Christianity, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture, Thank You, Uncategorized

So, I’m Thankful

Thankfulness?

I’ve devoted a lot of time to the new direction of TheTDarrisBlog, and I’ve decided that I should start back with one thing that I think about each day: thankfulness. You might wonder, “Why thankfulness?” Well, it seems that a thankful heart is generally a happy heart, or at least a content one. A thankful attitude seems to make complaining uncomfortable, and it seems that thankfulness is the one thing which helps to keep the mind thoughtful all while keeping one’s passions sober.

I’m not as thankful as I should be

A major reason why I’ve decided to blog about thankfulness is because as I read the Bible, I am regularly reminded that I should be thankful. The Bible has many stories in which people who endured some terrible circumstances were able to sincerely tell God, and others, “Thank you”— or, they expressed some sort of gratitude and appreciation either during, or after these hard times. And, they were sincere about it!

Were they thankful for the hard times they endured? I doubt it. But, there seems to be a pattern of thankfulness concerning the troubles they endured because these experiences prepared them for a new phase in their lives, and other times, thankfulness was expressed because these indiviudals knew that their situations could have been worse! Certainly, there are other reasons why people were thankful, but that’s not the focus of this post 🙂

I want to develop a thankful heart

I want to be sincerely thankful for my life, and the experiences, etc., which God sees fit for me to endure. This will require a lot of courage, and of course, trust in Him— but I’m okay with that. Two years ago, I made a daily commitment to find a reason to be thankful, and to express that thankfulness to God during daily prayer time, in addition to living out that thankfulness each day of my life— I’m not perfect, I only get it right on some days, and on other days…not so much.

Thankful people are free!

And, I want to be free! I want to be able to endure life’s ups and downs, and still be thankful! I want to always find and hold on to the good in any situation, and allow it to further teach and mold me into being the person I should be.

I could go on, and on, but I think you get the point: I am dedicating a portion of this blog to thankfulness. Maybe I’ll even post on different aspects of thankfulness, like “how to be thankful”, effects of thankfulness and the need for more gratitude in everyday life. But, all-in-all, I’ll be blogging about reasons why I am thankful.

Some of you might remember the “Thankfulness” blog posts I published two years ago. This is a [better] continuation of that. And for those of you who like to dig a little deeper and read more about thankfulness, I will be adding some links and higlights from other articles, videos, etc., on some aspect of thankfulness. I’ll start with Merriam-Webster’s definition of thankful, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible’s definition article, enttitled, “Thanksgiving“. I hope you find this informative and useful as I have: Thankful and Thanksgiving.

Right now

2016 has been a very difficult year for me, but I’ve learned that I can, and will, endure these challenges. And one day, I hope to look back with even more thankfulness in my heart, and insights to share with others who need them.

So, tell me— why are you thankful?

Book Reviews, Christianity, Opinion & Commentary, Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Paths to Power” by A.W. Tozer

I’ve received A.W. Tozer’s Paths to Power from Moody Publishers. Although short in length, the stimulating message in this book encourages the Christian to honestly, and thoroughly, examine his, or her, life so that the Christian can truly understand, and  live out (or, should I say, “obey”) the Word of God.

Tozer’s argument is brief, poignant, insightful, and hard-hitting, but encouraging. And, he presents seven major positions which he has carefully identifies as hindrances to the modern Church’s ability to function effectively as the First Church did. These are:

  1. The modern Church’s general lack of understanding, focus and commitment to its God-given mission, purpose, and work in the earth.
  2. Man’s failure to identify and carry-out his earthly duties, versus God’s duties.
  3. To carry out the instructions for godly living which God carefully provided in the Holy Bible.
  4. The lack of productivity in the modern Church, and resulting inability to demonstrate the fruits of God’s Word.
  5. The easily observable phenomenon that the lifestyles of many modern Christian’s looks more similar to that of their non-Christian counterparts than those of the early Church.
  6. The lack of outpourings of the Holy Spirit into the lives of the modern Christian Church, and some of the unscriptural teachings and beliefs concerning it which are held by many modern Christians.
  7. The lack of unity which is very evident and widespread in the modern Church.

