Why the established and strong are headed to a dreadful fall
Anyone who has been through the muck of life in any significant way tends to have a bit of a chip on their shoulder when they reach the other side. The heart is hardened some. Defense mechanisms are created and are maintained in the background operating system of the subconscious. And then pride often comes in like the silent slither of a poisonous snake. Waiting.
That’s the thing with the muck – it can simultaneously lead you to repentance and it can plant a seed of pride in the depths of your heart. The muck can destroy your trust in people. It shows you who is really there for you. And sometimes you find that it’s a select few. Other times you find that it’s one. Other times you find that it’s none.
How God Said No to King David, But Flipped Everything to the Best Yes
You have it all figured out. Your plans are superb and they are God-honoring. How would God not bless them? How would He not give a resounding yes to them? Maybe you want to lead an initiative of some kind. Maybe you have a vision for a grand coalition of organizations and churches uniting together to address some real-world issue. I don’t know what your plans are. But you do.
And it may be the case that your plans have just not yet come to pass. Maybe it’s a not yet, but a yes in your lifetime. And only you can determine if it’s so. But here’s the thing: some plans don’t line up with God’s (at least not in your lifetime or not fulfilled by you, and sometimes not at all).
Surprises. You may love them or you may hate them. Surprises. They remind us that we don’t, in fact, have everything neatly planned out and figured out. God, I think, likes doing things to us like that. You know, putting us into positions of awe, amazement, and humility.
He sometimes shows up out of seemingly nowhere. We pray for God to do something big and we lose confidence in Him answering that prayer because it’s been weeks and He hasn’t delivered. Weeks. We are so short-sighted. Or even years. Still, we are short-sighted. God doesn’t always say yes to our prayers because He has the bigger picture.
5 Advantages of Thinking Long and How to Get There
Earlier this month my wife and I closed the loan on our new home. We bought a house! We are now moved in and are slowly unpacking our things and settling in. From the time we got married in 2010 to now, we have moved a grand total of nine times. NINE!
The bulk of these moves have happened since we came to Cincinnati to attend school and pursue vocational ministry. We had always rented, bouncing around every year (sometimes less time, sometimes more). Once we began entertaining the idea of buying a home, our minds began to automatically shift and it is here where we discovered this valuable lesson about life and faith.
When you become a dad, you don’t get a handbook on how to do it. At least I didn’t. The truth about being a dad is that it’s the sum of a ton of trial and error. That’s how it feels for me, anyway. There are moments where you feel that you did something right and there are (for me) more moments you feel you could have done better.
I’m blessed to be a daddy to two little girls. They are sources of joy and sources of frustration (it’s okay that I be honest, right?). Our toddler is as stubborn as her daddy and her mommy (we are both stubborn, don’t tell her I told you). As Father’s Day quickly approaches, I have begun reflecting on what I’ve learned as a dad. Problem is, I feel very strongly that I haven’t figured out much.
Combine these to create a catalyst to propel you forward
It was beginning to be ingrained in my head. I was being taught how to grow as a person, as a salesman, as a leader, and as a man. This wasn’t in the church, but in a business. They valued reading great books and taking action. It made sense so I began to read. I hated to read! But I bit the bullet. And grow I did.
From there, when I was introduced to the God of the Bible and His church, I seemed to be prepared for what lay ahead. My journey of discovery wasn’t complex, it wasn’t epic by any means, it was a fusion of 3 simple and dependable paths to spiritual growth. Together these acted as a combined catalyst that caused to have a little bit of a clue by the time I got to Bible College – a little over a year after I began following Jesus. And I’d like to share those paths to spiritual growth with you.
Just give up. Give up trying to be well-rounded because you were never meant to be so… One thing I love to do is to take people through a process where they can discover how they are wired – how God has designed them. Just recently I got to do this through a new process at The Crossing where I serve as a pastor and that part of the process – where people learned how they are wired – was their favorite part.
The same kind of feedback came when my wife and I, along with our awesome team, took HS students through the same process a few years ago when I served as a student pastor. They loved getting to know how God had wired them uniquely and has gifted them to serve Him in their lives. The process is a simple one: we go through some various assessments with the participants and help them understand their results. The process is simple, but the fundamental idea goes straight against the popular opinion that you should strive to be a well-rounded person.
Does He? Does God really love me? The question burns from the deepest part of me. It wells up like a raging storm disrupting everything inside of me and every thought that goes from me into the world. I wonder. I search. I desire an answer. How can I really know?
I live in a world full of hatred. I’ve stopped leaving the confines of my four walls so that I’m not confronted with anymore reality of the human condition. How could a perfect, just, and loving Creator create such imperfect, unjust, unloving creatures?