The Bayside Blog launched some eleven months ago. We hoped the words on this site would offer life, challenge people to examine their faith, encourage them to dig deep spiritual roots.
However, in the midst of launching a new blog, thinking creatively about content, writing and editing posts, you can quite easily lose sight of the goal. The grind encourages a kind of unholy tunnel vision. I confess to, at times, wearing blinders.
That’s why I’m thankful for posts like this one, where you reflect and remember. The distance allows you to see things more clearly. I see, among other things, the grace of God, how he used these words to impact people, how he used them to shape me.
Of all the articles posted in 2017 – well over a hundred of them – these 12 most resonated with you. From addiction to chronic illness to parenting, here are this year’s most popular posts.
Porn, like all evil, has no power over those who follow Jesus. I’m no longer shackled to the chains of addiction. And although porn is forever part of my story, porn no longer writes the narrative. I do. This means I can speak about my addiction in the context of freedom and redemption and healing.
Not one time in 31 years have I been anywhere other than a church building on Easter Sunday. If this is your story, there exists the temptation to normalize this day, to think the death, burial and resurrection no longer demand a response. Nothing could be further from the truth. As we prepare for this day, I want to share some powerful Easter quotes and verses.
The Bible talks often about the elusive but valuable reality of wisdom. And as a follower of Jesus, I believe any pursuit of wisdom must parallel a pursuit of God. Though wisdom is hard to pin down, Scripture presents some common habits of wise people.
I still remember my college graduation, eight years ago. Between then and now, I’ve experienced much. I want to share some of my insights with you. Most of these you won’t hear from a commencement speech, but they’re valuable life lessons for young people, in general, and college grads, in particular.
God knows we’re prone to grasp for certainty in all the wrong places, and that could be why he litters the Bible with reminders not to fear or be anxious. These 15 verses remind us God is in control, that fear has no power over us.
Tolerating toxic people is bad for you. Flippantly cutting ties and writing them off doesn’t help either. Though toxic people choose to find core needs through unhealthy behaviors, they aren’t evil or beyond God’s grace. Respecting ourselves while also respecting the other person gives you the best opportunity to be an instrument of God’s power to heal and overcome.
Every culture has jargon, common words and phrases that mean something to those in the group. I’m not against these phrases. Some commonly used phrases, however, are more than a tired collection of words. They’re harmful. They inaccurately reflect something about God’s character.
The past three-and-a-half years have easily been the most difficult of my life. There’s not a close second, that includes a bout with cancer at 25. Why bring up my struggle now? I realize some of you won’t get it. Some might even say I’m lazy. But I also some people need these words. That’s why I bring this up, to give people hope.
Early in the game, I stayed close to home, mostly reading books about theology and Christian living. As my line between sacred and secular diminished, I began to engage different content. I noticed most books hit on Christian themes even if the author didn’t identify them as such. Some of these books challenged and inspired my relationship with God.
Passive-aggressiveness is a common response to conflict and confrontation in our culture. It’s also a highly toxic response. In most cases, these behaviors are more than situational. They’re deeply ingrained. Passive-aggressive behaviors affect all manner of relationships, from marriages to friendships.
We make statements almost daily that shape our kids. Some of these statements are helpful. Others are hurtful. By re-examining the messages our kids hear, we reshape how they understand love and connection.
Toxic people aren’t evil or bad. They’re people, like you and me. They need what we need, love, security and connection. For a host of reasons, however, they seek these things in unhealthy, even destructive, ways.