The Crucible of Hope

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”

When Faith and Grief Collide

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”

Faith, A Radical Mindset

So, are you addicted to answers? To not be, is the exception because we live in a culture that depends on this addiction. In the fields of science, business, finance, education, and the like, answers are essential for success. Answers to problems and challenges serve as road maps to accomplishment and wealth. Therefore, answers are cherished resources and to be without them jeopardizes ones success. Continue reading “Faith, A Radical Mindset”

The Gift of Disillusionment

I was a 23 year-old youth pastor feeling the winds of transition blowing across my life. Not knowing the “what” or “where” of my new season, I began praying for direction. Soon afterwards, I met a missionary who invited me to join him in some exciting work he was doing in Mexico. Believing this was an answer to prayer, I accepted the invitation, said goodbye to my family—not knowing when I would return—and boarded a plane for Monterrey, Mexico. Continue reading “The Gift of Disillusionment”

Emoticon Spirituality

400551-610x610-1369060605-primary.EmojisEmoticons… at the click of a keystroke emotional transparency has never been easier! 🙂 If only this were true. ): Unfortunately, humans struggle with emotional honesty. Not unlike the use of emoticons, we can be too quick or slow to admit our true emotional state, especially in our relationship with God. Today we’ll look at what it means to be honest with God about our emotions and how this directly relates to hope. Continue reading “Emoticon Spirituality”

Choosing Your Desperation

How can theodicy questions lead us closer to God? They foster desperation because the answers to such questions will never be fully grasped this side of the grave. Our suffering and others’ suffering will always be shrouded by the mystery of “Why”? It is at this dead-end where our response will take us either to a place of earthly desperation – resulting in hopelessness, depression, and exasperation – or to a place of holy desperation – resulting in faith, hope, and confidence in God. Desperation (earthly or holy) always involves the feeling of hopelessness. Continue reading “Choosing Your Desperation”