From the category archives:

Insight

let_god_2

(A Conversation)

Quiet.

Quiet?

Yeah, quiet.  You ask how I am… I’m quiet.

In what way? Are you upset?

No.  I don’t think so. Just quiet.

Worse ways to be, I guess.

I suppose so.

And what brought you to this place of being so quiet?

I guess it all started with this sense of yearning – of longing for something more in my walk with the Lord.

That’s a good thing.

Sure, ‘til I realized what’s in the way.

Which is…? [click to continue…]

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Complex Problem

The world is full of complex, overwhelming problems.

It’s also full of all sizes and shapes of problem solvers. [click to continue…]

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DisappointmentJanie had an appointment with God.  And the Lord didn’t show up.  He’d always been pretty good at keeping the times Janie had set for Him – mostly in the little things like daily blessings and answered prayer.  But this was a big one, and the Lord didn’t keep His end of the bargain.

See, Janie just knew that God was going to give her a husband, and she knew who it would be. Chuck was obviously God’s choice for her… how else could she explain all the little coincidences, the magic feeling in her heart, and even those confirming verses she read in scripture.

Apparently, however, the Lord forgot to clue Chuck in on the plan, and the big guy had plans of his own.

Janie was devastated.  And more than that, she was bewildered. She had been so sure in her heart.  But somebody missed God, or God missed somebody.  And the result?  Janie’s appointment with God ended up as a dis-appointment.

Same thing happened to Chuck with regard to his career, though he wouldn’t call it that. To Chuck it was more of a calling. [click to continue…]

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CohenWanna get away?  Want some great in-flight entertainment?  Just take a trip with your favorite three-year-old.  And try making a list of all the questions you hear.  Here, hot off the press, is a partial sampler from a flight we took this past Friday.

What’s amazing is how many of the questions are the same when we’re 33 or 55.  We just develop questions behind the questions as we get older.  The rest of this is written by Mr. Cohen Thomas (he just doesn’t know it yet)…

Why are we not going?

Are we going down?

[After passing through the clouds] Where is God?

Are we almost to Disney Wouwd? (World)

What’s that button for?

Why are we not going to Grandma and Granddaddy’s house?

Are we almost to Disney Wouwd?

Why are we going to be there tonight?

Why? [click to continue…]

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(A Conversation)

Crossroads

You’d think by now I’d have this down.

Have what?

Making decisions and finding God’s will.

Is that what you mean by “being at a crossroads?”

Yeah, I have some decisions to make, and it’s kind of a mixed bag.  Some really good things and some really challenging things, either way I go.

Okay…

But I don’t want to just do what I want to do. I want to do God’s will.

As opposed to your will?

Yes.  I know that he speaks through my desires.  But even that’s mixed up right now.

And you need Him to sort all that out for you?

Yeah.

Sorta like those neon arrows on the highway at night that say, “Stop here?”

Boy, wouldn’t that be awesome? [click to continue…]

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PainCharles is nothing short of an odd combination.  He’s an immensely popular preacher and pastor, having preached to more people than anyone else on the planet, with the exception of Billy Graham and perhaps a couple of others. Yet while he rarely shows it, he’s a physical mess.  He suffers from rheumatic gout and kidney disease, and there are days he can’t even leave the house because of the excruciating pain.

His wife is a mess.  This woman, whom he loves dearly, has disabilities of her own, and this weighs heavily on Charles.

His finances are a mess. Despite the reach of Charles’ ministry, a sober look at his books reveals an ugly secret: the man is broke-down broke. 

His relationships are a mess. [click to continue…]

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inflated gloveThe stress you feel is proportional to the amount of control you have over a situation.

That sounds very intuitive, but there’s a spiritual contradiction to that.  More on that in a minute.

Here’s an example of how that idea works out in the natural.  A month ago I go to the doctor and he says my lipid levels are high.  I roll my eyes and say, “same old same old.” I don’t get stressed about it because there is something I can do to correct it.  Anyway, I’ve been hearing that for 30 years.

When he sends me for another test and I find out my heart calcium score is high, almost in the danger zone, again, the first thing I do is look for something I can do about it, because I have a steadfast belief that I can do something about it.  So I’m motivated, but not stressed.

Same thing goes, even when I’m told I’m a Type II diabetic because of my lifestyle choices in the past.  Well, crud.  But I can do something about that by making different choices (and by the way I am making different choices and seeing wonderful results).

But when the doctor says I have a narrowing in the arteries at the top of my heart and he “wants to take a look at it” with an angiogram, and oh, by the way, if there is a significant enough blockage he may put a stint in it, suddenly he has crossed the line of my control.

Hello stress. [click to continue…]

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Magnifying GlassesI have found someone who’s interested in you. In fact, He’s downright fascinated by you, and apparently wants you to know it.

He also happens to be the One who created you.

And He’s so crazy about you, He just can’t take His eyes off of you.

Here’s what David said when he discovered this powerful truth:

O Lord, You have searched me and known me (Psalm 139:1).

As I read this verse a couple of days ago, I was prompted to read between the lines a bit of what the Greeks called perfect tense.

O Lord, You have searched me, and I remain thoroughly searched. You have known me, and I remain completely known.

This is not the idle curiosity of a God who is fascinated by what He doesn’t know or hasn’t figured out. It’s the love interest of the One for whom the highest expression of love is to accomplish a thorough search and display a complete understanding.

Have you ever loved the beauty of a rose so much that you studied every inch of it? Have you ever been so captured by the rhythm, melody, harmony and lyrics of a song that you played it over and over again, just to hear something new? Have you ever studied a riveting photograph or painting, poring over every detail out of deep appreciation for the artistry involved?

That… [click to continue…]

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CoachQuick question:  What do Tiger Woods, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Rafael Nadal all have in common?

Quick answer: Other than being in the top tier of their games, they all have a coach. Back in the day, it was often said, “Even Michael Jordan has a coach.”

How about you?  Do you need a coach? Do you have one?

The short answers are yes, and yes.  Everybody needs coaches and you have them, whether you realize it or not. You may not be utilizing your coaches to their maximum potential, but you’re most likely following somebody’s guidance. And in just a minute I’ll show you how to recognize who you turn to for coaching, at least on an informal level.

But first, a word from the Lone Ranger… [click to continue…]

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Stained Glass JesusWe used to have this set of biblical art prints – four of them – that were gifts from dear friends.  The art was good, but now more than 15 years later we laughed at the fact that the characters – Jesus, Mary, a couple of others – all had “80s hair.”  It was feathered, layered, shoulder length, and looked blow-dried fresh out of a salon.

Jesus seemed to have it all. He was hip, compelling, with a laser gaze right at you and his hand reaching out in such a way that you just couldn’t say no.

Mary was, well, I don’t know how else to say it… she was hot.  In a holy sort of way, of course.  If they had mani-pedis back then, no doubt this version of Mary was just back from one.

I don’t know who the artist was, but I’m sure he or she was probably tired of all those sissy-looking Renaissance-era paintings of Jesus who looked as though He just had his nails done, and wanted something different.  More reflective of the styles and cultures of the artist’s day, by the time we got them, they were very dated.  We wound up hanging them in our laundry room. Not quite sure why. [click to continue…]

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