Have I been playing it safe?
Am I too comfortable?
Have I taken appropriate risk?
At the beginning of a new year, I wonder if I'm too risk averse. Faith has NEVER been a safe proposition. By its very nature, faith involves uncertainty. And uncertainty requires risk.
If there's nothing to risk, it's not faith.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “I don’t believe that good work is ever done in a hurry.” As we face a New Year, we all have “good work” that we’d like to accomplish. A turn of the calendar is a restart on resolutions and relationships. You have a lot of good things you want to accomplish in 2017.
But there’s a problem. You’re in in too much of a hurry.
God has a way of doing things right under your nose. He does something in plain view, but you miss it. You're too frenzied to notice.
Driving to school, to practice, to the store, to . . .
Working extra hours.
Binging on Netflix.
Scrolling through your Facebook feed.
Committing to things you should have said "no" to a long time ago.
We got a post card last week from the pastor of a large church in our area. I think all of the St. Louis metro area received it. I snapped this picture.
The postcard looks more like a Macy's ad than a church mailing. The pastor's family is stylish, laughing, and quite simply . . . perfect.
I don't know this family. I'm sure they're great. I don't know anything about the church. I'm making no judgement about the ministry or why it was sent. But I will make a judgement on how it's received.
The room was packed for the preschool Christmas program. I was sitting near the aisle with my camera in hand. My son Joshua was Joseph that year and his friend Claire was Mary. I was prepared to document the entire event.
The procession commenced. As the kids walked in, I spotted Joseph and Mary, holding hands. Totally precious.
I fumbled with my camera, trying to capture the moment. Unable to get the cap off the lens, I reached for my phone to get some video. I was looking down . . . pushing buttons. By the time I was ready, the kids were already up front. I missed the entire entrance.
But there was Joshua, in his Joseph garb. He picked me out of the sea of faces and waved. “Hi, Dad!” He didn't care about the pictures. He just wanted my attention.
At that moment, I made a vow. "I’m going to stop documenting this event and instead simply be at this event." This applies to much of our life, especially in December.
We are obsessed with doing at the expense of being.
Dear Presidents and Governors, Princes and Rulers,
A majority of Americans say that they are unhappy with the choices in this year's presidential election. That seems obvious. But can anything good come from a divisive election cycle?
There's an old saying, "Never waste a good crisis." So what good can we see in a messy political crisis?
I wrote a book.
It was harder than I thought.
I took out a loan to publish it.
I hesitated as I shared honest stories.
I didn't really have time.
I thought about quitting on numerous occasions.
Here's why I finished it.
The Bible can be confusing. Overwhelming. Intimidating. From new Christians to long-time believers, I hear, "How do I read the Bible?"
I have a high view of this text we call the Holy Scriptures. I believe it to be authoritative. Here are some points on how to read the Bible. I didn't make any of them up. They are general guides that Christians have used for generations.
“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage . . .” - C.S. Lewis
I never thought I'd have to censor the 5:00 news. Last week I had a conversation with my oldest son and daughter. They had heard things like, "grab them . . ." "Just start kissing them." "They let you do anything."
What does a parent say to a child when this is the political discourse of the 2016 presidential election?