The Problem with Tolerance

I first published this blog in 2017.  I thought it was worth sharing again with an updated title and intro I firmly believe racism is incompatible with being a Christian.  One of my favorite verses states“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 This verse was written to address areas of racial and economic discrimination in the early Christian church. The early church leaders knew tolerating discrimination devalued Christ’s sacrifice for everyone.   While it might be human nature to devalue people of different economic, cultural, or religious backgrounds, it was incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. James 2
Early Christianity was remarkable in that people of all backgrounds worshiped together.  First Century society was more racist and economically divided than anything we could imagine today. While the first twelve disciples were men, a woman was chosen to tell everyone th…

What did Jesus look like?

I write articles about Christianity based on popular Google searches for a national website.  A series of my recent articles have answered the question, "What did Jesus look like?" People also wanted to know if Jesus had long hair and how tall he was.  To save you from asking Google the same questions, I'll give you the short answer, "No one knows." (I'll put the links to my articles at the bottom of this blog in case you want to know more.)

Anthropologists and archeologists estimate that Jesus was between 5'1" and 5'5" tall because that was the average height for a man in First Century Jerusalem.  Based on auxiliary scripture references from Paul, who lived about the same time as Jesus and rules in Leviticus concerning beard and hair care, Jesus likely had short, black hair, and a beard.

But here's the thing, this is just conjecture.  There is no proof. Though Matthew, Mark, John, and Peter were all disciples who lived and followed J…

Hoarding and a Little More

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I have a confession- I struggle with piles of clutter  on my desk that can top half a foot on any given day.  It gets organized and then if I am not diligent to put things away, I collect more and more - it is evidence of being overwhelmed by having too much!   God gives us resources, abilities, life experiences and even our temperament so that we can make our world a better place and bring God glory as we use our gifts and abilities. But when we aren't intentional about using the gifts and experiences we have to bless others we get buried under all the stuff in our lives. 
We are drowning in so much stuff- even Goodwill is overwhelmed with all of our discards. Our country’s trash is literally floating across the ocean on tankers. We might not make it on the TV show “Hoarders” or have 200 pairs of shoes but we have our places of excess. 
Too often, we view times of abun…

The A, B, C's of Psalm 119

        "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. Psalm 119:14
     As a kid, I was a compulsive reader and since my mom wouldn't let me read Nancy Drew in church on Sunday mornings, out of desperation, I started reading the Bible.I soon discovered Psalm 119. Psalm 119 stretches over 8 pages in my Bible.   It is the longest chapter in the Bible and longer than many complete books of the Bible.  It had funny symbols and words like "Aleph" and "Beth" at the top of each section. It asked questions and then answered them. Since I love knowing the answer, I was hooked.             “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all of my heart.Do not let me stray from your commands.I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Psalm 119:9     Though I wasn’t a “young man,” I knew these verses applied to me. As a little kid, I decided to hide God’s Word in my heart.    …

Never Alone- Filling the Gap in My Heart

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 I was lonely, too.The realization struck me when my friend mentioned feeling alone in the midst of the busyness of life. Why would she feel alone?I knew she had a flexible job, a supportive husband, and great kids; plus I was her friend.And why did I understand how she felt, not in a casual "I know how you are feeling" kind of way, but in a socked in the gut understanding that came as soon as she said the word? Lonely isn’t a word that I have spent a lot of time with.I asked Jesus into my life at a very young age, so for as long as I can remember, I have known that I was never alone. I went to sleep knowing I could pray and talk to him. I was confident my first day of school knowing He was with me. I boldly traveled the world knowing He was with me. I knew if friends betrayed me or ditched me, He was always faithful.
I dug deep to remember another season when I had felt deeply lonely.I went back to my sophomore …

Silent Treatment- Knowing When to Shut Up and When to Shout

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28

Being silent is hard for me. I have an opinion and I am more than happy to share it, whether you may want to hear it or not. Then one year for Lent, God challenged me to not give my opinion unless asked.  It became a gift and blessing in ways I would have never imagined. 

As we are drawing near to the Lenten season, I was reminded of my vow of silence when I heard a wise woman share her take on the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.  She didn't focus on the miracle of the walls falling down or the obedient faith of the soldiers as they marched around the city.  Instead she pointed out that they were silent. Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” Joshua 6:10 Silence is an effective military strategy. Think of ninjas and SWAT teams sil…

Mirror Mirror on the Wall- Who is Fairest of Them All?

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12

How do we teach kids to value themselves but not think they are superior to others?   This is a question that several of my friends have asked me in the past several weeks.   It is a tough balance.  They want their kids to know that they are wonderfully made.  And every person is precious and unique.  Created with a purpose to do great things. But so many kids can't see all these good things. These kids are struggling with body image issues- hair color, weight, skin tone, height and athletic ability.  They also struggle with comparing their bodies  to others and feeling inferior. They don't feel as pretty or as athletic as their friends.  They feel judged by their insufficiency because they judge themselves.  They envy what others have and even question God's lo…