Archive for April, 2009

Encouragement for caregivers

A good part of the population is involved in caregiving in some form or another.  Caregivers are commonly found in the health care field – such as nurses and therapists – but caregivers are found in other places too.

Parents certainly play the role of caregiver to their children in various ways. And later in life, those same children often become caregivers of their aging parents.

Though much caregiving is carried out in quiet and peaceful surroundings, giving care to others over time can be a draining and stressful responsibility. Not only is there the drudgery of repeating some of the same tasks over and over again – sometimes for years – there is also the challenge of dealing with one’s own feelings of futility, impatience, and guilt that so often accompany the role of a caregiver.

Because caregivers face these difficult emotions, it is not surprising that burnout is regularly experienced among those who devote themselves to meeting the needs of others. The problem that these caregivers face, however, is that they cannot stop the care they are giving just because they are burned out. Those patients at the hospital still need care, and aging mothers and fathers still need to be looked after.

So, what is a burned out caregiver to do? Read more…

Is the church relevant?

Has the church become irrelevant? Many seem to think so.

In its early days the church was known as the salt and light of the earth, even turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6). In fact, our own country was founded on a vision that it would be “a city set on a hill,” a vision inspired by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Mt.5:14).

But today the view of the church is greatly diminished. It may be viewed as a source of personal comfort and inspiration, but the vision of having any significant impact on the world is largely lost. As a result, aside from the benefit the church may bring to individuals and isolated families, the church has become largely irrelevant.

How come? How has this come about?

I’m afraid in large part it has come about by the church itself. Read more…

The roots of liberty and prosperity

We live in a time when a growing number of people are feeling insecure about their personal liberty and prosperity. At the same time, there is confusion about why this insecurity exists, and what to do about it. This presents us with a need to understand what the roots of liberty and prosperity actually are.

God made it clear from the beginning that He intended all who are made in His image to lead productive lives, cultivating the raw material of this world for good. He commanded that we be fruitful and multiply, and that we would take dominion over this earth and develop it.

The fulfillment of this call requires diligent, creative, and patient labor.

With the entrance of sin in this world, this task of dominion became difficult. There are thorns and thistles to contend with, and we labor by the sweat of our brow.

But the reality of sin also brought something else. It brought the need for protection from those who refuse to be faithful and productive themselves — and this led to the institution of civil government. Read more…

What’s a good attitude, anyway?

We’ve all heard about the importance of having a good attitude. But what is a good attitude, anyway?

Many will point out that a good attitude is that which is agreeable, friendly, positive, and so on. But does a good attitude go beyond this? I think it does.

The Bible tells us that we are to have the same attitude ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil.2:5). So, what is it to have an attitude like Christ’s, or what you might call a Christlike attitude?

The first thing is that a Christlike attitude is focused on others. So much talk about attitude in our day is individualistic and self-centered. But if we look to Christ as the standard of a good attitude, we see He was focused on others. He came not to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many. He was preoccupied not with Himself, but bringing redemption to those who needed it.

This is to be the pattern of all who would follow Christ with a good attitude. We are to give preference to others in honor. We’re to “let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, and humble in spirit, not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. . .” (1 Pet.3:8,9). Read more…

Curiosity and sin

At eighty years-old, Jay Adams is providing a continual supply of wisdom through his Institute of Nouthetic Studies Blog.

He recently had a good post about the way curiosity can entrap one in sin by comparing cats and Christians.

Here’s a quote worth pondering:

Christians should keep themselves so busy in the Lord’s work that they have little time to get involved in all sorts of circumstances that can do them nothing but harm.

Categories: Blogroll, Christian Life

Losing your life to find it

A common source of anxiety today is uneasiness over whether one is making the most of his or her life.  With every choice we make, there’s an opportunity cost.  To choose option “A” is not only a decision to do “A,” but it’s also a decision not to do “B.”

For everyone of us, there is a road not traveled.  Actually, many roads.  And it’s these untraveled paths that have many wondering whether they’re missing something in their lives.

When Jesus ministered on this earth, he was well aware of the human desire to make the most of all this world has to offer.  Because of this awareness, He addressed it squarely to all who would be His disciples.

Although He spoke in a paradox, His words were not hard to understand when He said, “Whoever wishes to save His life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it”  (Mt.16:25). Read more…

Categories: Seed for the Harvest Tags: ,