What is hope? Contemporary understanding typically identifies it as a wish, desire, or an optimistic feeling. Thus, for many, hope is a powerful motivator. People have endured incredible suffering and hardship because hope of a better future blazed in their hearts. Yet, millions every day experience profound disappointment when unforeseen obstacles prevent hope’s realization. And so, the age-old quandary remains of whether it’s better to hope and be disappointed than never hope and be spared the grief. Unfortunately, such a dilemma is all too real for many Christians today.Continue reading “Rethinking Hope”
Category: Christian Spirituality
Knowing in our Guts
In the ebb and flow of my emotions, I hear His whisper in the wind, “I am enough.”
My wife and I awoke once more to another pummeling wave of grief and sorrow crashing through our minds, “Oh God, why . . . why . . . why?” Though it had already been several weeks, we still could not make sense of the premature death of our baby girl, Isabella. Every medical report was positive all the way up to week 21, then at a routine sonogram the devastating news was still echoing in our minds—“I’m sorry . . . I can’t find a heartbeat.”Continue reading “Knowing in our Guts”
Rethinking Faith, Knowledge, and Emotions
Oh frustrating ebb and flow! Why do you trick me with your ways? One day your waves of wanton joy, the next your waves of weeping woe!
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”
Love and Free Will
Light hand knows confidence. Tight hand knows fear.
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”
Seeing With the Eyes of Faith
I now can see, I have new eyes.
Faith is a mystery, plain and simple. It is not dependent upon what is seen yet it is able to influence what we see. As human beings we tend to believe what we see but as Christians we are called to believe what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). So what exactly is the relationship between faith and sight? Continue reading “Seeing With the Eyes of Faith”
The Rich New World of Holy Surrender
The next several weeks of blogs will be based on our most recent animated reading, “Nothing Changes but Everything is Different.” Click here to see the full text and watch the video.
Nothing changes but everything is different.
The service was charged with excitement as the preacher man picked up the microphone and yelled, “God is good!” Then raising it towards the crowd, they all screamed back, “All the time!” Upon which the preacher repeated, “All the time!” And the crowd returned, “God is good!” Continue reading “The Rich New World of Holy Surrender”
Acquiring a Taste for the Holy
Standing in the place of stillness . . . no other place I’d rather be.
The place of stillness is like a treasure in the rough. Sometimes it’s hidden in plain sight among the common and ordinary. And even when we find it, it may not seem so extraordinary at first. But this can change . . . if we are willing. Continue reading “Acquiring a Taste for the Holy”
Reclaiming Our Souls
The place of stillness is a mirror, reflecting the condition of our souls.
Sometimes life comes to a screeching halt. Movement and noise suddenly cease as the weight of stillness tangibly presses in upon us. This surreal state of mind can be triggered by personal crises or it can randomly roll over us as though appearing out of nowhere. Regardless how it comes, this “place of stillness” is often a place of awakening and revelation. Here we “remember” that we are more than flesh, blood, and bones. We possess an inner life . . . a life of the soul. Continue reading “Reclaiming Our Souls”
Silencing the Soul
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”
Rediscovering the Wonder
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”