Thursday, October 26, 2017

Healthy, Happy People Set Boundaries

by Danetta Kellar

“Please confirm that you no longer wish to receive valuable, money-saving coupons and time-saving promotions from our sponsor…”

This was the message I received one day as I sought to unsubscribe to a retailer which had been sending inordinate amounts of email advertisements to my inbox every day. At the end of the school year, I had over 3,000 messages piled up from all sorts of good, but unnecessary, places. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Lamplight of Decision

by Danetta Kellar

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

When darkness fell our first night in the remote bush country of Kenya, I was prepared. 

The lanterns were full of kerosene, flashlights of various sizes were fresh with new American batteries, and candles lay all in a row on the table, beside them a box of matches sealed nice and dry in a tightly closed jar. I was ready for the inky blackness.

Snug in our little mud house, we felt safe from the darkness as long as there was a source of light. 

That is, unless we had to venture outside for any reason. With the descending dusk also fell a helpless feeling of entrapment. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Lesson of the Creek

by Danetta Kellar

I never tire of sitting by the roaring waters of the creek that winds around two sides of our family cabin. 

Built by my uncle when I was a small child, the refuge represents years of family gatherings. Folks have come and gone over the decades, but the flowing of the creek has never ceased.

In all my years of watching its waters, I have never seen them flow uphill. 

Down, down, down they go, singing all the way. Mossy boulders lie strewn about as if a giant was interrupted in a game of marbles and left them scattered. But the water finds its way around them, even changing the surface of the rocks, smoothing their rough sharp edges. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Christian or Follower of Jesus?

by Danetta Kellar

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6

I once lived in a culture where the word Christian was politically charged and grossly misunderstood

The imported soap operas rife with adultery and betrayal came from Christian countries. The news of shooters entering high schools and gunning down innocent teachers and students were Christians. The cities most famous for drugs and gangs were in Christian nations. 

One of the first questions we were asked when meeting someone for the first time was, “Are you a Christian?”

We would answer, “We are followers of Jesus the Messiah.”

A simple distinction from the normal label opened the door for meaningful conversation and dispelling of misconceptions about our beliefs. 

Now I live in the United States, and the word Christian is politically charged and grossly misunderstood. I never expected that to happen.

I am finding that semantics matter as much here as they did when I was an outsider in a foreign land, misunderstood and maligned.

As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility for the way we communicate and represent our faith. We are ambassadors, representing Christ to those around us. Daily, diplomatic ambassadors around the world labor to accurately represent their nations to foreign cultures and governments. As ambassadors of Christ, we must seek to do the same. 

A follower of Jesus follows him. Daily. 

A follower of Jesus studies his teachings and seeks to emulate them. A follower of Jesus is not ashamed of the gospel.

The world is hungering for authenticity. For truth. Transparency. 

Your life is a window into what it means to be a Christian and the way you talk about it can make all the difference.

Think about it.

What words do you think have become misunderstood and misused in today’s faith conversation? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below.