Showing posts from January, 2021

Conversations > Conversions

Christians often seem to focus solely on converting people to Christianity.  Churches host large events or camps, an emotional experience is created, an altar call is given, and people are encouraged to stick their hands in the air or walk to the front if they want to commit their lives to Christ. Someone then counts the number of hands and the church/pastor brags about how many people were "born again" because of their work.  I have been to so many youth camps and worship evenings where hundreds of people have declared their newfound commitment to Christ. I am sure that many of those people took their promise seriously (In fact, this was the way that I first came to faith in Christ), but too often I would see those same people walking away from the Church a week, month or year later. Before I sound like I am generalising, let me acknowledge that there are people doing the hard work of following up with these new converts in helpful ways after events such as these, but all t

To struggle is to be human

Pink and Khalid sing a beautiful song that talks about how it hurts to be human. To struggle is to experience a core part of what it means to be human. Even before you were formed in your mother's womb, you had to struggle through countless obstacles, fending off 250 million other sperm to win the race and make it into this world.  Every day, I watch my 7-week old daughter struggle (with wailing and tears) as she tries to communicate her needs to us. In a few months, she will no doubt struggle to get acquainted with her limbs as she attempts (and fails many times) to crawl and walk. Some of life's struggles are necessary for efficient development. Some may seem pointless, or even unfair. Yet, we can take encouragement that human beings have proven to be able to endure great struggles. The bible is full of stories of great men and women who endured great struggles, both internal and external, for the cause of Christ. I think of Jesus' life and ministry on Earth. No other hum

Intentional Living

One of my favourite past-times has been to read a few chapters of a book in bed before I go to sleep at night.  Recently, I have struggled to keep up with this habit. I would love to use our newborn baby as an excuse, but if I am honest, it has been an issue for a few months already. I regularly find myself opening my book, reading a few paragraphs, getting distracted, re-reading the same paragraphs, giving up and then putting the book away and picking up my phone. Whilst trying to determine the problem, I realised that before reading my book, I usually watch a YouTube video or scroll through social media. I find that my brain tends to shut down during these activities where I am mindlessly absorbing information fed to me off of a screen. I need to be more intentional with the way that I use my time.  How often do we experience similar struggles when it comes to our spiritual disciplines? Many of us want to read our bibles more, pray more and worship more. We remember when we have done