Heartache, sickness, that longstanding condition that just won’t leave you alone, or the unanswered prayer that constantly breaks your heart. Why hasn’t God healed me yet?
People go through all sorts of afflictions and setbacks in life. Some are minor, like learning your favourite barista has moved shops and you have to put up with the new one’s definition of cappuccino, missing the 10% off sale, or not being able to find where all your left socks are going. There are others in the moderate range, like being turned down for a date after you’ve met someone you seem to click with, or being passed over for a promotion you thought you might like.
Have you already missed the best person for your life? Have you missed ‘the one”? Or is your soulmate still out there?
If you know me, you know I always take note when someone mentions a greater struggle taking place in their lives. I seem to have some sort of a fascination with the bigger reasons behind why people do things, and some people have learned not to mention certain things around me because I’m likely to ask a lot about it. I’m also interested in why people don’t do things. I really find it hard at times to shake certain comments people make long after I’ve finished conversing with them. I tend to feel people’s thoughts, their fears, their regrets deep within my heart.
Case and point, today I was reminded of a few people who had talked to me on the topic of whether or not they had already missed “The One”. No, not that Jet Li movie (although I still really enjoy that one) – the ever elusive soulmate. Does such a perfect person exist for each person in the world, and if so, is it possible that I may have already missed my chances with them?
I remember such a conversation where one of my friends was looking visually distraught. “What’s wrong?”, I asked. “Well”, she said, “my ex is getting married today, and I’m finding it really hard”. I was trying to be comforting and was saying how hard it is when you have to watch someone who broke things off with you enter into a new relationship. She said, “No, I was the one who broke it off with him, and now I’m sad he’s getting married to someone else”. Continue reading
“I love God, but I don’t go to church”. Is it really possible for these two viewpoints to co-exist in someone who professes to be a Christian?
Have you ever sat down with someone you went to high school, university, or some social gathering with, and had that little conversation of “Where Are They Now?”. Oh yeah, Billy, I remember that dude, he married that girl who looked like a model. Ah yeah, Jen, she was the school dux, now she’s a software engineer at Google.
I was doing that over the last few weeks with a few different people (they brought it up in every case) and instead of it being a happy moment, it was actually quite sad. Whilst we could recount a number of people who were doing extremely well, there kept coming up a list of different people who we are actually sorrowful about talking about where they are in life and what they’ve been doing.
Is God dead? Is organised religion a farce? Whatever your answer, I would subscribe to you that everyone is religious, not just those who say they are.
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A comment that I hear with ever increasing regularity is “I’m not religious”. People usually say this when they either have no belief in a higher power, or they do have a belief, but don’t see themselves as actively exhibiting the behaviours associated with said belief. Owners of the statement would usually describe themselves as somewhere between atheists and deists. Some people would even describe themselves as non-practicing Catholics, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists. There’s an awareness and a semblance of respect there, but they’re either completely resistant, or not “all in” on what these beliefs suggest. Continue reading
It’s an issue plaguing many of the young adults in our faith communities, but not one we’re always willing to talk about directly. Is it harder to date in church?
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In recent months I’ve met a number more people across some different churches. My travels have taken me to churches and non-denominational events of a variety of different kinds. As a person who has been actively involved in the young adults community in a few churches, I notice and regularly hear about a common thread of frustration and difficulty in many a Christian’s walk.
And that’s in the area of dating and relationships. Continue reading
The song says it should be the most wonderful time, but for many, Christmas is the most difficult time of the year.
Can you believe the year is almost over? How amazing is that. If you’ve already read my Year in Review, you’ll already know that I felt like I lived a whole lifetime in this year. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but I’m glad I am where I am finishing this year.
Here comes Christmas. It’s a time of lots of presents, increased financial pressure, a few extra days off from work (or a few weeks if you’ve taken more time or work in education), and the worst drivers on the road all out there at the same time. Seriously, every day this week on the way into the office I have been behind multiple people who have been drifting between lanes on the highway or at dangerous merging locations. Must be on the nog a bit too early. Continue reading
2017. I feel like I lived a whole lifetime in this year. From many dark days yearning for the return of the days in the sun, to the eventual dawning of new days, join me in taking a look back at the year that was.
I can’t believe it’s been only a year since this time last year I was writing my review of 2016. In truth, it feels like it has been much longer since then. I’m not sure what your year has looked like, but something I like to do here is write a review of every year. I’m sure some of the posts from previous years will pop up in the related links section at the bottom of the page. But for now, take a walk with me as I try to somehow navigate and spell out everything that happened across 2017 in my life, and hopefully find something in here to help you as you reflect on your own year.
To be honest, this one has been rather difficult to write, but I’ve never been one to really hide anything about anything that’s gone on. If you’ve been reading my writing for a while, you’ll know I tend to be fairly open and honest about things. But I’m warning you now – a lot happened this year. The content is about to get rather dark rather quickly, so if you’re looking for one of those happier jovial reflections on the year, skip to maybe the halfway point here, or look at someone else’s review.
Alright… here we go. Continue reading
Everyone wants justice, but not everyone wants to be judged… here’s my problem with one of the most frequently used sentences in the entire world: “don’t judge me”.
Judgmental frog is judging you…
Never before in history have the terms Nazi, racist, bigot, or “X”-ophobe (insert your phobia of choice here) been more prevalent in the common lexicon of our society. Well, perhaps maybe during World War 2 where those terms really did apply and some would wear those with a badge of true honour, but I digress. We live in a world that is very much up in arms about standards towards morality, legality and acceptance.
In truth, these issues have always been present throughout history. Recently I went on a big history binge on the history of the Ottomans, the origins of Russia from 2000BC, the history of China, and all the different wars and conflicts that have broken out over the last few thousand years. Ideals and a common set of standards have been heatedly contested to the point of bloodshed for millenia. So I guess the relative (and I use “relative” very loosely) lack of global scale conflict is quite welcome given how many millions of people have lost their lives in the larger scale conquests and conflicts (although many lives are still lost).
As individuals, we strive for harmony and acceptance in our way of life. Rightly so. Who enjoys living their lives in fear or being ruled by some tyrant who suppresses their people?
But on a micro-relational scale, we strive even moreso to have the love and acceptance of people in our circles. Continue reading
While we speak of the power of unity, we can be incredibly guilty of creating a divide between men and women, enforcing a gender ghetto within the Christian faith.
Before I start, I would like to confess my absolute love for the Christian church. As a believer who has been involved in church life for a number of decades, I sincerely hold it with such high esteem. Most nights of the week, you’ll find me helping out at or spending time with people I know from church. Not only have I seen my own life dramatically changed there, but I have seen the lives of hundreds if not thousands first hand transformed and integrated by the power of believers doing life together.
And I’ve already even used the old Christian cliche expression of “doing life together”. Continue reading
Are all commitments unconditional? Are all promises kept regardless of what the other person does? Or are we grossly oversimplifying the truth? Here’s my problem with “Covenant vs. Contract”.
In the 80s and 90s, people of faith were swept by the phrase, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship”. The term religion had been broadly used to describe the Christian worldview, from its customs to its outworking in daily life. If you regularly went to church or the tabernacle, you upheld certain traditions and lived your life a certain way, you were said to be religious. One day, somebody woke up and found two words starting with R, and in a memorable fashion, summarised a particular view of the Christian faith, highlighting the relationship aspect of its belief over its religious connotations to that point. Continue reading
She’s doing all the right things, but her heart is far away… he’s a church leader, but he unapologetically abuses his family… are you actually a Christian?
NB. The following post is intended for a professing Christian audience and addresses some very raw subject matter. You have been warned.