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…
How well can we know God?
The other night I was driving home and as I flipped on the Christian station, I started thinking about how I often feel a religious spirit on many Christian products and radio stations.
I love Christian music and I love Christian products. What I’m talking about is the spirit of religion that promotes performance and rules. People don’t intend this. But there is a power of darkness that can use people’s lack of understanding to operate through them. To put rules and regulations on others in the name of Christianity.
I was talking to the Lord about it and asking, “Why is that? What am I feeling?” I don’t want to be judgmental or attribute something to a religious spirit that really isn’t there.
I felt like He told me, that like the church of Laodicea, they are lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). I asked what He meant and He said, “They quote scripture by rote. They use them as platitudes.”
I asked why and He, “It’s because they think they know Me.” Read More…
What do we do when our Christian values collide with the world’s?
Last weekend, the hubs and I went away for a little R&R. We live in a rural area so had to drive a couple hours to get more metropolitan.
After one full day, we were starving. All the nice eateries were closed except one. As we weren’t in the mood for fast food, we pulled into the parking lot.
The woman behind the hostess station took us to our table and it was all we could do to keep our jaws off the floor. In shock, we then met our waitress and did our level best to keep our eyes above her shoulders. Read More…
I lack love. Do you?
During this election season I have had thoughts and emotions that are not reflective of my belief system. I’m so sorry for that.
How do we impact a nation, a city, a community when we focus on where we are “right” and others are “wrong?” Where is Jesus in that?
Where is Jesus in us?
How can we profess love and yet walk in such judgment and criticalness? How can I profess Jesus and yet walk in such judgment and criticalness of others?
This election has opened my eyes to my lack of love for those that disagree with me.
As God has opened my eyes to this in regards to the political landscape, he has brought it closer to home and focused my vision on how I interact with people in my daily life. Read More…
How do we walk connected to God’s goodness?
There are basic truths we agree on when we become a Jesus follower.
But beyond that security, what promises from Him are unfulfilled in our lives? And why?
How do we grab hold and walk in the freedom, the joy, the fullness that is supposed to be ours (Rom 15:13)?
I wonder if freedom becomes hindered when we don’t look beyond our natural vision.
There is a spiritual realm. Many of us ignore it, or only catch glimpses of it when we read scripture about a spiritual dimension we’ve never seen or experienced. Often because we don’t know what to do with it. Talk of the demonic scares us. And most of us haven’t been taught how to use our authority or the weapons described in the Bible (Eph 6:10-17, 2Cor 10:3-5).
We are most comfortable with the seen realm. What we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. But what if the unseen realm is just as real (or more so) than the realm we live in? Read More…
What is prayer exactly?
And does it really matter if we pray? Does it change the outcome of anything?
I think there are two paths to prayer, and the one we choose is determined by how we view God.
I grew up being afraid to ask my dad for anything. Afraid that he’d get irritated. He wasn’t that invested in our family and I felt more like a bother than a cherished daughter.
Yet, many kids run freely to their dads with their needs, certain of the love and acceptance he has for them. No fear of disapproval or shame.
Think about the last time you prayed for a need, big or small. Did you expect God to answer in your favor, or was it more of a wishful prayer?
I think for many of us there is a big gap between what our heads believe and what our hearts believe about God’s character and His promises. Read More…
How well do we love ourselves?
The recurring battle of my mind is with accusation. The enemy is stealthy and as soon as he sees a vulnerable moment, he slings an arrow toward my heart (Eph 6:16).
The accusations are against my value as a mom and my worth as a person—-that usually circles back to how I was as a mom.
Can I just say that I’m sick of the enemy’s attacks? Angry that I even get sucked into them. I know in my mind that all my failures are covered, my kids are loved and doing great, so why do I circle the drain of parental failure? Why do my mistakes continue to torment?
The other day I was on a run and God asked me to stop so He could talk to me. As I stood in the middle of the bike path He asked, “Do you know you’re loved?” Read More…
What is God’s desire for your life? Hardship, so you learn lessons? Or punishment for willful disobedience?
How many of us are ensnared by condemnation because we’ve done things we knew not to do? We wrestle with wondering how God can forgive us for something we knowingly chose.
Is the issue really about God’s forgiveness…or forgiving ourselves?
Some of my biggest struggles have come through not allowing God’s grace to wash over me. But instead, standing as judge and jury over terrible choices I’ve made. And then limping through life as a Christian cripple.
Smiling in church and smiling in the grocery store because I don’t want to appear as anything but a loving Christian. My focus leaning toward being a good witness rather than dealing with the lack of peace and joy in my life. Read More…
What makes God happy?
Many of us might say it’s our good behavior. That would be true if God subscribed to our reward-based system.
In our world, free gifts come with hidden agendas.
God doesn’t need what this world has to offer. He is not motivated by money, or power or acclaim.
So what is He motivated by?
I believe one of His greatest desires is to know and be known by us, His kids. Read More…
If we lived in Jesus’ day, who would we have hung out with? The Pharisees or the partiers?
Maybe we would say neither, reasoning that we aren’t legalistic, nor of looser values.
But Jesus wasn’t legalistic or lacking moral direction. Yet, he hung with the partiers.
Because he was drawn to their hungry hearts. And who wouldn’t want to hang out with the crowd that is laughing and having a good time, versus the one policing righteous behavior?
I doubt any of us want to fall into the ditches of truth without grace (legalism) or grace without truth (permissiveness). So why do we struggle? Why is it difficult for so many of us to walk in freedom rather than religious legalism? Read More…