As our car pulled out of the church parking lot on Sunday, all five of us spotted a cloud of smoke billowing on the distant horizon. My oldest daughter’s voice rose in panic from the backseat. “Do you think our house is on fire?!” My husband, in his calm reassuring manner, replied, “No, honey, it’s… Continue reading If You Worry About It, You Can Pray About It
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5.22, ESV Have you ever prayed for patience? What happened? In my experience, whenever I have asked the Lord to give me patience, He answered by providing opportunities to develop patience. I wanted the actual… Continue reading The Trouble With Praying for Patience
Elijah sat in a dark cave brooding over the current state of affairs in Israel. He had rejoiced as he watched God's power thunder from heaven onto Mount Carmel, validating the Almighty’s supremacy over man-made Baal. The long-awaited revival of Israel seemed imminent. But that woman... The word of one wicked woman toppled Elijah from… Continue reading If You’re Doubting God’s Plan
Picture in your mind a handful of Christians within the last century whom you admire. It could be people you know personally or people you have read about. What makes them admirable? Why do you look upon them as giants in the faith? Is it a quality about them? Their actions? Their teaching? Who did… Continue reading Don’t Undervalue Dutiful Service
There is a misconception that we have to feel love before we show love lest our behavior be disingenuous. Do our relationships require action or are they simply nebulous connections based on even more intangible emotions?
Several years ago B.K. (before kids) my spouse and I hosted a "Singing in the New Year" party. We invited people to enjoy food, games, and offering praise to God as the new year ushered in. Out of the forty people we invited, only half showed up. We had a fantastic time and the twenty that showed up suggested we do it again the following year. The other half that didn't come said the invitation had not been sent early enough and they already had plans. It seemed a plausible excuse, so the following year, we sent out the invites immediately after Thanksgiving, requested RSVPs, and sent out a reminder about a week before the party. We still had a great turn out, but the people who didn't come the first time still didn't RSVP until a few days before, saying, "oh, I already had plans." If they already had plans, why didn't they send their regrets when the invitation was sent a month before? Oh, the sting of weak excuses...
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?
Throughout my years of being a Christian, I’ve attended thousands of worship services. I’ve listened to sound and engaging preaching, endured a fair number of confusing sermons, sung countless songs, and watched the behavior of fellow Christians. I am ashamed to admit there are more than a few services from which I leave saying, “I got nothing out of it.” I frequently blamed the preaching, the song leading, the members nodding off, my own exhaustion, the failure of others to acknowledge my existence, but rarely did I do the thing that really needed to be done. Instead of saying, “I got nothing out of it, I should have been asking, “What did I put into it?” When we feel like we are leaving worship “unfulfilled,” it’s time ask ourselves some hard questions.
Some would say blame-shifting is a popular trend these days. It does seem as though our society promotes this idea of abdicating accountability. Despite what we think, people have been making excuses since the first man and woman. Apparently, nobody ever likes to be caught doing something they shouldn't, or failing to do something they… Continue reading Why are you making excuses?
According to the popular YouVersion Bible App, “the bible verse that was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted most often by the global Bible App community in 2017” was Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you… Continue reading For those who are struggling with fear