Faith and Good Will

December 30, 2012
We are closing yet another cherished season of good will toward all.  A time when tight wallets creak open just a little bit wider for the benefit of others ; a time when we make a conscious effort to be more generous, patient, and loving to both friend and foe alike. It seems essential that we have an annual holiday season that allows us to take stock of our lives and think about what's most important. And we find that this experience of stepping outside ourselves creates that warm, tingly feeling of the season: Smiles brighter; hearts lighter. Families more united.
 
So why, perhaps,do too many of us stop there?  Is it such an effort for us to be kind and generous that we can only bring ourselves to behave that way once a year?  How do we instead, as Ebeneezer Scrooge determined, keep "Christmas" in our hearts all year?  

We do it by having faith that both we and everyone around us are cherished children of a God who loves us and who holds our happiness uppermost in his heart. A God who is no respecter of persons; who does not hold one above another. We do it by feeling that love and radiating it outward. We do it by choosing faith.
 

Tender Mercies and Miracles

December 10, 2012
 

Someone once said that faith precedes the miracle, such that in order to get a miracle, we must believe and earnestly apply our faith.  While I think it’s true that miracles don’t happen without exercising faith, sometimes even very strong faith does not produce a miracle. A child’s life is saved, and his parents thank God for a miracle.  Another child dies, and her parents wonder, “Wasn’t our faith strong enough?”  We don’t always get our miracle, and somehow it doesn’t se...


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Gratitude and Faith

November 25, 2012

Many of us just celebrated Thanksgiving; certainly one of the most beloved American holidays of the year. A time to be thankful and grateful for what we have, if ever there was one.

Thanksgiving is, in fact, an event, along with Christmas, that some might call: "The picture perfect holiday." -At least that's the way Norman Rockwell painted it. But families, while often wonderful, are usually far from perfect. Kids argue, babies cry, parents get tired from all the preparation, tempers sometimes...


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Faith that Endures

November 18, 2012

We tend to gravitate naturally toward a state of equilibrium and comfort, because it feels good. –And most of us like feeling good. But without a certain amount of stress, even our bones don’t grow. While we seem to understand facts like this about our bones, it’s much more difficult to accept the premise that we also need to be challenged and stretched both emotionally and spiritually in order to grow.

In a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, Nassim Nicholas Taleb mak...


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Faith to Move Our Nation Forward

November 11, 2012
We are part of the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. We are admired throughout the world for our orderly transition of power. When the voters speak, the candidates listen. The victor will now lead our country for the next four years. The vanquished has exited the stage gracefully. That's the way it works here.

Having said that, I hope we'll be able to say the same for both candidate's supporters, some of whom have been whipped into such a state of frenzy that they're threatening to "...

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The Value of Commitment

November 4, 2012
The value of making and keeping commitments to spouses, children, extended family members, and communities of faith seems to be waning, at least in much of our Western culture. Have we become so self focused that the only thing that matters is our own well being? Do we take our own termperature daily and ask ourselves if we're happy? And if we decide we're not, do we casually shed marriages, siblings, friends, neighborhoods, churches, or anything else we see as holding us back from being pers...
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A Community of Faith

October 28, 2012

The author Robert D Putnam comments in the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000), that social capital has been falling in the United States. Putnam found that over the past 25 years, attendance at club meetings has fallen 58 percent, family dinners are down 33 percent, and having friends visit has fallen 45 percent.

According to the 2012 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, there was also a decline in membership in most of the mainline religious denom...


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Can God Trust Us?

October 22, 2012

If we think of trust as a bridge that runs between two relationships, it might be interesting to ask ourselves the question: Can God trust us? Rather than the question that we seem to ask more often: Can we trust God? If we look at our relationship with God in that light, what do we do to earn God’s trust? 

Consider three characteristics that we value highly in any close, trusting relationship: communication, integrity, and reliability. Let’s take communication first. God wants us to co...


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Brighter Days Ahead

October 14, 2012

As we age, we begin to understand that no matter how wonderful someone else’s life might appear from the outside looking in; no one’s life is perfect. Nor was it meant to be. This life, instead, is a time for us to learn and grow, to repent when needed, and to improve. But emotional and spiritual growing pains can be every bit as challenging as physical ones. When we’re in the thick of tough times, it’s hard to see how life might look when we finally come out the other side. It’s no...


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Keeping Faith

September 23, 2012

The author Stephen Covey coined the term “emotional bank account,” which means essentially that we make positive deposits in the emotional bank accounts of those we love that will be there for us to draw on when our relationships hit rough patches, as they all do. The same thing may be said of faith. If we keep our faith when times are good, our faith will be there to keep us when they’re not. Keeping faith helps us remain grateful and optimistic, facilitates the acceptance of trials an...


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Choose Faith


Susan N. Swann I left my faith behind for 15 years,.During that time, I believed only in reason and lost all faith. Three years ago, my perspective shifted, and I reverted to my faith. I began once again to believe not in the ultimate randomness of life's events, but to believe instead that belief in God gives our lives purpose. I chose faith over doubt. Choosing faith is the focus of this blog.

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