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Topic: Loving Others

Listening

The Loving Service of Listening

The task was simple: Engage someone in conversation—ask about her life, work, class-load, past, or dreams for the future—and don’t interrupt once while she shares. I’ll never forget when I received this assignment as a junior in college. I considered myself a good listener and was excited for an easy […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 22, 2017)

Nabeel Quereshi (1983-2017) (Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition) Jesus is the God of reversal and redemption. He redeemed sinners to life by his death, and he redeemed a symbol of execution by repurposing it for salvation. He redeemed my suffering by making me rely upon him for my every moment, bending […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (August 30, 2017)

From the Flooded Grounds of Houston (J. A. Medders, The Gospel Coalition) When I hear more rain on my back patio, my heart aches. Our city is sinking. I shake my head in disbelief as rain and sirens blare around us. As I tell my kids to wear their helmets during […]

Texting

Texting and Driving Is Not Loving Your Neighbor

Ping! A new text arrives as you drive home from work. You quickly glance down at your phone and shoot off a response before you forget, and BOOM! You slam into a car stopped at the red light in front of you for an easy-to-avoid fender bender. This type of thing happens every […]

Hard Truth

How to Tell Your Friend the Hard Truth

One of my best friends is like a great French roast coffee: He’s super bold. In love, he gives people the truth, confronts sin, and speaks the gospel with no reservations, even to people he’s just met. Like the Apostle Paul, he doesn’t shrink back from declaring anything that is […]

hospitality

Three Ways Hospitality Pictures the Gospel

I pulled up to my driveway and sighed, seeing all the kids gathered there. If this sight was something I’d prayed for, why was I so frustrated? I used to tell everybody that I wanted my house to be “the Kool-Aid house,” the one where all the kids played and […]

wrongfully blamed

15 Prayers for the Wrongfully Blamed

Have you been wrongfully blamed? Or have you been misunderstood for your intentions? Pray with me: 1. You see me. God, thank you for seeing me. I know that you are always right, true, and just. You see me, and you see when my heart is loving you through what […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (July 13, 2017)

Evaluating Our Expectations: The American Dream vs. a Christian’s Hope (Melissa Kruger, Wit’s End) The American Dream might best be summed up as the possibility for a life of freedom, personal happiness, material comfort, and lasting fulfillment (all nicely enclosed in a white picket fence)… In contrast to our typical image […]

jewish ministry

Four Guidelines for Jewish Ministry

My parents have been involved in Jewish Ministry for over 40 years, and I‘ve been asked many times how someone can approach a Jewish friend about their faith. Sharing the gospel with people is always difficult, but the issue seems compounded when we engage in ministry to Jewish people. One […]

gods love for the poor

Four Truths About God’s Love for the Poor

From time to time, we open our corporate prayer meetings by asking people to praise God for a specific attribute. There are some regulars: God’s power, love, kindness, help, strength, and grace regularly make the list. But as far as I can remember, there’s one attribute that has never come […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 29, 2017)

Why Didn’t God Send Jesus Right After Adam and Eve Sinned? (Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries) It’s an amazing and wonderful thing to realize that God devised His plan, created us, and is perfectly executing the plan, so that we could enjoy Him. He was infinitely satisfied within Himself, the Godhead, before […]

hurting people

Three Untruths You’ve Probably Said to Hurting People

Christians like to encourage people. This is a great thing. When someone we care about is hurting or enduring trials, we are quick to give words of encouragement and comfort. When we are suffering, others are generous to do the same for us. But an important question regarding this is, […]

I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice

I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice

Tax collectors and other outcasts had gathered in Matthew’s house for a feast. In the center of the hubbub, Jesus and his followers reclined at the dinner table. Noticing Jesus’s presence among such riffraff, the Pharisees scoffed. How could Jesus consider himself a rabbi and party with such a disreputable […]

confrontation

Four Steps to Consider in Confrontation

Confrontation is never easy. It always comes at a cost. We are humans who live on a created planet full of other humans, and when we encounter each other, there will be opportunity for confrontation. Relational heartaches come in varying degrees. Some heartaches are low-level tension and can be tolerated […]

Jesus loves

Three Kinds of People Jesus Loves

I like to love people who are easy to love. I prefer to show love in ways where I can control what others think about me. Sometimes I wish to “tell it like it is” in the name of love, when really I’m being hurtful and unwise. Jesus, however, blows […]

How to Work Well With Different Personalities

How to Work Well With Different Personalities

For years, companies have tried to choose employees who work well together by exploring the personality types of their job candidates. Tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator identify attitudes and preferences, and help extroverts and introverts figure out how to work together. Long before personality tests entered our world, […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 7, 2016)

