When Matthew 19:24 tells us the story of the rich young ruler and reminds us that it's harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, we say, "That's true, that's true." Rarely do we consider ourselves the rich man. But the likelihood is that you do, indeed, qualify as "rich." [Click title to read more]
Convenience and multi-tasking and ease aren't bad things. We shouldn't scoff at them. It doesn't hone your character or make you morally superior to sit in line to cash a check rather than to do it electronically. But in our pursuit of convenience and in our attempts to make life easier for ourselves, we must never sweep others aside. [Click title to read more.]
I'm aware that my view of God as a father is colored by the kindness and love I've received from my own. Not everyone is so privileged. But if you are a father, please remember you aren't alone. [Click title to read more].
If we aren't careful, we can reduce the revolutionary concept of cultivating careful, loving speech - words that are like "fresh water" (James 3:11) - to anodyne truisms like "don't use profanity" or "don't gossip" and sometimes "don't say mean things about people" and pretend that's enough. In reality, mastering godly speech is a far more difficult and complex endeavor. [Click title to read more.]
It's self-editing. We all do it. And whether we realize it or not, we do it in our day-to-day life as much as we do it on Facebook. As humans, we're constantly censoring our lives and presenting some careful "best" version of ourselves to others. We cut out the parts of ourselves we deem unsavory or unnecessary, and we showcase the best ones for everyone to see. But God always and eternally sees our whole and unadulterated self. [Click title to read more.]
It's interesting to me that we never equate God's victory with loss. That we never equate God with the less-than-happy-end, or with what happens when things don't turn out right. The team that slumps into the locker room doesn't say, "Well, He's the reason we're here." After a fumble or a turnover, the football player doesn't crouch and quietly thank God.
If we're not careful, the exhortation to "welcome each other" on Sunday mornings results in a slew of awkward hugs and handshakes, a few cheerful "good morning"s, and conversations between people who already know each other and want to catch up on the weekend. [Click title to read more.]
I still don't know why God does what he does. I still wonder about the tension between what God can do and what God will do and why sometimes our faith doesn't move mountains - even when we have as much as we can muster. But God asks so little of us in comparison to what He has demanded of Himself to love us. Truly, He is not far. [Click title to read more.]
On the frustrating day, on the dark day, on the hopeless day, our prayers and our faith - tarnished and stumbling and broken as they are - shine brighter. And what matters the most is not if they are strong, and not if they are hopeful, and not if they are packed with praise, but that they are there at all. [Click title to read more.]
Sometimes I think we believe we have to do it all ourselves: that we have to pick people we suspect are in need, that we have to make them understand the lack in their life, that we have to sell Jesus to them like a product - to make Him valuable enough that people will want to take Him home. But we are intermediaries, sent by God to help people along in the process that He has already started. [Click title to read more.]