Using Thankfulness as a “Life Hack”

Reflecting this past week on the importance of gratitude and having an attitude of thankfulness brought this old TW article to mind from about a year and a half ago. It’s a short read, and in it, Mr. John Robinson notes how researchers have discovered that actively cultivating a grateful outlook produces a better, happier life—and notes, too, how the Bible was already giving this advice thousands of years ago. So, if you’re looking for a good “life hack,” you should consider actively seeking to increase your level of thankfulness.

Don’t take our word for it: Read the article! It might be a quick read, but the advice has long-lasting effects for those who will take it to heart. It’s one click away, in the link below.

Podcast: Roe v. Wade and Abortion

If you’ve heard all the talk in the news about the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court case and abortion, you know that something potentially big is up. Essentially, the 1973 court case that created a “right” to abortion in the U.S. is potentially about to be undone, according to a leaked draft of the decision (which is not yet finalized). It was already a passionate topic for many, and you can expect the rhetoric to reach new levels of full-throated zeal in the days ahead.

But our concern is always what do God and Jesus Christ think about this, and what do They want me (and you!) to think about this? And, as we consider such things, can we avoid the traps the Devil will lay out for us to ensnare us and suck us into the world of political striving by remembering that the Kingdom we are called to represent is not a part of this age or world (John 18:38)? Young people care about the world in which they live—and the Tempter is skilled at turning our passions into bait on his hook.

On today’s podcast, we chat about those things. We hope you find it profitable! (Also, we refer to several articles you might find helpful—links to this are below the video.)

Here are links to those articles:

Podcast: Why a Second Holy Day at the End of Unleavened Bread?

We hope your Days of Unleavened Bread have been wonderfully flat, tasty, and spiritually profitable! This episode of the podcast has us meditating on the question of why God might have included a second high day at the end of the Days of Unleavened Bread and some (not all!) of the lessons He might want us to take from the events of that amazing Exodus event, thousands of years ago, connected to this day. We pray it’s profitable for you! (We refer briefly to the previous podcast about Passover thoughts concerning youth in the Church. That’s available here.)

When the God of Marvels Defeated a “God” of Marvel (Studios)

Editor’s Note: My apologies! Mr. Ryan Dawson submitted this earlier during the Holy Day season—an excellent meditation prompted by Marvel Entertainment’s current flirtation with the gods of Egypt and the fact that we’re observing a time when God demonstrated His superiority over those very gods. Still, the Days of Unleavened Bread aren’t over yet! And hopefully you will find this explanation of the revealed reality behind fiction to be helpful. Enjoy the rest of your days of not-fluffy-at-all bread!

It’s that time of year when we consider the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. We think about the plagues that God poured out—and, if we remember that these plagues were real, we are thankful that we did not get to see them. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking about the Exodus as a story rather than as history, but this was a real event in God’s plan that brought the world’s biggest superpower to its knees. Let’s take a look at the final plague that put fear into those who occupied the land of Canaan—the plague that made the world marvel at the one true God.

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Podcast: Passover Thoughts for the Young and Not-Yet-Baptized

We hope you are having a wonderful start to your Spring Holy Day season! This podcast was recorded not long before Passover, and we focus on mainly three topics: Why the Holy Day cycle starts with Passover, some of the differences in seeing the need for baptism for those who have grown up in the Church compared to those who haven’t, and the commonly heard comment made by some who don’t feel ready for baptism: “I’m not good enough, yet…” We talk about them all in this episode, and we refer to two articles: One by Dr. Scott Winnail meant to help younger people help evaluate when they might be ready for baptism, and another I wrote about what lessons we need to take from Passover to fully understand that the Days of Unleavened Bread have to teach us. I’ll add links to both of those below the video.

Have a wonderful Days of Unleavened Bread!

Links to those two articles:

Thinking Biblically: Entertainment

As you’ve probably heard or read on this website, we hope to cover how to think biblically about any given topic. I appreciate that phrase, as it’s close to something I’ve said frequently in sermons and other messages: “Keep your brain turned on!” 

But what about entertainment? 

Sometimes the problem with thinking biblically about entertainment is that entertainment is usually designed to help us stop thinking. When I consider some of the entertainment I enjoy, like fantasy football or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I know that part of the reason I enjoy it is because it’s not mentally taxing—I can transport myself to a happy, fictional place where superheroes defeat villains, or to an alternate reality where I know who will score more touchdowns. 

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Attack of the Unleavened Tacos

With the Days of Unleavened Bread right around the corner, it seems a good time to bring out this short story. During the Days of Unleavened Bread many years ago when I was pastoring congregations in Missouri, I had a trip out of town for a ministerial visit that saw me leaving rather hastily and not taking anything to eat with me, though the trip would end up keeping me out until far past dinner time. So, that night I eventually visited the drive-thru of a popular fast food joint to grab some cornflour (and unleavened) “hard shell” tacos. (I won’t mention the name of the place, but it rhymed with Spock Hotel…) I used the drive-thru because I didn’t want to lose any time on the road.

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