Where do we go from here?
So much hatred and division and turmoil and fear leaking out of us.
So. Much. Pain.
What matters most in all of it?
Unity. Love. Connection.
A heart that is open and listening. A willingness to see beyond the world we know, to the experience someone else has lived.
But it’s so hard to navigate the landscape in front of us when it’s filled with so many trigger points.
There are as many opinions and belief systems as there are people. Beliefs formed by family, heritage, history, socio-economic status, density and diversity of your city, and the region of the country in which you live.
How do we honor and understand each other when our vantage points are so vastly different? Read More…
You are liked by the One who spoke light into existence.
But He’s busy (we often think) and we’re busy, right? We might carve out a morning devotional. Read, pray, try to throw up more praise and gratitude than pleas for help or complaints.
But do we connect?
If we see ourselves as insignificant in the scope of all that God has on his plate…wars, famine, poverty, the sex trade, addictions, politics…then we might not fully understand the depth of his desire to spend time with us. One-on-one.
Does that scare us? Maybe a little? To imagine the gaze of Almighty God on sin-struggling and doubt-filled me. Read More…
This has been a year of introspection…and anger. The anger piece was a surprise. If someone had asked if I was angry with God, I would have given an adamant, “No. Things are great with us.”
That apparently wasn’t completely true. There was a story in me that I was unaware of. That hid behind a closed door.
An event happened that caused that door to get shoved open and spew anger all over my surprised emotions. Initially, my anger was directed toward the person center stage in this event. And then the anger traveled back, through my personal history, highlighting a few authority figures over the years whose inability to love well had wounded me. And finally the anger landed on the greatest authority figure in my life who had let me down in some of the worst ways. Read More…
How much of our thinking is built on a lie?
On a lens that is colored through our experiences and belief systems?
The lens we look through flavors everything.
Our lens is our bias.
There is a person on the periphery of my life that I struggle with. I’ll call him Ben. I care for him in the sense that I love and value people and I believe everyone has worth, but I just don’t like how he treats people or how he puffs himself up. I’ve lived the last handful of years believing that I’ve judged this guy pretty accurately and fairly. He’s valuable, but not very likable.
Then one day I was talking to God about my own journey and this is what He said to me: Read More…
What do we do about the baggage trailing behind us?
My daughter and I were visiting family across the state and went for a run in the beautiful farm country. We were running single file beside a country road and Brie yelled, “Oh my gosh!” I thought she must have spotted a snake slithering away. Nope. It was a goat.
So there we were running along single file, me, Brie and a goat.
It persistently followed us, its little hooves pattering along on the pavement as it kept pace with us.
We turned back and ran to the nearest house and found his owner. A couple mornings later I went on an early morning run by myself and when I reached that part of the country, I heard the patter of his hooves behind me. I thought if I ignored him, he’d give up. And after a few minutes I thought he had. Read More…
Why does it feel like God doesn’t hear our prayers?
Why does He seem uninterested in our lives? Why does life remain so challenging when we’ve pounded heaven for help?
The other morning as I prayed for my son on the way to school, I asked God to nudge him when an assignment was due. He is a good student, but struggles in this area. Later that afternoon he popped into my office and asked to borrow my computer for a big assignment he just remembered was due the next day.
It got me thinking. How does our belief and trust in God’s goodness aid His ability to answer our prayers? Read More…
Why doesn’t God bail us out of hard situations?
I was talking with a friend about a struggle someone we knew was having with finances. To help them out, my friend was considering forgiving a debt they owed him. But it felt like God was saying that He would not have my friend forgive the debt while the other person was in a poverty mindset.
That would keep the other person in self-preservation mode. It would be, “Whew! We got this taken care of.” But the heart issue wouldn’t be healed and the person would not be in a place of rest and trust with God.
And then it hit me. God doesn’t always rescue us out of difficulty when we are begging and pleading as orphans. We’ve heard the tough love counsel offered to parents of drug addicts. I wonder if that parallels God’s heart with us. Read More…
Maybe the question should be: Do we expect God’s goodness in our lives?
Our answer gives us a hint to whether we think His goodness towards us is dependent on our goodness to Him. So many of us think God’s blessings hinge on whether we do the right things.
Graham Cooke shares about a time in His life when he was being rebellious toward God and yet God kept blessing him. It was driving him crazy so he finally said, “God, you know I’m being rebellious. Why do you keep blessing me?”
God replied, “This is who I am, get used to it.” That moment broke Graham and brought him to the end of himself and back into Jesus’ arms.
I’m not making a theological point that we can do whatever we want and be assured of blessing. What I love in that story is seeing the nature of God. His goodness. Read More…
How do I know if I’m worthy of God’s love?
How often do we blow it? Said something we wished we hadn’t? Wasted time instead of being productive? Looked at things we shouldn’t have? Spent money we didn’t have? Lied? Cheated?
How does God look at us in our fragmented messes?
How can He be a holy God and not be disappointed in us? We cringe, so how can He not?
Most of us believe that God loves sinners. LOVES them. Died for them. Made a way for them to be free and love Him back.
But how do we view the sinner who stays messy? Who doesn’t get cleaned up enough to reflect Jesus well?
What does God think of saved people who still look like sinners?
I think most of us are uncertain of how God views us in our messy states. He did so much for me so why can’t I stop sinning…stop being petty…stop being critical… Read More…
Should the Bible be read or experienced?
What happens when scripture stays in our heads and doesn’t become an experience?
If I read the Bible for knowledge, I can know about God, but does that translate into knowing Him in an experiential way?
Is it possible that knowledge without experience doesn’t really help us?
We can’t know God through knowledge (logic). We can only know Him by the Spirit (Eph. 3:19, Eph. 1:17).
Information that remains in our intellect without an experience to ground it into our reality keeps us from fullness.
I believe that when our minds are filled with the knowledge of God without an experience of God, we often end up as spiritual orphans.
Orphans don’t truly know how their dads feel about them.
When we have knowledge that we’re loved but we don’t experience that love, we tend to believe we’re on our own. Read More…