Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Monday Challenge 4.10.17 – When You’re Wronged, Don’t Parent Snowflakes, Easter Week

Good Monday morning. At our house today marks my wife Julie’s birthday. Woohoo!

Take some time to think through what you’ll read here today. Some challenging stuff for sure.

When You’re Wronged

This article will challenge anyone suffering from an injustice beyond their control.

Question: How does God’s mercy speak to injustice?

Don’t Parent Snowflakes

This should make us think about our definitions of bullying and challenge us to think about the emotional health and stability of our kids.

Question: How might our definitions of bullying affect the emotional health of kids?

Become Less

What a title: “The Grace of Becoming Less”.

Question: How do you evaluate “contentment”?

Easter Week in Real Time

I found this early this morning.  Hopefully it will help you understand the events of Holy Week.

Question: Where does knowledge such as this meet practice in daily life?

Tuesday Rambling 4.3.17 – Is It Possible For Me To Love You?

April won’t prevent a little rambling.

Is it possible for me to love you if…

  • you voted for Trump and I didn’t?
  • you voted for Hillary and I didn’t?
  • you disagree with me theologically?
  • you don’t believe what I believe?
  • you live a lifestyle I totally disagree with?
  • you have fallen away from your faith?
  • you no longer attend our church?
  • you have a different background than I do?
  • you struggle or have committed a sin I haven’t?
  • Our culture might say these situations prevent me from loving you.
  • But who has obligated me to erect walls of hate?
  • The love of Jesus possesses a consistent, patient nature.
  • I’m always hopeful that love will win in any relationship, strained or not.
  • Yes, in any of the situations above I could eat a meal with you and listen to your interests and find out how I can pray for your concerns. Would you do the same for me?
  • Don’t believe the lie that you must hate or shout at anyone “on the other side”.
  • All that does is generate ratings and social media traffic.
  • Instead, how about we live like this:
  • Romans 12:18:  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 

Monday Challenge 4.3.17 – Same Sex Attraction, Humans In The Future, Unforgiveness

Monday again. Monday again. I imagine different voice inflections with each “Monday again”.

Regardless of your mood, hopefully this post will help you think. Enjoy…and be challenged!

Same Sex Attraction

Really, what does God want for someone who struggles with SSA?

Question: From where do you think real fruit in our lives comes?

Generosity Burnout

A quick check-up to see if you suffer from generosity burnout.

Question: Did you find any danger areas?

Humans in the Future

This article fascinated me. Will humans have influence in the future…at all? I guess humanistic thinking leads to articles like this.

Question: If you disagree with this, why? Think!

Unforgiveness

For pastors, but a great read for anyone.

Question: How much unforgiveness lingers in your life?

Think and Act 3.29.17 – A Difficult But Hopeful Transition

This past Sunday March 26, our church marked the changing of a season as Josh Miller, Youth Director of almost seven years spent his last Sunday with us. If you would like to listen to the message God gave me for that day, you can listen to it here: Three Encouragements In Transition.

I’m hoping anyone reading this post will find encouragement, help, and perspective. A few summary thoughts:

1. Yes, this situation is difficult.

I don’t have it in me to smile and portray some fake reality. That benefits no one. When God leads someone  away who has developed programming, supported many teens and families, improved your office atmosphere, and befriended you and many in your church and community, it stings.

When someone experiences wide levels of love, support, and friendship, plain facts say they will leave a hole in people’s lives. Yes, of course!

2. No, this situation is not unbearable. God leads the way.

Refer to point #1. “When God leads…” It sounds simple to say “If God authors the change, He will author the path forward.” Well, simple or not, that statement lines up with the truth.

The day Josh told me of their final decision to make the move, I felt a huge sense of loss. But I remember going to my office to do nothing but seek and worship God for about an hour. I am convinced that sweet time spent with God in those difficult moments has provided the foundation of trust He’s (slowly) brought about.

Since Sunday, I’ve gotten a lot of work done in the office the past couple days. Lord willing, a worship service will happen Sunday. I’m beginning to wonder how God will move in our staffing situation. I’m sure Josh looks forward to his new position at Riverwood. I know my friends at Riverwood will anxiously and lovingly receive him.

I don’t claim to know God’s purposes, but I trust His leading more than I trust my ability to comprehend. I am in awe of God, not just when it feels good. Yes, even when it feels bad.

In short, God allows us to see that life goes in in the midst of difficult seasons!

 

3. Personally…

  • I would ask you to pray for our church and all from Josh’s pool of family, friends, and co-workers who will truly miss his presence at our church.
  • Our church’s response has encouraged me greatly, as many have openly committed to praying for God’s leading in both Josh and Kristi’s lives and the future life of our church.
  • These past couple years have forced me to lean into my own calling. God has moved my closest friends/co-workers yet I have no sense He desires to move me. I will press on!

4. So, challenge yourself. How do you handle transition and season changes?

God leads through seasons of life. Do we have an understanding of our world where we expect changes to come? Let’s say God allows me to stay in full time ministry into my 60’s. These seven years working with Josh would represent less than 20% of my total ministry career and much less over my statistically projected lifespan (which currently stands around 80). I hope to remember it fondly and talk with Josh at that point about all God taught us during this season.

Simply put, worshiping God prevents the past from developing into an idol that stifles both present effectiveness and future vision. With an appropriate mixture of sting and optimism, it’s time to acknowledge the end of a very sweet season with a sweet friend and his family…

And to look forward by God’s grace to the season that lies ahead!

Think. When you don’t understand what God’s plans, do you ask Him first or try to figure it all out on your own?

Act. Treasure the seasons of your lives and how God has lead you through them!

Tuesday Rambling 3.28.17 – Walking By Faith

Rambling about faith on this fine Tuesday morning:

  • “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
  • Any relationship with God must have faith as its foundation. To truly trust in the promises of God means you can’t see all the outcomes and results.
  • “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • The opposite of faith is sight. Relying on our own sight means we trust our view better than God’s.
  • Faith requires trust – at all times.
  • Faith often wavers in difficulty; faith comes easily when good times roll.
  • Faith means we trust God’s plans supersede our own – always.
  • Faith means we operate out of conviction God will work in ways we cannot understand.
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8. 
  • Without faith we have no relationship with God. Without God, we have no faith. We cannot originate faith – we must ask God for more and more faith!
  • The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5. Reading Romans 12 and passages like the ones in Luke 17 will encourage us to ask for more faith!
  • And when we have it we should glorify God for it rather than take credit ourselves!
  • So, for salvation, for heaven, for forgiveness, for everything God gives us, we must ask for the faith it takes to see God’s ways and plans.