How We Can Help Be The Hands And Feet Of God

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I have watched the news recently with sadness. I cannot imagine the suffering and stress that many of our fellow citizens are enduring today. Sometimes we wonder if our prayers are even heard let alone answered. And then a song by country/Christian band Diamond Rio played on the iPod shuffle today.

The title? God Is There.

Carrying the weight of the world
God is there
Where you think he won’t come to
where he’ll be waiting for you

God is there

You Don’t Have To Yell

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There are just a few days left until we exercise our sacred privilege to vote. The conversation between the two parties over the next few days may be less than gracious. You have to be a trained professional to have that kind of grasp of the obvious. I had to laugh when a forgotten song by Chris Rice cycled up on the iPod today titled “You Don’t Have to Yell”.

A Simple Faith?

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There is a common phrase that sportscasters use when a rookie is struggling on the football field. They say the game needs to “slow down” for that young athlete. That means the action is too fast and furious for them to react correctly. When the game “slows down” that player will be much more effective. That simply means that with experience and growth the athlete will learn what matters, what to react to, how not to get faked out, and how to respond properly in each situation. The game really doesn’t “slow down” but the player’s response to the speed of the action is much more mature.

The Lure of Revenge

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Over and over and over I hear stories of pain inflicted by well meaning or too often not well meaning churchgoers. And I get really angry. REALLY ANGRY. All caps angry is rare for me. My first response is usually sinful. But I am not unique. A couple of guys who were really close to Jesus had the same sinful response to bad behavior.

He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” (Luke 9, NLT)

A Way To See In The Dark

Sometimes this faith journey goes pretty smoothly and it is easy to express your trust and dependence on God.

At other times it feels lonely, frightening and sad. I have been navigating the latter reality of late.

I give grace and it is not returned. Every street feels like it is one-way. Dear friends are deeply wounded by people who claim to be following Jesus. I agonize over how these believers can wound so deeply and still say they know Christ? Marriage vows are abandoned at the altar of self. Illness ravages families and friends. I question my ability to have any impact for Christ as I stumble clumsily through my own journey.

The Mystery of Grace

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I think a lot about the church. When you write a book called “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People” you tend to hear from angry and wounded churchgoers. I have received hundreds of emails and blog posts from hurting believers. If a modest selling author and blogger like me gets that many responses then you can extrapolate that this is a big problem for the American church.

A study by the Barna Group among unchurched adults shows that nearly four out of every ten non-churchgoing Americans (37%) said they avoid churches because of negative past experiences in churches or with church people.

Lean On Me

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Recently I have just wanted to be selfish for a while and let others fend for themselves. I am tired. And then the song “Lean On Me” cycles up on the iPod. That is not funny Lord. The lyrics sung by Bill Withers talks about being there for others. Life happens, John Lennon famously said, when you are making other plans. Life has been happening to us in recent months.

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow

But if we are wise
We know that there’s
Always tomorrow