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…
Does the Spirit of God point out our sins or does He call us deeper into Him?
My experience of Jesus is that He calls us deeper. When you go deep into God’s heart, when you hunger for more of His presence and pursue intimacy with Him, those things that don’t belong start falling off.
Who wants to gossip when you’re immersed in His love? Who wants to judge when you understand how much He’s forgiven you? Who wants to tear down others when you feel His love for them?
When we let Him satisfy our hunger and heal our wounds, those demonic invitations and habits just fall away.
If only we could see as God sees. All that is going on around us and in us.
With our finite perspective we trip up on what we see with our eyes. We often don’t practice developing discernment or asking God for wisdom (James 1:5).
We so want Jesus to come back for a Bride that is without spot or wrinkle. We so want the church to be spotless that we often pull out our Pharisaical spray ‘n wash. “Let me help you with that spot. Just stop behaving that way. Be more disciplined. Pray more. Read the Bible more so you stop struggling with addiction and porn.” Read More…
Can scripture fulfill our need to connect with God?
I grew up in a Bible-based church. I had a lot of scripture in my head—–God is love. God is good. It’s the kindness of God that leads to repentance.
But I felt like an imposter. I looked and sounded like a good Christian, but I felt so alone. I didn’t feel closely connected to God. So I did what many people do when God seems distant—–I tried harder. I faithfully read my Bible. I worked diligently on my behavior, careful to not sin so that God would draw near to me and not leave me alone.
But I felt that I’d been left out of the big secret. Everyone at church looked smiley and happy, talking about how great their kids were doing. How good God was. How they were just trusting God when things were difficult.
What was their secret? How did they have this trust in God? I was faking it, trying to make it. I could say the same things. How good God was. How He had His hand on my life. How I trusted Him when things were difficult. But I didn’t feel connected to Him. I really didn’t trust Him. Read More…