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”
Some things can only be known by experience. We’ll never understand the meaning of “peace” or “love” or “hope” until we personally encounter these realities ourselves. No amount of books or courses will ever suffice until such things are actually known by experience. While few people would challenge the truth of these claims, why is it that we tend to be so hesitant to speak of the need for an experiential faith? For many, it’s as terrifying as facing uncharted ocean waters.Continue reading “Beyond the Fear of Uncharted Waters”
December in Brussels averages only a little more than one hour of sunlight per day. The days are short and heavy clouds rule the sky most of the time. Many people emotionally suffer from the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Doctors have a name for this condition, they call it SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder.Continue reading “Weather of the Heart”
Emotions are a mixed bag. They can take us to the heights of joyful bliss and the depths of human despair. For some, they are the spice of life and for others . . . humanity’s curse. Such unpredictability has earned emotions a reputation of bad news for the life of the mind. Yet, interestingly, recent breakthroughs in the cognitive sciences have redeemed the perceived cognitive value of emotions. Believe it or not, these findings actually bear directly on our understanding and experience of Christian faith.Continue reading “Rethinking Faith, Knowledge, and Emotions”
This week we launch our eleventh devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem.
When I am tossed,
When I am thrown,
And when I feel a little bit blue . . .
In the ebb and flow of my churning emotions
I hear His whisper in the wind,
“I am enough.”Continue reading “Devotional Poem: The Ebb and the Flow”
Controlling love is an oxymoron. The moment we try to control by means of love is the moment we cease loving. It matters not if our control has good intentions or is kind and gentle. We cannot and must not call this love. Therefore, love respects the other’s free will—to choose however deemed best. To manipulate or remove this choice is to simply confuse love with self-interest.Continue reading “Love and Free Will”
Human relationships rise or fall upon the currency of trust. Yet for so many, trust does not come easily. It’s difficult because it requires exposure; and few things are more potentially devastating than an exposed heart. Some people never move past such loss and most only do so with great emotional and mental effort. But if we’re willing, God can help us learn to trust again.Continue reading “Facing the Fear of Trust”
Human beings are intrinsically social. Our rich and complex relational skills uniquely distinguish us from any other creature on the planet. Regardless of introverted or extroverted personalities, humans are wired to be most complete when in relationship with others. Genesis 2:18 speaks of the importance of humanity’s social origins when God declared, “It is not good for man to be alone.”Continue reading “Love and Significance”
This week we launch our tenth devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem, applying Christian faith to relationships.
Light Hand or Tight Hand?
Light hand holds as only a steward.
Tight hand in idolatry grasps.
Light hand loosely holds, relaxes.
Tight hand fearfully grips, trembles. Continue reading “Devotional Poem: Light Hand or Tight Hand?”
Human life has an interesting relationship with change. When life is good, we fear it. When life is bad, we earnestly seek it. Change is uncomfortable and often inconvenient but life would literally cease without it. And in our most difficult times, it is change we tend to focus on as our life-line from troubled waters. Yes, as long as we are alive we can be sure that change is here to stay. Continue reading “Losing Control”