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…
How much does God care about what we are going through?
He sees our difficulties and promises to never abandon or leave us. But do we believe Him or do we believe our emotions?
It’s pretty easy for the enemy to manipulate our emotions to feel abandonment and then whisper lies that God doesn’t care. “Because if He did, He would have…” fixed the mess, gotten us the raise, prevented our spouse from cheating…
What agreements are we making with demonic entities in this world?
Did you know that when you believe negative thoughts you are making agreements with darkness?
God never speaks unkindly of us, so who are we agreeing with when we speak unkindly about ourselves? Who plants unkind thoughts in our minds? Never God and rarely ourselves (Eph. 6:12). Read More…
Does God want us to become “less”?
How often do well meaning believers say we need to die…we need to become less so God can become more?
If He loves us so much that He would go through unimaginable agony to bring us back into relationship with Him, why would He want us to be less?
And what do we mean by that phrase? Or all the others that convey that only God is good and compared to Him we are bad.
If we are made in His image, and are clothed in Jesus, how can we be anything but good?
I’m not denying that we have stuff to work through, but why do we think it’s holy to put ourselves down…as if that is glorifying God? Read More…
How truly interested is God in the daily aspects of our lives?
Does He care that the light turned red and we are wasting our time waiting in traffic? Does He root for us in our sporting events? Does He care about the team we’re watching?
Or is His attention focused more on ISIS and the abandoned and starving in the world?
I think He cares about both. Not because professional sports and the atrocities perpetuated by ISIS are anywhere on the same level of importance.
He cares about us. He sees us, He knows us. He engineered the dreams in our hearts.
He wants us to partner with Him in the things we are passionate about. Read More…
Why do we struggle to feel significant?
I wonder if we lack true understanding of what it means that everything comes from God, goes through Him and goes back to Him (Rom. 11:36).
That means everything we need comes from God. And everything God wants for us comes from Him.
I think sometimes we believe that we have to work hard to be good, to do good and to bring God glory. But that belief keeps our focus on performing for God. That is not how His kingdom operates.
And when we believe that our good behavior is what brings God satisfaction and bad behavior His displeasure, where does that leave us? Operating out of fear of failing. How can we feel significant when we are faced daily with our inadequacies?
But … what if it’s less about what we do and more about how we position ourselves? Read More…
What lens do we read the Bible through?
And by lens, I mean what belief system? We all have lenses. They’re created by how we perceive the world, what we consider just and how we think others should be treated.
There are a myriad of factors that create the lenses we view life through.
But how do they affect how we read the Bible?
When I was young, my lens filtered life through perfectionism…a sense that my worth was very much tied to how I performed. Life was a gigantic test and everything was graded. Sin meant failure.
I took to heart where Paul said, “Be perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)
And where Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
I read these as commands and mandates for living a worthy and pleasing life to God. But it became an impossible burden of trying hard, seeing some success and then failing when my self-control couldn’t hold back some bit of fleshliness. Read More…
Are we connected to fulfilling relationships, or distant ones?
We live in a culture that is moving away from emotional intimacy.
Social media allows us to present what we want others to see of ourselves. It doesn’t foster transparency and vulnerability.
There are people who come across as being open and honest about themselves and their situations. But sitting in front of a screen and sharing your difficulties via wireless communication garners sympathy from “friends,” but it is several steps removed from real connection.
We feel good when we read supportive comments, but does it really meet our emotional needs?
I’m not trying to knock social media, as it can be a positive tool for staying in touch with people and learning about important social issues. But it shouldn’t be utilized as a replacement for true relationship.
I wonder if our world is full of lonely, lonely people who try to try to stave off emptiness through the connections they create online. Read More…
If we are designed to be overcomers, why aren’t we?
I think there are many reasons. One that comes to mind is how we choose to view ourselves and others.
I’ve gone through a rough patch lately where I haven’t felt connected to God. No sense of His presence. No joy. No real peace.
It crept up on me slowly, inch by stealthy inch, stealing parts of my existence. It finally dawned on me that I was no longer enjoying my life. Where there had been bountiful color in my soul, there was now grayness. Where there had been lightness in my heart and my step, there was a hardness that was settling in.
In the busyness that is life with three teenagers in sports, I didn’t have much time to ponder this change. Until I woke up one morning and realized all of my joy was missing. Read More…
What drives us?
Do we slow down enough to discover how we feel when there aren’t any “to do” lists staring at us?
Most of us are so busy we never discover how we feel at rest. Or we unconsciously know that to be still means anxiety or stress start stirring inside, so we never step off the hamster wheel of busyness.
So, are we busy because there is too much to do? Or do we stay busy because we don’t like being alone with ourselves?
Do we fill every square inch of our schedule because we feel most comfortable with activity and no empty spaces?
Why is that?
Have we learned to like ourselves, or has a society so bent on comparison infected us with the belief that we aren’t as good as we should be? Read More…