“Defending the faith” is a futile exercise, as the battle is fought with those who are convinced to be your enemy. The better route is to “embody the faith” as it is the surest “weapon” against the unbeliever’s heart, and thus towards winning their mind.
I am thankful I learned this lesson a very long time ago, when I used to battle atheists on religious forums, resulting in much energy and time redeemed for other purposes.
To you who have fallen
for the cause of freedom
no words or gestures
are adequate enough
to express the gratitude and humility
that ought be felt by a people
whose security has been bought
by grit and suffering and blood
– but as tiny a voice it may be
in the shadow of your great
and final sacrifice,
I speak “thank you”
with the voice of my words
and I hope the same is said
of the voice of my works.
A beautiful tree outside my church. I laid down on the ground under the tree and pointed toward the sky. I am amazed at how luminous the leaves were due to the adjacent street light shining through them. autumn approaches by Herb Halstead
My office started an internal newsletter, for which I’ve been invited to write a recurring column. Here’s my inaugural entry. Maybe it’ll help you where you work.
Most of us get along well with one another, but inevitably, in an office this size, there is bound to be that person who rubs you the wrong way. It’s easy to roll your eyes behind their back and say, “I can’t stand that guy!” within hearing range of others. I know it’s easy because I can roll some eyes with the best of you.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The “therefore” refers to the fact that Jesus suffered for all of us so that we could find peace. Because of that, Paul urges us to do more than tolerate one another – but to go so far as to actively encourage one another.
We must not be tempted to pat ourselves on the back when we read the last part: “just as in fact you are doing” – because “encouraging” is what we need to be doing for all people – not just the ones we like.
In preparation for yesterday’s message at Thrive Church, my heart has been in some serious “exploration” mode with God. Many of you know that I am a “tentmaker,” pastoring a church and holding a career as an architectural designer. So, it sort of goes without saying that I don’t mind working hard. But, I have to admit that I sometimes struggle with a calling to be a pastor and having to endure this season of splitting my time between the calling and a career. Continue reading dirty.knees→