Our Hands Open

With a surging economy, charitable giving is on the rise. Projections show that donations from foundations and corporations are on track to grow by 5% or more, well ahead of the GDP. Strangely, the people least likely to contribute are the wealthiest people. One writer notes that “as people accumulate more wealth they tend to become more insulated and set apart from others, making them potentially less aware of others’ needs...

The Mirror Never Lies

We live in a culture that teaches us to protect ourselves from criticism. Some of us choose to hide behind a false front, presenting the world with an image that is different than how we feel inside. Some find fault in others as a way to avoid the same tendencies in themselves. We all distract ourselves and avoid the hard questions about who we are and the decisions we make, because...

Power Through Weakness

In today’s world, weakness is bad. No one wants to be weak. Being weak means failure. Strength through physical power and intimidation or affluence through money and possessions is our goal. Pop-culture’s influence over followers drives our fascination with social media.

Food That Lasts

We live in a culture centered on getting and not giving. We're consumers. What makes us happy is getting the thing we want, as quickly as we can get it. From fast food restaurants to Amazon.com, we have created a society that delivers what we need, the moment we crave it. Behind all of this, a question is lurking—one we're probably afraid to ask. In the case of fast food, we already know the answer, but the same question applies...

No Fear

Fear can protect us from hurting ourselves. It keeps us from driving too fast on the freeway, walking too close to the ledge of a tall building, or gambling too much in a high stakes poker game. At its worst, though, it keeps us from acting boldly in situations where we need to take a risk. It keeps...

The Young and the Restless

We live in a society caught in the grips of anxiety and depression. Young people are more prone to thoughts of suicide than previous generations. Recent studies struggle with locating a cause, and end up adopting such lame conclusions as greater competitiveness, perfectionism, and controlling parents. Clearly, something is broken in the world today. Opioid...

Hope Ahead

We're all in search of hope. We want to believe things will work out in the end, that our dreams will come true. In the middle of disaster, we long for reassurance that the world will be set right. We want to know that our life has a purpose and that we will experience true love before our time runs out.

Declaration of Dependence

On July 4, we who are in the United States celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's a declaration of freedom, of a sort. Freedom is highly prized in the world today—not only in the United States but everywhere. We sometimes think of freedom in connection with independence—i.e., freedom from the control of another. Sometimes we think of freedom as having choices. Othertimes...

Promise Made, Promise Kept

Truth no longer means what it did a few generations ago. Western culture has developed a disdain for absolutes—the conception that there is something behind the beliefs we hold dear. Morals have become a matter of preference.

Resting in His Shadow

I have faced difficult times when my plans have unraveled and fallen apart around me. I remember one time I sat alone, feeling abandoned. Where was God, I wondered? I reached out in desperation but couldn't find him. The thought struck me that he had wandered away, that he didn't care about what I was facing. I wanted to pray but it seemed like a waste of time. It was easier to panic and try to regain control of the...

Chains of the Past

Things in the past can enslave us. Mistakes we have made, experiences we cannot forget, things that have been done to us. Bitterness and disappointment can consume our thinking, robbing us of joy and hope. Images burned into our consciousness, like pornography or sexual perversion, can cause us to relapse into patterns of sin. Anger over the harm others have done to us can...

When Disappointment Strikes

Life never works out the way we think it will. People let us down, tragedy strikes when we least expect it. Circumstances are often outside our control, and we all have limitations that keep us from realizing our dreams. It's difficult to avoid disappointment, especially when we have visions of success painted for us by popular culture. We believe we need to reach some pinnacle of success or affluence to be happy, and when we don’t,...

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