Topic | Faith

Posts Categorized: Faith

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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The Cure for Worry

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Overgrown Worry You may know the feeling, tension deeply rooted in the pit of your stomach burgeons outward and upward until your muscles are taut with resistance to the grasping weedy tendrils of anxiety whose speedy propagation just might overcome your adeptness at hacking away the spreading growth. Worry has an invasive quality which, when not extracted by the root, can rival the destructiveness of kudzu. Kudzu, for those who are unfamiliar, is a leafy vine which can grow as much as a foot a day given hospitable conditions. In the hills of southwest Virginia kudzu runs rampant overgrowing the. . .
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When You’re Living in the Wasteland

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Life Isn’t Always Picturesque In this wasteland where I’m livin’ There is a crack in the door filled with light… (Wasteland by NEEDTOBREATHE) It is a tricky business to successfully navigate the emotional badlands that we stagger into when life takes an unexpected track. Childhood plans for the future involve a great deal of success and very little failure. We foresee a lifetime of ambling up a clear path on a gentle incline that summits at a lovely vista revealing our successes along the way. There is a dissonance however between adult experience and youthful fancy. We find that things. . .
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Tied to Earth Yet Heavenbound

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Dream Journey If I had the funds and the free time, my dream would be to take my wife Lindsay on an around the world cruise (sorry kids!). I’m talking a Queen Mary II, one hundred twenty day voyage, from England, all the way to the Orient and back with all the stops in between. Sights and sounds and smells not even comprehended would soon be ours. Exotic foods and astonishing sights, new faces and strange customs would be set in front of us while we enjoyed the comforts of a twenty first century vessel and twenty four hour service.. . .
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Living in a State of Constant Change

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Significant Changes Change is a big theme in my life these days. As many of you know, I have recently returned to the pastorate and this vocational shift has brought about many other changes to my life as well as to the lives of my children. We have relocated to a new state, three of my children are either working or attending school in other locations, and my three at-home children are attending a Christian school for the first time, instead of homeschooling. For the younger children, unless you have experienced this, you have no idea how significant the changes. . .
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Blood, Sweat, & Years—Doing Work that Matters

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Hard-working farmer wiping sweat from forehead.

When I started making knives I was twenty-eight years old. I had a new baby girl, a new little house and life was simple. I bought some tools and set up a small shop in my two-car garage. Blink my eyes and boom, my little girl is now six-feet tall, I also have another son and daughter, I don’t work in that little garage anymore, I don’t live in that house anymore. Heck, I don’t even live in that time zone anymore! I have a new home, new friends, and a very different life than I did when I started.. . .
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Christians—5 Ways to Tell if You Are in the Game or On the Bench!

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There is a place on a football field where players rarely get chased or pushed or tackled. There are seats and beverages and the view of the game is excellent. We can hear the crowds cheering and booing and, if we close our eyes, we might think they are talking to us. We, if we are on the sidelines, are most definitely not in the game. A lot of us like to put on the uniform and pace the sidelines and comment on the game in progress. We also like to stay clear of the action; it’s much safer that. . .
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Life Isn’t Fair

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Life Isn't Fair (Two girls, grumpy one with an apple, happy one with chocolate.

Childish Complaints Life isn’t fair. This is something my parents had no qualms about communicating to me from my very earliest years. They were not ones to give much ear to complaint. If I said, “That’s not fair! How come she got more than me?” the response would quickly follow, “Life isn’t fair.” This effectively silenced the complaint assuring me that kind of talk would get no hearing. They were not interested in validating my complaints with long discussions of why she got more than me or engaging in a debate on the fairness of my circumstances. This scenario played. . .
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Standing Firm When You Feel Shaken

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Most of the time living a fearless life seems impossible. Things go wrong, plans fail, we start second-guessing. We sink into confusion and worry and shamefaced retreat when the troubles of life come upon us. At some point, they always come, the Lord even said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Our tribulations wear many faces. They may look like cancer, or an empty bank account, or your name slandered because you spoke for righteous morality. In the not so distant past I weathered a time when confusion and worry reigned supreme. My troubles were lurking on. . .
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My Dad Could Do Magic!

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My Dad Could Do Magic Really. He could. At least through the eyes of a little boy, he could. I’m not talking about divination, which is an abomination. I’m talking about magic. When I was nine or ten, my dad bought a 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood. It was dark green, and was absolutely beautiful. It was as big as a small apartment, and had every option and gadget that was available at the time—but no seat belts. One day, I was sitting in the front seat next to my dad, along with one of my friends. Dad casually said, “Wanna see. . .
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Counting it All Joy When You’re Walking in the Valley

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Hiker's silhouette looking down into a deep valley. (Count it all Joy)

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.—James 1:2–4 Unexpected Trials “I never saw it coming,” we say. “This was so unexpected.” Even though we meet with suffering and trials on a fairly regular basis, they still manage to interject themselves at times and in ways we don’t foresee. How many people do you know right now who are out of work, fighting cancer, mourning infertility, or burying a loved. . .
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Are You Listening to the Wrong Voices?

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Listening for That Voice You probably were young once as I was. When shopping at a crowded mall or visiting a busy playground, little people often get separated from their mothers and fathers. Sometimes, it’s just a few feet but it can seem like the Grand Canyon separates you because you don’t know where they are. You are lost. Somewhere between frightened and terrified you exist and search frantically for your parent. And then you hear your name called. Loud and clear. The sweet sound of your mother or father. You are now safe. Peace washes over you in an. . .
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