Updated: Sep 7, 2021
In 2014 my family went to see a movie in theaters called God's Not Dead. This film follows the story of a young college student who has his faith tested by an atheist professor. The professor insisted that each of his philosophy students dispense with "primitive superstition" and begin the semester by writing down the words "God is Dead." Instead of betraying himself and what he believed, the student decided to accept the professor's alternative. He would defend the existence of God in front of his entire class, and if he failed, which the professor assured him he would, he would fail 30% of his final grade.
As a high school junior looking at potential colleges, this story struck home for me. I admired the courage that the student showed by standing up to his professor, and I silently wondered what I might do in the same position. I didn't have long to wait to find out. A few short years later, in my first year of college, I was faced with an atheist professor who tried to push his views on young college students. Now, he never had us write "God is Dead" on a piece of paper, but he would constantly undermine Christianity in his class. He even went so far once as to say that there was no evidence that the 12 disciples ever met Jesus. That claim was shocking enough, but even worse than his claim was the fact that I didn't know how to respond. I was mad at myself and felt like a failure as a Christian. All my years of studying Scripture, and still I got stumped by something that I felt I should have easily been able to refute. I came to the difficult realization that while I may have memorized a lot of Bible verses, the one thing I never learned was why I was a Christian. I realized very quickly that blind faith wasn't going to cut it in the real world, and if I wanted to be prepared to defend my beliefs, I needed to know why I believed them in the first place. It was an important lesson for me, one which I have taken to heart. The most important question you can understand in your life is "Why?" Why is how you begin to understand yourself. Understanding creates conviction. Conviction allows you to stand firm or, if necessary, change yourself to be in alignment with your convictions. When you are in alignment, you are at your strongest. Why is a hard question, but one you should never be afraid to ask.
"And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it." I Peter 3:15b
By Doug Guernsey
Your portfolio is trying to tell you something. Are you listening?
It is amazing the number of investors whose risk tolerance does not align with their portfolio allocation. "I'm aggressive" or "I'm conservative" is no longer adequate or suitable in today's investing environment.
How much risk do you feel comfortable with? How much risk do you need to reach your goals? How much risk are you currently taking? Your portfolio is desperately trying to tell you this and much more. Are you listening?
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Out of the Chaos
by Mark Matson
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