A picture really is worth a thousand words. I saw this infographic below and I felt its message is quite powerful.Read More
“Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were GREATLY AMAZED, and running to Him, greeted Him.” Mark 9:15
Ever notice how many times the gospel says that Jesus AMAZED the crowds? Or that everyone was ASTONISHED by His words? Ever count the number of times that Jesus performed a miracle and it says that all the crowds MARVELED when they saw it?
From start to finish, Jesus led a truly AMAZING life. There weren’t too many dull days with Him around. One day healing the sick; the next day feeding the multitudes. One day preaching in parables; the next day casting out demons. He was a Teacher and a Preacher; a Comforter and a Counselor. He was all things to all men. But apparently not everyone was impressed.Read More
This is a guest post from Marina Abdel Malak – a FrAnthony.com guest post favorite. In her previous posts, Marina spoke about her battle with ANOREXIA NERVOSA and how God helped her overcome it. Now, thanks to God, Marina is preparing for a career in helping others overcome their illnesses in medical school. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.Read More
“If it looks good, feels good, tastes good, or smells good, STAY AWAY FROM IT! It’s probably sinful and from the devil.” ~ something Jesus never said
You may never have heard it said exactly that way before, but if you grew up in church, you’re probably familiar with that type of thinking. It’s the thinking that says you can either a) love God and hate everything in the world, or b) enjoy the world in sinful defiance of God… but you can’t do both!
“If it feels good, it’s sinful. If it makes you happy, it’s not God’s will for your life. God wants you to have self-control and not to fulfill your desires with earthly things. If you love Jesus, then He should be enough to fulfill you and anything more is idolatrous and sinful.”Read More
What do you do when God says NO?
We've all been there. We've all been in a situation (and probably many are there currently as well) where we've prayed about a certain situation and gotten a NO from God. Whether that's a broken relationship, a sick family member, a lost friend or anything else that has brought us to our knees in prayer.
What do you do when God says NO?
That was the topic of the finale of INTO THE WAR ROOM. We learned that our trust needs to be in the GIVER, not in the gift.
“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
One Saturday night, when I was 18, I went to visit some neighbors who recently moved to our area. I was actually going to apologize for a noisy party we were having at a friend's house next door. I thought they might be upset.
But to my surprise, they weren’t. In fact, when they opened the door, I saw a very thin, shy man and his equally thin, shy wife watching from afar. I was expecting them to be upset; but instead they invited me in for coffee!
Immediately I noticed something different about them. The wife brought out a tray from which the husband handed me what looked like a small bowl full of dark coffee. I didn't want to offend, so I hid my confusion and smiled and drank it all at once.
WHOA! I soon learned that the coffee, like my neighbors themselves, was Arabic in origin. Unlike my neighbors though, the coffee was extremely bitter! Very potent!
Soon after however, the wife brought out another tray – this time full of a sweet, rich pastry that our Lebanese neighbors call ‘baklava’. It wasn’t long before the level of honey in that dessert made me completely forget the bitter aftertaste from the coffee.
In the trials of life, in the confusing times, bitterness creeps up on us like a cup of my neighbor's coffee.Read More
Once upon a time there were two 8-year old twin boys – completely identical in every way except one. THEIR ATTITUDES! One of the boys was always upbeat…always smiling…always cheerful. To him, the cup was always half-full and there was always a silver lining in every situation.
But the other boy was quite the opposite. Seldom would you find him in a good mood. To him, the cup was always half-empty and there was never a silver lining. He was always worried. Always depressed. Always down on life.
Their parents began to worry about these unhealthy extremes in their boys. One boy took life way too seriously and had too much anxiety. The boy was the polar opposite. Life was a party for him. He needed to be brought down to earth a little bit. So the parents came up with a plan. For their 9th birthday, they were determined to find a way to balance their children out.
First they went to a toy store and spent hundreds of dollars on all the latest toys, games and electronics for their depressed son. They filled his room with these items while he was out at school and thought to themselves “When he comes home and sees all these toys, that’ll cheer him up a little.”
For the other son, they filled his room with something different...much different…HORSE MANURE! Yep, that’s right. 30 cubic yards of horse manure, fresh from the stables!
They had the perfect plan…or so they thought.Read More
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
When I was younger, I had a problem with my vision and had to wear glasses. Thankfully I don’t have to anymore – thanks to a rare situation in 1999 when my medical insurance actually allowed me to have Lasik eye surgery at no cost. But I still sympathize with those who struggle with their eyesight. I actually remember when my eyesight began deteriorating. I resisted the idea of getting glasses. I didn’t want to be labeled a “four-eyes” so I did what any normal 14 year old, image-conscious young man would do…I pretended everything was fine.
I would squint when no one was looking. I would sort of guess what the teacher was writing on the board based on context. I would sit closer and closer to the TV in order to try to see clearly. But after a while, the fighting just became too much. I broke down and faced reality – I NEED GLASSES. So begrudgingly I went to the eye doctor and got a prescription.
MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I could see! It was like a whole new world opened up to me – all those fuzzy little details now became clear. I could see what the teacher was writing on the board. I didn’t have to sit two feet from the TV in order to watch. I could read a book without burying my face inside it. It was an amazing transformation that I could have never predicted would take place.
How about your spiritual vision? Have you had that checked recently?Read More
What would make you happy right now? If you could have anything in the world, what would you ask for right now to make you happy? New car? New house? New job? New kids? New wife? What would it take to make you happy?
Once there were two twin boys celebrating their 8th birthday. One boy was always very chipper, upbeat and positive; he always had a “half-full” view of life. The other was the opposite – pessimistic, melancholy, depressed, lived with a “half-empty” view of life. The parents of these twins became worried about the extreme discrepancy between their children. They wanted to balance them out a little so they came up with a plan.
For their 8th birthday, the parents were going to fill the room of the second child – the “sad” one – with toys. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall toys! All the toys a kid could ever wish for. And for the other child – the “happy” one – they were going to fill his room with horse manure. Once again, floor to ceiling, wall to wall manure.
They filled each room with the appropriate “surprise” and then sent the kids up after school. They waited 15 minutes and then went up.Read More
One of my favorite things to do is to look through my journal and read some of the entries that I wrote in the past. I’ve always found that practice to be extremely uplifting and encouraging. There’s nothing like seeing where you WERE to give you better perspective on where you ARE. Below is a journal excerpt from about 4-5 months ago – around Thanksgiving Day.
Everything I wrote about back then – especially the things that didn’t make sense at the time – now are crystal clear. They weren’t back then, but in looking back, truly I can say that “God makes all things work together for good to those who love who Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Below is the excerpt (modified to fit blog post form of course). Enjoy!Read More