Topic | Faith

Posts Categorized: Faith

Be Steadfast {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Steadfast Faith In a world where people display the constancy of butterflies and changefulness of chameleons, be a sequoia. Sequoias are not only the largest trees in the world, but possibly one of the oldest living things on earth. They are broad, sturdy, tall, aged, and if they can be said to do anything, they stand. They stand there, year after year, growing in height and breadth. I think we may safely call them steadfast. We should be steadfast too. The prophet assures us: The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.—Isaiah 26:3. . .
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Reflections on a Faithful Life

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The Legacy As I write this, it is the eighth anniversary of my father’s death. I’ve gotten lots of comments from friends and family about the impact of his life on them. He wasn’t a well-known guy and didn’t have an extraordinary amount of earthly success. He came from a very poor upbringing, even by Depression standards. He left a successful and promising corporate retail career to care for his aged aunt and grandmother in Mississippi. He enjoyed relative anonymity in the country, while my mother became the successful merchant, choir director, and business woman. I think he preferred it. . .
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What do I say to someone who is dying?

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Over the years, people have come to me about how best to approach someone with the gospel who is dying, be it a friend or neighbor or family member. This is usually a situation where the ailing person has kept their distance in the relationship and/or has been antagonistic when it comes to “talking about religion.” Sometimes it all comes down to the Christian being shy or feeling inadequate to present or argue about their faith in Christ which they desire to share. Time is now running out and so they ask me, “What can I do?” The Heidelberg Maneuver. . .
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Use Your Talents {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Big Problems In the course of a day, how many times do you make contact with the suffering of another living being? Really, if you counted them, how many would there be? It is 6:00 a.m. your radio alarm clicks on and reports that another suicide bomber took out twenty-three more people somewhere in the Middle East (one). Good morning. After mining the nighttime crusties from your eyes and brushing your teeth, you take a scroll through your social feeds. Your college friend just got back from India, a medical mission to the slums, and she brought back scads of. . .
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It’s NOT About YourSelfie {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Selfie-ish DayDreams That fantasy you have in your head—it’s not real. You know what I’m talking about, the Instagram filtered version of your future where everything your life now lacks will finally be in your grasp. You’ll be an adult and free of your parents demands on you, or you’ll be done with classrooms and test taking and on to your dream job, or Ryan Reynolds will have finally realized what a doofus he was for not finding you and marrying you sooner. Yep, it sounds nice. The problem is, it’s the daydream equivalent of a selfie. The foreground consists. . .
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How Not to Lose Your Faith When Illness Strikes

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Haven’t We Done This Before? Have you ever read a story about the people of Israel and thought, “Why are they losing faith again? Didn’t they learn their lesson the last time?” Hi, I’m Israel. Have we met? I thought I had learned the lesson of God’s grace being sufficient in my weakness during my early years of mothering, but the Lord has shown me that I need this lesson again. I have struggled with health issues off and on for many years. With so many pregnancies, it is inevitable to have fluctuating hormones and my body seems to have. . .
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I Have Overcome the World

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Jesus has left the building . . . and that’s a good thing. I know that those two statements don’t seem to go together but that is basically what Jesus is saying to the disciples in what is commonly called the “Farewell Discourse” found in the Gospel of John, chapters 13–16. A Troubling Announcement In these chapters, Jesus isn’t healing anyone or speaking to the crowds or contending with the church leaders; He is spending the last hours of His earthly time with that rag-a-muffin band made up mostly of blue-collar men who have followed Him for three years and. . .
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The Lord Reigns, Even in Dark Times

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I’ve been beset lately with a downcast spirit of sorts. It doesn’t feel like a storm raging, just dark clouds and a fog within me that blocks out the sun. It isn’t anything clinical or particularly intense, but a consistent feeling of sadness or frustration that many things in and around me simply aren’t as they should be. It might be a frustration with our current cultural or political climate, which is a total mess; I think we can all agree on that. In my memory, I don’t remember a time that our nation has been this divided and pessimistic. . .
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God, the Great Storyteller

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Writing a Good Story In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started taking an online video class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, an Oscar and Emmy award winning screenwriter and producer. My writing efforts have, in the past, always been focused on essays, devotionals, articles, sermons, and blog posts. However, I’ve recently become fascinated with the particular skill set that enables one to tell stories and write dialogue, not merely for reading but for viewing In one of the first lessons, he made the point that in any good play, movie, or TV series, there has to be a. . .
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Finding Safety in the Flood

