One of God’s strategies for curing me of my chronic terrible sin of impatience is the same strategy he used for the people of Israel in the centuries before Christ. By asking his children to wait a while for his better time, he gives us far more than we could have done on our own. On my own, with my resources, at my speed, I could generate a trickle. By waiting for God, by dialing into his agenda and timing,... Read More
It’s crazy how deeply empty a lot of people feel these days. Do you pick up on that emptiness? Do you notice it around you? You probably feel it yourself to some degree. We have so, so much that fills every piece of our lives—things that fill our closets, time, pantries, minds, attention, inboxes, garages, and on and on. Unfortunately, the more we try to fill ourselves with those things, the more empty we feel. No amount of earthly stuff... Read More
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:5-8).
It is heartening to... Read More
Only a few energetic and disciplined people over the age of 30 like how their bodies look. The rest of us need help. By now you’ve encountered Hans and Franz, two (comic) Austrian bodybuilders in lumpy gray sweats, who have one goal in life: they want to pump . . . you up.
Your spiritual life will sag at times during your life as well. The apostle Jude (not a comic at all) was aware from personal experience how out... Read More
One of the Christmas story accounts is found in the book of Luke, chapters 1 and 2. Luke claims he’s writing a historical account of Jesus with complete accuracy and integrity so we may know the certainty of the things we’ve been taught.
As he begins, Luke makes it sound like he’s writing a history:
“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah . . .”
Luke mentions King Herod. We know Herod was... Read More
This past October, I talked in church about sex. For four straight weeks.
If you’re doing the sermon math, that was over two hours of me opening a Bible and talking about sex and God in church. To singles and couples. Toddlers and teens. Dating and divorced. Widows and newlyweds. Everyone.
As I reflect back on that month with our church family, there are a few lessons I’d love to share with you:
-God’s People Talk Back—Very few people in... Read More
You weren’t planning to spend all day in an auto repair shop. You weren’t planning on a connector flight getting canceled and having to fork out for an unexpected hotel stay in a city you didn’t want to stay in. You weren’t planning on another child, on having to find a job again, on having to be single again so soon.
Life happens. We try so hard to be organized and control things, but our plans sometimes just blow up.... Read More
Juliet could barely tear herself away from Romeo. “Good night! Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight, till it be morrow.” Going their separate ways is a great way to heighten anticipation between two lovers. It is also a high stress moment though, because we all know how many things can go wrong before the two might be able to meet again.
Parting involves risk. Love sometimes cools off. Things change. One lover might lose... Read More
In the United States, we’re not used to children dying—and that’s a good thing. From 1980 to 2016, the death rate in the United States for children ages 1-14 dropped significantly, so we’ve become accustomed to declining death rates. While that’s a good thing, each one of those deaths still represents a devastated family who hates being part of the statistics.
(And let’s be honest, miscarriages and adult-child deaths aren’t part of these stats, so there are even more hurting... Read More
To their surprise, church members in Poettmes, Germany, found a real, newborn baby in the manger of their nativity scene near the altar. The mother was located but said that she couldn’t care for the baby. She left him there, hoping that someone else could.
God sent his newborn Son into the world not with the hope that people would care for him, but with the promise that he’d care for us. Yes, save us. “For the grace of God... Read More