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”
Embrace me not as the unfortunate place of the unlucky few, a place for others but not for you.
After we lost our baby girl, Isabella, I remember thinking, “This shouldn’t happen to us. We’ve devoted our lives to God. We’re good people … we don’t deserve this.” I was stunned that God allowed it … and angry He hadn’t intervened. Continue reading “The Merit Trap”
Over the next several weeks, we build on the theme of spiritual brokenness through reflecting on last week’s video, The Place of the Broken Beggar. To read the full text of the poem or see the video again, click here.
When all is said and done… when nothing else remains… when all is stripped away, there I stand naked and alone… naked and alone.
Continue reading “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
In our journey towards holy desperation, we now consider the posture of spiritual brokenness. As with holy desperation so too must we realize there are two kinds of brokenness—spiritual brokenness and earthly brokenness. Continue reading “Rethinking Brokenness”
Over the past months we have talked about the importance of holy desperation for a vibrant faith and living hope. We explained such desperation as an attitude of surrender to God. While holy desperation rubs against the grain of human independence and self-sufficiency, we’ve learned that the kind of faith and hope for which we yearn cannot be earned… it must be given. So, for such a treasure, what can we be but desperate for God to deliver? Continue reading “Faith and the Power of Posture”
Christians believe that God is sovereign in the affairs of life and death—no one or nothing is more powerful and absolute. This belief can help us find hope in times of trouble because God’s purposes are never threatened or thwarted by anything… not even suffering. Yet, let’s not confuse such confidence in divine sovereignty with a naive faith. Towards this end, two clarifications are needed. Continue reading “The Mystery of Christian Suffering”
A lifestyle of distraction is not learned in a day… neither is reversing its trend. We concluded last week by introducing “baby steps” as a way to begin standing against the power of distraction. Such efforts may initially seem insignificant—30 second prayers, 60 seconds of stillness, or short walks unplugged from technology. Nevertheless, with persistence we can find the freedom we seek. But, how can we stay motivated for a freedom we haven’t yet fully experienced? We need a foretaste. Continue reading “Quiet Time and Sacred Space”
I am prone to distraction. Such is frequently observed by my family every time I attempt to walk past the television. How about you? Distraction is embedded into the very fabric of our culture. Google, video games, cable television, bill boards, commercials, and myriad other sights and sounds daily call for our time and attention. Our economy even depends on it. Every day, businesses and institutions vie for our interest in buying their goods and services… each one trying to convince us we need what they have. Sadly, we’ve become so used to the noise, we rarely even recognize what we’ve lost. Continue reading “Lifestyles of Distraction”
Last week we emphasized the importance of knowing the purpose and limits of cultural Christianity. When Christians fail to gain such knowledge, they set themselves up for great confusion and disappointment… expecting something of their faith it isn’t able to deliver. This week we consider the vast difference between cultural and biblical Christianity. Continue reading “Surrender”
The failure to resolve the eighteen-inch dilemma paves the way for the second obstacle of holy desperation—cultural Christianity. When our head and heart are not integrated, we become susceptible to settling for a faith driven more by social expectation than true devotion to God. Continue reading “Cultural Christianity”