2 Lessons to Guarantee You Will Have a Positive Impact

Ripples in WaterPart of you really wants to make a difference. You want your life to count for something. You want the world – or at least some part of it – to be better because you were here. You want somebody – or many somebodies – to be happier, healthier, more whole as a result of your presence.

But how do you do that? In the middle of a busy life it can seem like most of what you do is fruitless. Much of your activity seems to make little impact.

You are probably already making more of a difference than you think. But here’s how to make sure your legacy is a lasting one.

Continue reading...

5 Ways to Know if Your Faith is Working

Woman on Church Pew by CrossYou go to church – or don’t. You have a Bible on the table and read it, sometimes. You pray – more than most, not as much as some. Your coworkers know you’re a Christian, and don’t seem to care too much. You don’t look or sound anything like Sam-or-Sally-SuperChristian, but that’s just not your personality. You believe God is real, but there are moments you do struggle with doubts about certain things.

Sometimes we all wonder if we’re doing this thing called the Christian life right. Even if you are certain of Jesus as your Savior, what kind of difference should that be making in your life now? Do you have to be “super-Christian” to be successful? How do you know?

When it comes to our relationship with God, checklists can be a little dangerous. He deals with each of us individually, and sometimes in very unique ways. His opinion is the only one that really counts. But a spiritual checkup every now and then is helpful.

Here are a few evaluation points that may help:

Continue reading...

What A Difference A Father Makes

Father and SonIt’s not hard to find the statistics. A child who grows up without an involved father has a much higher chance of being poor, having health problems, being incarcerated, abusing drugs and alcohol, becoming involved in teen sex, having less education, and much more.

We just passed Father’s Day. Many of you celebrated the memory or presence of a father who passed on a godly heritage, important values, and a readiness to take life on. Others of you were not celebrating:  your earthly father was either absent, uninvolved, or abusive. One thing we all agree on – a father makes a difference!

I asked a large group of people, both men and women, this question: “What do you think is the most important thing a father can do for his children?” I was amazed at the large number of people who responded. And the answers fell clearly into two categories. A father should:

  1. Be a reflection of our Heavenly Father to his children.
  2. Spend time with his children.

Perhaps one reason so many people mentioned the time issue is because

Continue reading...

“Are We Playing God?”

Sad Over InfertIt was a relatively common, simple medical procedure designed to help her get pregnant. Although it was somewhat uncomfortable for her, I was not prepared for Sarah to begin crying as soon as we were done. But I soon realized her tears had nothing to do with her physical discomfort.

“Are we doing the right thing?”, she asked while wiping her eyes. “Is this meant to be?”  Sarah was wrestling with whether her inability to get pregnant was God’s message to her that He did not want her to have a baby. And she was concerned that taking medical steps to help her conceive might be stepping into an arena that would displease Him.

At heart-stopping moments like this I step out of my doctor roll and address the matters of the heart. It’s one more area where our spiritual lives and our physical lives impact each other greatly. One can’t ignore the deep places in our souls that such issues touch.

I told Sarah that ultimately any decision

Continue reading...

6 Fruitless Ways to Prove Your Worth

Watch Around MoneyWe want to feel important in some way. We want to know we have made a difference, that our existence has been more than an accident. Once our basic needs for food and shelter are met, we put a large part of our energy into whatever makes us feel worthwhile.

But is all that effort worth it? (No pun intended)

We try to find our worth in so many ways:

  • Physical attributes. A young woman (or older woman) maximizes and uses her beauty. A man tests and displays his strength or other physical ability.
  • Intellectual ability.
Continue reading...