Ryan Fraser, The Jackson Sun

Ryan Fraser

The Jackson Sun

Tennessee, United States

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Past articles by Ryan:

Our guidance needs to be effective

The Bible employs the terms “guidance” and “counsel” interchangeably. For example, in Proverbs 11:14, it says, “Where there is no guidance, the people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” A counselor is an individual who provides guidance. Sadly, the contemporary practice of clinical psychology has largely dismissed the importance of spiritual counseling. Gregory Alan… → Read More

Fill in the blank: Life is _________

If I were to ask you to fill in the blank following these two words, what word (or descriptive term) would you choose? Life is _________________. Your likely relates in some way to your own personal experience of life, including all its victories and defeats, ups and downs, and twists and turns. The Bible gives us a lot to chew on with regards to life and its meaning, challenges, and purpose.… → Read More

Counting down to 'Overcoming the Blues'

Well as I write this, today marks the one-month count down to my new book release, Overcoming the Blues. I’m very excited and, quite frankly, a bit nervous. This coming month will be filled with several national podcast, television appearances, and radio interviews leading up to the big day, Sept. 3. One of the bigger programs will be the “Intelligence for your Life” podcast hosted by John Tesh… → Read More

Defeating depression by serving others

Bailey Howell is an NBA legend and an All-American Hall-of-Famer. He was born in Middleton, Tennessee in 1937. Towering at 6’7”, Howell was a forward for Mississippi State University from 1955-1959. In fact, he still holds Bulldog records for single-game points scored, career scoring, and average rebounds. In 1959, Mississippi State won the SEC championship with Howell leading the charge. He was… → Read More

'Double vision' in our spiritual lives

Recently, Missy and I were visiting her parents in Kansas. Early one morning, I groped around in the darkness of our bedroom for my reading glasses. Upon finding them, I strolled into living room where I plopped down on a recliner and opened my laptop computer to do some reading. Right away I noticed that the words were blurry. My first thought was, “Oh-oh, my eyesight has taken a sudden turn… → Read More

How to deal with the repercussions of divorce

Most of our families have been impacted by divorce in some way. It is an incredibly painful experience. Dr. Trina Read has said, “Divorce is the death of a dream you thought was going to last.” Legal separation often occurs for legitimate reasons to innocent people who are caught in toxic, unsustainable relationships. For believers who fail in their marriages there is usually a deep sense of… → Read More

Personal benefits of praise

What is your favorite praise song? There are so many great ones to choose from. Some of my contemporary favorites include: “Mighty to Save,” “How Great is Our God,” “Blessed Be Your Name,” “Here I Am to Worship,” “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” and “In Christ Alone.” The Bible tells us to praise God. A few years ago, I discovered a wonderful acrostic for the… → Read More

The power of prophecy

Prophecy is a biblical concept that is filled with mystery, mystique, and misconceptions. Some religious leaders these days seem to push the notion way beyond the parameters set in Scripture regarding prophecy. So-called prophets may be found all over the Internet, particularly on social media sites. They claim to speak for God, alleging to be direct recipients of special divine knowledge and… → Read More

Meekness in an era of entitlement

We live in a day and age of entitlement. People in our secularized society are essentially spoiled. We have become accustomed to getting what we want. McDonald’s even has a slogan of “Have it your way!” I’m not sure they realized just how demanding certain people could actually be. Some folks have the idea that the universe owes them something and that they deserve special treatment. Social… → Read More

Forever changed at church camp

I would like to begin my column this week with a special greeting and my heartfelt appreciation to a very special person who, as far as I know, remains my oldest reader. I’m speaking of Mrs. Lois Yates from Lexington, TN, who is 106 years old. Her granddaughter, Cathy Maples, of Henderson reminded me about her wonderful grandmother earlier this week. Mrs. Lois, thank you for being such a loyal… → Read More

Gone missing in action

A few days ago, we celebrated Memorial Day. The original purpose of this national holiday was to remember and honor the brave American soldiers who lost their lives, while protecting our country and preserving our freedom. Sadly, the bodily remains of many of them have never been found and/or returned to U.S. soil. For instance, there are tens of thousands of missing military service personnel… → Read More

Imperfectly perfect through Jesus Christ

“I can’t get anything right. Nothing I do is ever good enough!” Some of us struggle with the issue of perfectionism in our lives. This draining and debilitating psychological condition is a losing proposition with no real up side. Those who are severe perfectionists are often maladaptively coping with their personal history of being raised in a very strict or unforgiving home environment and… → Read More

We're created to crave connection

By nature, God created human beings to be inherently relational creatures. When Adam found none of the other creatures (or animals) in the Garden of Eden to be like him, to be his equal, he felt alone, isolated, and disconnected (Gen. 2). That’s why God created a partner for him, a woman named Eve, who was his perfect match and companion. I often tell my counseling students that all human beings… → Read More

Healthy relationships don’t come easy

Are you a good friend to others? We were created for relationship! Relationship with God, others, and self – even a close connection to our natural world in which we live. It’s critically important for our sense of well-being and that of those around us. Good relationships require consistent hard work, careful ongoing maintenance, and a spirit of humility. It doesn’t make a difference what the… → Read More

Coping with loss and grief

The first major loss I can remember suffering in my life was the death of my paternal grandfather, Hugh Wyndham Fraser, a World War II veteran. He passed away when I was five years old in 1973. Though I did not attend the funeral, I vividly remember walking around by myself on the front lawn of our home in South Africa, while my parents were away at the service, and how sad I felt inside. I… → Read More

Praying in the Spirit

Prayer is an important topic often addressed in sermons and Bible classes at church. The why, when, where, who, and what are frequently outlined: (1) Why is it important?; (2) When is it appropriate?; (3) Where ought we to do it?; (4) Who should we pray to/through; and (5) What should we cover in it? However, something many of us have perhaps shied away from is the related topic of the how as it… → Read More

The Resurrection means new life

About a month ago, my wife and I decided to plant a beautiful Belle of Georgia peach tree on the northeast side of our home. When we selected the young seven-foot tree at Four Seasons Nursery & Garden Center in south Jackson, it was in pink flower—absolutely gorgeous. One of the friendly and knowledgeable managers, Adam Cyr, took time to carefully explain everything we needed to know about… → Read More

I’m feeling taxed!

I’m feeling taxed! → Read More

Yes! Jesus loves me!

Yes! Jesus loves me! → Read More

The meaning of fellowship

This week at mid-week Bible study, our capable adult class teacher, David Lynch, explored the biblical concept of “Fellowship.” It was a delight to learn from his wisdom and experience. He pointed out the theological importance of togetherness and unity in God’s eyes, and the biblical basis of our meaningful spiritual relationship with one another in Christ. Key scriptural texts – such as those… → Read More