(A re-examination of a previously-published post from 2007)
It was a poignant conversation that probably ended too quickly. I’m sure it called for a little more tenderness and empathy than I was offering at the time. But hey, at least it was honest.
“I was saved at age 6, and Spirit-filled at age 9,” she said plaintively. “Now I don’t even know there is a God. How do I get my faith back?”
I blurted out an answer that distressed more than blessed…
“You start by showing up.”
I’m sure that wasn’t the answer she was looking for. But I still think it’s true.
When it comes to peace or healing or restoration or growth, human nature has a tendency to self-destruct.
Withholding or running away from the situation.
The myth is that:
- Church is for people who have God all figured out.
- Marriage is for people who remain magically in love and intimate.
- Financial planning is for people who have all the money they need to do what they want.
- Friendships are for people who never get disappointed by other people.
It may be time for a healthy dose of reality. [click to continue…]
Join me on a little excursion.
If you love words as much as I do, and you have any appreciation whatsoever for Jesus Christ, I want to show you some of the most soaring, majestic language ever recorded about Him. Our journey will pause at three locations, all in the New Testament. Here’s the first… read this slowly. [click to continue…]
When everything around you seems unsettled, and old foundations, once-sturdy, have given way to more invisible calls for faith…
As familiar faces and customary graces distance themselves, each for reasons of their own – each creating their own sense of short-term grief or longing…
I pray that you will experience a fresh rush of God’s Spirit – manifesting Himself powerfully, touching your heart tenderly, transforming you beautifully, reminding you faithfully that you are never truly alone. [click to continue…]
God often speaks with an inside voice.
In fact, that’s His preferred method of communication.
It requires that you listen carefully, and in great faith.
Of course, there are different kinds of inside voices. [click to continue…]
You never know who’s watching.
You never know who models his or her life after you. Sure, there are the ten percent who make it clear, but like icebergs, the other ninety are quiet. Below the surface and virtually invisible, but no doubt there.
All the while watching… for a path to follow… a faith to imitate… or a life that’s contagious.
So walk your path authentically. Believe hopefully. Live abundantly, all the while leaving clues for searching hearts to find.
Because somebody’s watching. And they’re following you. [click to continue…]
“If this man were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9:33).
The Bible has its share of comical scenes. Here’s one. A man born blind can now see. But because Jesus “broke the rules” by healing him on the Sabbath, in the minds of the Pharisees, this was impossible.
Moses? He was righteous. He gave us the law.
Jesus? He broke the “law,” and had to be a sinner.
But there’s this pesky issue of, “once I was blind… now I can see.” And now here’s Mr. Newsight offering a little theological insight to the no-sight clan: “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” [click to continue…]
It’s in the white space between the verses. If it were captured on video, a la NFL Films, they’d replay it in slow motion with a tense musical score leading up to the climactic moment. It often takes place in a matter of seconds and is hardly ever discussed. But we’ve all read about it. And chances are, we’ve lived it on some level.
The “it” that I’m referring to is that split-second gap between motion and miracle. When the world for just a second goes quiet and you’re breathless with anticipation.
It’s that Breathless Pause, where you’re waiting, anticipating something amazing. [click to continue…]
It was a funny exercise. The memory-making type of thing that happens randomly when you spend time hanging out with kids. Or in my case, grandkids.
Laura Kate and Shepherd (#1 and #3 of 9 if you’re keeping score) were in the back seat and we were headed home from a VBS family night. With everybody’s schedule crossways on this particular night, I got to be the “family.” We’d had the program, topped off by some awesome brain-freezing shaved ice. They had played in the bounce houses some, and now we had escaped the Alabama humidity and were back in the truck headed to their house.
We got to talking about different sounds that animals make, and I was asking them if they could imitate them. Then, on a whim, I asked, “Can you imitate Fischer?”
Fischer is their four-year-old little brother.
Laura Kate popped up: “Mama, Shepuhd and Sistuh huht my feewings.”
You just had to be there… It was dead-on and hysterically funny.
We went from that to others, like their parents, but the first one was the hit of the night.
Who doesn’t love a good impression – especially a funny one? And it’s true, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – even to an 8-year-old.
It’s also a raw demonstration of leadership at a very fundamental level. [click to continue…]
Hey. Bible scholar.
I have a thought question for you.
Remember David? King… giant slayer… and that other nickname he is famous for?
Yeah, that one – a “man after God’s own heart.”
God Himself used the phrase first and it is repeated throughout scripture. Samuel said to Saul, “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart…” (1 Samuel 13:14). And He found that in David.
And He repeated that over and over again, not just during David’s lifetime, but throughout the Bible. Something about this man, who obviously had some pretty serious personal flaws (liar, adulterer, and murderer for starters) was so unique that God used His version of neon lights and pointed to this man again and again.
Why? [click to continue…]
(Life in the Public Eye Edition)
I’ve been listening to a lot of professional communicators lately. I’ve also been seeing a lot of people in the public eye, for better or worse. Politicians. Preachers. Entertainers. Protesters. Prophets of doom. Leaders, or leader wannabes. Victims or those pretending to be victims.
I’ve had some thoughts about all that. Wildly accurate thoughts, of course, because hey, they were mine. But rather than blather on about my forgettable opinions, I thought I would share some real wisdom.
As I have mentioned in previous posts like this one, I get a front row seat to some amazing writing, all sent like these with the hopes of earning an A on a paper or discussion forum.
(I get plenty of bad writing too, but I’m saving that for another day.)
So I’ve been keeping a file of my favorite student quotations for quite some time now, and today I would like to share a powerful collection with you. All of these are about something to do with living in the public eye, either as a leader or as a public servant or communicator. Sooner or later this could be you in your 15 minutes of you-know-what.
Read on (it’s a quick read) and brace for impact. You will be impressed and blessed by these insights. [click to continue…]