I’m honored to be guest posting on my pastor’s blog today. Ryan Huguley is lead pastor at Redemption Bible Church in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, a vibrant young congregation in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that is making a huge difference in the community.
Please click here to join me there and read “I’m at a crossroads and I’m not afraid”.
(As always, if you’d like to get an email when I publish new posts, just go to my home page here and subscribe.)
When I was a kid growing up in Key West, there was a young guy in our church, Charlie (not his real name). Every time someone greeted him with, “How you doin’, Charlie?” his response was always, “I’m tired.” Maybe he had a legitimate reason to be constantly exhausted, I don’t know. All I can tell you is, to this day the only thing I remember about that guy is he would always say he was tired.
I shake my head at that now, but I have to wonder, how many times do we – all of us – refer to ourselves in ways that are negative and, over time, allow them to become part of our very identity?
“Tired” seems minor compared to some labels we allow. We accept certain traits about ourselves as unchangeable or certain troubles as inevitable and we miss the truth that we often have a choice.
This morning, my pastor made this specific statement: “God is hard at work in your hopeless situation.” And I started thinking, “What in my life seems hopeless? And if God is hard at work, is it really?”
I was immediately reminded of an interesting story Continue reading The answer to this question is not as easy as it sounds
There’s so much water under this bridge between God and me. He and I have been in a relationship for a very long time. And this praying? I’ve been doing it for decades. I still can’t fully explain how it works but I can tell you, it does. And it feeds my soul.
Entire books – complete with spiral-bound study guides – have been written about prayer so plenty of deep theological scrutiny has already been done. I just want to share a few reasons I personally include you in my prayers: Continue reading This Is Why I Pray for You
In the last two weeks, two of my closest family members have faced health crises that have sent me into an emotional tailspin. I’ve defaulted to my specialty – worry – and it has not served me well. Can you relate?
I wake up again and again in the night, my mind a dark labyrinth of thoughts spinning and clashing out of control. Fear lurks like a thick fog over my bed. Each time, I pray: for a positive outcome to whatever medical procedure looms next, for complete healing of mind and body, for confidence and courage. Then I find soft comfort as I drift back to sleep, only to wake again a short time later, my mind in overdrive once more. Continue reading This package is not for you
“You’ll lead a pretty great life and live to be old. Now go do the best you can.”
I know people who would be happy with that pronouncement. People who really don’t want too much interference from an all-knowing, all-powerful Deity who might have some different ideas about what constitutes a meaningful life.
With those marching orders, they could define “pretty great” for themselves, and the ambiguity of “old” would suit them just fine. Doing their best could mean pursuing happiness on their own terms, finding their own pleasure. That could work out really well.
Until it doesn’t. Continue reading If God said this to you, would it be enough?
On Valentine’s Day, a letter arrived in my mailbox from the little boy I sponsor in Bangladesh through Compassion International. Through an interpreter, he told me about his Christmas and what he had been able to get with the money I had sent him and his family. At the end of the letter, the translator (Timothio) noted, “He is weak in education. Please pray for him. He also prays for you.”
Imagine … a 9 year-old child in a Third World country, praying for me. I was undone. Continue reading One of the most powerful forces on earth
I woke up with a headache this morning that caffeine wouldn’t touch (I’m blaming it on the red tide at the beach yesterday) and it started going downhill from there.
I was trying to complete an important project for my employer and I kept slamming up against computer problems that would have made a preacher cuss. Continue reading I Heard God’s Singing Voice
It’s Saturday, so here are some thoughts for our single friends. A version of this post first appeared in July 2012 on SingleMatters.
A friend of mine years ago used to call me regularly late at night and unload her problems on me. I was an exhausted single mom with a thousand things to do after my little one went down for the night and this was just what I didn’t need.
This friend would drone on and on about everything wrong in her life. She would cry and complain and question the goodness of God. Then, after 30-45 minutes of this she would say, “Well, I have to go, but quickly – how are you?”
My response was always, “Quickly? I’m fine.” Whether I was or not. And then we would hang up.
You know what? She was a load. Continue reading “Quickly, How Are You?”
No, not like one of those apparitions where Jesus’ face appears on a grilled cheese sandwich or a weeping Virgin Mary is seen on a dirt-streaked wall.
The smudged screen didn’t hint at a bearded, long-haired man if I squinted just so. Nope, not like that at all.
It was more of a simple reminder. A message that a vast, all-powerful God could peek into my seemingly insignificant life to say a quick, “Hey, love you!”
Here’s what happened: Continue reading I Saw God When I Opened My Laptop Today
Yesterday on Twitter someone quoted David Augsburger and it was so arresting I had to read it twice. It was only 17 words but I went to sleep last night thinking about what a profound truth it revealed.
Here’s the quote: Continue reading A Quote That Stopped Me in My Tracks