Be Careful How You Read Your Bible (Joel Littlefield, For The Church) No longer should you go to the Bible to fulfill a chore, check a box or to maintain a religious posture. That isn’t doing you a favor. In fact, it might be hurting you. The Compassion of Community (Chelsea […]

lying

Put Away the Sin of Lying

“Yes it is.” “No, it isn’t.” “Yes it is, I promise. I know, because I’m in school.” “Son, Mount Rushmore is not in Russia.” That was a real conversation I had with my mom, and I was the “yes man” above. You see, I had a lying problem when I was […]

you shall not murder

You Shall Not Murder

The 6th commandment, commonly read as “You shall not kill,” seems like it should be easy to obey, but it is likely we have broken it frequently and recently. Three Ways to Murder The King James Bible states the verse as “Thou shall not kill,” but more recent versions translate […]

making tough decisions

Three Steps to Making Tough Decisions

We all follow leaders. The question is, who’s leading? Most of us follow some combination of our peers, people we admire, advertising, media outlets, and most importantly for Christians, Jesus. As a Christian, my desire is to follow Jesus more closely and to let other influences fade. I don’t kid myself that I can […]

throw stones

Love Doesn’t Throw Stones

Jesus’ statement pierced the heart of every person present, though he addressed his words to no one in particular. If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7, NIV) From the self-righteous Pharisee to the humiliated adulteress—each one […]

The Dangers of Anger (and What to Do Next)

Recently, anger seems an overwhelming part of our cultural, political, and personal rhetoric. Should we be concerned, or is anger an appropriate response to perceived injustices? The Anger of the Lord I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end […]

be silent

Knowing When to Speak and When to Be Silent

Welcome to the new millennium, when we are provided constant opportunities online to voice our opinions and slay any opposition. But what happens when our beliefs and opinions are challenged? We prepare for defense, we prepare for verbal retaliation. And when we do this, we ultimately disregard Christ’s commandment to […]

love

Seven Distinguishing Marks of Genuine Love

I think there may be many of us who wonder what love looks like. You did not see it modeled at home. You have found it difficult to sustain relationships. So you want to know what love looks like. Well, 1 Corinthians 13 is the place to begin. Paul gives […]

seasoned with salt

Are Your Words Seasoned with Salt?

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6) For centuries, salt has been used as seasoning to give flavor to foods and as a preservative to prevent meat from decaying. Over the years, it’s found many […]

correction

I Stand (Theologically) Corrected

My face fell as my pastor-husband gave me his honest feedback. I had been working on an article for close to a week, about a theological topic that I felt very passionate about as well as confident in my ability to teach. He corrected various aspects of the article and […]

Best Use of Time

Making the Best Use of the Time

In 1884, George Eastman patented rolled photographic film and within a few years created the camera that could use that film. The first camera was sold in 1900 for $1, bringing family photographs to American homes for the next century. His firm, The Eastman Kodak Company, went on to create […]

resolutions

Resolutions: Good Intentions or Real Actions?

“This year is going to be different,” I say, as I roll up my headphones and look for my gym key card, which I had not used for the last two months. I find it shoved in my glove compartment and play “This Is My Fight Song” as I head […]

A Mephibosheth Dinner Invitation

The air was a balmy 75 degrees, hardly autumn weather. Our dinner guests enjoyed the beautiful day sharing a meal around folding tables pushed together on our covered patio. The dinner table didn’t look like a magazine picture of Thanksgiving, but we were celebrating this favorite family holiday surrounded by […]

Your work doesn’t just matter for you and your family, it matters for your neighbor. Here are three ways that you can love your neighbor as yourself through your work

Three Ways to Love Your Neighbor through Your Work

My brother-in-law works at the Caterpillar plant in South Texas. A few years ago, he took me on a tour of the assembly line. It was absolutely incredible to see these massive machines put together step-by-step. It struck me how the employees on the assembly line were fulfilling Christ’s command […]

What I’ve Learned in Ten Years Without My Dad

Labor Day marked ten years since I last saw or spoke to my dad. After sixteen years of abuse, the last thing he said to me was, “When you decide you want a relationship with me, let me know.” One last mind game for the road. So much has happened […]

Can Christian Love Prevent Us from Being Persecuted?

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) With these words, Jesus announces that he is the pinnacle of love. At the cross, we have a Savior who not only died for his friends, but also for his enemies. Romans […]

The Bible says that speaking harsh words is like thrusting a person with a sword, but words of life bring healing

Speaking Harsh Words Like Sword Thrusts

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (12:18) Sword thrusts. Ouch. Our words carry weight, so much weight that Solomon compares rash words to sword thrusts – violent, piercing, mutilating. This is not the only place in Proverbs where […]