Throwback Saturday: Christianity’s Popularity

Christianity
Originally posted here.

A lot of people question Christianity’s validity. They say, “Faith is useless! Trust in science and fact is the only truths in this life!” They question why Christianity is so popular in the first place. But I tell you this: Christianity has been the greatest religion because it’s the only one that is true. 

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How “The Amazing Spider Man” Accurately Portrays Peter’s Humanity

Spider Man

Most people spend their Christmas Eve watching Christmas movies. Me? I watched The Amazing Spider Man. Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, the movie was Marvel’s second attempt to create a successful Spider man movie franchise. The film is considered a wild success, grossing over $750 million. It currently holds the record as the highest grossing reboot of all time. Obviously, a well-done movie.

The film also keeps to the original Spider Man comic storyline. With appearances of major characters Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben, neither of which played major roles in the original Spider Man (2002), the story writers clearly took fewer liberties with the plotline. However, the major factor to The Amazing Spiderman‘s wild success was not the plotline, but rather Andrew Garfield’s accurate portrayal of the web-swinging superhero. Garfield, who was expected to poorly represent his character, did a fantastic job, showing the human side of Spiderman with both style and ease.

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Throwback Saturday: Coveting God

Covetousness

Originally published on August 26th, 2019.

In today’s world, coveting isn’t given a second thought. We often covet without remorse, perhaps without even conscious thought. After all, coveting usually isn’t thought about. It has become such a common part of our daily lives that we don’t even notice it. We buy our cars and eat our expensive dinners, but we rarely stop long enough to think of what the Bible says about coveting. To many, coveting is like the disaster victims on the news: real, but distant. Oh, it exists, but nobody gives it a second thought. Coveting seems like the boring uncle found in every family. You know, the one that sleeps on the couch through thanksgiving and only wakes up for dinner. He’s there, but nobody really notices him.

So, what is coveting? We all know the classic “Thou shalt not covet” that we were taught in Sunday School, but do we really know what it means to covet? Exodus 20:17 says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbors.”1 Simply put, coveting is the sinful desire of something that is not ours. Regardless of whether or not we act on our selfish desire, covetousness is the wicked craving for something we do not own. The wickedness in coveting is what makes it a sin. A man can walk into Target and look over some clothes, but if he does not sin in his shopping, he does not covet. However, if that man desires the pornographic magazine on Aisle 8, he covets and sins against His Lord.

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What Donald Trump’s Impeachment Means for America

Donald Trump Impeachment
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 07: President Donald Trump speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit on December 07, 2019 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Just yesterday, Donald Trump became only the third president in United States history to be impeached. Joining Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998-1999), Trump is now part of an elite class of presidents, those believed to have broken the law or abused their power. But, in all honesty, why is Donald Trump being impeached? Did he abuse his power? And if so, what does this mean for America?

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Dating or Courtship: Which Term Should a Christian Use?

Christian Dating

Once a subject frequented by author giants such as Joshua Harris, courtship and dating have now been left in the dust as an irrelevant topic. Unfortunately, with the dramatic exit of Harris and his co-authors, we are now left with many questions and few answers. Frequently, during conversations with fellow Christians, I encounter this subject and often find it difficult to speak on. After all, it’s an awkward topic and is supposedly foolish for one of my age to even think about. Unfortunately, this is just as deluded as the idea that the Patriots are a good football team.

In a famous book, the author writes, “An Olympic athlete begins training at an early age. You don’t see someone begin training a day before the 400-yard-dash. It takes years of preparation, all for that moment.” While I remember neither the author nor the book, the quote remains with me to this day, a reminder of the fact that nobody is too young to begin preparation for marriage. If you’re reading this as a single kid, you need to start preparing.

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Christian Blog Launch: Destination Ghana

Africa Boy

After several days of work, I am very pleased to announce the launching of a new Christian blog- Destination: Ghana. Created and owned by a friend of mine, Ian Nelson. His big sister is a schoolmate of mine, and so, as a favor to both of them, I helped create the site in preparation for his launch. Now, finally, he is ready to go!

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Throwback Saturday: Christian Dating in a Secular World

68831-couple-dancing-in-woods-unsplash-scott-broome.1200w.tn.jpg

Here we go again! This time, our throwback is to the post “Christian Dating in a Secular World”, the original post being found here.

The word “dating” often brings out mixed emotions and views. Secular people think of dating as a commonplace activity, comparable to sports or television in what it brings. Christians think of dating with many different opinions. Some treat it just as commonly as non-believers do, while others give it a wide berth. Some give it no veneration, while others revere it as if it is a gift from God; which, of course, it is. Despite the apparent similarities between secular and Christian dating, Christians should remember that dating is a gift from God, and should be treated with all due respect and reverence.

One of the major differences between secular and Christian dating is the means. Secular people treat dating as a means to take, though this appears to be quite confusing, it is easily explained. Essentially, many secular people view dating as an activity used to take from others. This is comparable to Christmas time, when the only thought within the mind of a child is what to get from Santa Claus. Just as children view Christmas as a time for getting presents, secular men and women see dating as a time for receiving pleasure. Whether acknowledged or not, pleasure is always found at the center of secular dating.

