American Author, Writer and Pulpit Preacher
American Author, Writer and Pulpit Preacher
He saw you cast into a river of life you didn?t request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body that gets sick and a heart that grows weak. He saw you in your own garden of gnarled trees and sleeping friends. He saw you staring into the pit of your own failures and the mouth of your own grave. He saw you in your own garden of Gethsemane and he didn?t want you to be alone ? He would rather go to hell for you than to heaven without you.
But it is in storms that God does his finest work, for it is in storms that God has our keenest attention.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever stretches out in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God meets daily needs daily. Not weekly or annually. He will give you what you need when it is needed.
Here?s what you need to keep in mind. You no longer have yesterday. You do not yet have tomorrow. You have only today. This is the day the Lord has made. Live in it.
Collect your blessings. Recognize all that you have, and finding blessings to collect will become easy. The key to a joyous day? Make gratitude your default emotion. Say, "I can find things to be grateful for in this day." Let your thoughts be positive. Expect good things to happen. Seek out people who can encourage you. Over time, you'll find that God's list of blessings is longer than your list of burdens.
For you who wonder if you?ve played too long to change, take courage from Jacob?s legacy. No man is too bad for God. To transform a riverboat gambler into a man of faith would be no easy task. But for God, it was all in a night?s work.
God never prefabs or mass-produces people. No slapdash shaping. I make all things new, he declares He didn?t hand you your granddad?s bag or your aunt?s life; he personally and deliberately packed you.
Here's a salute to a long good life: goodness that outlives the grave. Love that outlasts the final breath. May you live your life in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.
Compassion in evangelical churches is out of balance. When I talk about it, I get a lot of glazed expressions.
Forgive freely. Forgiveness is not about saying that what a person did is okay or that they're right. It's about making a decision, a choice to let the hurt and anger go. It frees you up to move on. Forgive someone and you'll discover that that person has virtually no power to hurt you anymore. Then you'll be able to focus on what you really care about: the joy of life.
God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.
Here's what you need to keep in mind. You no longer have yesterday. You do not yet have tomorrow. You have only today. This is the day the Lord has made. Live in it.
Confession is a radical reliance on grace. A proclamation of our trust in God?s goodness. What I did was bad, we acknowledge, but your grace is greater than my sin, so I confess it. If our understanding of grace is small, our confession will be small: reluctant, hesitant, hedged with excuses and qualifications, full of fear of punishment. But great grace creates an honest confession.
Fret not. Anxiety will ruin your day. And it can be a real confidence-killer? I started by giving myself and my audience the benefit of the doubt: We're all here because we're comfortable with one another? That habit has changed how I view the world. It's not such a menacing place anymore. You can't add one more day to your life or more life to your day by fretting. Worry doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles, it only rids today of its strength
God rewards those who seek Him. Not those who seek doctrine of religion or systems or creeds.
Confession is the act of inviting God to walk the acreage of our hearts. There is a rock of greed over here, Father. I can?t budge it. And that tree of guilt near the fence? Its roots are long and deep. And may I show you some dry soil, too crusty for seed? God?s seed grows better if the soil of the heart is cleared.
Give a man religion without reminding him of his filth, and the result will be arrogance in a three-piece suit.
God sees us with the eyes of a Father. He sees our defects, errors, and blemishes. But He also sees our value. What did Jesus know that enabled Him to do what He did? Here?s part of the answer: He knew the value of people. He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because He did, people were not a source of stress, but a source of joy.
A woman?s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.
About four days a week, I do pretty good at having a morning prayer time. But even at that, it's a rambling sort of thing. What I have learned to do better is to try to keep my mind turned toward God and ear inclined toward God throughout the day, and I think I'm doing better at that ,but I've got a long way to go.
After a hard day scrambling to find your way around in the world, it's assuring to come home to a place you know. God can be equally familiar to you. With time you can learn where to go for nourishment, where to hide for protection , where to turn for guidance. Just as your earthly house is a place of refuge, so God's house is a place of peace.
All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don?t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can?t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?
Answer this: A thousand years from now, will it matter what title the world gave you? No, but it will make a literal hell of a difference whose child you are.
Baptism is bowing before the Father and letting him do his work.