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.
"God never gives you more than you can handle." Have you ever heard this phrase? I hear it frequently applied to difficult circumstances, but I believe it is untrue. It is a misuse of 1 Corinthians 10.12-13: Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you… Continue reading Does God allow us to face the “impossible?”
I saw you on Sunday morning. I watched you walk down the aisle at least three times. On the first trip, you held a squirmy baby in one arm and a diaper bag in the other. Your second exodus involved a recalcitrant toddler, howling like a wolf at the moon. You made your last… Continue reading To The Parents with the Squirmy Kids at Worship
What do you do when your prayers feel ineffective? Maybe you've had this problem. Maybe you haven't. I'll be honest. In my time as a Christian, there have been moments of doubt as to the productiveness of praying because the enemy kicked me back down as soon as I stood up to fight. Imagine having… Continue reading When Prayer Feels Counterproductive
We often hear people say, "I am blessed." Often, this is expressed in reference to prosperity, health, children, or peace. Indeed, our "blessings" come in diverse and unexpected shapes. In the book of Numbers, Aaron and the priests were instructed to bless the people in this way: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to… Continue reading Beautiful Blessings
When asked, “Would you die for someone you love?” most would answer affirmatively. If you ask a Christian, “Would you die for Christ?” you will again get a hearty “yes!” And yet, how often do we fail to sacrifice our little wants, needs, and desires for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our God?
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. ~ Proverbs 14:15 ESV A few years ago my spouse and I were driving to San Diego. Because of the labyrinth of freeways that make up Southern California, we had the GPS (Global Positioning System) running. I knew generally how to get where we… Continue reading Am I Intellectually Lazy?
Parenting is inconvenient. Yes, I just said that. Once you have a child, your life will be forever changed. You will be humbled. Humiliated. Screamed at. Loved with abandon. Squeezed with unimaginable strength by those little arms. Amazed. Shocked. heartbroken. Overwhelmed with love. Filled with a newfound awe for your own parents. Unfortunately, once the baby… Continue reading Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?
When I was a green seventeen-year old beginning my first year of college, I went through an orientation week affectionately called "WOW week" (aka Week of Welcome). In one of our mandatory sessions, the Dean of the College of Sciences asked us the following: How many hours did you study in high school? Do you… Continue reading What are Your Study Habits?
Some may ask why the resurrection is essential to our faith. Why can't we just believe Jesus was a good teacher and follow His teachings? Why does it matter whether He had divine power? If there was no resurrection, what do we have beyond this life? If there was no resurrection, our Savior has no… Continue reading Why The Resurrection Matters