Once upon a time, long ago a man was sent on a mission. His responsibilities were clearly laid out and for a while he kept them. But one night he went for a walk and found himself lost.
And in the domain of a foreign kingdom.
He was hungry. He was tired. He no longer had the resources provided for him by those who sent him. So he asked for help from the kingdom where he was a trespasser.
That didn’t go well. [click to continue…]
This photo from December 2013 – People scatter rose pedals during an interfaith graveside memorial service.in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Suppose you were hosting an event for a crowd north of 1,400 people. Where would you have it?
That’s a pretty serious venue. Unless your name is something like Biltmore, you can probably scratch the back yard or dining room off the list. But hey, your local hotel ballroom may fit the bill. Depending on the nature of the event, a few church houses or large theaters or auditoriums would work.
When was the last time you were part of a crowd that big? I was there a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve got to tell you, it was noticeable. Parking was a bit of a challenge. The venue was a little crowded. The energy was palpable. Lots of noise and excitement.
And no, I’m not referring to a Black Friday sale at Walmart.
But I want to tell you about a different kind of assembly. One where 1,430 people came together and hardly anyone noticed. Parking wasn’t a problem. Noise wasn’t an issue. In fact, all was deathly(!) quiet, at a venue that was shockingly small.
The location: a mass grave. [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…]
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…]
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…]
Such an ordinary, blue-collar word.
Industrial strength, geared for protection and defense, holding commands attention – not by rising to dizzying new heights of adventure or romance, but by remaining ruthlessly still…
Boring? Only when, in your desperation for a change, any change will do.
Oppressive? Only when you think the grass is greener somewhere else and you can’t get there.
Holding is a sign that somewhere there is someone or something that is stronger than you are – at least for the moment. You may be held back by your fears. Or held safely by that seat belt and airbag. Or held in the arms of someone who can comfort your heart.
But sooner or later fears subside. Belts are unbuckled. And people, however well-meaning, let go.
But there are everlasting arms and an all-powerful Strength that promises to hold you in love and peace long after all other sources are exhausted or used up. [click to continue…]
You know I didn’t make that up.
Yeah, but you sure nailed me with it.
Only because I know what it feels like.
Yeah, I know you do.
So… back to the metaphor… you feel like you’re pushing a 2,000-pound rock up a hill by yourself.
That about sums it up.
Well give me back my rock!
Dude, you can have it.
Just kidding. You can keep it. It looks really nice rolling over you.
Wow, with friends like you…
Yeah, yeah. I do have one question about this picture, though.
You have the hill, the boulder, and you.
Uh huh. [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…]
Lately it feels as though you’re doing a tightrope dance with the devil himself. He seduces you like an angel of light in one ear and shames you for all your failures in the other. Your life feels, even smells like a sulfurous war zone and it sure seems as though the casualties are piling up. But in the quake and the fury, there’s one and only one thing you need to know…
God’s got this. All you have to do is trust Him. And say “thank you.”
Like a broken cash register, your money drawer only seems to open when it time to shell it out to somebody else. From disaster salesmen to debt collectors, everybody’s standing with an outstretched hand. There’s always another reason to fret over this thing called The Economy, and even a box of Girl Scout cookies feels like a sacrificial charitable donation. But in the fear and loathing-, there’s one and only one thing you need to know…
God’s got this. All you have to do is trust Him. And say “thank you.” [click to continue…]
I got chided a little this morning for good reason. Some desperately hurting people had written comments to this post, sharing the depths of their pain, fear, frustration and even torment, and I had failed to respond to any of them.
And though it’s a little foolish to lump the hurts of people all together in one reply, I did. You can find this response also in the comments section there (#10 added later), but I thought I would share it with a larger readership with the hope that maybe it would be an encouragement to you or someone you care about. God knows it isn’t the last word on pain. It’s just what I’ve learned through some of my own.
Below is my reply. [click to continue…]