Friday, August 31, 2018

The Mystery Of Who They Are . . .

As I type these words I'm sitting in my parents living room and giving thanks for them and for their positive impact on my life. I just finished a book by Ian Cron, "Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me" and in this book he talked about the mystery of knowing our parents deeply, and even forwarded the opinion of if we should seek to discover stories about our parents. His reasoning is as follows, how can we really ever understand the motivations, environments and relationships that drove their decisions? Since it is impossible to replicate their environment in which life-decisions were made should we even attempt to discern the motivation behind such landmarks?

The quandary is that the people we love will always be the most shrouded in mystery, unattainable to the probing questions of their mortal loved ones. This is how it has always been and will always be. I’m reminded of this quote from the TV show, Madam Secretary, (This quote is from the Mom to her oldest daughter) “ If you never listen to anything I say again for the rest of your life, please hear this: Everything is more complicated than you think it is right now. And the only way you come to know that is through experience. And that’s what this whole process of growing up is all about.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

God's Promises - Let's Rank Them . . .

I’ve been spending time lately thinking about the promises of God. And probably because of the amount of time I spend listening to sports radio, I started imagining what order I would put my favorite promises of God. (I’ll bet you're already compiling a list in your head of your favorite promises right now too, aren't you?)

The first and greatest promise is eternal salvation, so I don't think there is much of a debate there. (John 3:16) But what about the next greatest promise?

In my opinion this is the second greatest promise of God. "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you." John 15:7

Friday, August 24, 2018

Where is God in our despair?

What about those times in our lives when we are being crushed by our circumstances - where is God?  When we are so beaten down that we can’t make a fist. When taking one more step requires more energy than we can muster. When our body and mind are beyond exhausted, friends have deserted us, family doesn't understand us, and we can’t think of one good thing in relation to our life. What are we supposed to do when we feel hope slipping away from our lives? Where is God when silence seems to be His only response?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Feelings . . .

One of the hardest lessons in life is learning how to deal with feelings. In fact, there is no way you can have a healthy relationship without knowing the difference between having feelings, and being aware of the presence of those feelings. This very small and yet important difference is the key to self-awareness in our emotional lives.

The Bible makes it clear that not being aware of this difference is being emotionally blind to your true situation. In fact, Jesus spent a lot of His ministry trying to remove this blindness and increasing people's own self-awareness. He knew that without truly knowing ourselves there is no way that we could properly know God. (Proverbs 14:12)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Knowing Your Limits

Religion 101. Sounded like an easy course, especially if you believed that you had a pretty good grasp on this religion thing. My rationalization was resoundingly inadequate but that still didn't stop me from my course of action. (Pun intended) - Mark this class as an easy "B" and homework would not be a problem. And it wasn't. The homework part anyway. What was a problem was that I really didn't know the origins of my faith and why I believed the way I did. The target on my back couldn't have been any bigger.

I'm going to spare you the messy details but this lack of a correct Biblical worldview derailed my faith journey for years. Looking back I wish I had done a few things differently to prevent years of living in the wilderness without God's presence, blessing and His protection. (Zechariah 7:13) Not to mention hurting countless people while I struggled to find my spiritual legs. I write these things in the hope that they might help someone else in their faith journey.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Hold Me Jesus (by Rich Mullins)

 One of my all-time favorite artists and songs.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

God's Response To Rebellion

In Deuteronomy, Chapter 1 Moses starts off by giving a summary of Israel's 40 year journey that began at Mount Sinai. This is the beginning of the nation of Israel after God freed them from their slavery in Egypt.

Midway through the chapter Moses describes the time when the spies that Israel had sent to scope out the Promised Land returned with news of the people who currently occupied the land. Ten of the twelve spies said the challenges were too much to overcome (exact words were, "The people are stronger and taller than we are and the cities are large and fortified up to heaven.") but the remaining two said, "It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us."

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Where Are You?

It is my belief that God is omnipotent. The word omnipotent comes from omni - meaning “all” and potent meaning “power.” As with the attributes of omniscience and omnipresence, it follows that, if God is infinite, and if He is sovereign, which we know He is, then He must also be omnipotent. He has all power over all things at all times and in all ways. 

And yet in Genesis 3 we hear God ask Adam and Eve where they had hidden themselves after they had succumbed to the lies of the evil one who had tempted them to break the only rule that God had given them. Did that mean that God didn't know where Adam and Eve where hiding? Of course not. What it means is that God talks to us in terms we could understand. He could have appeared in a formidable storm of nature, or accompanied by the honor guard of heaven but instead He chose to walk in the garden among His creation, the same creation that had just disobeyed Him and ushered a future history of sin and evil that their human minds could not comprehend.