Comforting friend. Woman consoling her sad friend.

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…]

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Daily News Headline

Back in the late sixties and early 70s we gathered around our TV sets with the three available channels on Monday nights for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in on NBC.

One of the repeated gags on the lightning-fast show was the old joke from the diner, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” I remember in one episode, the waiter is behind the counter and seven or eight people sitting at the bar say, one right after another, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” Whoever was playing the waiter went down the counter, spewing out one punch line after another. Sorry, can’t find the YouTube clip for that, but it went something like this:

There’s a fly in your soup? Keep it down sir, or they’ll all be wanting one.

There’s a fly in your soup? Sorry sir, guess I forgot it when I removed the other three.

There’s a fly in your soup? Then we’ve served you too much soup, the fly should be wading.

There’s a fly in your soup? Couldn’t be, sir. The cook used them all in the raisin bread.

There’s a fly in your soup? It’s OK, Sir, there’s no extra charge!

There’s a fly in your soup? No sir, that’s a cockroach, the fly is on your steak.

There’s a fly in your soup? What do you expect? It’s fly soup.

Call me weird, but that’s one of the first things I thought of when I read the headline of the New York Daily News in the immediate wake of the devastating shootings in San Bernadino – yet another American city whose name has become synonymous with mass murder.

GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS, the headline blasted, riffing on and ripping the condolence statements of Republican presidential candidates. [click to continue…]


Thunderstorm and lightnings in night over a lake with reflaction

It doesn’t take much for a breeze
To become a roaring fury –
Or a gentle, soaking shower
To become a fierce, howling squall.
In a matter of mere moments,
The elements that nourish you
Can soon threaten to destroy you
Or just paralyze you with fear.

That is true in the natural…
More so in the relational.
Sometimes the waves that pound at you
Are tides of public opinion.
Sometimes the winds that howl to you
Are the voices of the critics.
Sometimes the raindrops that pelt you
Are problems with no solutions.

When storms are raging,
It’s time for engaging
Your faith, your hope, and your love. [click to continue…]


(Unlike the previous story, this one actually happened)

Day 0

Lazarus TombMorning seems to come more quickly in Bethany. This village, whose name means “House of Affliction,” sits on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives.  Seems fitting, I suppose.  One of three designated healing centers in Israel, Bethany is certainly no place for slumber.  Even one of the town’s leaders, Simon, has earned the nickname “the Leper” for obvious reasons.

This place gets up early for healthcare.

In one particular house, the residents have yet to sleep. There a man named Lazarus lies very ill, and nothing seems to help.  His sisters Martha and Mary care for him around the clock. Martha has spent the night on her feet; Mary has spent the night on her knees.  Nothing has helped.

If only Jesus were here.  That’s the conclusion both sisters – usually so different in perspective – agree upon.  They know Jesus loves them uniquely; their home has been His refuge. Jesus faithfully and completely heals perfect strangers. Lazarus He loves!  This is a no-brainer, if they can just get word to Him in time. [click to continue…]


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…]



We all face days of adversity,
Moments of hostility,
Nights of weeping, uncertainty, regret.
But sometimes those days extend into weeks,
The moments into seasons,
The nights into a relentless deluge with no break in sight.
We all carry a plan for that rainy day,
But what do you do when the storms are raging? [click to continue…]


Is He Worthy of Honor When Your Heart is Broken?

by Andy Wood on October 19, 2012

in 100 Words

It’s one thing to honor God when your quiver, nest and storehouses are full.

Honoring Him in times of great loss is quite another.

[click to continue…]


Today’s a special day – not just because it’s my daughter-in-law’s birthday – that would make it special enough!  But today’s also the fifth birthday of this site.

Almost 10 years ago my friend Kevin Rhoads was telling me about a new way to communicate that had become really popular – something called “blogging,” which was short for “web log.”  “It’s sort of like an online journal,” he said.

Hmmph.  Knowing the kind of stuff I usually put in my journal, my first reaction was, “That’s a crazy idea.  Who would want to read that?”

Then a couple of years later I wrote a book for a 40-day church campaign, complete with videos and teaching sessions, called LifeVesting.  You can read the back story here.  After that, I was looking for ideas to keep the momentum and to expand the message that was in that book.

It was then that I was introduced, I think by Kevin again, to Seth Godin’s blog, and I was hooked as a reader and inspired as a writer.  So that’s how a blog can help.

So on October 12, 2007, the LifeVesting site was launched.  Five years into it, this is post number 780.  Through a wide variety of ideas, rants, thinking-by-writing, and a few pictures along the way, the central theme remains the same:  Your life can be better tomorrow than it is today.  You can create your future, solve problems, impact eternity, and really live today.

This was never intended to be just a blog site, and I’m excited about new plans that are coming.  Soon, Lord willing, I will be developing the “web site” side of this ministry in which we offer a newly-rewritten LifeVesting book, other books and media, and live and online seminars.  In addition to that, we are already working on a web site for The LifeVesting Group, our professional counseling and coaching ministry.  More on that very soon.

But today we celebrate.  Or at least I do, and you get to peer in.  In thinking about what I could share in terms of a “best of” or “most popular,” I found a plug-in that helps me know how often different posts have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Google-Plus by you, the readers.  There could be many reasons why somebody clicks on a post or page, but only one reason they would share it – it must have meant something to them and they wanted others to see it as well.

So here’s a countdown of the top 11 most-shared posts over the past five years (there was a tie for 10th).  Please click on a few of these – maybe you can see what the excitement was all about.  (Of course, feel free to share them again!) [click to continue…]

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When the burdens overwhelm me
And the floods begin to rise
When I see the circumstances
Through lonely, helpless eyes,
There’s a place to go for refuge
And a place to be restored.
And when the storm has passed away,
I’ll be stronger than before.

It’s a place called Higher Ground.  David referred to it as a “rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1).  “Take me there when my heart is overwhelmed,” he prayed.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, it was fairly common to hear small craft advisories and warnings of approaching storms or hurricanes in which people in “low‑lying areas” are warned to move to higher ground.  The danger for them is that the storm can literally overwhelm them.

In Psalm 61, David finds himself in a situation in which he is under such pressure of heart that he doesn’t think he can deal with it by himself.  He’s in a “low-lying area” spiritually and circumstantially.  Can you relate? [click to continue…]

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The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. . . The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope. (C. H. Spurgeon)

In East Tennessee a mother suffers a broken leg and a devastated heart as a tornado claims the life of her baby.

In West Alabama a couple hears a noise and opens the front door of their home.  Seconds later, there is no more home, and no more couple.

123 tornadoes, so I hear,  in one day.  The death toll at this point:  319.

Meanwhile, on the same day, in East Texas a spiritual champion and one of the most respected leaders of his generation collides with destiny in the form of a tractor trailer.

And as the world reels and the grieving begins in earnest, a rude reminder comes collecting – the winds blow and the rains fall on the just and the unjust, and none of us has any guarantee of tomorrow.

Does that anger you?  Me, too.

Does it seem unfair?  I get that.  Why do tornados never seem to level prisons?

We can huff on our high horse all we want, but guess what?  Neither you nor I will change the fact that life is unfairly short and at times unbearably hard.

Is that God’s fault?  I’m sure we’ll get our dose of that from the usual sources.  How come nobody ever “blames” God when money’s in the bank, gas is cheap and the ocean is calm? [click to continue…]