Human experience is a slippery concept. Because of its subjective nature people don’t often place great value in its rational potential or practical functionality. Yet, experience is fundamental to what it means to be a human person. So to speak of faith in nonexperiential terms is to misunderstand its human significance. With this challenge before us, today we address the topic of experiencing Christ’s sufficiency.Continue reading “Feeling our Faith”
Fear is a gift. Our capacity to fear is necessary for human survival and flourishing. It can protect and propel us to do what we never believed possible. Yet, not all fear is created equal. It can also devolve into something entirely other—a destructive force stealing our joy and hijacking our hopes. Unfortunately, most tragic of all is that often we are unable to discern the difference between fear as friend or foe. Why?Continue reading “Freedom from Fear”
This week we launch our twelfth devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem.
This, that, these!
I need them all,
I need them please!
When these jewels are finally mine,
This life, oh yes, will be divine!
One of the greatest challenges to Christian faith is learning how to overcome the disappointment of unanswered questions. Here the Christian faces the glaring interrogation, “Will you believe even if you don’t understand?” This question strikes at the very center of our faith—choosing to believe in spite of rational certainty. Such resolution is, itself, necessary for taking up the call to Christian surrender. Continue reading “Faith’s Defining Moment”
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”