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    Living out our faith with other believers

    In our individualistic culture, it’s sometimes hard to ask for help even when we need it the most. Let’s talk about why Christianity is not a faith to be lived out all by our lonesome. The “fellowship of believers” is not a social club—it’s an “us” versus “I” living organism, designed by God, to bring healing and grace even in hopeless situations.

    After you say “I do…”

    The idea of “cutting your losses and moving on” may work in the business world but it’s
    an unhealthy mindset in a marriage. Shane and Tricia were on the brink of divorce when
    they changed their minds, deciding to give their marriage another try. Then, after their
    second child was born, an even bigger decision would change Shane’s life forever and
    soon after, Tricia’s life as well. Discover the power of God to transform lives and a marriage.

    The Words of Others

    The sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic seems like a woeful tale of inevitability. But the truth remains that the demise of the massive ship could have been prevented had its crew listened to others. Ships in the area had tried to warn the Titanic that they were steaming into a field of ice, but the radio operator was so overwhelmed with work that he disregarded these messages and famously wired back, “Shut up, shut up. I am busy . . .” (a comical response had it not been for its catastrophic consequences).

    Why I Struggled To be Real in Church

    Church is supposed to be the place we feel secure and accepted. But the reality is often different. Many of us struggle to be ourselves in the church because we fear being judged.

    Should I Stay If My Church Doesn’t Satisfy Me?

    I belong to a small church which used to meet all of my preferences. But now, five years and many unforeseeable changes later, our numbers are dwindling.

    Shared Responsibility

    In 2013, a jet crashed in San Francisco, resulting in three tragic deaths. One young woman died not from injuries caused by the crash, but from being run over by a rescue vehicle that rushed to the scene. City authorities conducted an investigation and determined that the death was accidental and that the driver would not face criminal charges. But the board of the airline involved took a very different approach to this tragedy: They called a public press conference and bowed low in apology. Even though they may not have been individually responsible for the girl’s death, they felt…

    All Together Now

    While Nicholas Taylor was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, his leg became wedged in the gap between the platform and a commuter car. When safety officials could not free him, they coordinated the efforts of nearly 50 passengers who lined up and, on the count of three, pushed against the train. Working in unison, they shifted the weight just enough to free Taylor’s leg.

                The apostle Paul recognized the power of Christians working together in many of his letters to the early churches. He urged the Roman believers to accept each other the way Christ had accepted them and…

    A Safe Place

    A young Japanese man had a problem—he was afraid of leaving his house. To avoid other people, he slept through the day and stayed up all night watching TV. He was a hikikomori or a modern-day hermit. The problem began when he stopped going to school because of poor grades. The longer he remained apart from society, the more he felt like a social misfit. Eventually he broke off all communication with his friends and family. He was helped on his journey to recovery, though, by visiting a youth club in Tokyo known as an ibasho—a safe place where broken people…

    Church: A Gathering of Sinners or Saints?

    Each week when I step into church, at least one person will ask, “How are you?” or “How have you been?” My response is often short, and almost always accompanied with a smile, “I’m good, how about you?”

    United in Christ

    When we come across a list of names in the Bible, we might be tempted to skip over it. But we can find treasures there, such as in the list of the twelve apostles whom Jesus called to serve in His name. Many are familiar—Simon whom Jesus called Peter, the rock. Brothers James and John, fishermen. Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. But we could easily overlook that Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot must once have been archrivals.

    Matthew collected taxes for Rome, and therefore, in the eyes of his fellow Jews, collaborated with the enemy. Tax collectors were despised…

    Dirty Laundry

    The phrase “dirty laundry” could refer to the bag a college student brings home, or it may mean a person’s private business—personal matters not to be discussed publicly. We can safely say that it’s not Christlike to air that kind of dirty laundry.

    Persecuted but Growing

    There are few events of greater historical significance in the 20th century than China’s Cultural Revolution. The Communist Party instituted changes at every level of society to enforce its ideology. These included the persecution of the nation’s Christians, with many sent to labor camps. It’s estimated that the Cultural Revolution resulted in the death of 30 million Chinese people and forced the church underground. But decades later, it turns out that the efforts to wipe out Christianity had the opposite effect. Experts believe that there are more Christians worshiping in underground churches in China than there are total believers in…

    You’re Needed

    In 2015, Derrick Rose, an All-Star guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA), faced another surgery after he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee for the second time in 15 months. The meniscus is a relatively obscure part of the human body, yet this essential piece of cartilage not only threatened Rose’s career, but also hurt his team’s chances of a championship and dashed the hopes of the city where he plays. What a large impact from such a small thing!

    Let Us

    While standing in line for a popular attraction at Disneyland, I noticed that most people were talking and smiling instead of complaining about the long wait. It made me ponder what made waiting in that line an enjoyable experience. The key seemed to be that very few people were there by themselves. Instead, friends, families, groups, and couples were sharing the experience, which was far different than standing in line alone.

                The Christian life is meant to be lived in company with others, not alone. Hebrews 10:19–25 urges us to live in community with other followers of Jesus. “Let us…

    True Fellowship

    The word fellowship conjures up some rather strange associations in my mind. When I hear it spoken, I immediately think of coffee and donuts, along with the basement meeting spaces in churches where those coffee and donuts are served. Most strangely, I also think about the 2001 movie The Fellowship of the Ring. So somehow my concept of Christian community has become inextricably tied to a tale of men, dwarves, and elves dealing with “one ring to rule them all.”