Thankful: Introduction

Thankful

Thanksgiving is one time during the year when our society focuses on thankfulness. Obviously, this should not be limited to one day a year; but the time surrounding this holiday provides all of us with a reminder of the need to be thankful.

There are many things for which we can be thankful. Over the next few weeks will will be highlighting some of them. Before we begin talking about these, we need to start by understanding what must be present in order for us to truly show thankfulness:Continue Reading

A Sermon Delivered in the Dark

A. L. Todd: At the End of the Trail

The book, Christians on the Oregon Trail, describes the lives and labors of those who were part of the Restoration Movement during the time when settlers were first trekking across the continent to the Oregon Territory. These early pioneers faced many challenges in the Pacific Northwest. As these settlements grew, efforts were made to spread the gospel among those who were arriving in the area.

One of the men who endeavored to preach in Oregon during this time was A. L. Todd (1820-1886). In the book mentioned above, the author presented a picture of this man’s labor.

“A. L. Todd traveled far and wide in pursuit of souls for Christ, and often his audiences were very small. On one preaching tour through Coos County he sent word ahead that he would be preaching at Burton Prairie school house. It was a rainy afternoon in the wintertime, and only four persons came out to hear him preach. All four of his hearers were men, and none of them had thought to bring any matches for the candles. There was not enough time for any of the men to return home, so Todd began preaching in the fading light of a winter evening. The school house was cold, damp and dark, and as he preached the darkness deepened.” (Christians on the Oregon Trail, p. 319)

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What the Bible Says about Sleep

Bed

Sleep is one of the few activities in which all humans participate. Our health, mood, mental ability, and performance of tasks depend on the quantity and quality of our sleep.

The Bible speaks of sleep – both literally and figuratively. In this article, we are going to consider four types of sleep discussed in the Scriptures.Continue Reading

The Christian and Minimalism

Bible on desk with cup and clock

If you have spent much time online looking at articles and videos about personal development – how to make the best use of your time, get the most out of life, and focus on what is important – you have likely come across the concept of minimalism. Many self-help gurus promote this philosophy and there are a number of people who describe the benefits they have seen in their own lives by adopting its principles. There are some concepts found in minimalism that will be appealing to most people, even if they do not embrace it in its entirety.

What is minimalism? And what place, if any, does it have in the life of a Christian? Let us briefly consider this concept.Continue Reading

Some Thoughts on Sheep

Sheep

The term “sheep” has become somewhat controversial in our current social and political climate. It is often used disparagingly to describe those who seem to naively follow whatever their leaders tell them to do, even if they are being told to do what appears to be foolish, harmful, irrational, or even wrong. Some have pushed back against this criticism by arguing that, as Christians, we have been called to be like sheep so we should simply follow whatever these orders might be (though each one who argues this will probably have in mind some limit as to how far they believe this compliance should go).

[Note: In this article, I am not going to address any specific cases in which this concept may arise; but I do believe it will be helpful for us to consider some general principles.]

Does the Bible say anything that would address this controversy? Let us consider some thoughts.Continue Reading

Contentment: What It Is and Is Not

Man Sitting on Dock

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).

The Bible stresses the importance of contentment in the lives of God’s people. Like Paul’s example in the passage above, we should be content in every circumstance in which we find ourselves.

However, we need to be sure we understand what contentment is. Many might claim to be content; but in reality their condition may be better described as immaturity, disobedience, cowardice, laziness, or apathy. So in this article, we are going to consider what the Bible says about contentment – what it is and what it is not.Continue Reading

The Cross as a Symbol

Cross and sunset

It is common to see the image of a cross being used as a symbol – a symbol of “Christianity,” an image in art and jewelry, and so on. However, that is not what we will be discussing here. A Christian does not need a cross around his neck, nor does a church need a cross on its building. Instead, we will be talking about “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) – the message of the gospel.

In the gospel, the cross is shown as a symbol representing some fundamental concepts. In following Christ, we are to take up our cross (Luke 9:23), making the same traits which are symbolized by the cross manifested in our lives.

So what does the cross symbolize?Continue Reading