April 28, 2017

6 Things to Do While You’re Waiting for Healing

Imagine you're dealing with a serious physical illness or injury that's life-changing in some way. You recognize God's sovereignty, yet naturally, you want to be healed of it. So you pray faithfully for healing. You remain steadfast in faith. You prioritize your spiritual well-being, but also use the gift of medicine that God has provided. And yet, you're still waiting for God to answer. He hasn't said no to your pleas for healing -- but He hasn't said yes either. So now what? Do you get overwhelmed with the seeming delay? Shrug your shoulders and "grin and bear it"? Retreat into some hiding place, whether books or movies or shopping therapy? Make demands of God to heal [...Read More]

Too Busy to Pray?

How have you been lately? Wait, let me guess... busy, right? Seems like we're all running crazy, trying to cram far more in a day than can reasonably fit within 24 hours. Between family schedules, work requirements, church commitments, medical appointments, and connecting with friends, our spare time is at a minimum. When that happens, we start thinking about what we can let go. And the first things to go are usually the disciplines that require consistent time and energy, but little or no participation from others - things like exercise, healthy eating, Bible study, prayer time. But prayer is not just "one more thing" to on your to-do list -- it is the foundation of your list! [...Read More]

Myers-Briggs Does Not Define You

Confession: I love a good personality test. Not those quizzes that go viral on Facebook, but actual "professional" personality tests like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, or Big Five. I find it strangely satisfying to find the boxes I fit into -- to see myself categorized as an introvert, for instance -- and discover I'm not alone in how I see the world. Personality tests can help us understand others better. They point out effective ways to encourage them, and highlight what energizes and what frustrates them. They show us there are as many types of strengths (or weaknesses) as there are types of introverts and extroverts. They also help us understand ourselves better. They spotlight [...Read More]

Love Tells the Truth

The word love gets thrown around a lot these days -- whether it's the most recent catchphrase ("love wins"), or the admonishment to "love the sinner and hate the sin," or simply the world's attempt to conquer hatred and injustice ("love conquers all"). But in the words of Inigo Montoya, I don't think that word means what most people think it means. True love does not blindly accept every new thing that comes along. True love does not look the other way when people are walking themselves into ruin. True love does not stay silent when there is truth to be shared. Yet that is exactly what the world wants us to do. It clamors for us to quietly succumb to the waning morality of [...Read More]

In Search of True Peace

Let's face it, we live in a stress-filled world. We excel at being chronic worriers. We fill our minds with anxious thoughts of everything that might go wrong. Our souls are less than tranquil. We have all these pressures piled on us. Getting our next paycheck, keeping the car running smoothly, preparing for bad weather, following politics, paying for healthcare, fighting illness and exhaustion... And then there's the holiday season, when we face an unwritten competition to do everything "just right."  We're supposed decorate a picture-perfect house, play the perfect hostess, find the perfect gifts for everyone, send the perfect Christmas cards, and attend everything with a perfect [...Read More]

When Good Things Become Idols

I've been thinking about idols lately. More specifically, I've been thinking about how anything can become an idol: good things, bad things, and even the in-between sort of things. There's a lot of good things that we can strive for in this life. Financial freedom, physical fitness, healthful living, pleasing homes, productive days, consistent routines, accomplished children, perfect marriages... But when those things start stealing our focus away from pleasing God, they become idols. When they begin controlling our emotions and thoughts, they become idols. When they start making us discontent or whiny, they become idols. When financial freedom becomes more important than [...Read More]

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 3

Welcome to Week 4 of the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details. No Thanks "Ingratitude is not always a calloused, who-cares shrugging of the shoulders. Sometimes it's just fourth or fifth on a list we never get around to following through on." We don't usually purposely choose to be ungrateful. Rather, it sneaks up on us as we forget to make gratitude a priority, and gradually becomes a habit as we passively let it happen. Even worse, this passive habit of ingratitude leads to a whole laundry list of sins. Romans 1, a chapter that lists all kinds of [...Read More]

Focus on Gratitude: With All Your Being

Right about now is when New Year's resolutions start to flounder. It's been a few weeks... maybe you started off strong and enthusiastic, but you aren't quite seeing any results yet. Or maybe life is getting too busy again, and your "need-to's" are over-powering your "want-to's." Sound about right? One of my resolutions goals for this year is to focus on gratitude. In fact, I jumped on the "one word" bandwagon and made it my keyword for 2013. I want to be more grateful. I want to have a heart of thankfulness... in all things and for all things. I want that to define me -- just like being a Christian and a wife defines me. But life has gotten pretty busy again (not that it ever [...Read More]

“C” is for Compassion.

Lately I've been overwhelmed by the compassion of our God. It started as I read through John this past week. I'm also reading Ezekiel - in fact, I'm mostly reading Ezekiel. But my reading plan included 5 chapters from John as well. And I've been struck by the pure compassion of Christ as He dealt with all aspects of humanity. He had compassion on the multitudes, offering physical and spiritual healing. Not only did He care enough to bind their wounds and heal their diseases; He cared about their eternal state. He sacrificed His own rest and time alone, to meet the needs of the lost world around Him. He had compassion on the religious leaders, as He preached about futility of their [...Read More]

Dealing with the Mundane

You know the story all too well. That sink full of dishes can never quite stay empty for very long. Neither can the hamper full of dirty clothes. Those fingerprints in the kitchen keep coming back. There's always more dust to be wiped away, more dirt to be vacuumed up. It's repetitive. It's mundane. It gets old fast. But guess what? There's a way to handle the mundane that will both help you and please God. First, change your attitude: remember that all we do is for Christ Himself. Paul talks about this in his letter to the Colossians: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your [...Read More]