We are all beggars, all beggars indeed. But, the beggars who live are those who learn where to find the bread and water, who know the Hand that feeds us all.
“I’m not a beggar … I’m a child of God!”
“Why all this talk of begging when God has given us the privilege of sons and daughters? Isn’t Christian salvation more about elevating than demoting our standing before God?”
These very questions reflect how much our perception of salvation is skewed by an unyielding focus on ourselves. Continue reading “Facing Beggar’s Shame”
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”
On this ground the masquerade of our condition is revealed for the farce it is, While our broken reality is finally exposed… fully laid bare.
The place of brokenness is the ultimate equalizer. Whether rich or poor, strong or weak, loved or hated each one has come to the end of their road… such is the naked truth of brokenness. Until then we fight tooth and nail to keep up our pretenses that all is well… that this world is enough. Continue reading “A Necessary Deconstruction”
Over the next several weeks, we build on the theme of spiritual brokenness through reflecting on last week’s video, The Place of the Broken Beggar. To read the full text of the poem or see the video again, click here.
When all is said and done… when nothing else remains… when all is stripped away, there I stand naked and alone… naked and alone.
Continue reading “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
This week we launch a series of animated readings of various devotional poems I have written. The poem will be followed by several weeks of blog posts related to the poem. A new animated poem will be launched about once a month. We hope you enjoy this new venture! If you like what we have done, please share with others through your social media outlets.
Continue reading “Animated Reading of The Place of the Broken Beggar”
Christians believe that God is sovereign in the affairs of life and death—no one or nothing is more powerful and absolute. This belief can help us find hope in times of trouble because God’s purposes are never threatened or thwarted by anything… not even suffering. Yet, let’s not confuse such confidence in divine sovereignty with a naive faith. Towards this end, two clarifications are needed. Continue reading “The Mystery of Christian Suffering”
We have talked a lot about rightly choosing our desperation and how critical this is for cultivating hope. Yet, we must also understand that the impact of this choice extends beyond our own immediate circumstances. When we respond rightly in our dark night, in that very moment God is already beginning to redeem our loss. He not only brings us hope but he intends to do the same through us for others. Continue reading “Wounded Healers”
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”
Heaven—a place of eternal life and unspeakable joy in the presence of God. Salvation—assurance of entrance to heaven upon death. Unfortunately, these popular, though oversimplified, definitions have given rise to a theology of heaven that is little more than eternal-life insurance. Truly the doctrine of heaven can be a source of hope and assurance, especially when motivation for Christian perseverance is lacking. Yet, for me, such hope has always been as elusive as helpful when I have struggled to find a hope for today… right now in my present earthly reality. Continue reading “Rethinking Salvation”