7 links worth seeing

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Full-Time Job

As the school year comes to a close, 2014 graduates enter an uncertain time. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before my first full-time job that your campus career center won’t tell you.

Singled Out in Church

I love the church. I love that I grew up in the church. Because I love the people who cared for, prayed with, loved, and taught me during this time, I grew up considering church as family. That is, until my place in the church—or in the family—became less defined.

Why We Should Say “Yes” to a Culture of Marriage

While promoting pro-growth economic policy (as the authors propose) is important, retreating from marriage is not the answer. Restoring a marriage culture is essential for the welfare of men, women, and children.

7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know about

A look into the some of the scariest Apps for your kids.

Spite Is Good. Spite Works.

Psychologists are exploring spitefulness in its customary role as a negative trait, a lapse that should be embarrassing but is often sublimated as righteousness, as when you take your own sour time pulling out of a parking space because you notice another car is waiting for it and you’ll show that vulture who’s boss here, even though you’re wasting your own time, too.

Reality check on sexual temptation

The sight of a beautiful woman has special power to hold men captive. The atmosphere changes when a good-looking lady enters a room full of men. This will always be the case and it’s not entirely wrong. God designed a natural attraction between the sexes. It’s a universal reality and arguably essential to our survival. But what is natural is easily perverted in the hearts and hands of fallen people. Attraction degenerates into lust and leads to sexual immorality. People get hurt.

Sex After Christianity

Gay marriage is not just a social revolution but a cosmological one.

 

Relationship 101 Class (audio)

For more than 20 years, I’ve been teaching a class to help singles with one of the most important decisions of life: How to choose a mate.

We’ve had about a thousand singles take this class! To get a taste of what I teach, I recorded the third session from last Sunday evening.

4 Bases for Attraction

  1. Looks
  2. Personality
  3. Common interests
  4. Shared beliefs, values and priorities

Stages of relationship

Acquaintance > Friendship > Dating > Exclusive relationship > Engaged > Married

Steve Cornell

5 links worth seeing

“… kids respond positively to praise; they enjoy hearing that they’re talented, smart and so on. But after such praise of their innate abilities, they collapse at the first experience of difficulty. Demoralized by their failure, they say they’d rather cheat than risk failing again.

Most jobs require us to interact with others, working as a team to achieve stated objectives.  How we approach this interaction provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel actively working in and through our lives.  This interaction also provides an opportunity to invest in the lives of others in a mentoring relationship that demonstrates how biblical manhood translates to our everyday lives.

Here are eight suggestions for making the most of your not-yet married life.

“In contemporary America,” says Anthony Esolen, “condemnation of pedophilia rests on sentiment and not on moral reasoning. Nobody can simultaneously explain why pedophilia is so vile and uphold the first commandment of the sexual revolution: Fulfill thy desires.”

In my article on the Ten Most Hated Jobs, there were some surprises. There are also some surprises in the ten happiest jobs, as reported a General Social Survey by the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago.

Worship Video

Last night, I was privileged to speak at the Navigators chapter of Millersville University. About 80 university students gather in our Student Ministry Center which is walking distance to the entire campus.

It was a great evening and 22 students signed up for my Relationship 101 class (aka. Dating, Engagement, & Marriage class). Half of those who signed up were guys! 

It will be my 21st year teaching the class on how to make the marriage decision one of your best decisions.

I determined many years ago to work hard at preventative ministry in this area. We meet for 7-8 evenings starting Sunday night, October 6th (8-9:15 PM) at 58 West Frederick Street, Millersville, PA. 17551. Please prays for this class. We already have 35 signed up!

Check out the video that they played last night at Navs to prepare for worship:

18-29 Year olds

For more than 28 years of ministry, I’ve worked with those in the life-phase of emerging adulthood (or, adultolescence).

Over the last decade, I’ve observed some significant changes in this age group that align with many of the conclusions reached by sociologist Christian Smith in his book, Souls In Transition, The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, (Oxford University Press).

Smith’s work focused on Americans ages 18-29 and his observations on the way young people think about moral, political and religious opinion generally align with my experience.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in this area but after many years of ministry working with this life-phase and raising four children to adulthood, I offer 10 suggestions for ministry as a means to better serve those we care deeply about. I also welcome feedback (correction, expansion, explanation, etc…).

Steve Cornell

Prescription for great relationships

 

This one is for married couples and for singles who are looking for true love.

I often tell people that it takes work for marriage to work. It’s one thing to be in love and another to love someone for life.

We tend to want everything to be easier than it often is and end up missing out on the deeper blessings by giving up too early when we face difficulties. I don’t say this to encourage anyone to stay in an abusive relationship. Or to settle for one that is wrongly matched up.

Once married, however, a couple must intentionally resist complacency if they desire to thrive in their relationship. Doing this requires more than will power. There must also be a shared standard to reach toward.

I believe that one of the best standards is  found in I Corinthians 13:4-8. Here we learn how love behaves in relationships. Here we find God’s prescription for great relationships.

