The end of another year is swiftly approaching. Articles and social media feeds will soon overflow with the intentions/resolutions/words for the New Year. It leaves me wondering how many people are continuing to carry out those plans they initiated this past January? Do they make a strong finish or do they even remember what they… Continue reading Finishing Strong: December 2021 Scripture Writing Plan
The last two years have been quite the "adventure." Usually, adventure triggers images of excitement or glamour, but there is also the little matter of discomfort and even danger---near-death experiences, large bugs, deadly snakes, dehydration. diseases. Adventure is not all it's cracked up to be. I remember lamenting the lack of exciting historical events as… Continue reading Trust in the Lord: September 2021 Scripture Writing Plan
"Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Because we live in this fallen world, we will have moments when we look back with sorrow and look around in worry. It's a natural reaction to the heartaches we face. When we first moved to West Texas, everyone was so friendly. Complete… Continue reading Faith Looks Up: Scripture Writing Plan November 2020
What do you do when you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know what to do? I’ve been there a few times. I’ve had moments during this current lockdown where I have felt depressed because I feel alternately frustrated and helpless. 6 million people have been put out of work. Investment portfolios have been ravaged. People are… Continue reading What to do when you don’t know what to do
Hail violently pelted my car. Knuckles white and body tensed, I gripped the steering wheel, gently apply pressure to the gas. I expected a window to bust out at any moment. I couldn’t find any place to safely shelter. Cars sat stubbornly beneath the overpasses, leaving anyone stuck behind them with nowhere to go. My… Continue reading Riding out the Storm
"Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.... they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful." Mark 4.7, 18-19,… Continue reading The Danger of Apathy
"I" problems are nothing new.
There's a lot of discussion regarding the "I" problems among Christians today, particularly in a culture still learning to navigate social media. So much emphasis is placed numbers---number of likes, number followers, number of shares, dollars earned, etc. The "self" focus has become even more pervasive. It's slipping into Christian music and books. It's becoming deeply ingrained in church culture, particularly in America.
It's time to shift our focus.
We carefully construct plans for our vacations, finances, homes, futures, etc., only to have them violently overturned in an instant. Our disappointment is only rivaled by an intense feeling of helplessness as we watch smoke rising from the charred remains.
"The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew..."
You may (or may not) have noticed fewer blog posts lately. Many of my own careful plans (including blogging) have been repeatedly upended this year. So, if you're feeling a bit frustrated, I'm right there with you!
So what can you and I learn from the ashes of our ruined plans?
Within our congregations, and even the broad spectrum of the "Christian" community, there are people who are considered "pillars" by virtue of their status, deeds, or popularity. They might be the individual who brought us to Christ, the preacher in our local church, or a widely respected speaker or author. Sometimes these pillar-people are dear friends or members of our own family. Pillars all have something in common: they are human, just like you and me.
As a child of God, you are swimming against the current. If you try doing this alone (without Christ) it won't work. You will fail. We need Christ---His power, His wisdom, and His saving grace. Jesus also established the church so we would have support from fellow believers.