I think of a preacher from Chicago in the 1950s who saw the ravages of the Korean war. In the war-torn alleys of Seoul, he saw orphans huddled in rags trying to keep warm in the bitter cold through the night. In the morning, soldiers would come, shaking the piles of rags looking to see who did or did not make it through the night. As this man sat on the plane home to Chicago reflecting on the tragedies he’d witnessed, God moved his broken heart with compassion.Continue Reading ›
Those of us from an instantly gratified and constantly moving culture do not always understand the fire started by masters. This is extremely evident in fighting back the cold reality of extreme poverty around the world. We often prefer a quick relief style of change. A magic bullet. But those fires go out as fast as they start, and can even injure folks in the process.Continue Reading ›
For years, I feel like I’ve wrestled with the question “how much is enough?” – with wanting more. Thinking my contentment will be measured by things I fill my day or home with. I measure my success against the success of others – how they have defined what enough is and what to say yes to. Even what experiencing God looks like in comparison to others.
Time used to dance slowly for me. I remember my creeping countdown to Christmas break. Spring break. Summer…The beginning of our lives was marked with seasons broken up for us, with rest. Then there was college and marriage and all the responsibility that piles itself high. It feels like a new kind of time that believes you’ve exchanged wonder for a number. An age. I’m wide eyed in disbelief that it is almost 2015. This year, I’ve told too many people that I am 26. When in fact, I turned 30.
Prayerfully choosing one word that embodies the promise of the upcoming year is a discipline we’ve shared with you for many years. This practice of asking God for His yearly theme in our lives endows us with strength in the tough times. It renews the spirit and imbues us with purpose.
Receiving a word for the year from the Lord is not a New Year’s resolution. It’s more like a gift from Him.
The words we get each year are foundational words. They build the altar upon which we worship Christ, in word and action. They have relevance every year of our lives.
The words the Holy Spirit shares with us require us to “step up.” This discipline is not something to do on a lark because it sounds fun. It requires a commitment. It’s something that requires you to lean into the Lord and to step up and assume responsibility for the talents He has given you.
Do you talk with God? Or do you talk at Him or to Him? How much of your prayer life, your conversations with God, is about you? You talking. What you want or need. What you think should happen. When you’re listening, are you interested in what’s on God’s mind? Or are you really just listening for God to talk about the subjects you choose?