Thank you for serving.

November 11, 2013 — 3 Comments

In the United States, this is the day we set aside to remember the valor, the courage and the sacrifice of those who have served to protect and preserve the freedoms that we enjoy this day.

In this blog, I try to instill and to celebrate courage in everyday life, ministry and relationships.  When I think of courage, one of my role models is the serving men and women in the armed forces.  Whether they begin their service in a time of peace or war, they always know that putting on a uniform means they might be called upon to give their life so that others may live free.  To those who have served in spite of their own fears, we salute you!

Thank you for serving!.

Remembering those who have served.

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. —G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Friday Quote: G.K. Chesterton on Courage

So often, we attend church services all scrubbed up and looking our best.  On the outside, we probably look like we have it all together and life is just one giant juicy peach.  For some of us, that might represent reality for the moment.  For so many others, that perception is just a thin veneer covering over a myriad of hurts, struggles, challenges, confusion and doubts. Not that we are deliberately hiding things. We may not want to bother others with our problems.  We may just enjoy a break from dwelling on them.  Regardless of how together people might seem, most likely, they still need some word of encouragement because walking by faith is challenging and increasingly challenged.

 

Classic image of a boy with his angellic self on one shoulder and his demonic self on the other shoulder.

Walking by Faith

The Christ-follower lives by faith.  ”Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists… (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)”  The Apostle John wrote his Gospel so we would believe. Paul tells us, “The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 VOICE)

We place our confidence, our faith, in an unseen Creator God whose ways and very nature amaze and confound the wisest among us.  However, by his grace, he has revealed enough about himself for us to trust him for the aspects we don’t yet understand.  That is the very essence of walking by faith.  It is not a blind faith that hopes (with fingers crossed) that we have made a good choice.  Based on the evidence and experiences we have already evaluated, we make a conscious choice to trust God for the rest.  Faith is central to our walk, but so often…

Walking by Faith is Challenging

Even John the Baptist had second thoughts about Jesus–whom he had baptized and declared Continue Reading…

“I love You, O LORD, my strength.”
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer…
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

Sunday Verse: Psalms 18:1, 2a, 3 (NASB)

28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?

The Eternal, the Everlasting God,

The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary.

His wisdom is beyond understanding.

29 God strengthens the weary   Continue Reading…

Sunday Verse: Isaiah 40:28-31

Someone once said, life is what happens to us while we’re busy making plans.  Sometimes we expect life to look like highlight reel.  We’re always planning or waiting for the next big thing.  When we do, we run the risk  of missing the wonders of the present moment.  Busyness and gadgets can rob our attention from the people, situations and opportunities for growth that surround us every day.

The-In-Between-shadow-570x570
The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing [A Spiritual Memoir] 

I really enjoyed reading a new book (releases today) from a new long-distance, friend and mentor, Jeff Goins.  In the book, Jeff takes us on a journey where people come to life–as he slows down long enough to allow himself to savor the moments and the relationships along the way.  Journalists often say, everyone has a story.  When we allow ourselves a chance to slow down long enough, we just may get to hear and enjoy some of those stories.  I found myself enjoying the people I got to meet along the way as if I had met them in person myself. 

I would wholeheartedly recommend The In-Between for the chance to enjoy Jeff’s stories.  Even more, I recommend it to encourage us to enjoy the stories that surround us today.  You can find it on AmazonChristianBook.com or ChristianAudio.com

 

 

 

Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Sunday Verse: Matthew 14:27 (NLT)

In my last post, I mentioned that We Need Encouragement Because We’re All in a Battle.  Today, I’d like to look at the nature of the battle between good and evil.

It’s hard to talk or write about evil without sounding weird.  The topic of evil makes for great novels, TV shows and movies—as long as we feel like we can shut it off.  But, when people talk about the real thing, we get a little uneasy. I do too!  We’re not sure exactly how to react or how to process it.  We like to hear stories of God at work causing good to happen.  We’re not quite sure what to do with stories of the devil at work causing evil and destruction.

But it was different on April 15, 2013.

On that day, Marathon Monday in Boston, even hardened, cynical journalists and newscasters couldn’t help but notice and label acts of evil.

It started out promising to be a beautiful day in New England.  In April, that’s not something we take for granted.    Continue Reading…

Be Kind: We’re All in a Battle.

My first two posts on Encourage and Equip were designed to lay a foundation for why encouragement is needed so much in our day (Why Pt. 1, Why Pt. 2).  However, there is one area I really wanted to write about because it is so critical. But, I wasn’t sure people were ready to receive the message. I wasn’t quite sure how to communicate the message clearly without sounding like an alarmist, a religious nut or fanatic.

More than a pillow fight.

Image: www.canstockphoto.com

You see, at the very core of my being, my heart cries out that the reason we need to encourage people is that we are all in a battle.  Most people don’t even realize it.  Those who are aware of the battle tend to underestimate the opposition–It’s much more than a pillow fight!

The Foundation

At the heart of my thinking on encouragement Continue Reading…

Consider what happens when we encourage someone.

Definition of ENCOURAGE

1a: to inspire with courage…

Definition of COURAGE

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous

Source: Merriam Webster Continue Reading…