Encouragements

Events or little pearls of wisdom which encourages one: strengthen one's faith and outlook.

Merry Christmas 2017

Silhouette of the nativity scene
Read time: 3 minutes

Sometimes we do not feel like being here. By "here", I mean in this world; on earth. Sometimes we are distressed about big, insurmountable things, like war and famine. Other times, we are personally wronged. These things can make us want to flee; whether to a desolated island, another planet, or even depart this realm completely for heaven. [node:read-more:link]

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Merry Christmas 2016

Evan Coons
Read time: 1 minute

Merry Christmas! This year I am unashamedly sharing a special message by Evan Coons, who was involved with For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles. Like other messages from FLOW, it is not only encouraging, but a call to action as well. In this video, we look at the examples of the Christ child and what we can learn from Him, namely:

  • Vulnerability
  • Humility
  • Presence

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Peter the Humbled

The wooden statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's church, Leuven, Belgium
Read time: 8 minutes

As this year draws to a close, I would like to reflect a little on the apostle Peter, and what we can learn from his example. I intend to do this by looking at a particular picture which I took during my second visit to Belgium this year. [node:read-more:link]

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You, Christian

Statue of Jesus carrying the cross
Read time: 5 minutes

You, Christian,

You, follower of the true and living Christ, you need to remember that we are strangers and foreigners and aliens in this world. This world is hostile towards us. This is the natural order of things. This is what our Lord warned us about. And this means that we need to accept a few things. [node:read-more:link]

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The Destruction of the Jewish Temple and the End of Animal Sacrifice

A cow and her calf
Read time: 5 minutes

In the year A.D. 70, less than 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans and utterly destroyed—even the magnificent Jewish Temple therein. This was a final and decisive act: unlike with the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., there were no prophecies promising restoration. And two thousand years later, a new temple seems exceedingly unlikely as different factions vie for control over the Temple Mount. [node:read-more:link]

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The Beggar and the Caveman Christian

Beggar
Read time: 6 minutes

In his poem The Beggar, Tatamkhulu Afrika, a devout Muslim, writes of one day going into the city for his day's business. On his way he encounters a beggar who, naturally, asks him for money. The narrator has no time for this distraction and brushes off the annoyance. [node:read-more:link]

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Reflections on Christian Loneliness

Read time: 11 minutes

I previously wrote an article on Christian singleness. It highlighted a metaphorical elephant in the room—that while there is an expectation to be in a relationship and settle down, this does not happen for all Christians. Indeed, the expectation is not a biblical one, but rather societal. I was encouraged by how well the article was received. Today I want to touch on a related topic: that of Christian loneliness. [node:read-more:link]

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Recent Discoveries in Contemporary Christian Music

Read time: 10 minutes

Growing up as a Christian teenager, I was very much into the "Jesus Culture": the music, the clothes, the paraphernalia, the books, the whole lot. I have since "settled down", even developing an aversion for commercial/popular Christian stores and the "fads" that they sell. I do, however, sometimes miss good Christian music (especially as the church which I attend is quite conservative regarding music). [node:read-more:link]

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Do Christians Worship the Cross?

Cross and Church
Read time: 11 minutes

Some time ago a friend told me of a Jewish friend of his whom he invited to attend a church service. "I'm sorry," said his friend, "but I cannot go into a church. We [Jews] believe that idolatry is wrong, and Christians worship the cross as an idol." I must admit to being a bit stunned when I heard this story—I had never before heard the accusation that Christians are idolatrous for worshipping the cross. Was this accusation perhaps true? What is the relationship between Christians and the cross? [node:read-more:link]

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