"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
When our valleys last longer than expected, the people we expect to be with us grow fewer and farther between. Take, for instance, the long road of grief. When we lose someone, there is an instant outpouring of support. The refrigerator fills with meals. Phones vibrate with texts. The ads in the mailbox get outnumbered by sympathy cards. The scent of lilies and roses permeates every nook and cranny of our home. Our front door becomes a revolving door as people come and go in order to sit with us, and possibly cry with us. Within a few weeks (or even days), the flow of support slows to a trickle. Life moves on, but the grief does not. And that, my friends, is one of many such valleys. Take heart, God will get you through your valley.
I've seen many signs in front of church buildings that read, "Come as you are," and often wondered what message they hoped to convey. I know that regardless of "how" I show up to services, God knows whether my heart is focused on Him or caught up in self.
I may come impeccably dressed while my heart is in shambles.
I wear threadbare clothes while possessing a heart receptive to God's discipline.
Our attire, whether stainless or shabby, might be able to create a certain impression on people, but it will not conceal from God the state of our hearts or our minds.
The deceitful and cruel nature of humanity molds many of us into skeptics. We have no desire to be duped into evil schemes. Investing, for example, often feels like an exercise riddled with doubts. Experts tell you to hang on to your Mutual Funds for 20 years and they will yield a decent increase. All… Continue reading Dangerous Doubts
Peter, having just been told in what manner he would die, wondered aloud what would happen to John. We like to know what is going to happen to other people. We wonder why they get the good stuff and we don't (or vice versa). We like to compare.
Comparison is not necessarily a bad thing. It has the potential to spur us toward better behavior, healthier choices, and/or much needed discipline. On the other hand, it may very well lead us to ingratitude, envy, jealousy, and depression.
We all fear someone or something. If anyone says they are totally fearless, they are either being dishonest with themselves (or you), or ignorant of the truth. Whatever or Whomever we fear impacts the choices we make every single day. If, for example, I drive close to or under the speed limit, it is not… Continue reading Does Fear Affect My Behavior?
God's timing rarely makes sense to us when we feel stuck in a holding pattern, or while we are waiting on Him to answer our pleas. God's timing rarely makes sense as we gape, open-mouthed at the swift decline of morality in our world. God's timing rarely makes sense to our limited mind, but it always makes sense to the perfect mind of God.
God has the power to take what is ordinary and make it truly extraordinary. Give every task---significant or insignificant---to the God who sees in secret.
This is part 3 of the series "Why are you making excuses?" To read the previous post, click here. This is a tale of two kings---two very real kings---from ancient Israel. Both kings made a choice to sin. Both received punishment for their sins. Both made apologies to God. Only one chose repentance. Our first King… Continue reading Does God Need Us to Make Excuses for our Sin?
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says… Continue reading Hope is rising (Day 18 of the #encourage marathon)