A few reactions to a recent article of mine voiced surprise and disapproval that I would list fictional characters as inspirations alongside biblical ones, or that I would be inspired by fictional characters at all. I would love to discuss this further with you lovely readers, because fiction — especially science fiction and fantasy — is near to my heart, and telling stories is a part of what it means to be a human in God’s image.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor. 16:19-20
We’ve all seen this verse a million times, usually in the context of some sort of sex talk, but also to illustrate that we should take care of our bodies in general. These bodies are not our own; they were given to us by God to house our souls for the duration of our earthly lives.
Question to discuss:
What are some healthy habits you can implement in your own life?
Roundtable: Healthy Habit Hacks
More sleep, less sugar, more exercise, less stress. We’ve heard it all, and the barrage of healthy lifestyle advice available out there can be overwhelming. How do you separate the helpful from the hype? What actually works and is sustainable? Our panelists share their best hacks for getting healthy and staying sane in the process.
I seem to be in that season of life when everyone around me is getting married (or moving into a serious relationship whose very step is hounded by the first notes of “Here Comes The Bride”). It is a curious place to be for the perpetually single. Occasionally, it’s a season of frustration, of watching people pass me by, wondering what’s on the other side of the veil.
Fortunately, I’ve settled into that contented stage of peace with my relationship status or lack thereof.
From my childhood through my teenage years, I devoured books. Whether sitting in my bed late at night reading historical fiction by Jean Fritz or spreading a blanket in my yard and paging through Jane Austen, books were among my favorite companions.
Reading fell to the wayside in college as class assignments intensified and activities with friends dominated my free time. Yet when I moved to Cincinnati almost three years ago and found myself lonely and bored, I went to the library, signed up for a card and decided to pick up my old habit of reading.
“Be in the world, but not of it.” It’s a phrase that Christians hear often. Not surprising, considering the words of Jesus in John 17:14-19:
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
“I’m just scared my coworkers will ask if I’m a virgin.”
This and a bunch of other concerns surfaced after I wrote “Other Reasons to Wait Until Marriage,” so I thought I’d respond.
What if they ask if I’m a virgin?
When someone asks me if I’m a virgin, I smile and say, “You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I’m planning to wait until marriage.” It’s funny, but it came up twice in the two weeks since I wrote the post.
Question to discuss:
What do you see as the differences in the way men and women practice and evidence their faith? Do you think this is a problem?
Roundtable: Are Women More Religious Than Men?
“I like…big…Bibles and I cannot lie.” So goes the popular song parody. But where’s the truth in it? Are women overachievers when it comes to faith and religious practice? Studies say yes, but the men on our panel are blowing the proverbial whistle.
There’s a topic that doesn’t get addressed often within the church. It’s one of those elephants in the room. It can still be a bit of a taboo subject.
I’m talking about domestic violence.
It happens more than we care to admit. It happens to people we love. It is happening all around us.
More and more I see the world discussing and acting upon the scourge of domestic violence, but it seems to me that the church has not yet risen to this challenge.
“You will be happier once you’re a Christian.”
This is a seemingly great way to convince people, especially children, that God loves them and it therefore makes sense to change their life for Him. You’re promising a future filled with happiness and joy and unicorns and rainbows and 1-Up Mushrooms? Sign me up.
The reality is, yes, life might be better in the sense that you are living for a larger purpose and you have found hope and a future in a relationship with Christ, but God doesn’t promise life will be easier or happier when we follow Him.