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  • Confronting our Confrontations

    Confronting our Confrontations “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25 NIV) Our words will invariably hurt somebody’s feelings and cause pain.  Proverbs 18:21 teaches us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”  Our words can be used to share the Good News with others or cause pain. I think most of us try to avoid confrontations.  They are unpleasant and awkward.  However, sometimes it is important that we have a serious conversation or a “confrontation” with someone.  It may be needed to resolve a lingering issue, to improve the relationship, and to better understand...
  • Seeing Without Sight

    Seeing Without Sight “Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”  So, they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus” (Mark 10: 49-50 NIV). I am grateful to have good vision, but yet I wonder how much I don’t see.  I am often reminded of the story of the blind beggar Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) who sits by the roadside hopefully calling out to Jesus to pay attention to him and heal him. Some of the people in the crowd try to hush him up. (Probably they felt,...
  • Can saying ‘No’ please God?

    Can saying ‘No’ please God? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). Each day we all get asked by others to do things.  Some tasks are fun, some are mundane, and some are someplace in the middle.  Service to others is an important way in which we show the love of Christ.  Service is ministry.  Service is important.I struggle with saying “no” to help people, especially when the request is...
  • Civil Discourse

    Civil Discourse “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”  (John 13:34-35). Have you noticed a breakdown in our ability as a society to engage in civil discourse?  I have.  It seems we prefer to argue with each other rather than engage in a constructive exchange of ideas.  The goal for many is to “win” the argument with a snarky comment.  This is particularly true on social...
  • Service is Ministry

    Service is Ministry “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  (Galatians 6:10 NIV) We live in a self-serving secular world in which people act to serve their own self interests.  I had a dear friend that has gone on to Glory but on earth he worked as an economist.  He claimed that the entire system of economic theory is so purely deductive that everything in it can be deduced from one essential axiom.   The rationality axiom states that “a rational person maximizes his/her utility.” Some economists will...
  • Five Challenges Facing the Church Universal

    Five Challenges Facing the Church Universal Every church is the Holy House of God. However, the real church is the people and not the building. Therefore, each church has challenges that it must overcome to be successful. The church universal is a blessing from God. The holy covenant of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers is known as the church. The church is comprised of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have received eternal life. Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25–27).  This union...
  • Dealing With Your Own Judas

    Dealing With Your Own Judas Perhaps one of the most memorable stories of the New Testament is the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.  Jesus was also denied three times by Peter.  In fact, all the disciples fled for their own safety after Christ was arrested.    We know as humans that others will disappoint us and we will surely disappoint them.  We also know that as Christian we are called to forgiveness.  However, betrayal takes on a whole new meaning when the person that betrays you is a close friend or family member.  Now, the situation has become personal and emotions...
  • Living Your Faith

    Living Your Faith I think I can speak for most of us when I say that we typically have an easy time “living our faith” on Sunday mornings. As the week goes on however, it’s clear that we tend to look less and less like Jesus. So, how can we live our faith? How can we seek His face and His will each day of the week? Below are five tips that are useful in my life and I pray that you find them useful also. 1. Be Caring: Caring is all about being physically present to a brother or sister in Christ who...
  • What Does The Bible Teach About Race Relations?

    What Does The Bible Teach About Race Relations? We have had problems in this country with race relations for many years. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark civil rights and federal labor law in the United States, which outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. In recent years, untold news reports have documented the civil unrest in New York City, Los Angeles, Ferguson, Missouri; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia and numerous other cities across our country. This unrest is often associated with police brutality against young black men or other young men of color. What's...
  • Loneliness: There’s A Time To Give And Time To Receive

    Loneliness: There’s A Time To Give And Time To Receive Loneliness can be a problem for nearly everyone at some point. It is particularly problematic with widows, orphans and incarcerated individuals. Citing a recent University of Chicago research study, Todd Shupe says that good friendships can reverse feelings of loneliness. We all yearn for a “wind beneath our wings,” to quote from a Bette Midler song. We must realize that that wind already exists. Ezekiel 37:1-14 and “The Valley of Dry Bones” is a great story. Ezekiel was in a valley of dry bones and God commanded him to prophesy to the...
  • Opportunities Abound For Those Seeking Volunteer Roles With Christian Organizations

    Opportunities Abound For Those Seeking Volunteer Roles With Christian Organizations Volunteer work should be seen as a hallmark of every good Christian’s character. Those who want to live a life in God’s good graces should feel compelled to help out their brothers and sisters around them. The next question then is how to get involved with a volunteer effort, as it’s often one of the only ways to accomplish the goodwill work that needs to be addressed in this world. Fortunately, there is no shortage of organizations that need volunteers. I would begin by speaking with your pastor and ask her...

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science.  Shupe worked as a  professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.