Death and Life

We sometimes forget the extremity of Jesus’ language. For Jesus, the cross is hard and cruel. It was not an easy thing to carry. For Jesus, the cross was the place of his rejection and death.  It is to this place that Jesus bids us to follow.  Is it any wonder, then, that the cross is hard reality in our lives? We feel it viscerally pressing against us. The cross upsets our lives.  What is more, taking up our cross means we may need to walk with it for a while. This can be involve walking a difficult and sometimes lonely path. Yet despite all of this, taking up our cross is an act of radical hope.

Go on…take a seat

Tucked in the pages of the Old Testament is a beautiful picture of King David sitting before God. Immediately following his rebuke by the Prophet Nathaniel scripture records that “King David went in and sat before the Lord” (2nd Samuel 7:18). The verse is simple and uncomplicated. It’s easy to miss. Yet the common-place nature of the verse suggests it to be an action that David preformed countless times before. David knew exactly where to go to connect with the Lord. When David felt an inward desire to be in God’s presence, he journeyed to a sacred spot and sat down.

Revisiting a simple faith

Here's the truth of the matter: our life with God is simple.  Simplicity, as defined by Richard Foster, is a “single hearted focus on God and God’s kingdom.”  What this means is that we reach out to Jesus as the very basis of our lives.  This is where we start. Yes, external frameworks can help us, yet they must be secondary to our primary task of simply reaching out to Jesus.

From Fear to Faith

Do you find that fear limits you from stepping boldly into the new life that Jesus calls you into? When we focus too much on that fear, or the lies it tries to tell us, we can easily get stuck in our faith. We may look at opportunities before us and believe that we are not ready or able to do what God asks. The truth is God’s grace often shines most brightly through the imperfect cracks of our lives.

The small brightenings of faith

Faith isn’t lived from the miraculous to the miraculous. Sure, Moses’ had an experience of the Burning Bush, but his faith in God only grew in the 40-year slog of an everyday journey. More often than not, our faith is couched in the ordinary.  Our faith grows amid a life where nothing miraculous seemingly take place. Why, then, do we make such miraculous experiences the definitive mark of faith?

Standing on the Promise Steps

God’s promises are spoken precisely for those moments when we need them. They hold us up when our faith feels shaky and unsupported. They provide strength and hope for our Christian walk. The times of discouragement, therefore, are not a denial of our faith; they are but the moments wherein we learn the strength of God’s eternal word, and the constancy of God’s presence.

Just say “No”

If you are like me, the mere suggestion that we might say no to a request, particularly in the church, raises all sorts of objections. “I can’t do that – people are counting on me”, we might say. Yet what if this is but a mask? What if our refusal to say no is keeping us from going deeper in our relationship with the Lord? Like Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet, what if Jesus wants us to say no to other demands? What if Jesus is calling people to count on him and not on us?