Quote: If Your Friend

If your friend is passionate about something, then it’s important to you too: because this is important to your friend. You don’t have to get it, but don’t be the one who rags on it. Why would you even do that? Why strangle a voice? Why dampen passion when there is so little of it in the world? Rejoice with those rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, and maybe you should join your friend on that adventure.

— originally posted here on my Tumblr

Published at ChurchLeaders.com! — “4 Steps to Handle an Awkward Discussion”

I’ve been published again at ChurchLeaders.com!

The original post is on my blog here, titled “The Totally Awkward Bible Study: And Four Ways To Push Forward.”

Love y’all!
— J

If You Feel Far From God Today

1) Praise Him.

Pull out your favorite worship CD or line up a playlist.  Even if you don’t “feel” anything the first song or two, just keep listening.  Turn it up loud, in the car or in your room.  Sing.  Eat up the lyrics.  I recommend: David Crowder, Phil Wickham, Tree63, and Brooke Fraser.


2) Encourage someone.

The only thing better than receiving is giving.  Text, email, or message someone a simple encouragement.  “Jesus and I love you.”  Send out Bible verses.  Say specific things about that person.  Warning: You might enter a crazy rush of encouraging people and start giggling madly to yourself.


3) Pray for someone.

Write out a list.  All the times you said, “I’ll pray for you” — take five minutes to do it today.  It might feel jumpy and awkward at the start: just press through it.  Pray in a widening circle, starting with your family.  Pray for missionaries, your church leaders, the weird kid in school, for the people in news headlines.  Pray for yourself.  Tell God about your day, your dreams, your worries, your hopes.  Thank Him.


— J.S.

Question: How To Wrestle Doubts?

image kings-beloved asked:

Your last post inspired a question. How healthy is it to doubt and wrestle with things. And how do we get back to having faith like a child, the faith that God calls us to?

Great question.  In reference to that last post, there’s a big difference between people insulting you and people bringing up legitimate doubts. 

You can toss the insults.  Arguing online, especially on theology, is pointless.  No one ever reads the “opposing side” and changes their mind.  But it’s a good thing to struggle with doubts and questions.  I myself struggle with doubt pretty much every single day: and some days I’m barely hanging on.  But doubt is NOT some kind of atrocious sin.

Having “child-like faith” doesn’t mean we leave intellect at the door. Jesus actually said in Matthew 10:16 — I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  He advises the balanced approach. 

So on apologetics, it’s helpful to know your stuff, if at the very least to defend against wolves.  There is a lot to say on the historical veracity of Christianity, and it has certainly satisfied the greatest minds of human history.  But no, apologetics will not erase your doubts nor can it necessarily strengthen your faith through the hard times.  Even when our intellectual doubts are answered, it doesn’t answer the why

Continue reading “Question: How To Wrestle Doubts?”

Quote: The Idea

See: everyone loves the idea of compassion until it costs them. We love the idea of love until it comes to unlovable people. We think discipleship is a romantic programmatic workshop of willing people: but it’s actually messy, difficult, heartbreaking, and requires your whole life.

What they also don’t tell you is that it’s awesome. When you’re face to face, chair to chair, eye to eye with a real person, there’s nothing like seeing the lights go on, the lies disentangled, the burden lifted, the problems exposed, the trauma healed, the heart rejoicing — there is absolutely nothing that compares to the pinnacle of God’s glory in one human being discipling another. I mean really discipling them, to just love someone. That click you hear is the something-missing being filled. To love people is what you’re created to do. Once you get there, you can’t go back anymore.

— from this post