Nathan Tiemeyer

Author Archives: Nathan Tiemeyer

10 Words to Build Your Life On

Ten words. Two biblical sentences. That’s enough to give you a solid foundation for your life.

They’re words that are pregnant with truth and power and grace. They summarize the the remedy for your greatest problem and the sure hope for lasting peace and joy.

What are they?

The Hidden Influence of Your Social Media

Have you ever had a negative reaction to a politician or business who you thought was paying too much attention to public opinion instead of doing the good/right/admirable thing?

If you’re a social media user, you could be guilty of the same thing…without realizing it.

As reported by NPR, researchers recently monitored the brain activity of several teenagers as they looked at what appeared to be an Instagram feed. The feed contained the subjects’ photos, as well as photos that were presented to them as having been taken by their friends. The latter were actually selected by the researchers themselves.

And what did the study find?

You’re Being Watched (and That’s a Good Thing)

Do you realize that you’re being watched? At work. At school. In your neighborhood. At social events with your friends. At the grocery store and in the PTA meeting. At your kids’ sporting events. Maybe even at home.

No, I’m not talking about some Big Brother conspiracy. I’m simply pointing out the fact that people outside the Christian faith often have a front row seat to your life. And whether you realize it or not, what they see contributes to their view of what it means to believe in and follow Christ.

Now, if you’re like me, this is a bit unnerving. I’m not always the best representative of the Christian faith in my words and actions. On the other hand, it’s also a tremendous opportunity. Why? Because people often need to see that faith in Christ “works” in real life before they will consider embracing it for themselves. Seeing people they know living out their faith with integrity and winsomeness can provide motivation and vision for them to do the same.

And this leads me to three important points:

Wrestling with the Old Testament Holy Wars

In his sermon this morning, Ryan briefly talked about God’s command for the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites upon their entrance to the Promised Land. If you’d like to read more about how to understand this difficult and sobering chapter of biblical history, I’d invite you to look at a short series of articles I wrote a few years ago called “Wrestling with the Old Testament Holy Wars.”

Part 1 deals with a challenge to Christianity from a well-known atheist regarding this episode, while part 2 and part 3 discuss several biblical considerations we need to keep in mind as we process God’s command.

You Are Not the Boss of You

When it comes right down to it, who really is in charge of your life? Who calls the shots?

It’s become very common in modern America to answer in so many words, “I do.” We believe that no person or group should be able to tell us what we can do or say or think. And as the following video suggests, we seem to increasingly believe it’s even legitimate to define aspects of our own reality:

My aim here is not to debate who should use what bathrooms. It’s to encourage us to ask a larger question: should we trust in our own devices to direct and define our lives as we see fit?

Do You Really Want a God You Can Always Understand?

Maybe you’ve had a situation in your life that’s made you genuinely question God. A family member with a terrible illness. A broken relationship. A job opportunity that seemed perfect, but didn’t work out or brought you a lot of misery. Whatever the specific details, it’s just hard to see what God is/was up to.

Or maybe it’s something else, like a news report of refugees fleeing war and unrest. They need food and shelter. People are dying, including children. How could God allow these things to happen? Isn’t he good? Isn’t he powerful enough to prevent these things?

It could be an issue with something else you’ve been taught about God that’s simply tough to understand. How can God be three distinct persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and still be one God? How does that work?

The truth is, there are many things in life related to God and his ways that are, to say the least, difficult to wrap our minds around. And that can lead to searching questions. And those questions can lead to uncertainty, frustration, and, in some cases, even fear and anger.

So what do we do when find ourselves in this kind of situation?

How Do We Keep Following Christ As It Becomes Less Popular with the World Around Us?

I’d be far from the first person to suggest that following Christ is becoming more difficult in our country, and the trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon. While the vast majority of Americans still identify as Christians, the truths that actually define historic, biblically-rooted Christianity are becoming increasingly out of step with our mainstream culture.

That’s no reason to panic. Throughout history, the Christian faith and those who hold to it have often thrived while in the cultural minority. But we should think carefully about what our changing culture entails if our goal is to follow Christ in a biblically faithful way in the days and years ahead.

Glenn Harrison, the Head of Department of Psychiatry at University of Bristol, UK and a Christian, helps point us in the right direction. Here are four key observations from his recently published book, A Better Story: God, Sex, and Human Flourishing: