A few Sundays ago I was really struggling. The week before had been awful with long days at work, unpleasant drama in some close relationships, and unforeseen and unbudgeted expenses. Think of all the things that drain your energy, and they were probably a part of my week. The weekend hadn’t brought any more rest with it either, so by Sunday morning I pulled into the church parking lot with my emotional tank on E.
I sat through the sermon, and I tried not to cry.
I didn’t tell anyone how down I felt. How hard things were. How in need of prayer I was.
Because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a hot mess. Continue reading “Gaining Strength Through Vulnerability”
Being the analytical sort, I have always figured that Heaven will surely be way overcrowded!! I mean, think of the world population today and then throw in all the previous generations! Even if Christians are the only ones going there—based on John 14:6 which says “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’”—there are still loads of folks called Christians who have died over the centuries! So I always thought it sounded like standing room only in Heaven! Continue reading “Maybe Heaven Won’t Be That Crowded!”
I avoid hard times and tough choices at almost any cost. If being allergic to hard times was a thing, I would definitely be allergic. Like highly allergic. There is something buried deep inside us all that tells us we were not meant for pain and hardships, that these things are results of the Fall not of the Creation.
While it is natural to be resistant towards difficulties, it is completely unnatural to expect that difficulties will never arise. And yet, for some odd reason, Christ-followers tend to believe, either consciously or subconsciously, that when we dedicate our lives to following the way of Jesus our lives will be void of hardship. It is almost as if we think God owes us something for deciding that we want to live life the right way instead of the wrong way. But that is not the way life goes. Continue reading “Threadbare”
ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 12: Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
In the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, my heart grieved for the men and women who in their final moments of life experienced the kind of terror that is of nightmares. I cried looking at the faces of every person who won’t be home for the holidays, the voices that won’t ever again wish a “happy Mother’s Day” or “happy birthday.”
It made me wonder if I was ever to find myself in a situation where a shooter was on the hunt for me and for my friends, if I could hear him coming, if I knew my life was moments away from ending, whose voice would I want to hear? What would I say? What would my parting words be?
In asking the questions, the humanity of each face came into focus. The people who died in the shooting in Orlando were sons and daughters. They had inside jokes with their friends and insurance payments to make. They liked spaghetti and sunsets and going on fast rollercoasters. They had favorite colors and bad days. They wanted to be loved and to grow old. Continue reading “Orlando: June 2016”
Just like that Christmas sweater I got, I want to exchange my spiritual gift! Yes, I know the 1 Corinthians 12 analogy about the body. Sure, the toe is just as important as the hand and the eye cannot say to the feet “I don’t need you” and therefore all parts of the body are equal and important. So yes, I get that all the spiritual gifts are needed and are a vital part of the church.
But come on! Administration? Really? It’s like the most common of all the gifts. Sort of like having A+ blood. It’s good to donate it and sick people need it, but no one gets all that excited about it when you go into the blood donation center. Why couldn’t I get something a bit flashier? Continue reading “Spiritual Gift Exchange”
Do you ever have those seasons of life where you wake up one day and realize that it has been far too long since you spent quality time with God? I just recently got out of one of those seasons. It was one of those moments where I had grown weary and frustrated not only with those around me, but with myself as well. And as I arrived at my last straw, feeling so out of place and lost as to who I really was, I realized that it had been a scarily long time since I had been in the presence of God. Once I came to this realization, I took time to abide in God’s presence and it was as though the sun had broken through the cloudiness of my thoughts and feelings. As though my life had found its center once more.
It was not the first, and unfortunately I can only assume that it will not be the last, time I go through one of those seasons. The reality is that we are messed up human beings who allow ourselves to get crowded, overwhelmed and distracted by far lesser things than the God we serve. Though we know we desperately need the presence of God to sustain us in our very lives it is often the first thing we spurn and set aside when life gets too “busy.” Continue reading “White Noise”