If you don’t decide what your past means, other people will do it for you. You have the power to claim who you were, who you are today, and who you will be as one narrative of God’s work.

Jed Brewer on episode 35 of the Say That podcast

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Long Distance Relationships

Anonymous asked:

I have a friend, a brother in Christ who is currently attending medical school in a different state. He is interested in a girl from his hometown but they live hundreds of miles away from each other. What are your thoughts on starting to date with a long-term relationship? How would you advise him? (Essentially, they may see each other once or twice a year at most, for about the next three or four years)

I answered:

It would be a lot of work and a lot of complication with no guarantee that it would work out. That is, however, an accurate description of every dating relationship. 

Obviously long distance dating is not an ideal situation, but if your choice is giving it a shot versus sitting around wondering if you should have given it a shot, then it is the better option. Long distance relationships takes a ton of patience and logistics. Things like texting, skype, facetime, and cheap flight websites make it possible.

Every relationship has complications and headaches. They are sustained when both people decide that the upsides of being in the relationship are worth those things. A long distance relationship needs an extra dose of that resolve to make it.

There is no such thing as a risk free relationship. If you wait around for a relationship that doesn’t have a possibility of failure from the jump, then you will be waiting forever. Not to say that you should just blindly jump into a relationship. You should have expectations and standards for how you are treated, and the kind of person you want to be with, absolutely. But there is always risk in getting into a relationship. The question is: do you think you have found someone worth the risk?

Going into any dating relationship, there is a fear that it might not work out. On the other hand, there is hope because they might work out. You can’t let the fear drive your decisions. People of God act, they don’t react. If you want to give this relationship a shot, then pray to God, take a chance and dive in. What you must not do, is let the fear dictate your life to you.


-Matt from The Bridge

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When you reach a moment of crisis, you reach for something to get through that. If you reach for anything but God, you know that isn’t going to work, you know it is going to turn into something bad. So the only way to justify that decision is to convince yourself that you have no choice because God hates you. That is of course not true, God loves you perfectly and infinitely, but that moment of buying into the lie leads to bad places.

Glen Fitzjerrell (Unka Glen) on episode 35 of the Say That podcast

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I Want to Go Deeper With People At Church

Anonymous asked:

Hi! Um, okay I have a few issues but I will just give you one. I really want Christian friends, not that I don’t like my non-believing friends, it’s just when I am around them I start to cuss and do not so nice things. However, I hold so much inside, I feel like I am about to burst! I want to talk to my leader but I don’t wanna bother her, and the other women in my lifegroup, seem so perfect and seemingly happy. Everyone approves of them. I feel like dirt because I’m not as pure. Help?

I answered:

What I see in this question is a couple of good ideas held back by a couple of wrong ideas. So if we can clear up those untrue things that are standing in the way, we should be in good shape.

It is right and natural to want Christian friends. That doesn’t mean that you hate your secular friends. If Jesus is important to your life, the most important thing in fact, then it makes perfect sense to want community with folks to share that interest. That is right and it is biblical. It is not sad or pathetic or any other negative label we may put on our perfectly healthy desire for community. So that is a good instinct.

The lies that are holding you back are:

  1. these people don’t have real problems like I do and 
  2. they are not interested in getting to know me.

No one is as perfect as you see these women as being. And if they are squared away, they probably got that way by making mistakes and coming out the other side. Everyone who is willing to be real can relate to the struggles of other’s and maybe even offer some hard won wisdom. God is pure, people are not pure, no people, anywhere, ever. They have problems and struggles and doubts just like you do. And they need some community and encouragement just like you do.

The leader of you lifegroup signed up to be leader of a lifegroup, so she is indicating that she is willing to talk. She is the leader of a lifegroup of which you are a member, so even more so. Just because someone hasn’t offered doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to.  You have to speak up and take the chance sometimes. If they are not interested in being friends than you are no worse off than you are now. Much more likely, however, is that you will find people much more like you than you think. It is worth the chance.


-Matt from The Bridge

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If someone is manipulative or shaming in the dating phase, you don’t even want to imagine what marriage to that person would be like. And it is perfectly okay to declare “this is done.” There is the right person out there, but you can’t stick with the wrong one out of fear.

Jed Brewer on episode 35 of the Say That podcast

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Major on the Majors and Minor on the Minors

shouenlovesidn asked:

I’ll be frank and just cut to the chase. A friend of mine is a Christian, but she also believed in karma and other spiritual rituals to cleanse/evade bad karma and stuff like that. I understand it since she was raised in such culture, but does it count as idolatry?

I answered:

This is a classic case of a ministry principle we have here in Chicago called “Major on the majors and minor on the minors.” What I mean by that is that yes, any belief in karma is theologically incorrect, it doesn’t seem like that necessarily has a huge negative effect on someone’s life or walk. We all have some idea of karma, the idea that doing good things will bring good things, though most of us don’t call it that. And while that is theologically incorrect, I doubt it is many people’s main spiritual problem.

The rituals to cleanse bad karma sound a little strange, but we probably all know people who fling salt over their shoulder or do some other such thing to avoid bad luck. We rarely accuse them of breaking a commandment. The word “karma” may be what is unique about this situation, but some, though certainly not all, peoples use that in a largely non-religious sense.

Idolatry is when something draws our worship away from God. The prime biblical example is the golden calf that the people bowed down to. So unless your friend is putting faith in karma that should be being put in Christ, such as looking to karma to fulfill her needs or cleanse her sins, then it is probably not a massive deal. 

The things much more likely to become idols in our lives are things like jobs, relationships, education, and money. Those are things we can see in the physical world and that we can fool ourselves into thinking will meet our needs and give us worth. That seems to be a more pressing danger to most of us. For now, if your friend loves Jesus but has some weird superstitions that fill in the gaps, that would seem to be fairly minor assuming it doesn’t detract from their relationship with God. 

Everyone has so many struggle in their walk, and if we blow the little things out of proportion then we lose focus on the bigger things. To grow in our walk we need to set our sights on the big things that will get us moving forward and let the other stuff go until we get to it. Major on the majors and minor on the minors.


-Matt from The Bridge

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Episode 35 of the Say That podcast is up!

We talk about dealbreakers in relationships, cutting, and being a Christian who has issues with organized religion.

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