Category Archives: Uncategorized

Still Moments – Does Your Life Make Sense?

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“Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”
Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Rom 12:2 (NLT)

Here’s to living a life that makes people wonder what makes you different…hopefully it’s because you are walking in God’s will but maybe it’s because you are a little crazy…some days I am not sure I know the difference.

Make today a wonderful, crazy day! Inspire someone!

Still Moments – A Biting Truth

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So true…how many times this prayer has crossed my lips.

As I read this, two different passages came to mind. There is nothing quite like digging into the Word, God’s Word, to provide comfort, hope, and ultimately forgiveness and love for the many times I find myself falling short.

Maybe you too can identify with Paul’s words…
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” (Romans 7:21-23, 25 NLT)

And may you find hope in Jeremiah’s…
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT)

My take away today…His love and mercies never end…no matter how many times I fail.

Without the rai…

Without the rain there is no beauty in the summer. Rain gives depth, it gives beauty and it gives roots. If a plant is only exposed to sun and no rain, it becomes dry, flimsy, and dead. Too many times we curse the rain in our lives – suffering, trials, hardships – but the truth is without rain nothing grows ~ Jefferson Bethke

Words that rang true and nailed what this series, “Into Every Life,” is about at it’s core. The days when the sun is shining and everything just seems to fall into place are wonderful.  These are the easy days.  But they are only part of the equation, it’s the rain that cultivates deeper roots.  The days where as Abraham Lincoln so poignantly said,  “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”  These are the days when we are driven deeper into dependance on, and the care of, Jesus.  These are the days your roots are deepened, your faith is given a chance to blossom.

So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT, emphasis mine)

The Disciple Jesus Loved

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10 NLT)

This was a message that brought a smile. Not only because of the way that Mike Donehey tells it (yes, I am very familiar with the Sunday school felt board,) but also because of the message that it holds. No matter what we have discovered within ourselves since we began this journey, Jesus loves us. That doesn’t mean that we should just brush whatever we have found back under the rug of ignorance. While we work on it, instead of beating ourselves up for failing, know that we are loved! We are defined not by our failures or successes but instead and only, by God’s love.

We interrupt this Christmas celebration to bring you Comfort…

20131212-115012.jpg“They will call him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” (Matthew 1:23)

What is the one thing that most of us want when everything seems to be falling apart around us?  I don’t think I would be alone in saying I am looking for a friend.  I am looking for someone who loves me to commiserate with or a shoulder to cry on.  I am desperate for someone to tell me that everything is going to be ok, even if they don’t believe it or see how that ever could be.  We are looking for comfort in companionship.

Of all of the names that Jesus has in the Bible, one of my very favorite is Emmanuel.  The reason? God is with me.  No matter what I face today or tomorrow.  God is by my side through every bit of it.

This is what makes the Christmas story so beautiful.  ”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory. the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1 :14)  God sent Jesus to Earth to humble himself.  The world has never witnessed a more genuine act of self-humbling. So completely did our Lord humble Himself that He surrendered His will to the will of His Father in heaven. His desire was to do the will of the Father, therefore He could testify, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). It was humiliation for the eternal Son of God to become flesh in a stable, and then to dwell in a humble home in subjection to a human parent. God was ”sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin” (Romans 8:30). Only eternity will reveal the depth of meaning for Him and for us found in those words, ” He humbled Himself.”

Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  Notice in this verse it says when you face trouble, not if.

We are going to have bad days, weeks, years even.  Christmastime is no exception.  In fact, emotions are magnified during this season making our highs higher and our lows lower.  The question is when you find yourself hurting, where do you turn?

We all face trials, hurts, suffering and Jesus understands our journey through these deep waters.  During His days here on Earth, Jesus himself was tired, lonely, hurt, hated, beaten, rejected, persecuted, misunderstood and mistreated, mocked and laughed at, betrayed, temped, and condemned.  He has felt forsaken, lost loved ones, and experienced pain.  He understands how it feels to be separated from God.  Imagine Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.  It is late at night, Jesus is walking His own dark path.  He knows the time is coming for his death and the fate that awaits Him.  Jesus says His “soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” (Matthew 26:38) He is distraught, anguished, tormented.

Does your soul feel as if it is crushed to the point of death?  Is your mess so big you don’t even know where to begin digging in order to clean it up?  Give it to Jesus, he has been where you stand today and can relate to what you are going through. Look again at Isaiah 43:2 and the promise that God makes you, “…I will be with you.”  What does Matthew 1:23 say Jesus’ name is? Emmanuel.  He wants to give you comfort and hope and walk with you through whatever pain you are experiencing. He wants to be there for you!

It is why He sent His son.

This is what we celebrate.

The gift of “God with us.”

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel.

Take some time today and listen to “How Many Kings” by Downhere and allow it to really penetrate your heart.  May you find the true source of comfort and friendship we are all so desperately seeking.

The Innkeeper read by John Piper

The Innkeeper often gets vilified during the Christmas season as we challenge each other not to be like the innkeeper. I myself have done it many times over. This riveting story is a paradigm shift that caused my heart to ache. A picture of the cost of housing the Savior; it made me stop and remember again that we never know the struggles and baggage that someone else carries with them. A beautiful, heart-wrenching take on what might have been and a reminder that this season is about so much more than red and green packages placed under a tree. This season is prophecy fulfilled, for our sake He became poor, and because of that the road to Calvary must begin with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem.