Power and Purpose of Fasting

Fasting is an ancient spiritual disciple. It's been in disrepute for most of the modern era. Growing up in the Methodist church I never heard any teaching on fasting from any clergy or lay leadership. Why is that? Perhaps the best explanation is our modern understanding of religion has devolved into a set of therapeutic practices aimed at enhancing one's self-satisfaction. Fasting is an act of self-denial in order to achieve a greater purpose quite outside a direct benefit for the self. Fasting was widely practiced by nearly everyone in the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Hannah, David, Elijah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, the whole city of Nineveh, Jesus, Paul and the entire church of Antioch. Th

How Not to Hate the God of the Old Testament

Readers of the book of Exodus are not prepared for what they find in the episode of the golden calf. Everything seems to move along wonderfully from the miraculous liberation of slaves to the awesome revelation at Mt. Sinai. Then suddenly and incredibly the nation of Israel abandons the God who saved them and make their own god in the form of a golden calf. It's incomprehensible. Sin is always this way. I feel the same shock when I see a husband dump the mother of his children to take up with a younger partner. But more disturbing to many readers is God's word to Moses in response, “Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them...” (Ex 32:10) Man

Planning Your Next Train Wreck

Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37) One couldn’t overemphasize the importance of those two little words. They control the speed of your life, the depth of your relationships and the condition of your soul. Busy is a drug that a lot of people are addicted too. Each of us has just 1440 minutes each day, no more, no less. How are you spending yours? Does it seem to you that you are focusing on what matters most in life? Let’s examine ourselves right now. Put aside your keyboard, take a deep breath and breathe it out. Now consider these questions: Do I want to maintain my current pace? Is the rate at which I do good thin

Parenting Your Twenty-something

Isn't that an oxymoron? I mean the word “parenting” and a “twenty-something” in the same sentence? Here’s a myth: adulthood doesn’t magically happen at age 18 or 21. There are many tasks our children must master before they fully mature from getting their own housing to changing the oil in their car. One of the most important tasks is learning when and how to ask for help. It’s long been acknowledged by psychologists that the period they call “emerging adulthood” can extend from age 18 to 30. At least 30% of American young people in this range are living with their parents for economic reasons. The majority of these parents find themselves providing both financial and emotional support for t

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