So time launches us ready or not into a new year as we continue on in our journey of faith. I suspect many or at least some of us have made resolutions as we seek to make 2017 profitable for our continued maturation in Christ. The good news of course is that God's Spirit has us on a journey toward becoming our truest self in Christ,(II Cor. 3:18) and he promises to continue to be faithfully present with us here and now in the new year ahead. (Mt. 28:20) Over the holiday season I found myself re-reading various authors
Why can’t anything or anyone be perfect? Why can’t this thing go the way it is supposed to? The long answer involves all the flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, sins, errors, and imperfections in every given person and situation. The short answer is because that every person or thing is not God. Seems like God put Himself in a bind by creating anything because anything created would always fall short of the Creator. After all only God is good. Even without sin entering the picture everything still falls short of the full glory of God! It is refreshing to know that
I’ve never competed at a high level. I felt the weight of spelling competitions in elementary school. And the pressure of going 14 and 0 on our middle school softball team. And the strain of getting sermons ready week in and week out for many years. But I’ve never felt anything like the Olympic pressure of putting everything on the line after years of preparation for that one chance. For the swimming events, the difference between gold and bronze is often just a few tenths of a second. And then there are the women gymnasts on the balance beam.
“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ –Genesis 28:16 Jacob was on the run from his brother who wanted to kill him. Jacob whose name means ‘deceiver’ had maneuvered himself into the patriarchal blessing and birthright by tricking his Dad and also taking advantage of his brother. As he was fleeing and making his way to his Uncle’s house he stopped to rest. It was in this vulnerable and exposed ‘in between space’ that he had a fantastic dream and awoke to his conclusion that
“What do you want me to do for you?” This was Jesus’ question to the blind man. Why ask that question. Isn’t it obvious what the man would want? It is. But Jesus asks about his desire because he knows it is critical for us to own and name and take responsibility for our desires. We must pay attention to our desires because they tell us something VERY important in the Christian life. Desire, more than our cognition, volition, or conscience, define what we believe is true, good, and beautiful. Last week a community of devoted souls met for
Seasons of life come to us whether we want them to or not. It’s interesting that this is the way God organized and planned the rhythm of life from the beginning. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8;11 states: There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a
Many years ago, I memorized Psalm 37: 23 as a song. The verse reads : “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. “ This song has played over and over in my heart and mind the last couple of weeks. I began to think about the different kinds of steps that Christ guides us to take in our journeys of spiritual formation. Some steps moving forward are small and some are moving by
Christian discernment depends on a clear grasp of reality. Without this our perspective on life is, to some degree, distorted. A distorted vision makes discernment difficult. The options available to us from which we can choose will be skewed. This is why Christian discernment makes such a big deal of seeing what is 'really real' as best we can. How does one become sensitized to see reality well? Spiritual formation is the answer. Before moving to the positive, Christian spiritual formation makes it clear that at least 9 'passions' (as Evagrius called them) manipulate human perception and distort reality.