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It seems I can’t go anywhere these days (especially Facebook) without hearing about the latest attack on Christianity. People won’t keep Christ in Christmas. Government officials are removing prayers from their meetings and nativity scenes from public property. A & E just suspended Phil Robertson, the star of the popular show Duck Dynasty, for saying homosexuality is a sin during an interview. It seems everywhere you look, the secularists are increasing in both number and volume. They are pushing back against those who claim to follow Christ and sticking it in our craw with all their fine rules and regulations designed to keep us in line.
And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about it. Continue reading
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to take the holy advice of my Christian friends and find rest in my Savior. It’s proven to be one of most disturbingly painful experiences of my life thus far.
A few months ago, I told the Lord that I wanted to draw closer to him. He said, “OK,” then proceeded to drag down all of my internal supports and kick me onto my face. All of my usual coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s hardships were suddenly rendered null and void. I became incapable of carrying the burdens that I normally carried. Now I struggle to pray for myself, let alone anyone else. The light of joy that had finally begun to blaze in my heart weeks before has flickered and grown dark. Most of the time when I’ve tried to explain to others what’s going on with me, they stare at me like I have three heads. The grief and humiliation has been almost beyond bearing.
If there’s a level of brokenness beyond this, I don’t want to know about it.
The few times that I have been able to pray, I have asked God to help me enter His rest. Up until recently, though, the help didn’t appear to be forthcoming. Finally, in frustration, I asked God, “Will I ever enter your rest?”
He answered, “I don’t know. Will you?”
I…what?! Continue reading
I’ve got a message for you today. You’re not going to like it. It’s about grace.
I was feeling really crappy last week. I mean, really. On the verge of hysterical screams, in fact. My stress level was out of control, and I just couldn’t seem to pull it together. So I did something to put my pain into perspective. I found a picture of the crucified Jesus on the Internet (see right), made a little motivational poster out of it and hung it up in my cubicle at work. It said, “Even Jesus had bad days.” And below that, 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
There was something terribly poignant about that verse and that image coming together. Two hours later, I wanted to tear the poster off the wall. Continue reading
About four months ago, I decided I wanted to grow much deeper in my faith. I had just come out of a years-long spiritual desert and was ready to learn how to walk in the fresh outpouring of the Spirit that I sensed was finally falling upon my heart. So I bought some study books and kicked off my new spiritual journey with a week of prayer and fasting.
Since then, I’ve seen God do some incredible things in my life. He’s expanded my faith exponentially. He’s deepened my understanding of the gospel and strengthened my spiritual gifts. He’s given me favor on the job. He’s brought greater health to my body and peace to my heart. He’s answered several of my prayers in miraculous ways. I should be on top of the world, right?? Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a guy named Abraham. He was really old and afraid that he’d die without an heir. But then God gave him a promise: his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. A couple of decades later, Abraham’s son is born–the firstfruits of a great promise.
And then God tells Abraham to do something unthinkable. He is to take his son up on a mountain and sacrifice him to the Lord. We know how the story ends: Abraham goes up to the altar, the Lord stays his hand, a ram gets the knife instead (see Genesis 22).
Atheists like to use this passage as evidence of God’s cruelty, even though Abraham kept his child in the end. But I think this scripture is indicative of something else–of what it means to be, as Romans 12:1 says, a living sacrifice. Continue reading