The 3 Stages of God’s Purpose for You

The 3 Stages of God’s Purpose for You

You’re a husband, a mom, a banker, a teacher, a nurse, a truck driver, a construction worker, a radio operator, an entertainer, a cook, a retailer, a computer programmer, or a real estate agent. Your home or work life seems fine as far as it goes, but sometimes a voice in the back of your head wonders, “Is this all there is?” Part of you believes that God can use you where you are right now, but another part of you wonders whether there’s something much bigger in God’s purpose for you.

Having a purpose in life is something most people desire, but may not know how to experience. It makes a difference in your health also. Research in recent years has demonstrated that those with a high sense of purpose in life tend to engage in healthier lifestyle behaviors, develop chronic illnesses less frequently, and experience better mental health. One exciting study showed that seniors with a greater sense of purpose were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the following years than those without such a sense of purpose.

Yesterday I listened to an inspiring interview with Bob Goff, author of Love Does and founder of Restore International.

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How Your View of God Affects Your Health

How Your View of God Affects Your Health

Reaching HandsThere has been considerable debate for centuries about the correlation between spirituality and health. One of the most interesting findings recently is how much of a difference your view of God can make in your health, especially your mental health.

I was preparing for a radio program recently with a good friend Evelyn Davison. She mentioned the tragic reality that people too often relate to God with either an entitlement mentality or a punishment mentality. They see God as either being out to get you, or He’s there to give you whatever you want. Of course neither perspective is true of the God we know from the Bible as a whole.

Research also demonstrates how much your view of God can impact your health. Over the past few years Baylor University has conducted several surveys on religion among American adults,

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How To Take Charge of Your Health As A Christian

How To Take Charge of Your Health As A Christian

Christians have a mixed reputation when it comes to living healthfully. Individuals who are involved in a religious community and consider themselves highly spiritual do many things right. They tend to have fewer problems with substance abuse, engage in risky sexual behaviors less often, and generally rate their physical and mental health more positively. On the other hand religious people are more likely to be obese, and some studies describe higher rates of depression and anxiety in this group.

Many aspects of spirituality are beneficial to physical, mental, and relational wellbeing. However, some religious people live dangerously, and see their relationship with God as a way to escape the negative consequences of harmful behavior. That’s not the way things should be.

True Christianity is anything but passive. The Bible presents God’s people as being very active in most circumstances, even fighting when necessary. David praised God who “trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” (Psalm 144:1-2 NIV) Paul talked about the need to “discipline my body and bring it into subjection” in order to win the prize for which God had called him. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27) The Christian life involves striving not to save ourselves, but to live out the kind of life God calls us to.

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When Your Faith Conflicts With Government

When Your Faith Conflicts With Government

US Supreme Court BuildingAs a Christian in the United States I and the other believers living here have been spoiled. We have enjoyed, for the most part, a relative freedom to believe, worship, and encourage others to join us in our faith. Most of us have taken these freedoms for granted. Some see the recent rulings by the US Supreme Court as a direct affront to those freedoms. Christians are deeply divided over these recent events, with people on both sides attacking the veracity of the faith of those on the other side.

I have been deeply disturbed by many of these recent events, including many of the responses. I’ve asked myself the question, How would Jesus respond if He were living in our culture? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus today? And what is a godly response when your faith conflicts with government or culture? Where is the line between throwing stones and caving in?

As clear as my beliefs are about the same-sex marriage debate, that’s not what this post is primarily about. I’m looking at something deeper. Issues of justice, religious freedom, and sexual ethics are important. But we must remember that they are not the only important issues, and perhaps are not the most important at all. When Jesus was here on Earth He was most concerned about the state of the human heart. (Matthew 15:19)

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Intimacy Is Worth the Risk

Intimacy Is Worth the Risk

Holding HandsGet too close and you’re likely to get hurt. No wonder many people are afraid to take the risk. Most of us have been hurt in some way (or many ways) and being vulnerable again feels too dangerous. Whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it can make you wonder if intimacy is worth the risk involved.

You do risk getting hurt when you get close. Think of the people you’ve trusted to some degree during your lifetime: parents, siblings, childhood friends, teachers, romantic friends, business partners, church associates, spouses. Can you think of any of them who haven’t caused you pain in some way? You’re fortunate indeed if you have a parent who never said cutting words to you, a sibling who never tormented or bullied you, a teacher who never disappointed you, a business partner who was always trustworthy, or a spouse who never let you down. The closer you come to someone, the more likely it is that you will experience pain.

Physical pain is there too. As an OB-Gyn physician I work with a large number of women who experience physical pain

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