Mercy and grace . . . two heavenly gifts that make all the difference for human life on planet earth. A tangible awareness of these gifts is essential for our walk of faith. We’ve talked much about grace because we love the gifts God bestows but what about mercy? Continue reading “A Severe Mercy”
Your will not mine is my sacrifice.
There was a time when my faith was framed in rose colored glasses. I—like many others—did not understand how important disillusionment, suffering, and delayed answers would be for healthy faith. While Christian faith normally begins when we first dedicate our lives to Christ, it is easy to forget that what took place was only just that … a beginning. On that day we began the journey of learning how to surrender our lives to Christ. Continue reading “Unreasonable Faith”
The next several weeks of blogs will be based on our most recent animated reading. To see the full text of the poem or watch the video, click here.
Change me O Lord, every part …
Just as in the voting booth so too in our personal faith … the greatest force for change begins not at the highest levels of leadership but in the hearts of ordinary people. When national change is needed we tend to look to heroes and leaders while often failing to take serious the incredible potential for change we already carry within us. The kind of change our country needs will not occur until—as Christ followers—we first become desperate for God to change us. Continue reading “Desperate for Change”
This week we launch our fourth animated reading. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem. If you like the video, please share with others.
His music gave life and hope to the world.
Few things are more fulfilling than being an instrument of hope in the life of another. God is the master musician and when we allow him to play his music through us we release songs of hope to a broken world. However, just like the flute, we too can stifle God’s song when we refuse to deal with our brokenness within. For we cannot give out what we do not have. Nor can we attain what we need if we’re not first honest about what we lack. How exactly do we begin? Continue reading “Instruments of Hope”
I must soak you and scrub you and scour you smooth – then, only then will you be what I made, an uncluttered channel of My mercy and grace.
Fortunes are risked, friendships jeopardized, and families destroyed when selfishness rules the heart. Whether obvious or hidden, our addiction to self-interest is irrationally stubborn to change … even when it is detrimental to our well-being. Selfishness is deceptive because it promises what it can’t deliver—fulfillment apart from God. Self-centeredness is no respecter of persons. It infects babies, the young, old, rich, poor, bright, and dull. No one is immune to this deceptive vice. Continue reading “Empty Promises”
For the sealing of its holes made it sadly deceived, claiming the echo inside was the real thing indeed.
Have you ever felt totally confident and content one moment and the very next, overwhelmed with uncertainty? How is this possible? You’ve been hijacked by doubt. Such ambushing is especially true in our relationships because doubt challenges the very trust on which they are built. This is the story of the flute and I think it is often ours as well. As Christians, the festering question takes root in our hearts and threatens our faith, “Is God really enough?” Continue reading “Hijacked by Doubt”
This week we launch our third animated reading. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in the poem. If you like the video, please share with others.
At the testing of the thorn, divine grace turns my pain and tears to peace and joy.
I remember a bitter cold night in Missouri when I threw a cup of boiling water into the -20 degree air and saw it instantly turn to snow. The immediate transformation was amazing! The testing of the thorn produces a similar effect in us … something new and remarkable created from the ordinary and plain. Just as with the boiling water and frigid air so too must the conditions be right for the transforming work of grace. We must have a desperate need and a surrendered heart. Continue reading “Surviving Isn’t Enough”
Child, child, love the Rose. Embrace your thorn as faithful friend.
If ever there were opposites it would be thorns and roses—pain and pleasure. Loving the Rose is one thing but embracing thorns as a friend … now that’s something entirely different. How could I ever relate the pain of our thorns with the blessing of a faithful friend? Continue reading “Wounds of a Friend”