Tag  |  culture

You Have a Choice

You mean, I can choose to believe in Jesus?” my young Nepali friend asked in surprise as I was giving her a ride to the grocery store. She was an international student at the same university I was attending and had been coming for several months to a weekly Bible study. As we were discussing her thoughts regarding the study, she suddenly became shocked by the realization that she could choose what to believe. She had grown up in a culture where faith was something she was born into, with no choice given to her.

Raise the Temperature

When I meet people who have lived overseas, I ask what they noticed about our culture upon their return to our country. Some appreciate our culture’s energy and can-do spirit, while others lament our individuality and lack of social interaction. Every culture has strengths and weaknesses, but we can help shape the culture that shapes us.

Blending In

While on vacation, my daughter and I strolled on the beach in the cool of the evening. Interrupting her mid-sentence, I tapped her arm and pointed. “Look over there!” What appeared to be sand moving back and forth proved—upon closer inspection—to be a tiny crab scuttling across the beach. Its beige color, tiny size, and quick reflexes provided protection against being seen, much less caught. The small creature wanted to survive, not stand out.

no lazy river

One of our favorite family vacation sites is a beautiful beach community located in an adjoining state. We like to go there during the “off season” when few tourists are around. Though the ocean water is a little chilly, we enjoy swimming in an indoor pool. Also, there’s a lazy river that surrounds the pool and holds a special appeal for our kids. They’ve tried to swim against its current over the years, only to be carried in the opposite direction.


Accompanied by a cool breeze, the sunlight slowly spread over the horizon. It was a beautiful morning to plant. Grabbing various tools, my husband and I set out to rake back mulch and dig some holes. We had carefully selected plants that would work in the various growing environments our yard offered. Though the work had been strenuous, I later found it rewarding to stand back and see the fruits of our labor—a beautiful array of bushes, flowers, and trees.

living differently

Several years ago, my husband and I made the decision not to purchase cable TV. The benefits of our decision went far beyond saving money. In fact, having recently lived with a family while building our new home, we discovered what we hadn’t been missing. We knew the toxicity of television, but now with everyday access, we saw in high definition the brazen sexuality and carnal worldview that permeates many commercials.

toxic environment

Two dolphins—Shadow and Chelmers—died of a drug overdose at the Connyland Marine Park in Switzerland. Forensic experts suppose that partygoers at a nearby rave placed a heroinlike substance into the dolphins’ tank water. The dolphin trainers who found Chelmers described him as “shaking all over and foaming at the mouth.” Based on these symptoms and the presence of buprenorphine in the dolphins’ bodies, it seems likely that the dolphins died due to their toxic environment.

human chameleon

Chinese performance artist Liu Bolin is known as “the invisible man” or “the human chameleon” because he blends himself into his surroundings. To do this, he covers his entire body in paint which perfectly matches his chosen backdrop. Liu has painted himself into real-life scenes which include graphitized walls, supermarket shelves, and even telephone booths.

December 10, 2012

How are you seeking to transform today’s culture for Christ?

November 12, 2012

What are some effective ways to live out your faith in a culture that’s pluralistic, postmodern, and post-Christian?

secular state

A chimera is a bizarre-looking character found in Greek mythology. The fire-breathing female is composed from the parts of a lion, goat, and serpent. Recently, a religious leader used the term chimera to describe the philosophy of education in his native Sweden. The highly secular country has told all its schools—including Christian ones—that they must teach subjects in a “nonconfessional,” “objective”…

February 20, 2012

Although there are likely many things that trouble you about it, what are some encouraging trends you see in culture?

November 28, 2011

What are your thoughts on the movie “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” that premiered worldwide this month?

what is a Christian?

Under “religious views” on her Facebook profile, my wife lists the simple phrase “Jesus-follower.” She uses that explanatory term to avoid political and cultural connotations associated with the word Christian. In some cultures, people are “born Christian.” But that is a misunderstanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Ironically, a friend of mine in the United Kingdom asked me…

what are you doing?

I was asked that very question by a "concerned" brother. Then I was told by that brother that I should not play drums in a club or a place that did not honor God. (I guess I would not be able to play in some churches, but that's another story!) While I can appreciate his concern, I do not subscribe…

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