Beyond Kindness

Going through a tough time? Experiencing a crisis, a trial, an insuperable problem?

Contrary to what you might be feeling right now, let me remind you that your Lord is a good God.

He is a God of kindness and mercy.

Sometimes we need to remind one another about this. Especially if we’re going through the northeast corner of hell.

The Lord allows pain and suffering to come into our lives for reasons too numerous to list.

Sometimes it is to get our attention, to soften our hearts, and to bring us to a place of sheer desperation for Him.

Other times it is to show us areas of our lives that we would have never seen before.

Sometimes it is to demonstrate His power and glory against the dark backdrop of a black night.

Other times it is to build something eternal within our character that cannot easily be dismembered.

When we’re walking through the fire, it’s easy to doubt God’s love and care for us.

But here are two proofs of God’s unwavering love for you.

[Continue Reading...]

Sheer Excitement

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth. I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Mayhap, in mercy, He shall give me a host of children that I may lead through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies whose fingers’ ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, smell His garments, and smile into my Lover’s eyes, ah, then, not stars, nor children, shall matter, only Himself.”

~ Jim Elliot

P.S. Jesus: A Theography hit the #1 spot on Amazon this weekend in the “Jesus” category and it was in the low hundreds on Amazon most of the weekend. I appreciate your willingness to buy the book and want to thank you in advance for telling your friends about it. I still can’t believe that Amazon is selling this 400+ page hardcover for only $10.29 USD.

Encountering the God of Half-Answered Prayers

In keeping with my blog rhythm,  I was going to review another Bible software program today. But the publisher told me they are releasing their new version in November. So I’m going to hold off until then in order to test drive the new release.

Now on to today’s subject.

I’ve been a Christian for quite some time and amid the thousands of books and blog posts written by Christians, I’ve never heard anyone address the following problem.

The problem has come into focus recently because I keep a journal of my supplications and intercessions and write the date down when God answers them. The problem looks like this . . .

You pray fervently for the Lord to heal your friend of cancer.

Not long after, your friend sees the doctor and voila (not to be confused with viola!), your fervent prayers have been answered. Tests are performed and the cancer is gone.

So God answered your prayer.

But  . . . 3 months pass and the cancer reappears. [Continue Reading...]

Seasons During Our Walk With God

The following is a guest post by Melissa K. Norris. Melissa is a Christian fiction writer who just came out with a new book entitled Pioneering Today – her first non-fiction work. Click on the link and check out her special promotion that expires October 31st. The following post has been excerpted from her new book.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (NIV) Ecclesiastes 3:1

Many scriptures and parables in the Bible talk about seasons and gardening. There is the parable of the mustard seed, the fig tree, the weeds, and numerous other verses that have to do with crops, harvesting, and growing things.

During Jesus’s time on earth, he used parables that were relatable to the time and people. Stories and analogies that were common and familiar to them.

But I think there was another reason Jesus used these examples. A reason in our fast paced technologically filled world, we are sadly missing.

I believe that when we are still, away from the hustle and bustle of technology, we can feel God’s presence. It is stronger when there is no static or interference from man-made noise.

I don’t feel it’s coincidence I feel closer to God while gardening. The creator of all life, the I Am, who could have chosen any place or environment in this world to house Adam and Eve, placed them in a garden.[Continue Reading...]

The Wine That Never Fails

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

~ John 4:13-14

Early in His earthly ministry, Jesus was invited to a wedding banquet. In those days, the bridegroom was responsible for supplying both the food and the drinks for the banquet.

The mark of a good wedding feast was that the wine be of good quality and sufficient quantity.

Running out of wine was a social disgrace and represented a grave error on the part of the groom. In this particular banquet, the bridegroom made a colossal mistake. He failed to provide enough wine for the feast, and he was to blame.

But the Lord was there.

Upon assessing the situation, Jesus performed His first miracle. He converted six twenty-gallon waterpots into wine. Yet it was not ordinary wine.

The wine the Lord created was superior in quality to the wine that had run out. And it was more than enough to supply the needs of the banquet. [Continue Reading...]

Two Kinds of People

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” 

~ C.S. Lewis

Lewis’ observation is not only true in the end, but it’s true in this life as well. And it’s true for all human beings, including Christians.

God sometimes releases people to do what they wish, even if it’s to their own destruction.

So don’t be the kind of person to whom God says, “Thy will be done.”

That’s a scary place to be in.

Training for Reigning

“He Himself is the great Man of Sorrows who knows our ills, Who was called the son of a carpenter, though He was the Son of God and the great Healer of sick souls. Who laboured for 30 years in a humble carpenter’s shop to fulfil God’s will. And God wills that in imitation of Christ, man should live and walk humbly on earth, not reaching for the sky, but bowing to humble things, learning from the Gospel to be meek and humble of heart.”

~ Vincent van Gogh

David was anointed at Bethel to be king. Immediately afterwards, however, he returned to his ordinary life as a shepherd.

He didn’t get shipped off to some training school. Rather, it was in the sheep fields as a shepherd that David learned to exercise and build his faith in God.

There in the sheep fields, he tested his shepherd’s sling.

When the hour came when he would face Goliath, David used that which he had tested in secret as a shepherd.

He declined the sword and the shield, but used that which he experienced in the trials of ordinary life.

And so it is with every servant of God. Or so it should be.

Wherever God puts us in life is our training for reigning.

“If we endure, we will also reign with him . . .” 2 Timothy 2:12

WORDsearch

I’m continuing my series of reviews for various Bible software programs. You can see the rest of the series in the Archives under the Reviews category.My plan is to review a different program each week.

The publishers of these programs were gracious enough to send me copies of their software to review on this blog.

Each review will give a rating for various categories along with an image of the software from my computer and the link to the official website where you can see a demo and order the program.

This review is for WORDsearch 10

wordsearch

I tested the program out on my PC using Windows XP.

The ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5.

1 is poor. 3 is average. 5 is excellent.

Here’s how I rated WORDsearch 10.[Continue Reading...]

Still Part of the Christian 40-Club & My Birthday Wish

Today is my birthday. And I’m thankful to God for another year of having the privilege of serving Him on this earth.

I’m still part of what someone has called “The Christian 40-Club” … which includes Derwin Gray, Ed Stetzer, Francis Chan, Donald Miller, Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, James K.A. Smith and a host of other Christian authors who are in their 40s.

For those wondering how old I am exactly, someone who knows me well recently made the accurate remark that I’m one year younger than Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.

That and a quarter will buy me a piece of bubble gum.

Anyways, I’m thankful for many things. And among them are all of you who read this blog, who stimulate my thinking with your comments, and who encourage me in the uncommon journey we share.

When I started writing books, I had no idea that anyone would care to read what I had to say.

I’m still humbled by this every day. So thank you . . . especially those of you who subscribe to this blog and have taken the time to read my books.

I’m very appreciative.

Even so, someone axed me what I’d like for my birthday. My answer . . .[Continue Reading...]