Tag  |  family

Together Forever

A Chinese translator told a visiting theologian that her Buddhist parents admired the teachings of Jesus, but they were offended by the idea that someone had to believe in Him to be saved. They worried that their Christian daughter now believed her ancestors were in hell. The translator said, “Revering my ancestors means much to me, and I want to assure my parents that I do not want to dishonor my family heritage. So please tell me what I, as a Christian, can say to my parents about this.”

A Bad Child?

Look at what you’ve done by becoming a Christian. You’ve deserted the family tradition. Your father feels like a failure. He couldn’t keep the family together.” My mother tried to reason with me to forsake my newfound faith. And I wavered. It pained me to see my parents’ sadness and disappointment. In my collectivism-based culture,group is esteemed greater than the individual. So I thought, By becoming a Christian, did I become a bad child?


Pastor Adrian and his wife, Antoinette, had two biological sons and then adopted baby Rosie several years ago. For most of Adrian’s life, he has dealt with nose bleeds—an affliction his sons have inherited. One day, little Rosie ran into the house holding her nose and grinning from ear to ear as she said, “See, Daddy, my nose is bleeding—just like Mark and John!” For Rosie, a nosebleed was another way of identifying with her adopted family.

dad, mom & me

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was 15 years old. When my dad found out, he was heartbroken because of his differing religious beliefs. He couldn’t sleep well for the next several nights. He felt that he had failed as a father because he couldn’t keep his family together. His daughter had deserted the family tradition and chose to follow a “Western god.”

not less in your mess

God’s royal family in Genesis was a bit seamy. Consider Abraham’s family. He slept with his female slave and later consented to his wife’s desire to banish the woman and his son by sending her into the wilderness (Genesis 21:14). What family could be worse than that?

in the light of God

Pastor G. Campbell Morgan was quoted as saying: “What we do in the crisis always depends on whether we see the difficulties in the light of God, or God in the shadow of the difficulties.” When people face any kind of crisis, they tend to look through the lens of fear and anxiety.

demanding answers

Remember that thing Charlotte used to say when she didn’t get her way?”

of hobbies and gossip

A woman became engrossed in a new hobby. The activity itself was a healthy one, but the devoted wife and mother soon began to neglect her family and friends—even her walk with God.

laying claim

My mother has developed a habit of occasionally asking us what items we would want once she leaves this earthly existence. Responding with lighthearted humor to her musings on death, and her tendency to be a bit of a packrat, my sister and I tell her not to hide any money in the house because we plan on selling it fully furnished when she dies. When I realized the other day that she still had a grapevine wreath my dad and I had made more than 20 years ago, however, I half-jokingly told her to write my name on it.

you choose Q: what advice would you give to a single person who's feeling lonely at church?

Q: What advice would you give a person who is the only single person in her entire church and is feeling left out and lonely?  —Lisa

A: A single person is popularly defined as “one who is above 30 and unmarried.” I would prefer to see a single as “any person who is not in a marital relationship.” This would include…

worth the wait

Everybody is waiting for something. What are you waiting for—employment, marriage, family peace? Imagine having to wait centuries for the fulfillment of a promise, but there was no evidence that it would be fulfilled. This was the spiritual and emotional climate during the time Jesus was born. People were waiting for God to fulfill the promise of restoration through the Messiah, but the political, social, and spiritual darkness concealed any evidence that God would keep His promise. Many people became weary of being righteous. Yet, there was a man who continued to wait and trust in God’s promise (Luke 2:25).

you choose Q: how can forgive my brother who has deeply hurt me?

Q: How can I forgive my brother who has deeply hurt me and my family but is unrepentant?  —Lynn

A: Living with an unrepentant family member requires love and strength of character.

We should always discipline ourselves to not seek vengeance, regardless of what the person has done to us. Allowing our hearts to be filled with rage, hatred, and longing…

the Rock

In 2003, the 700-ton Old Man of the Mountain—a 40-foot-tall natural outcropping of granite ledges in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—crumbled and slid down to the base below. Some of the residents responded to the incident with deep emotional sadness and devastation. One man said that he had lost the oldest member of his family. Since the rocks rolled, local businesses have also seen tourist revenue take a tumble.

to give or not to give

Some days I find only one. Other times they fill my mailbox. Not to mention the phone calls. Help the children, feed the homeless, care for the wounded. Worthwhile requests, yet it’s impossible to meet them all. Even with the contributions we make, I feel strangely guilty whenever I throw away a letter requesting donations or when I tell a contribution-seeking caller: “No, thank you.” The tension I experience is another reminder of the calling I must live out in a less-than-perfect world. Give selflessly, just like Jesus.

he’s not there

My dad passed away a year ago from pancreatic cancer. When we arrived at the graveside for a private family burial, the funeral director was waiting there with my dad’s cremated ashes. It was the first time we had seen the small urn that housed his remains. I suddenly became overwhelmed with grief. A caring family member looked me in the eye and quietly spoke these simple but reassuring words, “Remember, Dad’s not there.”

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