Guard Your Heart

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(c) April Kelsey

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. ~ Matthew 24:3-13

Guard your heart. I’ve often heard this phrase in the context of dating: “Don’t get emotionally entangled. Your heart belongs to God and it’s possible to give it away.” But I don’t think guarding one’s heart has anything to do with dating. It’s far more important than that.

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Thinking About Community

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Image found at nesta.org.uk

In the past few months, I’ve come to a realization about the United States: We’re a culture of obsessive bean counters. For example, consider how most church denominations measure successful ministries. Number of baptisms. People in pews. Amount of tithes and offering. There are now church consultants who will show up to your Sunday meeting place and tell your pastor how he (or she) can get more visitors in the door. They talk about marketing, events, branding, website SEO–terms more commonly heard in the corporate offices of Apple and McDonald’s.

Rarely do we realize how much corporate culture affects our thinking and worldview. But it does. It permeates everything–including how we view ourselves and how we live our lives. Continue reading

Needed: A New Conversation on LGBT in the Church

light on stairsTwo weeks ago, Christian rock singer Trey Pearson came out as gay. His band, Everyday Sunday, had multiple albums and several #1 hits on the CCM single’s chart. Trey said he had tried for years to become straight, even marrying a woman and fathering two children, but nothing had changed. He wasn’t sexually attracted to his wife, was unable to meet her intimate needs, and felt burdened by having to pretend to be someone he clearly wasn’t. He and his wife had mutually agreed to separate, putting a plan in place for him to continue to be very involved in raising his children.

What shocked me about this announcement was the response to it. A fairly well-known Christian radio show host spat on Twitter that Trey was ungodly, and so were all the other CCM artists who had come out as gay in recent years.

Ungodly?

All Trey had confessed to was same-sex attraction. Not an affair. Not abusive behavior. Not breaking one of the commandments. Just “I like men.” Yet that statement alone was enough to erase his godliness and call his salvation into question.
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When Marriage Hurts

shell-756724_1280A while back, a reader asked if I would blog more about my experience with depression in marriage. Since then, the topic hasn’t been far from my mind. Finally, after nine months, I have some thoughts to share.

My husband and I have known each other for about 16 years, and in August we will celebrate 9 years of marriage. Hubby and I have always gotten along very well. We are quite comfortable with each other. Touch being my primary love language, we are frequently and openly affectionate. We touch as we pass each other in the kitchen, as we ride together in the car, as we say goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening. His touch has become so familiar to me, it’s nearly as familiar as my own. Disagreements between us are rare; yelling and snipping almost non-existent.

But… Continue reading

An Open Letter to Christian Business Owners

Anyone recall seeing my post last year on deeply held religious beliefs? Today, I have a follow-up post on Unfundamentalist Christians.

[Excerpt]

Dear Christian Business Owner,

I don’t usually do open letters (it’s against my policy), but today I feel compelled to make an exception. I’m writing to you because I’m genuinely concerned and confused about your objections to serving LGBT folks.

See, when I was growing up in church, my leaders talked about how important it was to seek out opportunities to share the gospel with others. Jesus could return at any time, and people needed to be ready to meet him. For them, this wasn’t just some pretty idea; Christians had a scriptural obligation to win souls, and everyone took it seriously. I knew people who rejoiced when sinners entered their workplace, because it allowed them to plant and water the seeds of salvation through their service.

I don’t know what has happened in the past 25 years to change all of that, but it’s saddening. If you truly believe the LGBT community is most in need of Jesus, why on earth would you advocate for laws to keep them away?

Continue reading at Unfundamentalist Christians