The Power in Reconciliation

Sometimes when we are so far removed from God, we tend to hangout in the darkness rather than reflect in the light He shows us every day. Evidence of this can be found in our very actions and motivations, or something as simple as the words that come out of our mouth. When God is near, we experience the joy of His presence. But when we push Him away, darkness quickly sets into our hearts. We may find ourselves in constant internal turmoil or be unwilling to forgive others like Jesus forgives us.

There was a sermon delivered by Pastor John Stange (from my home church at Core Creek) in which he talked about the struggles the prophet Jeremiah endured while he preached to the kingdom of Judah beginning around the year 627 B.C. At that time, the people were not very receptive to his message. In fact, they never welcomed Jeremiah at all and were continually at odds with him about it.

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Forgiveness Without Explanation

We have all been hurt before, or maybe even betrayed by somebody at some point in our lives. (If you don’t know what that feels like, be on guard, because it will inevitably happen to you at some point. It even happened to Jesus and He was the Son of God!) None of us are immune from the pain of these moments and recently I was reminded of just such a thing. Continue reading

Dec. 28, 1983—Pope John Paul II visits his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca in prison.

The Challenge in Loving Our Enemies

The sales clerk that gives you unjustified attitude as you make a purchase from their store. The manager who doesn’t respect your presence in the workplace. The neighbor that doesn’t discipline their kids for leaving trash strewn about your property.

How difficult is it to love people like this despite their apparent flaws? INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. Continue reading

When the Holy Spirit Convicts You

One of the more interesting concepts I’ve come across is this notion of “Holy Spirit Conviction.” When I experience it from time to time it can be both wonderful and frightening. But what exactly is it?

Have you ever had a moment when you’re taken back by how an individual acts out, not because of the person, but because it was something you already did or might have done in the past? Or how about when you see someone conducting themselves in such a manner that you too might be currently guilty of the same? Even though we can lie to ourselves and others, our inner most sins we can’t keep a secret from God. He ALWAYS knows.

And He sometimes (albeit painfully) reveals these things to our hearts in this so-called Holy Spirit conviction. Continue reading

He “Works” in Mysterious Ways

It’s funny how God answers prayers. He never ceases to amaze me in that regard. Sometimes, the prayers are obviously quick and to the point, but in other instances, I can be sent through a long journey of frustration and acceptance before the prayer is ever fully addressed. And it’s those long journey types that drive me nuts, as I’m sure they drive you nuts too. But now I see one of the reasons He does it that way—to humble us AND amaze us in such a manner that a “quick and to the point” revelation could never achieve.

A perfect example—what transpired at the start of this week, and concluded this evening. Continue reading

Loving the Unlovable

It is so incredibly difficult to love others who don’t love us. Especially those who wrong us. When we are insulted, attacked, wounded or deceived, we find our anger quick to replace our love—and yet—Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that we need to show our adversaries love in these moments, and not hate.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?? I AM SO FURIOUS! HOW ON EARTH DO YOU WANT ME TO LOVE THAT UNLOVABLE PERSON AT A TIME LIKE THIS?!

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Seeking Counsel in Confusion

Last week tensions were high at my workplace. A new database system had been implemented and although it was for the better, change certainly leads to frustration and uncertainty, which inevitably leads to STRESS. So how does a Christian deal with the brewing pot of tempers in the workplace? I’ll give you a personal example… Continue reading