I’m the point person for the visitation team at my church. This means that I visit people in the hospital, at their homes, and in hospice. I also solicit volunteers to go out and visit others and provide encouragement, spiritual conversations, and prayer. Being ill can be a lonely path for many—especially the elderly. Yet younger people can also contract serious illnesses and experience difficulties.
In his landmark books Soul Searching and Souls in Transition, sociologist Christian Smith surveyed American young adults and found that most held to what he called “Therapeutic Moralistic Deism.” They’re deists because they believe God doesn’t interfere in our lives unless we need His help to solve a problem. They’re moralistic because they believe God wants us to be good and kind to each other. And their view is therapeutic because it makes them feel good about themselves.
My son spent his first decade of life in a warm East Africa climate. For his 10th birthday, I used frequent flier miles and took him to the western part of the US to experience snow.
Last summer, my son and I were heading to a connecting flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. As we walked briskly from one terminal to another, my son said, “Look, Mommy, a Dinka!”
William Arthur Ward, a writer of inspirational maxims, penned these words of wisdom to inspire people to be responsible and do the right thing: “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: Be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”
Q: I know that Christ Jesus was killed at a young age, and suffered terribly, but he did not grow to be an old man. With this in mind, would Jesus know the ravages, aches and pains, and severe difficulties of old age? Since it says in the Bible that Jesus has experienced all the difficulties that we face and…
A pastor and his congregation, serving in an area known for addicts, alcoholics, and prostitutes, have prayed an interesting prayer for many years: Lord, send us the people nobody else wants. That prayer has been answered, for more than 800 church attendees are now involved in recovery programs designed to help them break free from destructive lifestyles. Recently, the pastor added this phrase to the end of his prayer: . . . and nobody else sees. He says, “[These people] are often overlooked. . . . But after all, as Jesus put it, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do’ ” (Matthew 9:12).
As a pastor, I get interesting responses from people when they discover my vocation. Some will immediately apologize for the language they’ve used. Some offer a forced smile and then come up with an excuse to change the subject. One line I hear often is: “Well, I like Jesus, but I don’t like religion.”
The book “When Helping Hurts” reveals that the wrong kind of “help” can actually hurt those who are in poverty. What are some positive ways for believers in Jesus to minister to the poor?
Did you know that the apostle Paul never quotes Jesus in any of his New Testament books? Of course, he mentions Jesus throughout his letters. The Lord was his major topic. But not once does he directly quote Jesus in his epistles. In fact, if you were to thumb through a “red letter” Bible (where the words spoken by Jesus are printed in red ink), you might be surprised to find that outside of the four gospels, Jesus’ actual words appear only a handful of times.
Last year at Christmas, anonymous donors in several US cities surprised shoppers at a department store chain with generosity. In Omaha, Nebraska, manager Ted Straub recounted how many customers went to pick up their layaway items at the store, only to discover that a stranger had already paid for them.
In Indianapolis, assistant manager Edna Deppe recalled how a father—in…
A few years back, do-it-yourself checkout at US grocery stores was in vogue—but not these days. There’s been a noticeable decline in the usage of the self-serve lanes—down to just 16 percent of all supermarket transactions from a high of 22 percent 3 years ago.
Why? It appears that people enjoy their shopping experience much more when they can have…
It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” I don’t know if Longfellow had the persistent widow in mind when he wrote those words, but I believe he’s right.
In Singapore, where I live, 85 percent…