It’s the elephant in your room. It may well be the first thing that people who know you think of when asked about you. But maybe it’s been a part of your architecture so long, you’ve put a lamp shade on it and called it decorations.
I’m talking about something all of us have. The things we wish were different, but check back with us five years from now and our “elephant” is still there. It’s what I call our PWGA. The Problem that Won’t Go Away.
You may refer to it in different language. You may use words like “weakness,” or “cross to bear.” By now you may address it as the “same old same old” or as I did once in reference to my New Year’s resolutions: “Oh, you know, the usual.”
For many people, their PWGA is something that is heart-rending. Something they’ve asked or even begged God to fix, heal, or otherwise change. And yet the PWGA remains.
For other people, a PWGA is a problem requiring a solution they aren’t willing to apply. I know two words that can fix some people’s PWGA: “I’m sorry.” Or their nuclear cousin: “I was wrong.” But that’s too high a price for some people to pay. They’d rather live with the problem.
Some people have PWGAs that they are convinced have solutions. But they haven’t yet found those solutions and don’t know how to leverage their relationship with God to address it.
By now you probably have one or more of your own PWGAs floating around in your mind. Hold that thought. I want to introduce you to another guy. [click to continue…]
(But I’ll Bet You Haven’t)
It was a harsh and hostile time, filled with great uncertainty. Public favor seemed to rock back and forth. One minute they were praised and celebrated, and the next they were vilified. A generation earlier a ragtag cast of characters had electrified the world with the testimony that Jesus Christ, who had been crucified outside Jerusalem, had risen from the dead and was alive to this day.
But what started in a supernatural flurry of worship and wonder soon turned ugly. [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…]
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…]
“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…]
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…]