Looking for a Lenten Devotional? My friend Curt and I wrote one. It reflects on the four soils Jesus mentions in Matthew 13. Along with the reflections, there is space for your own thoughts as well as some spiritual practices.
You can find more information and get the Kindle or paperback version at:
Confused and Abandoned
Sometimes all we can do is cry out to God. Life, as wonderful as it can be, also brings difficulties and confusion. Even our best attempts end up leaving us wondering what went wrong. We believe and hear that God loves us, but at times, we wonder what it means to be loved by God. On a surface level, we may believe that being loved by God means that things will work out, but then they don’t.
Continue reading “Abandoned – Reflection on Psalm 44”
Twice the Psalmist asks, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?”
Can you identify? Something’s wrong, deep within. Perhaps, like the psalmist, we can’t figure out what’s wrong. The psalmist asks his soul for answers, but gets none.
Maybe we all have these experiences. Life comes at us hard and fast dragging us down to the depths of despair. When we come up for air we realize, something isn’t quite right.
Continue reading “Disturbed and Downcast”
Right now, many are setting New Year’s resolutions. We should all be pretty good at this practice considering many of our resolutions are the same failed resolutions from the past. (Yes…I really will lose the weight!! Just like last year).
Now for Something Completely Different…
This year I’m trying something different. I’m not focusing on resolutions, but rather over all goals and practices that move me toward that goal. Our practices should be based on our goals. What do we want out of life? Who do we want to be? What are our ultimate goals? After knowing what we really want, we can try to discern what practices will move us closer to our goals. Continue reading “No More Resolutions”
He was to overthrow Israel’s enemies. That was the hope. The Jewish people expected a Messiah who would set them free. They knew things were not the way they were supposed to be. Their dream was one day God would send a hero, a Messiah, who would put everything back to rights.
God did the unexpected. Instead of a mighty Messiah, Jesus came into the world as a child. He emptied himself (Philippians 2) of everything but love, came into the world as a servant, humbled himself, was obedient to God, even to death. A child who would save the world wasn’t what was expected. The birth of Jesus was so much more.
Perhaps our minds couldn’t grasp how God’s plan could work. A Messiah with the power of God overthrowing enemies and putting everything to rights makes sense. We can understand how someone like that could be victories. But a child? How would a child fulfill God’s promises? How could a child free God’s people?
Jesus is Immanuel; God with us. He is not a warrior to fight on our behalf, but one who walks with us through all the fights. Through him we find peace that doesn’t make sense. In the midst of our trouble we find we are not alone. Instead of transforming the world through power, he transforms the world through love. Jesus is not what was expected, he is more than we could ever have hoped.