Fathers, Don’t ‘Relax’ on Father’s Day

Reflecting on God’s Blessings

To all the fathers out there: Father’s Day has turned into, yet another, commercialized event on the calendar. If you love your Father, give him a card, gift, and make sure they have a relaxing day. I’ll be first to say, ‘I enjoy the attention;’ but maybe we’re missing something. Maybe Father’s Day is the best opportunity to reflect on fatherhood.  After all, what makes a father, a father? — kids. What would happen if, instead of focusing on ourselves, we honestly reflected on the amazing gift and responsibility of fatherhood?

Don't Relax on Father's Day

Sure, kids can still celebrate their father!  But maybe fathers should stop to reflect on the blessing behind Father’s Day — their kids.

I look at my kids and I’m blown away that God has blessed me with two of them. Sometimes I still don’t believe it!  The last three years were a beautiful blur of excitement.

Yes, sometimes they’re crazy. Yes, I want to bang my head off the wall from time to time. But I don’t have to think very long before I remember how blessed I am to be their dad.

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Insist People Call Me ‘Pastor’

Pastoring in the 21st Century

I pastor in a rural context where I’m called ‘Pastor’ more than my actual name. It’s almost like my identity. But I tend not to insist (or expect) everyone to use the title of ‘Pastor’. There’s certainly nothing wrong with using the title; and for most, it’s simply a way to show respect. I don’t disregard that. I just simply value relationships over a title.

10 Reasons Why I Don't Insist People Call Me 'Pastor'

When I was a boy, I dreamed of becoming a pastor. I guess with that, came the title and honor.  From a child’s perspective that might have been where my dreamed stopped.  But as I actually embrace the pastoral call, I’m realizing being awarded the title really isn’t that important.

There’s a whole lot more to pastoring than the title.  And there’s a whole lot more to me than pastoring.  There’s a whole lot more to #pastoring than the title. And there’s a whole lot more to me than pastoring. Click To Tweet

I’ve chosen to respond to both those who use the title, and to those who don’t.  I don’t hide from my calling and I certainly don’t lie about what I do in the community, but they aren’t usually the first words out of my mouth either. We have to remember that we live in a pluralistic world. Most people don’t view clergy like generations before us.

I want to share ten reasons why I don’t ask people (especially those outside of my local church) to call me ‘pastor’. Hopefully this will help you, wherever you are in your journey, to realize that relationships are more valuable than a title.

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Sexual Struggles and the Church

What Believers Must Remember

In a world where our sexuality is a focal point, it’s not surprising that understanding sexual struggles (and sometimes resulting sin) can be problematic.  It shouldn’t really be surprising — the Church and culture speak different languages.  The key is understanding why and how to humbly move forward in grace and truth.

Sexuality and the Church

One of the biggest problems within the Church is that we may not fully understand the difference between temptation (or struggle) and sin.  On the other hand, we seem to be quite good at categorizing our struggles. For example, any sexual struggle is said to be a bigger issue than any other struggle. There even seems to be bigger and lesser struggles within sexual struggles.

Paul made a point to speak of the significance of sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18), but that significance isn’t really about being lesser or greater, rather how sacred our bodies are. The Church in Corinth clearly didn’t understand that significance.

In order to understand and respond to sexual struggles, we have to understand some fundamental concepts.  Here are five things the Church must remember:

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Why We Have to Forgive Before Someone Asks

Jesus’ Forgiveness Model

Have you been wronged by someone? Have you been hurt by someone’s words or actions? Jesus has an answer that can bring healing to a broken situation. Believe it or not, our healing starts with forgiveness.

Why We Have to Forgive Before Someone Asks

I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been hurt by people and I’ve hurt others. Both situations can be very painful, especially if the situation seems hopeless. I’ve found myself longing for others to forgive me. While other times, having to seek that closure by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ Both of which can be so difficult.

How does a Christian navigate through these challenging moments?

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The salvation of God overturns the economy of this world.  Whereas the world’s economic system depends on each one of us paying our debts, the economy of God’s Spirit involves the forgiveness of debts.  Whereas the world’s justice system involves our getting what we earn or deserve, the justice of God liberates us from the guilt and shame accompanying our actions.  Whereas our humanly constructed economy depends on barter and exchange, the divine economy involves merely calling on God in repentance and receiving both the forgiveness of debts and the free gift of the Holy Spirit.  God’s way of doing business is contrary to the ways of the world.

Amos Yong
Who Is the Holy Spirit? (Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2011), 22