The wrong end of an evil plot
Ever been there? Maybe it was through words or actions others planned out deep in the confines of their tactful minds. What’s so amazing is that at that time, you didn’t get it. They did it with such finesse that they left you speechless. It’s only later that you realize what “hit” you.
July 29, 2020
I don't want to judge, but
I also don't want to ignore and be silent when I see a friend headed towards trouble. I suppose that’s decency, or maybe just faithfulness to our friendship. But not everyone appreciates correction. Maybe the word correction is a bit too much. It’s often a “nudge” in the direction that might be a better choice for them. Or, shall I say that It’s none of my business. I just need to mind my own business and stay out of other people’s business. Let them figure out their own issues.
July 22, 2020
Pursue the pursuers
Pursuers? What pursuers? No one’s chasing me. But when David wrote this he had a history of being on the run. There were people who were literally out to get him. They wanted to see his dead body down in the dirt. But me? Pursuers? Maybe there are things from the past that won’t leave? Failures, addictions, guilt of past sins, inability to forgive and just about anything that “seeps” into your today.
July 15, 2020
The art of turning away
David turned away from his detractors and turned to his vision. That was a difficult decision that he had to make, but that decision became a turning point in his life. Without that, the trajectory of his life and that of the nation of Israel might have been quite different. “It can’t be done. It won’t work. You’re wasting your time. It’s been tried before. It’s not your job, stay out of it.” Sounds familiar? These are the voices of detractors.
July 08, 2020
People usually want to stay away from those who are broken. They’re just too messy. Sometimes it feels like you’re walking on eggshells when you’re around such people. Why bother? But “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). He likes to stay close to such people. Maybe because they realize their true need of God to save them. They know there is no other way but to trust God.
July 01, 2020
Live well, Lead well
I’m constantly reflecting on living well and leading well. As I write and speak, I’m thinking out loud about life and leadership. I believe you can live well with purpose and courage as you navigate each day. This will in turn help you lead well and make an impact wherever you are. If we’re not clear on our purpose, we’ll vacillate. We will go in so many directions that we’ll end up accomplishing little. And when our purpose is not clear, we won’t have courage. The lack of courage will further make us ineffective.
June 24, 2020
Not the “evil eye” that seeks to do harm or to bring a curse. It’s the eye of the Lord. Not looking for someone to punish or to destroy. But to show his love and mercy. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19).
June 17, 2020
Break my heart with the things that break yours
But it’s often the other way around. We are wondering why God doesn’t care about our issues. After all, they are so important. Certainly my concerns are more crucial than those of others.
June 10, 2020
So hard to accept it
It’s easy to believe it but harder to accept it. The forgiveness we have received from God is to be accepted and acted upon. We can live in the confidence that we are not under condemnation but that we are forgiven. "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2). The status of being forgiven is such a blessing that it has the potential of impacting every part of our lives. The guilt and weight of sin is real and heavy. And the forgiveness that God gives is real as any sin that we’ve committed. But we must allow this reality to sink into us and to impact us.
June 03, 2020
What Jesus did and how the church and theologians theologized
Through the centuries, theologians have faithfully labored at the task of interpreting the scriptures. In a small way, for the last few decades, I’ve been involved in such a process too. It’s rewarding, exhilarating, and excruciating at the same time. But I sometimes wonder about the way we’ve handled the scriptures. Because when Jesus taught the Scriptures, there was something different. His audience also experienced the difference, “and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority” (Luke 4:32).
May 27, 2020
The one who sees me
Sometimes you don’t want to be seen or noticed. Especially when you’re in trouble and distress. That’s not a state you wish to be remembered in. You don’t want to be known as the person who is always in distress. But there are times you wish someone would notice you and your predicament. If someone would look at you with an understanding perspective, that would change everything. Then at least you would feel understood and valued as a person.
May 24, 2020
Obedience or grace?
But what about grace? Could it be that this demand for obedience might lead to some kind of legalism? Clearly, salvation is received by grace through faith in Jesus. There's no way around that. But when you consider the plight of the man who built his house on the sand, it is sad. Yet it was his own fault. He knew that he could have built it on the rock. But he ignored it. Informing someone about a good foundation of obedience is not legalism, it is grace at its fullest extent.
May 13, 2020
The choice between turning left or right might not be so difficult. Turning the page is just a move of your finger. Basic, simple, turns are no big deal. But turning from mourning to dancing is different. It is clearly the difference between life and death. These are two totally different phases of life that can’t even meet because they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
May 06, 2020
Sometimes people ask: “What’s that?” They’re curious that I didn’t stick with the denomination that my parents were part of. Then I went to a college that was part of another denomination. I had friends who were part of even another group. But why the Vineyard? This podcast is my take on "why Vineyard?"
April 29, 2020
It's in the voice
I think it’s underrated. The power of your voice is much beyond comprehension. Some people say “I just said that out of sadness” or “because I was angry or upset.” Whatever the reason for your words, it will take effect.
April 22, 2020
Ever feel like you need to be carried? Carried by the Lord? Has the situations you’ve faced in life ever seemed so intense that you feel like you just can’t go on by yourself?
April 15, 2020
I’m not your father
Jesus said “...Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). Pastoral care can be tricky. Without it, people “die off,” unable to survive the struggles of life. But too much of it, and you create an unhealthy dependence that can be detrimental to their spiritual health.
April 08, 2020
The End is Near!
Is this the end of the world? Will we come out of this worldwide mess we are in? Is this the sign that we all have been waiting for?
April 01, 2020
The gift of showing mercy
While we are experiencing the difficulty, it may not seem like a time of “mercy.” Rather, it’s full of pain, agony, affliction and a host of other struggles. But God gives us strength. His mercies are new every morning like the dew. That mercy is what we get to pass onto others. When we see people in pain, show mercy and pray for their healing. When we see people struggling with addictions, show mercy by being patient with them. When we see people in sin, show mercy by being forgiving, and invite them into the kingdom of our Lord.
March 25, 2020
As in any battle situation, there will be losses and certainly some injury. Acknowledge it as a part of the battle. But keep your focus on our victorious Lord who brings us through each battle. The war has already been won. You’re fighting the small battles to clear off some of the residue. Continue to push through every battle and difficulty with the strength of the Lord. That’s confidence, knowing that the war has already been won.
March 18, 2020
Use A Whip
Why did Jesus use a whip for some but mercy for others?
March 11, 2020
Loving God's Presence
It is in God's presence that we are transformed into the person He wants us to be.
March 05, 2020
Is it possible to be so focused that you are simply offensive to others?
February 27, 2020
Uncompromised Integrity by Alexi George
February 17, 2020