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Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Being overwhelmed is just that, you have no control of your situation. You have lost your grip, your footing, you haven’t even a toehold. Fear floods into your heart as your mind races—and that’s all it does because there are no solutions. Look at the passage again, the end of the earth is a remote place. The Psalmist is far away from rescue. He is. . .
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Be Hopeful {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Grasping the Wind “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!” (Isaiah 22:13). This is a common sentiment among us, though we may verbalize it in more subtle ways. “Live for the moment.” “Life is a collection of experiences.” “The joy is in the journey.” There is a residue of truth in these sayings which is appealing. We want our moments to matter. Of course we do, but the draw of the world to do what we feel in every moment is a message that is more convenient than it is true. The writer of Ecclesiastes, who is perhaps. . .
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Basement Tape #171: Fear

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AUDIO: Fear (Basement Tape #171)

We are told to “fear not” and yet we do. We fail to fear our own sin. And we are told to fear God and yet we don’t. Join us as we look at Fear, something we are supposed to have but only as God directs.

Jesus Wants You Dead

By in Highlands Blog on

Christianity is Harmful Christianity harms women by teaching wives to submit to husbands. Christianity harms children by brainwashing them into a closed-minded system of beliefs. Christianity harms people by setting forth oppressive standards for sexual activity that result in crippling guilt when those standards go unmet. Christianity harms people who identify as gay or transgender by demanding that they change something intrinsic to their self-understanding. Christianity harms society by asserting a fundamental distinction between the saved and the lost, the righteous and the ungodly. And if this were not enough, Christianity is down in the basement right now, boiling and. . .
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Seeing God in All Things

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Enjoying God’s Gifts God has given us good things in the world and not only for their base use. Food is a gift that serves our needs far more than for basic survival. We have food in all its varieties, colors, and flavors to see that God is good and gives us good things. The sun does many things for us, but to only see the thing in the sky that provides light is to only see the sun. The sun is bright, large, and powerful, for us to see the majesty and glory of the Triune God. God gives us. . .
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What Would Culture Look Like if We Lived What We Believe?

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Geography & Culture It was an eye-opener as to the influence of geography on culture. I was a twenty year old college student on an eight week summer European holiday and our three bus caravan had just come through the cool and misty mountains of Austria. The contrast then into northern Italy was dramatic to say the least. From cool, green, and misty to hot, brown, and swarthy in just a few hours. Different languages, different buildings, different foods, different everything. Perhaps you’ve been to Italy too. Perhaps you’ve visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome and looked up at that. . .
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When You Don’t Want a Fresh Start, You Just Want to Succeed

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Frozen Possibilities A new year might open up like a fresh can of paint full to the brim with vibrant possibility. On the other hand, it might dawn with piercing frigidity leaving you stone cold frozen. Festive tunes about sleigh rides and wonderlands aside, winter can be a pretty inhospitable season. I know, I am a Minnesota girl, born and raised. If you’ve never experienced the freezing of the contents of your nose upon inhaling the outside air, you don’t know what cold is. Even after relocating to more temperate climes, you never forget the kind of cold that makes. . .
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Keeping Hope Alive While You’re Waiting

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Woman with a clock, waiting in hope.

Our earthly days are often strung together by threads of waiting. we catch it in mentions as our friends tell their stories: “I had given up on getting pregnant, and then along came little Jackson.” “I was nearly bankrupt when I landed that big contract.” “My sickness was undiagnosed for years, now I can finally get treatment.” “I was sure I would be single forever, and then I met Seth.” Most of us have stories of our own. Holding on to hope when fulfillment seems completely out of reach is not natural to us. We are plagued by doubts and. . .
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Bearing Trials & Suffering

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It can be extremely discouraging to experience trials and suffering in your life. Kara shares some of her own trials and and talks about how these trying times can teach us compassion, strengthen our faith, dispel our unbelief, and sanctify us and our families. We can become more Christlike through our own suffering and become a lifeline of encouragement to others as we empathize with their trials.

Is Happiness Actually Possible?

By in Highlands Blog on

Where are you? Everyone is somewhere. Not location necessarily, but location can matter. So where would you say that you are? “I’m here” sounds despondent but still coping. “I don’t know” is honest but sort of the same as, “I’m here” with perhaps a desire to be found. “Not where I should be” is also honest, very honest. But why are you there and are you willing to do something about it? Wait. Maybe that isn’t fair. I shouldn’t assume that you haven’t already tried to change your situation and/or yourself. Everyone Wants to Be Happy Let’s start over. I. . .
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