Here’s how God uses hardships to make us more like him.
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If I hear another pastor, teacher or speaker proclaim, as if from Mount Sinai, “Put God first, your family second, your ministry third and your self last,” my “self” is going to put them very last on my priority list! Here’s why:
Let me be clear: putting God at the center of our lives is essential. But if I put time alone with God as first in the hierarchy mentioned, I’m never going to get to my family. I’m going to be a monk cloistered away reading my Bible, praying, journaling, worshiping, and if I’m really spiritual, fasting. If my choice is to read the Bible or read to my kids or grandkids, I’ve got to choose God’s Word if I’m locked into this rigid ranking of priorities.
If I put my family over my ministry, I will never get a word written or leave the house to speak at a conference. My wife has a “honey do list” that will keep me busy until Jesus comes. And pastors would never have time for sermon prep, board meetings, hospital calling, and the thousands of other tasks assigned to them by the congregation.
And if put my ministry over myself, there’s not going to be much of me left except a burnout shell of a person with high blood pressure and ulcers.
That’s why this ranking system is so unrealistic and unworkable. Those who attempt to implement it end up conflicted and stressed—and probably alienated from their family. So, here’s an alternative: [Continue reading].
Plus bonus post: Managing your time . . . and sanity
Thanks for nearly 500 birthday wishes. A great weekend with family, food, and fun! And, of course, not acting my age.
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One-third of all the psalms in the Bible are what commentators call “laments.” And the lament of all laments is found in Psalm 22:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief (22:1-2).
Have you ever felt that way? I suspect we all have! St. John of the Cross calls it “The Dark Night of the Soul.”
But I love the way the psalms of lament always end with hope. [Continue reading]
Next week, the United Methodist denomination will tackle the issue of homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage. It’s one of the most polarizing subjects today in the culture, courts and the church. One extreme pole pickets with signs spewing “God Hates Fags.” On the opposite extreme are those proclaiming God blesses same-sex relationships.
I’ve been writing about the issues surrounding homosexuality for over 20 years, so here’s my latest. I trust this post is both compassionate and convicting, but most of all biblical. [Continue reading]
For more snarky cartoons from “Evil Jim,” visit the cartoon archives. But first, you must repost this!
I’ve discovered that even though males and females may speak the same language, they speak two totally different dialects: Androgen spoken by males and Estrogen spoken by females.
Here are some of the theories I’ve developed over forty years of attempting communication—often unsuccessfully—with my wife. [Continue reading]
• My annual Love, Marriage, Sex issue
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Welcome to my annual salute to love, marriage and sex. If you’re single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed or “it’s complicated,” there’s something for you! Enjoy.
• Falling in love—and getting back up
• “There must be a higher love”
• Looking for love in all the right places
• Men and women are different!
• Men are dirt
• No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships
• Breaking up without breaking down
• A case for polygamy?!
• Can I become a virgin again?
• “Coming Out” My sexual identity crisis
• Cure for common cold: sex
• Fifty Shades of Beige “Reel” sex is never as good as real sex
• Guy’s guide to cars . . . and sex
• The hidden habit: masturbation
• Sexual identity issue Excerpts from my books on sexuality as well as recent posts for LGBTQs and straights
• Three secrets to XXX-ceptional sex
• Top ten turn-ons for women
• Why are guys such boobs about breasts?