Christians must treat dating as a means to give. While the secular assessment of dating centers on self-seeking pleasure, Christian dating should focus on selfless giving. Tragically, the art of giving has become a lost art within today’s culture. Millions of unsaved people make it a habit to take without giving, while Christians are supposed to do just the opposite. Christians must learn to give, not out of duty, but out of love, for “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (English Standard Version, 1 Corinthians. 13.3). Without love, a person cannot hope to give. But within love, giving becomes the most radical testimony a Christian could share, for love through giving is a way to reach out to anybody, be they Muslim, Atheist, or Buddhist. Giving is not only a testimony of faith but also a testimony of character. A Christian armed with this knowledge will find giving within love illuminates personal testimony. Giving displays love, and love does not tear down, as hatred does. Selfish taking is a form of hatred, which destroys all hope for relationship. Contrary to this, love creates relationship, and the creation of relationship should consistently be the main goal within a Christ-led courtship.

Non-believers view dating as a pathway to sex. In today’s world, sex and dating are intertwined. The two go hand in hand, according to some, and are interchangeable. Because there is no Biblical background to most relationships, there is no context to sex. Thousands of unsaved men and women enter sexual relationships with no knowledge of God’s intention for sex within marriage. Because of this, few realize that sex must be held within marriage, else it inevitably becomes boring to the participants, who eventually break up or divorce. Today, secular marriage is only necessary when a couple wishes to exchange rings, have a ceremony, and join last names- no other reason. When the couple lives together, sleeps together, and can already have children, what true purpose does marriage hold to a secular couple? None.

Christians must treat dating as a road to marriage. Unlike secular dating, which is used to gain pleasure, Christians should view dating as a pathway to a possible marriage. Dating will not always end in marriage, and, because of this, should be viewed as a pathway to marriage. When viewed as a road to marriage, Christian dating becomes something far more special then secular dating. This time period is used as an opportunity for possible couples to learn about each other. The time within engagement is spent differently when the end goal is marriage, since secular dating has no end goal, save for pleasure, which is not fulfilling in the least. Did God intend for dating to be used within the context of marriage? Yes! How else is a young Christian going to learn about his future spouse? If two people were to enter marriage without having any true knowledge of each other, their marriage will likely be destroyed. Dating within the context of marriage has been blessed by God, and should be emulated by all young Christian men and women.

The major difference between secular and Christian dating is the inclusion of God within the relationship. Earthly relationships have no inclusion or basis with God; instead, they focus on pleasure, within sex, and taking what they can get. It is because of this that “About 40 to 50 percent of marriages within the United States end in divorce” (Lewis). When God is not included in dating, the relationship between the couple cannot be expected to last.

If a future marriage is to last, it is paramount that dating couples include God into their relationship. A problem found within many Christian couples is a lack of knowledge on how to incorporate God into their relationships. While they still pray, read their Bibles, or go to church, they are not actively including God into their relationship. The inclusion of God into a relationship involves careful prayer between the couple, reading the Bible together, going to church together, asking God how they can be the best husband/wife. This incorporation of God, while seeming to be unimportant, is crucial for producing a healthy, mature marriage.

While the differences between Secular and Christian dating appear to be few, they are extremely different, two beliefs separating two totally different ways of approaching relationships. Because of these differences, Christians have to remember that dating is a gift from God, and should be treated with all due respect and reverence.

Works Cited

Lewis, F. Henry. “Divorce Statistics in the United States and California.” Gardner & Lewis, LLP, 9 October 2018, https://www.michaelagardner.net/blog/2018/10/09/divorce-statistics-in-the-united-193973

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway, 2001. Print.

Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed that throwback. If you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side) so as to not miss out on any new posts. Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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The Reality of Poverty

I didn’t know what AIDS was until I was thirteen. During that time, Uganda had been having an epidemic in the north, and so awareness was at an all-time high. It was on the walls of our announcement boards, the emails of our newsletters, and the tongues of our school kids.

Eventually, I learned what this deadly disease was. In fact, I even learned who had it. It turns out, there’s plenty of people I knew that had contracted the disease from one way or the other. Suddenly, AIDS was everywhere. Fear began to captivate me as I became paranoid about my water, my dishes, my silverware- anything that could put me into contact with it. At the time, I didn’t realize that AIDS wasn’t transmitted through touch, but I didn’t care; I was too paranoid about receiving it.

After a few weeks of this, I realized how silly I was being. Nobody in my family had it, and my chances of getting it were higher than my chances of a girl liking me- basically none. I had to release that fear to the Lord, as I had done with so many other fears.

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The Owl: Symbol of Wisdom or Death?

I love talking about cultural differences. Quite honestly, they are something I could talk about for hours. The differences found between cultures is fascinating, and today’s example is no exception.

