God With Us: When “Truth” Doesn’t Matter

God With Us: When “Truth” Doesn’t Matter

ConnectedSomeone has hurt you – badly. Or you face a really tough decision. Or something happens to rock you to your very core. You take the risk and tell one of your church friends, and they respond, “I’ll be praying for you.”

And you want to SCREAM!

It’s not that praying is bad. It’s good. Very good. But it’s like they expect offering a prayer takes them off the hook. They can feel they’ve done their Christian duty while you’re left dying under the crushing load.

When your spouse walks out you don’t need someone to quote Scripture to you. When you just found out your son or daughter is sexually active with a same-sex partner you don’t need to be encouraged to go to church. When you just heard the word “cancer” from your doctor an “I’ll pray for you” doesn’t go very far. When your spouse or child just died a pat on the back with a “God will be with you” is just empty.

I’m on a bit of a rant today. I’ve recently been touched by two different Christian friends whose marriages were lost through no obvious fault of their own. I’ve wrestled with my own healing from grief after the loss of my husband Al a few months ago. And I’ve heard a few truly ugly stories from you, my readers, about what look like truly impossible situations.

At such times the standard Christian platitudes just don’t work. It’s not that they’re wrong; it’s that they’re not enough.

One of my friends was tearful after sharing a moment of his pain, and I responded: “If the gospel can’t deal with this, then what good is it?!”

God With Us

What is the kingdom of God really all about? Why did Jesus come here? Why are we trying to live this Christian life anyway?

Continue reading...
Are You one of the Lazy Christians?

Are You one of the Lazy Christians?

FootballIt’s football season – that time of year when 50,000 or 100,000 spectators desperately in need of exercise sit for hours watching 30 or so fit athletes desperately in need of rest. But somehow the running, tackling, and throwing by those 30 never seems to rub off on the 100,000.

I have nothing against football, but being a fan will not improve your health and wellbeing one bit! And neither will being a spiritual spectator. Lazy Christians are in grave danger of losing strength and fitness. That’s you – unless you start engaging in your own spiritual exercise.

Just yesterday during a prayer group I’m a part of a pastor became desperate as she cried out to God about the social-club playing-church entitlement mentality too many believers display. Our pastors, our leaders, cannot do our fighting for us! They cannot grow your character, protect you from the enemy’s attacks, influence the world around you, or fulfill the mission God has given you to do.

To switch metaphors, in a war the generals don’t do the front-line fighting; the soldiers do. And in the spiritual battle for your soul, your family, your future, or your nation, your spiritual leaders cannot do the fighting that only you can do. Your spiritual leaders have a great responsibility in their roles. But you cannot expect to find healing, purpose, joy, or victory unless YOU strap on your sword – or your running shoes.

In the United States we’re in the middle of perhaps the most contentious and important election our country has yet seen. And for those of us who care about the kingdom of God, we dare not let the news cycle or the overwhelm dissolve us into the apathy of a spectator sport.

5 Ways to get your Spiritual Exercise

For your physical health you need moderately intense physical exercise alternating with periods of rest and renewal. It’s the same with your spiritual health.

You cannot remain at a high intensity of spiritual warfare indefinitely without periods of refreshment. But the vast majority of Christians in our culture are in no danger of spiritual burnout or overwork! We’re in much more danger of being spiritual couch potatoes waiting for someone else to do our running or our fighting for us.

And you cannot get nearly the same benefit from someone else’s spiritual victory as you can from experiencing it for yourself.      Tweet that.

Here are a few ways to get your spiritual exercise that will help you maintain – and grow – your level of fitness and impact.

Continue reading...
What Is a Healthy Christian Woman?

What Is a Healthy Christian Woman?

How do you know if you’re healthy? What does “healthy” mean anyway – as a woman, as a Christian? Are you too old to be healthy?

As a women’s health physician I regularly see first-hand the impact of lifestyle, emotions, relationships, and spiritual life on a woman’s health. Every day I am privileged to help women find ways to experience a more Fully Alive kind of life in all these areas.

Take a few moments to watch this short video. You’ll see other women just like you. And you’ll find out:

  • What it means to be a Healthy Christian Woman
  • What factors impact how a woman looks and feels
  • Why a Christian woman should especially care about her health
  • The single most important thing you can do to improve your health

And the best news: that single most important thing doesn’t cost a penny!

Continue reading...
How you should Vote as a Christian

How you should Vote as a Christian

VoteYes, I’m going to tell you how to vote as a Christian – without apology!

[guestpost]For today only, I am deviating somewhat from the topics you have come to expect. I will return to topics related to good health, loving relationships, and joyful spirituality next week.[/guestpost]

National elections here in the United States happen less than six weeks from now. This election season has been unusually brutal, and these last few weeks promise to be even more so. Money, politics, personalities, scandals – it’s not pretty.

There are many issues on which people base their votes – the economy and jobs, national security, law and order, social justice and equality, illegal immigration, environmental issues, personal freedom, energy policy, the candidate’s character, and more. And God cares about all these things.

But as a believer, there is only ONE criterion on which you can legitimately base your vote:

Which leader is most likely to be beneficial to the Kingdom of God?

Especially this year when disagreements are so sharp and rhetoric so heated, we need to take the larger view – that of the kingdom of God.

Continue reading...
Defeating the Enemy of Your Marriage

Defeating the Enemy of Your Marriage

Don’t you sometimes just want to THROW SOMETHING?! Anything. At anybody. You know it won’t fix things, but it might help you feel better!

That urge may be stronger than ever in your marriage. I get it. Your spouse doesn’t meet your needs. You’re frustrated. Miserable. Upset. Lonely. Maybe even angry. There’s no connection happening between you. You feel as though you’re sleeping with the enemy.

You struggle with blaming your spouse. If only they would care about you just a little, take a little initiative, quit nagging, or try listening for a change. And when you’re not blaming your spouse, you see yourself as a complete failure. Why can’t you make things work? Could there be something terribly wrong with you?

A million things could be affecting your marriage negatively; your spouse’s mistakes, your own mistakes, differing personalities and expectations, lack of communication, busyness, financial or parenting hardships, sickness, extended family problems, and many more.

But none of these are the real enemy of your marriage.

And the enemy of your marriage is certainly NOT your spouse, regardless of how misguided or lazy or inconsiderate they may be.     Tweet that.

Behind all the junk, the unrealistic media messages, the personal failings, the conflict and the busyness and the overwhelming problems life brings, there IS someone who is out to destroy your marriage. He’s behind the culture of divorce and infidelity, the addiction and abuse, and the apathy that often sets in when marriage misery takes root.

Continue reading...