Q & A with Pastor Mark Haines

A place for heartfelt, honest answers to your questions from a caring pastor

Category Archives: Relationships

How Can the Gospel Be Good News to Gays?

It would be very easy for some to dismiss any answer to this question that I might present.  However, this link will take you an answer generated by a man who is fighting and winning this battle.  Check it out.  How Can the Gospel Be Good News to Gays?.

Let his conclusion challenge you to a deeper faith and confidence in Jesus.  He declares,

There is a huge amount to say on this issue, but the main point is this: the moment you think following Jesus will be a poor deal for someone, you call Jesus a liar. Discipleship is not always easy. Leaving anything cherished behind is profoundly hard. But Jesus is always worth it.”

What do you need to leave behind to follow Jesus more closely?  No matter how hard it may seem to be, remember this, “Jesus is always worth it.”

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Is God lost?

imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What does the Bible mean when it talks about “seeking” the Lord?

If God’s address is with broken people why do I need to search for him?

I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands. (Psalm 119:10)

You’ve experienced this idea of seeking in all of your growing relationships.  Parents and children seek to know and understand each other.  Friends spend time and energy in order to know each other better. Read more of this post

Debates between Christians

This is a good thought provoking post from my friend Seth Caddell. Debates. | Life As Experienced.

3 Things Your Spouse Needs to Hear and You Need to Say

3 Things Your Spouse Needs to Hear and You Need to Say

'Bride and groom' photo (c) 1927, George Eastman House - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

These simple heart felt statements will deepen your love for each other.

I Did

At our wedding ceremony, I chose you to be my spouse.
I promised to live with you according to God’s holy Word.
On that life changing day, I promised to love you,
to comfort you,
Read more of this post

How to Tell Yourself the Truth

As a Christian, how can I develop a healthy self-image?

Image: Dundee Photographics / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

THE PROBLEM:

Very few people have an accurate and healthy view of themselves.

THE SYMPTOMS:

When you receive a compliment what do you do?  Have you ever caught yourself thinking or saying something to cancel it out?

  • “You wouldn’t say that if you really knew me.”
  • “You just said that because you feel sorry for me.” Read more of this post

Tried, Tested and True: 10 Steps to a Great Life

Do the Ten Commandments have a role in the life of today’s Christian or are they outdated?

'The Ten Commandments' photo (c) 2008, George Bannister - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Here are my three reasons for believing the Ten Commandments have a role to play in your life as a follower of Jesus. Read more of this post

Peace and Joy

Today is the twenty-second day of the Advent season. The theme of our fourth week is PEACE.

Credit: Free images from acobox.com

Prepare to Hear God’s Word

In the Bible, peace means more than the absence of conflict and violence.  Peace is the presence of everything humans need to live as God created us to live.  Jesus is the Prince of this kind of peace.

Read & Listen for God’s Voice

The early church debated about whether eating meat offered to idols as a sacrifice was permissible for committed followers of Jesus.  The apostle Paul made this declaration to both sides of this discussion.  Read this statement aloud several times.  Focus your attention on the words surrounding “peace.”

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.   Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  (Romans 14:17-19)

Read more of this post

What is forgiveness?

What is forgiveness?

Forgiven!

Forgiveness is turning the anger and bitterness caused by a hurt over to God. Read more of this post

Making a Real Apology

My parents taught me to say, “I’m sorry” as I grew up.  Now that I’m an adult I want to know how to make a real apology when I hurt someone.  How should I apologize?

That’s a great question.  Christians should be experts at apologizing.  It will keep you humble and prevent you from doing hurtful things.

A real apology does not…

  • A real apology does not blame the one you hurt.  This is not an apology: “I’m sorry my words hurt your feelings but you were really getting on my nerves.”
  • A real apology does not accuse the other person of being too sensitive.  This is not an apology: “I’m sorry you were offended by my actions.”
  • A real apology does not make excuses for your offense.  This is not an apology: “I’m sorry I hit you but I was tired and hungry.”
  • A real apology does not make promises you cannot keep.  This is not an apology: “I’m sorry and I promise to never hurt you again.”

A real apology does...

  • A real apology does admit that you were wrong.  This is a real apology: “I was wrong.”
  • A real apology does accept responsibility for offending the other person.  This is a real apology: “I was wrong to treat you like I did.”
  • A real apology does recognize the pain you caused the one you hurt.  This is a real apology: “I was wrong to say what I said.  I should not have hurt you like that.”
  • A real apology does keep the message simple.  This is a real apology: “I was wrong to disrespect you as I did.  I must have hurt your feelings.  Will you forgive me?”

Credit: Free images from acobox.com

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Is it easy for you to say, “I was wrong”?  Why?

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Something Important Happened Today

A few years ago, I read a post on Ordinary Attempts, by Carmen Andres, that prompted these thoughts on what is truly important.

My perspective on the important events of life is distorted.

When I hear that something important happened in the world today, I often wondered what news item I had missed.  “Was there an earthquake?  Was there a turning point in the war on terror?  Did scientists find a cure for cancer?  What big event have I failed to spot?”

God’s outlook stands in contrast to my inclination.

He looks for simple, ordinary acts of service done by His people.

  • When a Christian helps a neighbor with a chore, God’s kingdom of love and grace expands.
  • When one of His children takes the time to listen to someone, Jesus touches the speaker.
  • When you hold the door for another person entering a store with you, the Holy Spirit is free to work in his or her life.
  • When a Sunday School class prays and studies together, lives are transformed.
  • When a man, woman or child turns to Jesus, the angels in heaven throw a party to celebrate.

These events seldom make the evening news, but God notices them every moment of every day.

You and I can be involved in the important happenings in the world today.

Never underestimate your simple, ordinary acts of service.  You are sharing Jesus’ love and building God’s kingdom.  We can prepare for bed each night knowing that something important happened in the world during the day because God’s love touched someone through us.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

What was the last thing you did to share Jesus’ love by simply serving someone?

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Credit: Free images from acobox.com

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