When God Slays Us

When God Slays Us.jpg

I look around me and see brokenness.

Broken relationships. Broken hearts. Broken bodies. Broken souls.

I look in me and see brokenness. I am a fractured soul in a fractured world. And I’m learning that this brokenness is preaching a sermon.

Brokenness reveals our need for a Savior and for Someone to make us whole.
Brokenness reveals we are not sufficient to make it through this life on our own.
Brokenness reveals we are not the masters of our own destiny, because we can’t even get ourselves out of suffering.
Brokenness confronts our source of identity and awakens our hearts to new ways of depending on the Great Sovereign.
Brokenness challenges our worship.

What will we do with our brokenness? What will we do when God justly afflicts us? What will we do when He pierces our hearts?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning Munch No. 164 – Betrayal and Obedience

pexels-photo-426613.jpeg

“So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward…” -John 18:3-4a

Tears. Every time.

Jesus didn’t shrink back from betrayal; He walked right into it, joyfully enduring the Father’s perfect plan.

Thank You for stepping forward, Lord.
That step of obedience rescued me.
I am eternally grateful.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

God Never Wastes Your Waiting

God never wastes your waiting.jpg

Microwaves.
Instant downloads.
Express lanes.
Remote-start cars.

We’re a culture that knows what we want—and we want it now.

Feasting on entitlement and instant gratification, we hate delays in traffic, food service, and the Internet. My coworker says we live in a drive-thru society and because of that we’ve developed aversions to any and every delay, glorifying everything instant.

This bleeds over into our walk with God. We want Him to answer, provide, and show Himself the second we ask, seek, or knock. But sometimes His answer comes in silence (which is not the same as abandonment) or a whispered, Wait.

That’s where God has me right now. It’s good and hard and holy and is daily exposing my heart, which is tainted by the desire to control everything. Impatience reveals we are not God and that, try as we might, we cannot make things operate on our timetable.

In this reality, I am called to wait. Maybe you are, too.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Wisdom, Banana Splits, and My Cute Parents

IMG_6632_1024.jpg

We enjoyed 1991 with big smiles and noteworthy bangs.

Teachable moments.
Character building exercises. 
Family meetings and studying Proverbs. 
Heart-to-hearts over big bowls of cereal. 
Constant heart checks and hard questions. 
Laughter, tears, discipline, and mercy. 
Dinner conversation and studying Philippians.
More love and grace than I could deserve in 10,000 lifetimes. 

That’s what my childhood was made of. 

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool.jpg

Last week was rough. The following is a snapshot into my journal last Tuesday.


“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the bones that You have broken rejoice.”
-Psalm 51:7-8

Sometimes it feels like God is cleaning me with steel wool instead of the cotton washcloths I prefer.

As I write this, my heart aches. I’m crying and hurting. I feel broken by longings and unsaid words and independent realities and the delay of good dreams. 

“I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:75-77

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Time to Embrace

a time to embrace.jpg

The conversation is seared into my brain.

We were at the kitchen table eating breakfast with my dad, studying Scripture, and processing how we are prone to see suffering as an inconvenience rather than what it is, love from God, when one of our best friends said,

“[Suffering] actually produces gold and then you level up (1 Peter 1:6-7), like in a video game, so you almost want to go find land mines joyfully and destroy them so we get more of Christ.”

For a couple of years, my constant prayer has been that I would not resist anything that would make me look more like Christ. But Daniel’s words at breakfast opened up a completely new (and convicting) perspective.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Is God Enough in the Wilderness?

Is God Enough in the Wilderness?.jpg

The last week has felt a lot like what I imagine the wilderness felt like to Moses and the children of Israel.

I’ve ached for relief from the heat and unfamiliar surroundings that are, ironically, becoming achingly familiar (“Didn’t we pass that tree a few months ago?” “Is that the same hill I tripped over last year?” “Do you recognize that brown spot? We must have seen it before. Oh right, we have.”). For forty years they wandered, making lap after lap around the barren land, complaining about their manna and quail, and wishing for what God in His mercy saw fit to withhold.

Well, hello, insight to Sophie’s heart.  

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not Jesus “the Great”

not Jesus the Great.jpg

Pluralism affirms that every “ism” has its own independent validity and an equal right to our respect. 

It therefore rejects Christian claims to finality and uniqueness, and condemns as sheer arrogance the attempt to convert anybody (let alone everybody) to what it sees as merely our opinions.

How should we respond to the spirit of pluralism? With great humility, I hope, and with no hint of personal superiority. But we must continue to affirm the uniqueness and finality of Jesus Christ. For He is unique in His incarnation (the one and only God-man), unique in His atonement (only He has died for the sins of the world), and unique in His resurrection (only He has conquered death). And since in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in His birth), then bear our sins (in His death), and then triumph over death (in His resurrection), He is uniquely competent to save sinners. Nobody else possesses His qualifications.

So we may talk about Alexander the Great, Charles the Great and Napoleon the Great, but not Jesus the Great. He is not the Great—He is the only. There is nobody like Him. He has no rival and no successor.

-John Stott, The Radical Disciple 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

An Open Letter to Thesaurus.com

letter to thesaurus.jpg

Dear Thesaurus.com

You complete me. No, really, you complete me.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of absent words, I fear no assignment, for your gold website is with me. Your synonyms and antonyms, they comfort me. You prepare a table of plenteous words in the presence of my deadlines; you anoint my essays with sparkling adjectives; my word count overflows.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Speaking the Gospel in the Face of Unbelief

march-april promo.jpg

“We’re not here to give a sales pitch; we are sent by the Spirit to share how Jesus changes everything.” -Jeff Vanderstelt

Check out our interview with Jeff about his new book Gospel Fluency in the latest RTM Magazine.

Get your free copy on iPhoneiPadAndroid, or on the web.

pexels-photo-196649 edited.jpg

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,