Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

“Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.” ~Tullian Tchividjian

As a Christian, there is a certain question that is bound to arise when speaking with someone who has recently encountered tragedy. I’ve had this question asked of me by both people who’ve professed faith in Christ, and those who’ve claimed to possess no faith whatsoever (though, in a previous post, I’ve pointed out how everyone has faith). In a culture that frequently attempts to ignore the realities of evil, sin, and death; when encountering circumstances where we must—it leaves us having to ask ourselves some difficult questions. This question always seems to be one of them: Continue reading

A Healing Faith

“The ultimate purpose of reason is to bring us to the place where we see that there is a limit to reason.”
~ Blaise Pascal

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”
~ Hubert H. Humphrey

“Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the sick, deaf, or lame – if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Thus, even with strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed.”
~ David A. Bednar

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”
~ Marianne Williamson.

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Disclaimer: This post is written for a Christian audience, and may be challenging for those adhering to a different worldview.

INTRODUCTION
Ever been hurt? Consider the following questions:

  1. How many of us are broken and need healing in some aspect of our lives at one time or another?
  2. How many of us struggle to heal without success?
  3. How many of us abandon any hope for our healing, and accept a permanent reality of brokenness?

In response to the first question, addressing it from the perspective of a professed Christian, I would suggest that we are all broken to some degree—the circumstances of living in a world of sin. Moreover, I would assert that at some point in most of our lives we have suffered through immense pain and utter brokenness. When considering the second question, I would have to believe that most of us try—at least initially—to find means of healing when we view ourselves as being damaged or broken. And if we are individuals who respond to the third question in the affirmative, then we are probably resting in a self-perceived, inescapable despair…

For any of us who are currently residing in such a state of despair, the following scripture should come as a comfort and provide impetus for restoring hope: Continue reading

Sentimental

“The difference between sentiment and being sentimental is the following: Sentiment is when a driver swerves out of the way to avoid hitting a rabbit on the road. Being sentimental is when the same driver, when swerving away from the rabbit, hits a pedestrian.”                                           ~ Frank Herbert, science-fiction writer

 “I am not a sentimental person.” ~ Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death”

 “High culture is paranoid about sentiment. But human beings are intensely sentimental.               ~ Thomas Kinkade, artist
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INTRODUCTION
Humans are sentimental. However, I believe that how one defines being sentimental—and exhibits sentimentality in deed—determines whether one views being sentimental as a destructive or constructive emotional response. My intentions within this writing are to:

  • Examine how being sentimental is capable of being both destructive and constructive
  • Elaborate on how I view and apply sentimentality in my life (focusing on the constructive)
  • Consider how aspects of sentimentality may function in the process of Christian sanctification

Continue reading

moments of beauty

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  ~ Confucius, philosopher

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” ~ Francis Bacon, philosopher

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”  ~ Omar Khayyam, poet
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the water lily opening its petals as if arms outstretched prior to an embrace,
welcoming the light and warmth that slips past the darkness with sunrise,
morning’s meaning accentuated by its sudden vulnerability.
a new start with the coming day… Continue reading

Present

Written on December 5th, 2010

“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.” ~ William Wordsworth

I have always had a special love for the Fall. There is a life-inspiring vividness to this season of, ironically, retreating life and natural death. A menagerie of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns paint the landscape as leaves dance along to the subtle tunes of Autumn breezes; captivating the eyes. The stark contrasts of light and dark speckle the landscape, as a channeled spectrum of sunlight penetrates patchwork treescapes. It encourages me to take in its beauty. I seek to be outside to indulge in it; many times by enjoying a casual jog. Continue reading

Seeing Shadows

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

The Importance of a Good Reputation

Scripture supports the rationale that a reputation should be greatly valued.  In the Old Testament, we are told that “the memory of the righteous is blessed,” while “the name of the wicked will rot (Proverbs 10:7 NASB).”  Proverbs 22:1 (NASB) further supports there being value in a good reputation; proclaiming that “a good name is to be more desired than great wealth.”

Given the importance appropriated to inheritance and family legacy within the entirety of Old Testament scripture (see Abraham, Isaac, David, etc.), a good reputation was (and is) highly valued within Jewish culture.  The New Testament, likewise, encourages Christians to place a high value on one’s reputation, as overseers (elders) “must be above reproach,” and “respectable (1 Timothy 3:2).”

That being said, what is a “good reputation?”  How shall it be defined for purposes of this note? Continue reading

Ten Ephemeral Years: The Twenties

Originally posted on Facebook–September, 2010

Ten Years.

Ten.

Very.

Fast.

Years.

And how much has changed? More than it seems. Yet, much remains the same. My twentieth birthday doesn’t seem all that long ago. Well, that is, until I think of everything I’ve learned and experienced since that birthday. Maturity is something that I believe comes with time. Continue reading

The Cynic’s Curse

Originally posted on Facebook–January, 2010

There are times when life can be really difficult. Many times, the events of our lives don’t necessarily end with story book endings. There are just so many variables at play in this world of ours…

…sometimes, we see something that is good, but can’t accept it. We’ve been fooled so many times. We’ve made ourselves vulnerable. We’ve trusted. And we’ve been hurt… Continue reading

Small Town Guy

Originally posted on Facebook–September, 2009

I am a small town guy.

I was born in the oldest seaport in the country. A place stuck in time, with an aging population committed to family and tradition. It is a love-hate relationship I hold with Gloucester. So beautiful, yet, so ugly. Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Rudyard Kipling all spent significant time writing by Gloucester’s harborside. Fitz Hugh Lane, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper were all inspired to create priceless paintings that have kept the city’s captivating seascapes safe for the ages. Only years ago, however, did Gloucester once again obtain international notariety; this time for the infamous “pregnancy pact.” And like many small towns, news spreads faster than fire…

I am a small town guy. Continue reading

Pain Full Paralysis

Originally posted on Facebook–January, 2011

When I was very young, I viewed God as a child would.  I think it was a good thing.  The problem was that as I grew older, I started to create my own visions of what God should be based on my perspectives; not the reality provided to me through His own Word.  My world was very black-and-white, right-and-wrong.  God was a strong Father figure in my life, and I wanted to be a strong figure too. Continue reading