It is disturbing to me that Christians talk about immigration in the very same way that non-Christians do. The conversation must necessarily be social, political and economic because immigration deals with all those things. But let us, as informed Christians, ground our conversation on the Bible.
When people give up using the Psalms, they often invent poor substitutes—songs, prayers, or poems that have a bit of Christian emotion and a bit of doctrine, but nonetheless lack the Psalter’s depth, passion, and rich variety of expression. If one tries to do without the Psalms, there is an identifiable blank at the heart of things.
Many Christians long for the spiritual meat of the Word because they’ve sucked from the bottle of spiritual milk for so long. I’m convinced that some Christians become apathetic because they’re not being intellectually challenged. However, some are content with the David and Goliath stories for lessons. That’s fine. However, because we’re many members of one body, we can’t neglect to nourish the more mature members who long for spiritual meat.
I wish I’d known that God judges my ministry by how faithfully I led the flock to the water and not by how much water they drank. It would have saved me a lot of grief. It would have kept me from taking too much credit when people grew by leaps and bounds, and it would have kept me from taking too much blame when their hearts were hard.
You aren’t unique. You aren’t special. Jesus is. The sooner we realize this the better. Yes, you have great worth. Yes, you are dearly loved. Yes, you matter. Yes, you have a purpose. But so does everyone else. And they suffer too. Maybe not as much as you have. But you aren’t unique. You aren’t alone. Jesus has plunged further. Throw your despair upon Him.
Notice it says the thorny weeds choked the good plants and they didn’t produce a crop. Jesus isn’t saying we are bad because we have worries, money, or desires. The point of the story he tells is good people miss the fruit given by the Word because we are buried in our busy, anxious lives.
James hits us hard by showing that the principle cause for relational breakdown has nothing to do with anything outside of us — it has everything to do with what’s going on inside of us. When we don’t have what we want, we’ll kill for it. When I’m not getting from you what I think I need, quarreling and fighting ensue. Once James puts it into words, it couldn’t be more obvious: our main problem in life is us.
One of the bigger missteps in the history of the western Christian fundamentalist view of the Bible is the idea that the biblical records of ancient hostilities are simply veiled references for what is going on in whatever moment we happen to be living in.
Instead, those emotions drive how we interpret what you sell, or what you say when you run for office, or how we interpret what happened on TV screens around the world. It changes the way we think about the things we can look up or get in our email box. Even when we can see something for ourselves, we’d often rather get a talking head or tribal leader to understand it for us. To tell us what people like us think about something like that.
The 25-year-old, who was attending a playing card convention in Kitakyushu, south Japan, was stopped on the street by five men who demanded he give them his wallet and mobile phone.
But rather than contact his family or ask the police for help, he embarked on an 11-day journey to get back to Sendai, in the north-east of the country.