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”
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”
The next several weeks of blogs will be based on the animated reading posted last week. To see the full text of the poem or watch the video again, click here.
In seeking to possess what it never could own the flute lost the life that once it had known.
The grass is greener on the other side … so we tell ourselves. Why do we struggle so much to be satisfied with what we have? I’m not talking about resigning ourselves to abusive or dead-end circumstances nor denying the importance of hard work to better our lives. I’m addressing the sin—the sickness—of selfishness. Like the flute, we not only love the song … we want to own it. Continue reading “Called to Indulge?”
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”
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”
Around 2000 years ago, a religious leader asked Jesus which was the greatest Commandment in the Jewish Law. He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Ever since, the church has emphasized loving God as fundamentally central to Christian faith. Even today, faith is born, nurtured, and fueled by the knowledge that God loves us. Continue reading “The Desperation Shift”
Suffering and grief take a brutal toll on the human person. Such times have a way of shaking us to our core. All that is unnecessary and peripheral is leveled as the truly important is left standing firm. Discrepancies between mere professions of belief versus its actual living out are soon apparent when ones sense of security is unalterably shaken. Thus, there is no better crucible for hope than suffering. Continue reading “The Crucible of Hope”
The following story shows how an expectation for answers can kill faith, if we let it. Four years after Emily and I married, we were blessed with two sons. Four years later, God blessed us with a baby girl. On December 18, 2008 Isabella Grace graced this world… unfortunately she was only 21 weeks old. In the hospital room we held her lifeless body and bitterly wept. Continue reading “When Faith and Grief Collide”