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When Prayer is Bittersweet (Praying on Mother’s Day)

It has been said that emotional maturity including the ability to accept the possibility of having two conflicting emotions at once. If true, then we might say the Bible is quite an emotionally mature book. For the Bible regularly places joy and suffering side by side. For instance, psalms of praise and lament are regularly placed adjacent to one another unashamedly. The Bible regularly places joy and suffering side by side. Yesterday—Mother’s Day—I sought to bear witness to this biblical testimony in the way I led our brief time of prayer. I did so because I have witnessed two equal...

Review: Making Room for Her

Have you heard the one about the mother-in-law who came to babysit? Society has conditioned us to laugh at even the nastiest of mother-in-law jokes. It’s not pretty. If you read that expecting a punchline to follow, you are not alone. Society has conditioned us to laugh at even the nastiest of mother-in-law jokes. The picture they paint is of overbearing, busybodies who treat their sons- or daughters-in-law with controlling contempt. It’s not pretty. But could it be true? Jokes develop most readily from stereotypes. And many stereotypes are borne out of years of repeated behaviour patterns. Behind every stereotype...

Social Media and Spiritual Warfare: Part 1

Social media has allowed us to keep in touch with friends and family across the globe, discover new information and meet people with similar interests. But at what price? How do we safeguard our souls while navigating this virtual world?  Social media has unquestionably transformed the way we behave. While some of these changes have been for the better, many have been for the worse. As Tim Challies poignantly writes in The Next Story: Today, in our digital world, we spend much of our lives beyond Gibraltar, beyond accountability through visibility, able to say and do and look at and enjoy...

Delighting in Your Weaknesses without Indulging in Failure Porn

As members of the body of Christ we are often encouraged to identify our gifts. A cursory search on the web will parade scores of similar titles to: “Your spiritual gifts—how to identify and effectively use them”. But a search on identifying our weaknesses primarily displays titles such as: “Determining your strengths and weaknesses”. My search engine even instinctively discarded weaknesses altogether by displaying other titles like: “How pastors can utilise their strengths” or “My personal strengths inventory in ministry”. There is a growing trend on social media these days to glorify failure … a genre people enjoy to make...

Can I Even Change?

Struggling with sins can feel like a forever-battle. The battle is always on, it’s frequently discouraging, and we’re seldom triumphant. We believe in the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work, but we don’t always see firsthand evidence of change. Our struggles with sin persist—often the same ones we had last year, and the year before that. We believe in the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work, but we don’t always see firsthand evidence of change. As God matures us, we become more aware of these vulnerabilities. We also begin to see how these flaws are closely tied up with our character. One Christian might...

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