Here’s one that’s sitting on the edge of Cliché-ville…
“Do you believe God has forgiven you?”
“Have the people involved forgiven you?”
“I think so, yes.”
(Pregnant pause…) “But have you forgiven yourself… (more pregnant pause)?
I don’t mean to poke too hard at this – it’s a valid concern. I know plenty of people, myself included, who have become experts at beating themselves up for past failures. I have some vivid memories dating back many years that I can re-live with detailed emotional horror, usually followed by the out-loud words, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” I sure haven’t forgotten those things. Does that mean I haven’t forgiven myself?
What about the person who isolates from others in the name of solitude, or who lives like Mister Achievement, as if he’s making up for lost time or in some kind of race? Is that what self-forgiveness looks like?
It sounds good to ask the soul-piercing question. But how in the world is somebody supposed to know in truth that they’ve actually forgiven themselves? [click to continue…]
He’s this year’s first round draft choice. The Player to Be Named Later. If you’re keeping score that’s number nine for us, and the eighth boy in a row.
Yep. It’s Baby Maybe season, and the landing gear is down. He can be here at any time.
Now the official due date is sometime around the end of the month, but all indications point to a potential early arrival. So we’ve made ourselves ready to go when the word goes forth.
We’re living with a sense of imminence. And it’s affecting every part of our lives. [click to continue…]
(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…]
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…]
You’re carrying burdens and living with anxieties that aren’t yours to carry.
You are trying to be the answer to your fears of pain, poverty and shame, when those are God’s issues to resolve.
He promised to be your refuge and strength, but you have to trust Him to do it.
That’s why He wants you to live in gratitude. [click to continue…]
This post is part of a series of posts celebrating Father’s Day titled, “That Time My Kids Hacked My Blog.” To read more, click here.
You may not remember the day that I learned to ride a bicycle, but I do. We were living in Fayette, Alabama and all of my friends had already figured out how to ride and graduated to ten speeds. After spending several weeks trying to figure out how, I had resigned to give up.
I am not sure how long it was, in my mind it seems like it was years but I am sure it was only a few weeks, that Mom brought up the topic at dinner. I remember telling her that I couldn’t do it. While I am sure mom said something encouraging it was your response that made a lasting impact. You said, “Yes you can…let’s go.” Then you stood up and the two of was walked downstairs into the basement took the training wheels off my bike and went to the driveway. The next hour I fell several times but each time I did you picked me up, told me I was okay, and encouraged me to try again. It wasn’t long before I figured out how to balance and pedal. Up to that point in my life I am not sure I had ever felt so accomplished and to this day I still love riding a bike.
That day you taught me how to ride, but what I didn’t know at the time was that you were also teaching me how to live life. Time and time again I have seen you act in a similar manner. [click to continue…]