Human experience is a slippery concept. Because of its subjective nature people don’t often place great value in its rational potential or practical functionality. Yet, experience is fundamental to what it means to be a human person. So to speak of faith in nonexperiential terms is to misunderstand its human significance. With this challenge before us, today we address the topic of experiencing Christ’s sufficiency.
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”
Sometimes, we just need to close our eyes and remember the good. Maybe it was a carefree season of childhood years, a vacation at the beach, or simply a time not yet touched by suffering and loss. Do we relish those times with frequent recall of their joy or only lament them as over and done? We would do well to remember the past is never “just the past.” It retains an uncanny ability to influence our present and shape our future. Continue reading “Stewarding Memories”
There was a time when my faith was framed in rose colored glasses. I—like many others—did not understand how important disillusionment, suffering, and delayed answers would be for healthy faith. While Christian faith normally begins when we first dedicate our lives to Christ, it is easy to forget that what took place was only just that … a beginning. On that day we began the journey of learning how to surrender our lives to Christ. Continue reading “Unreasonable Faith”
At the testing of the thorn, divine grace turns my pain and tears to peace and joy.
I remember a bitter cold night in Missouri when I threw a cup of boiling water into the -20 degree air and saw it instantly turn to snow. The immediate transformation was amazing! The testing of the thorn produces a similar effect in us … something new and remarkable created from the ordinary and plain. Just as with the boiling water and frigid air so too must the conditions be right for the transforming work of grace. We must have a desperate need and a surrendered heart. Continue reading “Surviving Isn’t Enough”
Many desire the Rose … but the way of the Rose is the way of the thorn.
January is usually the busiest month of the year for gyms and fitness centers. New Year’s resolutions have a way of jump-starting motivation for change. As humans we do not usually lack for good intention; rather it is determination and perseverance that are often in short supply. Continue reading “Gritty Faith”
Only in hurt … that soil of weakness and brokenness, will the lovely rose grow, will My grace bloom.
Suffering is a crucible for our faith because it brings us to the end of ourselves. It takes what we cherish and steals it away. Broken hearts, broken bodies, and broken dreams … this is the soil of suffering. However, despite its appearance as a dismal wasteland, this ground is incredibly fertile for growing our faith. Continue reading “The Soil of Suffering”