In addressing a difficult and often ignored topic, Parkview’s own Amy Simpson openly shares personal and profound insights on mental illness and provides suggestions on how the church should respond to those in our community who suffer. Most importantly, Amy offers hope to all of us who are affected in some way or another. Thank you Amy. I hope many will not only join me in reading “Troubled Minds” but take the steps necessary to understand, reach out to, embrace and help those who have them.
Archive for the 'Family' Category
With the Supreme Court sharing arguments on gay marriage, it’s no secret. Traditional marriage is an issue most conservative minded Christians embrace. Yet given the current track record of those within the church community, the long held opinion on the matter holds less weight than it once did. For Christians who favor and champion the sanctity of marriage, it doesn’t help that so many in the camp are poor examples of what biblical marriage is purported to be – a lifetime union between a man and women through good times and bad “until death parts us.” Recent surveys indicate that Christians are found to be divorced at a percentage rate “statistically identical” to the rest of the culture. One might then argue, on what moral grounds do we stand as advocates to the sanctity of something we ourselves seem to violate and disregard? In many respects, we’ve lost credibility to speak into the topic. Perhaps before Christians begin lecturing others on the value God places on the union of a man and woman and casting a vision for what is right, we should take a hard honest look at our own practices and remove the plank of rebellion from our eyes and lives.
Here’s another short indy film that made me smile. It’s an award winner about Ben – a nice but shy sign-holder who loves his job but is working his his last day before his career moves to a new level. Great message about friends and encouragement.
The holiday season is often refered to as the “season of giving.” But is it? I’m not just talking about giving to ourselves, friends and families, gifts we most likely don’t need – but giving to those who are truly desperate, marginalized, forgotten, abused or hungry?
Sometimes our response to the idea of generosity is “I’d like to give but right now I [we] don’t have enough money or resources to spare and until we’re doing better financially – we can’t be expected to be generous to others – we just can’t do it.”
Yet as Christians, the Apostle Paul calls us to “carry each other’s burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ.”
The famous preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards responded to this mentality with the following comments….
“In many cases, we may, by the rules of the gospel, be obliged to give to others when we cannot do it without suffering ourselves…If our neighbor’s difficulties and necessities be much greater than our own, and we see that he is not like to be otherwise relieved, we should be willing to suffer with him, and to take part of his burden on ourselves; else how is that rule of bearing one another’s burdens fulfilled?
If we are never obliged to relieve others’ burdens, but when we can do it without burdening ourselves, then how do we bear our neighbor’s burdens, when we bear no burden at all?” [Jonathan Edwards, Christian Charity, The Works of Jonathan Edwards]
With this in mind, can we say this is truly the “season of giving” or “carrying other’s burdens?”
You see them on porches and on the lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple
who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone
sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.
Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.
It may not be any of my business,
but let us suppose one day
that everyone who placed those vacant chairs
on a veranda or a dock sat down in them
if only for the sake of remembering
what it was they thought deserved
to be viewed from two chairs,
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive on that day.
The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is only the sound of their looking,
the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning –
it passes the time to wonder which.
Who can you sing this song to today? Surely someone. Don’t wait, tell them “I love you.”
Passover is nearly here and as I get ready to host our traditional seder meal, this song helps set the tone….