As preachers of the gospel we should be powerful and prepared.
Consider adding #TheWalk to your reading resolution.
Into the Woods asks an important question, who is to blame for evil?
Suicide is more common than we think. No one is immune from these fatal thoughts. There is help, but we need to start talking about one of life's most tragic mistakes.
Surely God likes more than khakis and choirs.
Your situation cannot be measured on a scale, but it is heavy. How to strengthen the soul.
January 8, 2015
January 6, 2015
Why #TheWalk? January is a month of regret and resolve. Our regrets often give birth to our resolutions. The 7 pounds I gained from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day has served to make dieting a top priority in my life. While weight, reading, saving, and time considerations often dominate the top of our list, there should also be some more lofty goals somewhere in the mix. Instead of only considering what we may lose, save, or manage, how about considering some things you would like to finish, start, or even create?
It is difficult to be different. If you want your situation to change, you must change. The failure to be different is what usually trips up our resolutions. John Maxwell said, "You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily." It is at this point, daily change, that I believe you will find #TheWalk most helpful.
#TheWalk is not about doing more, but doing less. It is not about meeting life goals as much as it is about doing something different daily. No matter how big or how small the objective before us, there is only one way it can be accomplished; one step at a time - walking!
#TheWalk was born at the beginning of 2014 out of my own frustrations of having great ambitions, but feeling as if I had accomplished very little. While praying through Psalm 119:133 God opened my eyes to a revolutionary principle that has changed my life - steps.
Rather than asking God to help me arrive at certain destinations or to accomplish certain long term goals, I now ask God one simple question each day, "What step do you want me to take today?" Breaking life down into steps has made me more content and effective in everything I do. I believe #TheWalk can do for you what the journey of preaching and writing it did for me - #TheWalk helped me be different.
Here is a short excerpt from the book that I hope you will find to be helpful. I pray you will have a great 2015 and that you will consider adding #TheWalk to your book list this year.
January 3, 2015
December 13, 2014
6. Parents who have lost children through suicide want you to say their child’s name and talk about their child’s life.
7. Grief after suicide is different than grief after other forms of death.
December 9, 2014
December 8, 2014
December 4, 2014
- Thankfulness from the whole heart (v. 1) - The Psalms are not trite songs and prayers that mindlessly look for the good in every situation. If anything, the Psalms are honest songs and prayers. They are the anthems of heavy souls. In fact there is a small collection of them that in Latin are referred to as misery Psalms. The foremost of them being Psalm 51. Yet even in Psalms of hopelessness there is thankfulness. In Psalm 138:1 he sings praise to his God before the gods. Our soul is strengthened in the song of thankfulness. The situation may not change, but a burdened soul finds resolute strength when we take a moment to enter into the equation of our situation who God is.
- Bowing the body in prayer, daily (v. 2) - Notice in the second verse David bows toward the Temple. It is the same as saying, “I bow before God.” The posture of our body reflects the posture of our heart. When we bow before God we are not only expressing reverence, but humility and vulnerability. When arresting someone a policeman says, “Hands up where I can see them.” If the hands are up, it is assumed there will be no defense. Bowing is the “hands up” of the soul. It is the posture of total surrender. How often do we pray a pithy prayer, a token word to God as we walk, or before we eat, or even as we drive. There is no surrender in religious ritual. There is no strength of soul in mindless habit. But have you taken time in prayer today to bow before God? Bowing requires that you stop what you are doing. It requires that you get on your face. Bowing is breaking the back, cracking open the soul, laying down before the Lord. Bowing before God not only says, “God, you are holy” but it also says, “I can’t do this.” The soul is strengthened in holy vulnerability.
- Remembering the plans, purposes, and promises of God (v. 4-8). I will admit, it is difficult for me to pray for long periods of time. The digi-brain is easily distracted. Smartphones are the death of meditation and of the attention span. Yet when my mind is stayed on Scripture I can concentrate. What I am writing this morning is due to my time praying through Psalm 138; my strength of soul has been increased - and so I blog. In verses 4-8 David is citing what he has found to be true of God by experience, but for the most part, he is reciting back to God what he knows to be true of Him from His Word. The thought that all the kings of the earth will give God praise is an eschatological hope. The world is unwound right now, but we know how the story ends. Truth strengthens the soul. Verse 6 reflects God’s character. “Though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly.” You and I need to remind ourselves of this - it strengthens the soul to know God cares. He is with me in my times of trouble (v. 7). His promises do not fail (v. 8). The weight of the day threatens to crush me, but in these truths there is a new reality that strengthens my soul.