I had only one semester of Mandarin under my belt (and most of that only half-remembered) when I moved to Taiwan after college to do mission work. My job was to teach English and Bible classes at Concordia Middle School in Chiayi, Taiwan—a school with more than two thousand students, all Taiwanese, the vast majority of whom are not believers when they begin learning at the school.
I notice that my dog has a higher tolerance for emotions than I do.
He is a labradoodle, seventy pounds of love and complete unawareness of personal space. He makes himself strangely available when I am sad, when I am anxious, when I am irritable, and when the world is too much and I need some fur to hold on to.
Before I officially joined a church, I tried to study Scripture on my own. I wanted to learn more about Jesus and how the Old and New Testaments both point to salvation through Jesus Christ alone. But I didn’t know how to, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand it and couldn’t just “do it on my own.”
When I talk to others—even those who have been involved in churches since birth—I hear similar sentiments. Do you find studying Scripture on your own to be difficult? We all need to be reminded that reading Scripture is a skill that needs support and structure. That might seem totally different from other types of reading, but when we read Scripture, we are studying an ancient text. It makes total sense to structure studying.
All Saints’ Day is a time to reflect upon and honor the saints who came before us. But what do Lutherans believe about the saints? In his book Celebrating the Saints, author Rev. William Weedon shares the Lutheran teachings on saints.
Justification by grace alone through faith alone is a core Lutheran belief, but what does this really mean? Breaking this up into three parts makes it easier to understand: the great exchange, justification, and grace alone through faith alone. Read on to explore these concepts.
In Exodus 32:15, Moses descends from Mount Sinai after spending forty days in God’s presence. In his hands are two “tablets of the testimony” (Exodus 32:15) with the words of God written on the front and back. Verse 16 emphasizes how holy the tablets are: “The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets” (Exodus 32:16).
What does God think about me? This is, at the most basic and personal level, what the doctrine of election is about. Election, or predestination, is how the Church has historically referred to the question of who goes to heaven (or hell), how they get there, and God’s role in the decision.
Lately, I’ve been a little grumpy.
Call it stress, overcast fall days, or the impending Michigan winter, but either way, my mood has been off. I’ve been irritable, frustrated, and low energy.
The past few years have been taxing on the world collectively. I imagine many of you reading this have felt the same way over the past three years. I know I have! Even so, our emotions can certainly draw us closer to God. Read on to discover some ways to do just that!
When we quote Bible verses, our intentions are often good. We want to encourage ourselves and others, so we put Bible verses on home décor, shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, and social media. However, it can be easy to take Bible verses out of context if we don’t stop to ask, “How did we get here?”
Author Andrew R. Jones shares three popular Bible verses that are misunderstood and provides context for them below.
Most of the other people in the churches I’ve attended grew up going to a Lutheran Church. It has seemed pretty rare to find people who do not have a background of belonging to the church. So when I found out that Author Molly Lackey also converted to the Lutheran Church in high school, I knew that we shared something unique.