It’s part 2 in the series First in Faith: The Life of Abraham and this week we see a different side of our hero - one that struggles and makes mistakes. But it’s through those mistakes that we learn an important lesson about God’s promises and the life of faith: God’s promises are based more on who HE IS vs what I DO.Read More
God is love! The elementary school answer that I admittedly used well beyond elementary school. But hey, in my defense, the older I grew and the harder I tried to understand Christianity, the more I realized this simple statement carried heavier weight than it seems at first sight.Read More
"My prayer is, when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight." harles Studd
Every now and then I read a passage in the Bible that just clicks. One sentence will speak volumes and resonate on so many levels. Yesterday was one of those days. I read John 12 – the story of when Jesus went to visit the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus just after raising Lazarus from the dead in chapter 11 (see John 11:38-45). The part that struck me was this:
“But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” John 12:10-11Read More
Every now and then, I read a passage in the Bible that touches my heart in a way that leaves me speechless. Literally speechless – nothing at all to say. And that isn’t an easy task considering I’m someone who makes a living out of talking - and talking specifically about the Bible!
But recently I found myself at that exact point as I was reading and meditating on the story of the Prodigal Son (see Luke 15:11-32).Read More
It hasn’t been a long time since I’ve begun to write, but it has been long enough for me to truly notice and witness God’s grace in my life.
Most people who help me with my writing pieces, know that my favorite topic to write about is the grace of God. The all-knowing, all-merciful and all-loving God. His love extends so far into every facet of my life that I find it so difficult now to understand how blind I can sometimes be, and how much better I need to be every single day.Read More
Understanding the concept of "The Father" can be bewildering. The challenge is being able to separate YOUR father from OUR Father.
If you think of how you came to be, there's a good chance that within your parents’ grand design there was a child. But what they couldn't design was how you would turn out: the color of your hair, the width of your smile, the sound of your voice… these were all things that weren’t within their control.
But when God added you to His grand design, every inch of you was intentional: the color of your hair, the width of your smile, even the sound of your voice.Read More
We wrapped up our 6 week Seasoning Life journey yesterday and the final habit is more of a mindset to live by, not an action to practice. And that is SACRIFICE.
What does sacrifice mean and why is it a non-negotiable requirement for a follower of Jesus? Because it is the summary of everything Jesus came to do and therefore the only appropriate way we can respond is by doing the same. Check out the video to see what I mean.
And don't forget to keep on practicing the B-E-L-L-S habits:
B - Bless
E - Eat
L - Learn
L - Listen
S - Sacrifice
Roses are red, I have a phone, nobody texts me, forever alone.
Loneliness is familiar to us all. The loneliness of those estranged from loved ones, those who work or study in isolation, or those who are socially outcast. The loneliness of a man sitting across the dinner table from his wife unable to convey his feelings, the loneliness of a family sitting in front of the television incapable of sharing their dreams, or the loneliness of a commuter on the subway surrounded by the silence of other commuters staring at each other’s shoes.
Loneliness is a universal human experience.Read More
"Your problem isn’t that you aren’t worthy of God’s love. Your problem is that you don’t believe it."
Kicked off a new series yesterday about a topic that everyone can relate to...FAILURE. Feeling like you're not good enough, or that you'll never get past your struggles, or that you've let God/others/yourself down. We're talking about what to do with guilt and shame and doubt and despair and all the other feelings that come with failing time and time again.
The theme of the series is this: God wants to work THROUGH your mistakes and shortcomings, not IN SPITE of them.
Every now and then I read a passage in the Bible that just clicks. One sentence will speak volumes and resonate on so many levels. Today was one of those days. This morning I was reading John 12 – the story of when Jesus went to visit the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus just after raising Lazarus from the dead in chapter 11 (see John 11:38-45). The part that struck me was this:
“But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” John 12:10-11
Lazarus had a great miracle happen to him. He was raised from the dead by Jesus after being dead for 4 days in the tomb. That isn’t the kind of thing that happens every day – even Jesus was alive on the earth. And now that he was alive, he was a living testimony to the power of Jesus. The chief priests were trying to tell everyone that Jesus was a bad guy or at least a normal guy at best. Their message was “don’t follow Him. He is nothing special. Keep living your life as usual and don’t pay too much attention to what He is saying.”
But when Lazarus walked into the room, their message became much less effective. Lazarus was a walking billboard – shouting out JESUS IS THE REAL DEAL! JESUS IS ALL-POWERFUL! JESUS IS GOD! You couldn’t escape it as long as Lazarus was alive.Read More
We recently asked our college Sunday school class where they think they would go if they died today and why. All of them, 100%, said they would go to hell because they're not worthy of heaven.
There's something very wrong here that made me want to fire myself from any kind of church teaching that I've done in the past 10 years. I shared a discussion of this incident in a post on my blog. Thousands of views later, it seems clear that there's a real issue here.
It’s been said that half-truths are more dangerous than lies...and we've been victims of a terrible half-truth, "We are not worthy of salvation." But there’s gotta be more to the story.Read More
"What’s God’s will for my life?" That’s gotta be the #1 question people want answered. But in order for us to decipher God’s INDIVIDUAL will for our lives, we must first discover God’s GENERAL will for us – His overarching desire God for all His children.
The Bible mentions many components of this general will of God (love your enemies, honor your parents, in everything give thanks, etc.) but I would like to share about just one for today – based on two verses from Scripture:
[God] “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
I just bought a new car. Exciting, huh? Maybe not for you, but if you’d seen the car I’ve been driving around for the past year, trust me, you’d be excited too.
My last car didn’t have a sideview mirror – I mean it used to have one, but not anymore. It also didn’t have air conditioning. And even if it did, I couldn’t have used it because the temperature knob has broken for months. So I couldn’t even try to pretend that the 900 degree temperature in my car during summer was by choice.
I got to the point where I couldn’t have cared less about that car.
I didn’t care if I parked next to rampant shopping carts in the lot or too close for comfort by a pole. I prayed someone would ram into it so I could at least collect insurance on it. At one point, I got an estimate — it cost as much as it was worth to fix it. I never washed it or vacuumed it. What did it matter anyway? It was a piece of junk. Mind you, I’m normally pretty care free, but that car took me to a whole new level.
But everything’s different with the new car. Not even close. I will guard this car with my life. Everything is now the enemy of my new car.Read More
“The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux
A few years ago, something happened to me that changed my perspective on what motherhood really means. I remember it as if it were yesterday. At the time, my prayers were focused on one thing: becoming a good mother.
I wanted to be a good mother to my newborn son. And, as the wife of a priest, I wanted to learn how to be a mother of the church. Both are overwhelming tasks, tasks that I cannot handle on my own. So I looked to the best mentor and guide I could find for this vocation: the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of our Savior Jesus Christ.
At the time, there was a group of young women I was discipling in a small group. We were growing in the Word of God. We had spiritual retreats and fellowship outings. We had fun too – with cooking nights and having them over to spend the night.Read More