Although this book was first published in the 1940s, its description of a modern Church which (1) fails to demonstrate the power of God, and (2) to take full responsibility for its own sinful actions, (3) confuses the Bible’s teachings on such foundational teachings as atonement, redemption, salvation, justification and grace, in order to justify a life which exhibits questionable morals, (4) and over-emphasizes the “grace” of God, (5) the lack of spiritual unity which is still widespread throughout the modern Church, and a plethora of other serious matters which ultimately result in  the generally, “powerless” modern Christianity which we can easily see, today— one that is in great contrast to the Christianity of the First Church.

“Paths to Power” is the first book by A.W. Tozer that I’ve read, and now, I expect to include his works in my home library because his approach to teaching biblical concepts seems to be simple, straightforward, and heartfelt. His passion for the Christian to truly know God is evident from the beginning to the end of this book. Moreover, his usage of plain and clear language makes this book usable and enjoyable for the serious student of the Bible, and for the person who is simply curious to know more about the Christian life.

I highly recommend this book to every member of every church, and to every Christian— especially to those who are members of, or are influenced by Western Christianity, because, with this book, Tozer is challenging and encouraging every person who considers himself, or herself, to be a Christian to undergo self-evaluation and to compare his, or her, life to the teachings of the Bible, and to make the changes in the areas of that life, as needed.

Bible, Christianity, Essays and Articles, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture

I Believe, But I Don’t Read

The Bible consists of 66 books. How can someone claim to bring honor to Someone who has never read about how to honor Him? How can someone call himself, or herself, a “Bible teacher”, but has never studied the Bible? How can we get in passionate debates, and discussions, on Bible passages and things we’ve heard others say about the Bible, but we have never read the Bible for ourselves?

For example, some of the people accessing this content probably have a Facebook page because this content was also published on Facebook. Did those individuals actually  take the time to read the Facebook Terms and Conditions before they began using Facebook? Whether, or not they read those Terms and Conditions, they entered into a contract in order to use Facebook. Who signs contracts, but doesn’t read them, first? The person who didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, but uses Facebook, does not know to what Terms and Conditions he, or she, has agreed. Each party of the contract has to give something up, and/or bring something to the table.

In the military, soldiers honor their countries because they took the time to study its customs and conduct and their environment constantly reminds them of those national customs and conduct. In school, my teachers new their subjects because they studied their subjects and usually, we had a classroom environment to constantly remind us of what we were learning. And in college, I wasn’t paying anyone to waste my time making comments on a subject which he, or she, had not studied.

Continue reading “I Believe, But I Don’t Read”

Bible, Christianity, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture

Those Christians & Stuff

I often come across YouTube videos and Internet articles through which people of different ages, and backgrounds, ask questions about Jesus Christ, Christianity, Christians, the Bible, the Church, church culture, etc., and other topics, as it pertains to these. It’s been on my heart to answer the questions through my blog, for now.

No, I’m not a pastor, or a clergymember. I am a Christian who studies the Bible and seeks to do what it says— and sometimes I get it right, and other times, I don’t, just like the Bible said would happen.

So, feel free to send any questions you may have on any of these, and other topics, and what the Bible says about them, and I will do my best to answer you. Also, I may have guest bloggers to respond to some of your questions, too— sometimes, they do a better job at explaining things than I do. Either way, we’ll post the responses to your questions on this blog.

The purpose of this page is just to help others to get a better understanding of Jesus Christ and Christianity and what the Bible says about them, and other things we deal with in life. Both Christians and non-Christians are welcome to post questions on this page.

You can send your questions to me at teyunatdarris@gmail.com, or post them in the comments section of this page. You are welcome to send your questions anonymously, if you’d like.

Check out this video, called, “What in the World is a Christian?” by Impact Videos Productions. Their YouTube Channel can be found here.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #17 – I’m thankful for forgiveness

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day # 16 – I’m thankful for creation

Genesis 1 The Message (MSG)

Heaven and Earth

1 1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Challenges

Day #9 – I’m thankful for peace

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).”

Jesus said these words before he ascended into heaven. So, then, what is peace?

People often think of quiet, calm and tranquility and happy times amongst people and even a joyous soul. While this can be descriptive of peace in one regard, the peace that I am talking about refers to the peace one has in the soul when tough times happen and life seems gloom. During these times, peace keeps a person settled and unwavering. It even helps them to stay comforted during and uncomfortable times.

This is the kind of peace which helps me to keep going despite what difficulties I might face. It keeps me focused. It helps me to not worry and it helps me to remember that God is with me— no matter what!

I want to take this time to reflect on the peace which God is blooming in my life:

God, I thank you for peace!

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed …” (Psalm 85:10)