God is love! The elementary school answer that I admittedly used well beyond elementary school. But hey, in my defense, the older I grew and the harder I tried to understand Christianity, the more I realized this simple statement carried heavier weight than it seems at first sight.Read More
Dear Mr. Christian,
Hi...I'm not like you. I'm no "believer" but I wanted to have a little heart to heart with you since you seem to be interested in wearing your God on your sleeve. I'll be candid so don't be offended. I'll try not to make fun of your Jesus fish or your cool Christian gear. This is just my open letter.
First, can you stop treating Christianity like an STD? I'm not scared of catching it from you. I know that sometimes you're so afraid to offend me that you sort of get paranoid and weird. Relax dude. There are times when I'm even a little curious by things you do (like why you practically live at church or have the weirdest & most fluctuating diet ever) but why do you get so awkward about it?Read More
Today's guest post comes from Uwe Bower, a core member of the STSA Church family and a dear friend of mine as well. In today's post, Uwe inspires us to think beyond what our eyes might see and our ears might here. God might be calling you into action in ways you might not notice if you don't pay attention. And you don't want to miss out on that!Read More
Today's guest post comes from Eritrea Ghebrehiwet, a member of the STSA Church family in Arlington, VA. In today's post, Eritrea challenges us to consider the consequence/reward of small acts of love and service. She shares her own story about how the actions of others impacted her spiritual journey and might also have saved her life.Read More
Today's guest post comes from Uwe Bower, a dear friend of mine and core member of STSA Church in Arlington, VA. In today's post, Uwe challenges us to think deeply about the meaning and value of an individual life. What's a life worth to God and what therefore should it be worth to us? If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.Read More
Having a twin sister, for many people I am “one out of two”, sometimes I am “the other one”, but often just “one of the twins”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister, but it’s also human of me to wish to be seen as the one independent person I am and to be loved as such.
Now I realized that many people feel the same way. We feel like we’re just “one of …”. We feel like we’re just “one of the church-goers”, “one in the group”. Some people feel like they’re only “the brother of …”, “the mother of …”, “the friend of …”. We often feel like we’re just “one out of many” and this hurts, because when we love in a special way, we want to be loved back in a special way too.
Now for the good news.Read More
We’ve all heard St Paul’s famous words in Philippians 1:21 in which he boldly declares: "For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Powerful words aren’t they!? But have you ever stopped to think about the implications of such words? After all this isn’t just catchy slogan found on printed mugs and tees for the hipster Christian to wear loud and proud – are they? Certainly not!Read More
The following guest post is by Michael Elgamal from Creative Orthodox, an artist and storyteller who retells the ancient stories of church fathers and mothers through modern storytelling. Creative Orthodox recently published the graphic novel “Anastasis: The Harrowing of Hades”, an exciting retelling of Christ's descent to Hades.Read More
Why? The three letter question that is seemingly impossible to answer. Many times in life, whether in good, but usually in bad, circumstances, we just stop and ask— Why God? Why did you let this happen or why didn’t you let that happen?
You can spend hours, days, years, even a lifetime driving yourself crazy to find a complex answer to such a simple question. And it isn’t a new question— it goes back thousands of years to the story of Job. But at the conclusion of your quest for an answer, no definitive answer can be found. And typically when we can’t find an answer to a question, we feel angry, sad, hopeless, unmotivated and/or belittled.
So why can’t we find an answer? Because we, as humans, are LIMITED.Read More
There’s a phrase that I have been repeating absentmindedly since my first days of attending Sunday School. “He did it because He loved us.” This is of course referring to Jesus when He came to earth and was crucified on our behalf. I always got it but I never really got it. That is, until this past month, which led to one of the most horrible weeks of my life.Read More
How often do you ask God for "a sign"? Are you as guilty of it as I am? I say things like: “If God wills it”, or “God, I’m putting this in Your hands”, or just simply “Lord, give me a sign.”
I like to include God in every little decision that I make, hence the constant fishing for reassurance by asking for a sign. But it’s listening to His answer that always drives me nuts. I can never tell if/when He’s responding. My struggle is always — how do I discern if this is a spiritual sign or just a plain old sign that I’m trying to see spiritually?Read More
This guest post comes from Danielle Adams - a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy, a premiere IOP (intensive outpatient program) that has been helping to treat sexual and pornography addictions for over 20 years. Lifestar is hosting a free Facebook Live event on November 7 and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs help in this area. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.Read More
The following guest post is written by Nahum Mulugeta - high school junior living in Houston, TX. Despite being young in age, Nahum presents a well thought out perspective on how we should look at hardship and persecution. Great stuff for an 11th grader! If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.Read More
This is a guest post from Natasha Cklamovska – a psychology student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia who is also a second degree taekwondo black belt (how’s that for an interesting combination). In today’s post, Natasha provides a simple yet beautiful reminder about the importance of friendship. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
Throughout the Bible, we see many examples of "best friends", such as Elijah and Elisha:
2 Kings 2:2 - "And Elijah said to Elisha, 'Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.' But Elisha replied, 'As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!' So they went down together to Bethel."Read More
“By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.”
Even for those of us that seek to avoid it, these days it seems the brokenness of the world is inescapable. We are divided in our nations, our communities, and even our families. Old wounds reopen, buried grievances resurface, hidden tragedies are revealed. The way we communicate and engage with each other is changing faster than we can process.Read More
“Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid.” Mark 10:32
I’ve come across this verse many times before but this time, something hit me. It has to do with the way the sentences are ordered. The order doesn’t seem right – the second sentence doesn't seem to align with the first. Actually, it ignores it as if it's not even there!Read More
"To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us...Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace... Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” Thomas MertonRead More
Today’s guest post comes from my good friend, Walter Rooks. Walter is currently serving as an Air Operations specialist in Afghanistan, but he is also a certified John Maxwell speaker, coach and trainer (what he calls “his true calling in life”). You can read more of his work on his blog, Journey of a Lifetime.Read More
Today's guest post comes from Pastor Steve King, senior pastor of Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, VA. Pastor Steve has faithfully served in the ministry for close to 40 years and has become both a friend and mentor to me personally. Below is a letter he wrote to a group of ministers about "losing heart." While the letter was written originally to people in full-time ministry, I think it has tremendous value for all who call themselves a servant of Christ.Read More
“But first I want you to tell me this: do you know the power of love? Christ passed over all the marvelous works which were to be performed by the apostles and said, ‘By this shall men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’” --St John Chrysostom
The idea of hospitality has challenged me over the past few weeks and seems to have culminated in the latest Vesper and Liturgical Gospel readings both regarding how we treat one another, and how we rely on the Holy Spirit to work in us, God to provide for us, and Christ to show us the way to be holier hosts (Luke 14:7-15, Luke 9:10-17).
A word often used for hospitality in the New Testament, philoxenia, combines the idea of loving as if you would love someone bound to you by blood or faith (philo) and applies it to a stranger (xenos).Read More