All posts tagged: identity in Christ

Are you easily offended?

In an interview with ABC‘s George Stephanopoulis, Ben Carson, who serves as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the US government, made the amazing statement that Americans need to toughen up (he actually said grow up) and quit being offended over everything. And this is all the more incredible considering that Ben Carson is black. Some would argue that he has multiple reasons to be offended in today’s American society. But Carson refuses to go down that road telling Stephanopoulis: “We’ve reached a point in our society where we dissect everything and try to ascribe some nefarious notion to it. We really need to move away from that. We need to move away from being offended by everything, of going through history and looking at everything, of renaming everything. . “I mean, think about the fact that some of our universities, some of our prestigious universities, have a relationship with the slave trade. Should we go and rename those universities? . “It really gets to a point of being ridiculous after …

Spiritual Warfare #4: Who am I?

There are two sections of the Bible that many people use as keys to victory in spiritual warfare. These are the Armour of God section in Ephesians 6: 11-18 and the resist verse in James 4: 7. According to them if I put on the full of armour of God and resist the devil, I will have victory. Yet, there are times in which this does not appear to happen. So how can we have victory every single time we battle the devil? The first thing to know about any Bible verse is that the words are not just some powerful enchantment. They must be believed to be true. That is where faith comes in. We must choose to resist or put on the armor. That’s where our mind comes in. The Bible is full of advice on spiritual warfare. Every single book in the Bible mentions it in one form or the other. In fact, it is the sword of truth in Ephesians 6. A sword is a great weapon but it is only …

How Langton messed up what Jesus meant

You have probably never heard of Stephen Langton, but as a Christian you are very familiar with his work and have undoubtedly used it hundreds of times. Langton was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury between 1150 and 1228 AD. About a year before he died, Langton created the chapter system that we use in the Old and New Testament today. It was first incorporated in the Wycliffe Bible in 1382 AD and basically used ever since. The verse break down was not created until 1555. Though the chapter and verse system has proven extremely beneficial over the years, the chapter divisions created by Langton have some very horrid breaks, tearing apart stories that were obviously intended to be together. Because of their very nature, chapter breaks suggest what is found in one chapter is not directly related to what appears in the following. Such is the case of what happens between Matthew 3 and 4. In Matthew chapter 4, we have the record of Satan’s temptation of Jesus. But there is a particularly insidious …

We’re Fantastic!

I recently did a Google search on fantasy. You probably will not be surprised that the overwhelming majority of web posts have to do with sexual fantasies. There are other fantasies that are way more subtle and way less guilt ridden than these. There are two types of fantasies in which we take part. These are not daydreaming which are usually short-lived imaginations about people or events. The purpose of daydreams is to escape momentarily from our lives and allow ourselves to visit the land of what-if. Fantasies tend to be either forward-looking or backwards reaching. In them we rehearse what could be and what was. They are either negative or positive and often include fulfillment of goals or visions of potential disasters. An example of a negative fantasy is rehearsing past mistakes. When your fantasy has much to do with the phrase, “I should have…”, chances are you are replaying a past event. Your mistake could be real or perceived. This fantasy reminds you that either you were wrong or you were wronged. Emotionally …

Who Are You?

One of my favorite crime shows, CSI, has a theme song that goes: “Who are you? Who, who, who, who?” Oddly enough it a song by a band called The Who. So who are you? Are you the same in public as in private? Are you really what you do? Basically we hide our true self while presenting what we think is a more acceptable self to others. This protects us from getting hurt and hurting others. At least that is the rationale. But doesn’t this just exaggerate fear? I mean the longer I hide myself the more I fear someone will see the real me and never ever stop slapping me. I even want to slap myself sometimes. Fear prevents us from being who we really are, so we often hide behind performance, jobs, looks, and other things the world tells us equals success. Don’t believe me? Remember how anxious you were the last time you had a bad hair day? This is all about your identity. Who you are is a fundamental question …

I Matter

Have you ever thought about your life and wondered what happened? How did I even get here? I always knew I would be a somebody.  Like the next great journalist, rock star or great writer.  But here I am. I am just me. And what’s wrong with just me?  Probably nothing except I did not plan to be just me.  I planned to do big things with my big brain and my big ideas.  Women talk about the glass ceiling, this idea that they can see the top-level of decision makers but can never attain it.  This is not a feminist idea, this happens to men as well as women.  You see I was born into a very poor, very tired family.  My parents had their dream of farming pulled out from under their feet.  They worked extremely hard, taught their kids about love and God, and made us feel loved.  But they never recovered.  Eventually they moved to BC where Dad became a logger, then a city worker and Mom became a waitress.   I …

The Dead Leaf butterfly with its colorful wing display that perfectly mimics a dead leaf when closed. Credit: Left image Public Domain/Right image quartl/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Transformed!

I remember as a boy living in Shellbrook, a small Saskatchewan town, walking down the main street when a butterfly fluttered in front of me. Almost instantly it was set upon by a sparrow. What followed was an aero-acrobatic display. Though the sparrow was clearly faster, the butterfly was incredibly elusive. It swooped up and down to avoid captures. Sharp turns left, then right. Darting in every direction as the bird repeatedly dove in to catch it. And the sparrow was always a second too late, biting at air as the butterfly made another erratic move with a brain barely as large as a dot on an “i.” Then just as suddenly as it started, it was over. The bird broke off its unsuccessful chase and landed at the top of the one-story building I was walking by. I could see its beak open, as it breathed heavily trying to catch its breath. The butterfly continued its flight as if nothing had happened. It was such an acrobatic display because the butterfly has two sets …