Like it or not, disappointment plays an important role in our journey of faith. Our reaction to disappointment offers a window into the quality of our devotion to God. It reveals how committed we actually are while dispelling inaccurate ideas of a more unwavering faith. Unfortunately, in our zeal to follow Jesus we often profess a kind of surrender we really don’t yet know very much about. But how can we? This is the way of faith. Our growth is progressive. Continue reading “The Transforming Fires of Disappointment”
Many people who yearn for a deeper and more relevant faith often fail to realize such hopes because of their inability to reconcile their faith with their experiences of suffering and loss. Suffering strikes at the heart of our faith because we wonder how God would possibly allow such affliction upon those who’ve trusted him with their lives. If we’re not careful, this question of theodicy (why an all-powerful and all-loving God allows suffering) will literally strangle our faith. Continue reading “When Faith Feels Unwarranted”
The “illusion of control” is the propensity to overestimate our ability to control life events. It presumes that given enough resources, patience, and understanding we can craft the kind of life we desire. Scripture, however says something very different about the nature of control: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Continue reading “Facing the Illusion of Control”
Cherished memories are among the most precious gifts one can possess. The clearer the memory, the more powerful its effect. So too with our faith when we’ve encountered the presence of God; such memories remind us that the God who met us yesterday is the same God who yearns to meet with us today . . . and tomorrow. While our faith is not based on such experiences, they do have a profound way of motivating us to diligently nurture the health of our souls. Continue reading “Restoring the Hunger”
Where You and I are set apart, in the chapel of my heart.
We carry within us a world of unrelenting noise. This never ending stream of regrets, ambitions, hopes, and fears is so pervasive it’s hard to imagine our lives without it. Though we may experience unexpected moments of inner silence and peace, we usually presume they’re too infrequent and random to count on. Surprisingly, however, such times often leave us so impacted we find ourselves yearning for more and wondering if maybe . . . just maybe they don’t have to be so infrequent after all. Continue reading “Silencing the Soul”
The next several weeks of blogs will be based on our most recent animated poem, Chapel of My Heart. To see the full text or watch the video, click here.
To my room I would go; I’d talk to God and share my woes.
We live in an age when notions of “spirit” or “spirituality” are often presumed irreconcilable with a scientific (otherwise, true, real, accurate) understanding of the world. Such ideas reflect a “materialist” worldview—the belief that human life and experience are ultimately reduced to nothing more than the material effects of our molecular and chemical components. Continue reading “Rediscovering the Wonder”
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 is our privilege – through us blows his sound.
Gratitude is a quality we often assume we’ll have when we finally get what we want. Yet, time and again, rather than grateful, we find ourselves frustrated and disillusioned after the gaining of our goods. Like any other virtue, gratitude requires the intentional investment of time, energy, and resource. The grateful heart has learned to slow down and resist the restless urge of more in order to cultivate the necessary space needed to appreciate what has already been given. Yes, the change we need begins with gratitude. Continue reading “Gratitude Changes Everything”
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”