world. In the developing world there is a much higher hookworm infection rate which has proved to be the link in suppressing auto-immune diseases. Jasper Lawrence was desperate for relief from his allergies and asthma when he came across the studies on hookworms. After making multiple failed attempts to buy hookworms from laboratories he ended up visiting many villages in Camaroon (Africa) to walk barefoot in their latrines (hookworms enter through the feet). After doing this about 40 times he went back home to the UK. He achieved his goal of getting infected and subsequently cured his asthma and allergies. Now he is a hookworm dealer.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
A therapist friend recently told me he had observed that “addicted people can’t meditate.”…In know my own daily practice of prayer and meditation is not easy. One reason is that this practice opens my awareness to things about myself that I would rather not be conscious of. In many instances, these awarenesses have to do with my addictions: how attached I am to certain petty concerns and competitions, how worried I am about truly insignificant things, how important my selfish ego is to me. So I find myself resisting settling down to pray, or I fill my meditation time with images or music or words—anything that will keep me from simply being present and awake before God.