I recently resigned from the Lead Pastor position at the church I started. It was a painstakingly difficult process, but a surprisingly easy one at the same time. While it was not without its sleepless nights, desperate prayers and long talks with trusted confidants seeking wisdom and counsel in navigating a confusing and life-changing decision, at the end of the day I knew it was the right thing to do - it was time for me to move on.
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Sometimes my kids' artwork is really bad. It's nothing but scribbles on a page, their misspelled names, mismatched colors or an abysmal failure to stay within any semblance of a line. But I love it all, every time, no matter what. Not because it is artistically brilliant but because it is deeply thoughtful.
When I was in high school tennis was my life. I tried football in junior high but quit after the first season. I hated it. Aside from getting run over by mammoth 13 year olds twice my size I also suffered from severe asthma - I would literally hide an inhaler in my shoulder pads and pull it out while face down in the grass to sneak a puff or two without anyone noticing.
Perhaps we have overcomplicated the process of trying to figure out what "God's will is" for our lives when really it can be much simpler. Maybe it's not a formula to dissect or a mystery to uncover but rather the process of understanding how God made us and trusting in the purpose for which He did.
We mean well, don't we? But sometimes our attempts to say something spiritual actually come out unbiblical, or at a minimum, not very helpful. Here's the 5 I hear the most...
We recently sat with friends over dinner who shared with us that God was calling them to adopt. They said they always had a sense this would be in store for them, but were hesitant on timing - life had become comfortable for them again with good jobs, two children and an overall healthy rhythm for their family. However, while the benefits of comfort had settled in they began to question to what end. Where would a comfortable life ultimately lead them?
Moms: The onslaught of blogs and social media outlets say "good" moms breast feed, make their own organic foods and never buy microwavable anything...especially dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. They are crafty, don't work outside the home and spend their days sewing quilts and embroidering keepsakes, baking pies and cooking gourmet dinners while never getting frustrated with their kids. They establish traditions in their home that their perfect children will pass on to their own perfect children one day. The house is never messy and the hair is always fixed.
Sexually oriented pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry annually in the United States. It is estimated that every second $3,075.64 is spent on sexually explicit material. Nearly 25% of total internet search engine requests (i.e. Google, Yahoo) are pornographic in nature, totaling approximately 68 million hits per day. The average age of first exposure to pornographic material is estimated at 11 years old.
Fertility has never been an issue for my wife and I. Our question was not will we get pregnant but rather how can we time out our pregnancies the way we want them to be? Our three biological daughters are all two years apart with their birthdays falling within six weeks of one another each fall. Planned, calculated. Like clock work.
Last summer I spent a week in beautiful Southern California along the Pacific Coast Highway corridor between Laguna Beach and San Diego. This iconic highway boasts miles of impressive, breath-taking views of the vibrantly blue ocean back-dropped by mountainous landscapes and pristine beaches. Coupled with cloudless skies, the continuous glow of the sun and temperatures that wrapped around you like a warm blanket on a cold night, SoCal certainly is a majestic place – a wonderfully refreshing retreat from my normal.
Jesus came into this world immaculately, lived extraordinarily, died excruciatingly, rose victoriously and ascended gloriously back into Heaven, promising to one day return and take us home. All for the explicit purpose of rescuing sinners and reconciling them back to God.
In 1973, John Darley and Daniel Batson, two Princeton University psychologists, conducted a social experiment inspired by the biblical story of The Good Samaritan. This New Testament story is a familiar one - a lone traveler has been beaten and left for dead by robbers on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
I knew I loved my wife within 30 minutes after meeting her. True story. After walking her to class on our college campus and wrapping up our first conversation ever with one another, I knew she would be my wife. It was only a matter of time.