Here is love that protects relationships from destructive conflict. This love opposes bitter rivilary. While playful rivalry is not bad and can be fun, troubled relationships are almost always plagued with some form of ugly and divisive rivalry.

Revisit true love:

  1. Love is patient: It is long-suffering. It restrains anger when provoked. Patience is more than passive waiting. It’s active restraint that rests in God.
  2. Love is kind: It reaches out in good will with acts of care for others. Love patiently forebears and in kindness — actively pursues. Loving people are distinguished by their kindness.
  3. Love does not envy: It does not resent the blessings of others. Envious people engage in rivalry. The envier gloats over the harm or misfortune of the one envied. She delights in evil.
  4. Love does not boast: Love corrects the desire to call attention to self. A loving person is not a windbag or braggart. He does not parade himself. Love is willing to work anonymously. It needs no stage, applause or recognition.
  5. Love is not proud: not puffed up; not arrogant; not full of oneself. A loving person does not think more highly of himself than sober judgment dictates (Romans 12:3).
  6. Love is does not dishonor others: It is not rude. It is respectful of others.
  7. Love is not self-seeking: It does not insist on its own way. It is not self-absorbed.
  8. Love is not easily angered: It is not easily agitated nor easily provoked. Loving people are not hot-tempered, short-fused people.
  9. Love keeps no record of wrongs: Love seeks forgiveness and reconciliation. When hurt badly, this part of love is hard to practice. 
  10. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: This rules out gossip, slander, and delight in the downfall of others.

The grand finale: Love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.

Using a staccato of four verbs with repeated emphasis on how love brings everything under its influence, we learn that, “there is nothing love cannot face” (NEB).

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (NLT). Love is tenacious and faithful. Love is brave and noble; it never fails.

Love is “the most excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). “These three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13). “Over all virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

God’s love was put on display when he loved unworthy people like you and me. For “when we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus gave us a great example of love by coming into our world and humbling himself for our benefit. The Creator became a creature; the King became a servant; the Shepherd became a lamb;  the High Priest became the sacrifice, the sinless one was made sin for us that we might be acceptable before God in Him! (see: II Corinthians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:3-10).

Steve Cornell

Hurt by a broken relationship

If you’ve been hurt by a past relationship, I encourage you to learn from your experience.

    • Take inventory with the help of a wise friend or counselor who can offer godly perspective.
    • Make changes in your life that will help you become wiser in how you approach relationships.
    • Remind yourself that bitterness and standing aloof from intimate relationships locks you in a prison of fear and loneliness.
    • Acknowledge that a choice to love is essential but vulnerable. 
    • Explore some of the deeper issues in your relationship with God as the providential Ruler of life.
    • Recommit to Psalm 62:1-2 “I find my rest in God alone. He is the One who saves me. He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.”
    • Finally, think more deeply about love.

Cultural understandings of love are too often shallow and self-absorbed. Love is more than emotion and infatuation. Many people could minimize some of the hurt by abandoning cultural distortions of love.

Returning dignity and even toughness to love is essential if we hope to stop the tide of broken relationships in our culture.

Love is a value and commitment word

To love someone is to value them. “I love you” could be rephrased, “I deeply value you.” Love is also a term of devotion or commitment. “I love you” in this case could be rephrased, “I am devoted to you.” To say, “I don’t love you anymore” should be understood as, “I choose not to value you or remain devoted to you.” Too often we use the language of emotion in saying, “I just don’t feel love for him or her anymore.” In this case, a person makes himself a victim of love incapable of controlling the outcome. This is profoundly misguided.

Love focuses on others and is not a term for selfish people to use. Love is not valuing people for what they do for you. This is the opposite of love. Love seeks what is best for the one loved — even if it requires doing or saying what the loved one doesn’t want to receive. This is essential to understand and apply. To love someone is also to seek what is best for that person as God defines best. Sometimes this will mean confronting a loved one rather than being an enabler to selfish attitudes and actions.

If love is mature, of course, it will overlook many little offenses and be full of grace and forgiveness (I Peter 4:8). But Love cannot thrive where dishonesty and deceit exist. It’s simply not loving to allow a loved one to remain on a path of self-absorption and self-destruction. When love fulfills this tougher role, it’s often be misconstrued as being unloving. Expect this response when dealing with manipulative and selfish people but be strong enough to see through it for what it is.

Loving others must always be based on God’s definition of what is best.

Love from God’s perspective is self-giving to the point of getting hurt. God loved unloving people like us and His choice to love hurt Him. Scripture says that, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s love for us is the example to follow and the basis for our security when we choose to risk loving others (see: Romans 8:38-39).

It’s one thing to be in love; it’s another to love someone for a lifetime. The most secure way to love is to modeled our love after God’s love. When we know that we are deeply secure in the love God has for us, we won’t tend as much to seek from another human being the love that only God can give to us.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Before entering a love relationship with another person, please be sure to first deeply experience what was written by the apostle John, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love” (I John 4:16).

My prayer for you:

That you will: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3:1).

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:16-20).

Steve Cornell

See also: How to Move from Forgiveness to Reconciliation