The owl has been associated with wisdom for centuries, dating back all the way to Greek culture. The Greeks believed that the owl was a symbol of Athena, goddess of wisdom, and as such hoped that the coming of the owl symbolized the coming of Athena. They passed this belief on to the Romans, who heavily influenced the development of Europe, which eventually lead to the influence of American culture itself.

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Christmas: The Most Hectic Time of Year

It’s easy to get distracted during the Christmas season. With all the lights to be hung, chicken to be cooked, gifts to be bought, and trees to be decorated, we can sometimes feel almost glad when Christmas is over. We can all breathe a deep sigh, throw away the wrapping paper, and prop our feet up, because Christmas is here.

Oh wait. New Year’s is coming. Nope, you aren’t allowed to sit down. Get up and begin preparations for the party next week. Go go go, rush rush rush. Neverending business. Does this sound at all like you?

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6 Christian Blogs to Read Every Week

Starting the week off with a good blog post is important. That’s why I usually post every Monday, without fail. With the weekend gone, a writer should know that his readers are, for the most part, depressed and probably tired of work. So, because of this, we writers should do everything we can to make our Monday posts special.

Thankfully, there are several blogs that put a fantastic amount of effort into making their blogs truly special. These blogs are run by professional authors with years of writing under their belts, putting them leagues ahead of the game. If you don’t already know them, you should absolutely check them out. They just might make your day.

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Throwback Saturday: A Smile In the Midst of Poverty

Published 2 July, 2019.

“When I first came to Uganda, I saw so many children with nothing. In America, we think we know suffering and poverty, but in reality, we know nothing. But what really strikes me is the fact that every child is so happy. Even though they have nothing, they smile as if they have everything.”

This quote, believe it or not, is another common thing I have heard from Americans visiting Africa. While there IS poverty in the United States, it usually remains tucked away, avoided at all costs. After all, who cares about the hobos and homeless? This mindset has been a hindrance to the more sheltered American teenagers and young adults. Because they have been sheltered for their entire lives, they have no idea what the outside world looks like. Thus, when they arrive in Uganda, all ready to “minister to the poor and needy”, they are caught off guard by the sheer number of poor people. The rich exist, of course, but Uganda is dominated by men and women that make less than $500 a year. This amount proves to be staggering to the average Westerner. And yet… There is something that strikes them far harder than poverty, and that’s a smile. The Ugandan people, while not being the richest in the world, consistently find things to smile about.

This ability finds itself in stark contrast to the Western world, in which money is common and yet true happiness is in short supply. There might be men that own three houses, four Lamborghinis, and a private plane, yet they only smile for the cameras. Deep down, brokenness affects us all, and money cannot repair the gaping hole in our souls left by the sadness and regret that comes with sin.

Happiness can be found outside of money. Poverty, in all its crushing weight, cannot remove the joy that is somehow found within the hearts of the Ugandan children. This joy, found within real life, is what astounds many Westerners, who expect to find a lack of happiness whenever poverty is present. Joy is found in an appreciation of God’s creation, not within money or possessions. This is something we would all do well to remember.

Alright, that’s all for today. This was a throwback post, meaning that it was actually published by me over six months ago. This is something I am going to be doing every Saturday as a chance for new Followers to read some of my old content and see some old stories.

Thanks for reading! Your support means a ton to me. If you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button below or to the side, so as to not miss out on any new posts. Then, click that Like button to show your appreciation. Thanks again, and I hope you have a great day.

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The Three Best Blogging Tools You Should Be Using Right Now

Blogging is more than just SEO and post format. At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do to change your site for the better. However, don’t make the mistake I did in thinking that once I had checked all the SEO boxes, I was fine. This is wrong.

Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong with SEO. Websites devolve, mistakes are made, and habits aren’t developed. And so, to combat this yet again, we must learn to use tools.

What are tools? Well, they are internet-based apps or websites that will help your site for the better, one way or the other. Some may be able to actually help your SEO (although these require plugins which, in turn, require you to be operating on WordPress’ Business Plan), while others will prevent you from making crucial mistakes. These are the tools we will be focusing on today. And the best part? They’re all free and you can start using them right now. And so, without further ado, here are three fantastic tools that you can start using right now.

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Cultural Differences Within the Church

One of the first notable differences between Uganda and the United States is the Church. At least, this is one of the first things I notice. This should be surprising, since the Church is the second most unifying factor of mankind, behind only the internet.

These differences are brought by a variance in culture and church development. The culture plays possibly the largest impact on these variances, while church development takes a smaller, but still important, role.

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Five Crucial Mistakes Most Bloggers Make (and how to avoid them!)

We bloggers have become lazy. Even in our ever-growing pursuit for followers and views, we have decided that some pieces of blogging are beneath us. And so, in our passivity, we have neglected key parts of our blogs and the posts therein. This has resulted in a lack of blog quality and a lowering of standards. But, if we work hard and learn from our failures, we can overcome the failures of our past and turn the Christian blogging community into a high-quality writing niche.

So, to combat laziness and blog failure, here are five common mistakes that many bloggers make. If you read these carefully and correct the mistakes that you are already making, you will immediately find an increase in your blog traffic and visitors.

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