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.
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.
Salty droplets shimmered in the moonlight on the surface of the cool wood flooring. Not so far above them, a young woman rested her cheek on her forearm, tears still streaming from her eyes. Every few seconds a soft moan of pain escaped her lips as she remembered how she had been snubbed by her… Continue reading Has Anyone Let You Down Lately?
Suffering is frequently linked with the word "why." Why do we suffer? Why does God allow suffering? Why me? Suffering triggers an immediate desire to understand why. When sin entered the world suffering came along for the ride. We have seasons of peace, seasons of prosperity, and seasons of pain. Even in the good seasons,… Continue reading Patience, Even When Suffering Doesn’t Make Sense
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.
Two things never cease to amaze me: 1) How quickly life moves from calm to chaos 2) How God consistently provides—especially in the chaos. The last five days of my life have been like something from a comedy show. If I were watching myself on TV, it would be hilarious. It's one of those segments… Continue reading If Chaos is Controlling Your Family
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
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
Today, many of us will be gathering with family or friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. To be candid, I approach the holidays like a soldier living in a war zone---I just want to survive. The pressure to meet expectations, make people happy, shop frugally, cook perfect meals (or sides), make… Continue reading My best thought for Thanksgiving, and always.
My week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I had everything scheduled. I made a to-do list. I knocked out tasks left, right, and center. I even got a head start on my writing. Unfortunately, everything unraveled with some unexpected events Thursday morning. Like a Jenga tower, all my carefully crafted plans came crashing… Continue reading Am I listening?