God says not everyone’s invited. (Isaiah 55:1)

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1) In this scripture, we can see at least three things: An invitation It is addressed SPECIFICALLY to those in need A promise for that need to be met and fulfilled This means that: Invitations call for a response Needs call for recognition Promises call for trust Therefore we …

When God Abandons You

“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” (Isaiah 54:7) God is everywhere, but he is in some places more than most. This doesn’t really make much sense and that’s because our finite minds cannot fully understand or explain the Infinite God. Somehow, “more” of God’s presence was in the tabernacle and this …

You should brag more often.

What is it about your life, that you are most excited about? What are you proud of? What accomplishments are you eager to share? Boasting—whether it happens in conversation with others or in the solitude of our hearts—is the act of declaring what we think is good. Some examples: “My kid scored the winning run.” “My car is awesome.” “My …

How Do You Know If You Are Too Confident?

There are at least two aspects of overconfidence: perceived and actual. Externally, some people are viewed by others as too confident. These people might be humble on the inside, but people don’t see it. This is a reflection of their foolish lack of self-awareness. Naturally, some people are too confident on the inside, and their pride is a reflection of …

Where do you find refuge?

“The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.” Isaiah 14:32   (a) Where do you find refuge when you are tired, exhausted, hurting or devastated? (b) Where has God created refuge for you? In what prayers or places or people can you find his power and presence and protection? (c) How can you get from …

Are You Spiritually Healthy?

What does it mean to be spiritually healthy? Let’s get a little more specific: Were you spiritually healthy yesterday? Answering this question is easy. Sure, it’s a little personal, but coming up with an honest answer is something most of us could do without much effort. The next question goes a little deeper:  Why did you give that answer? How …

Learn to Loose

Jesus gave up his rights, he willingly chose to loose when he could have won. He did this because it was the Father’s will and because his kingdom was from another place–not of this world. Under the unfair judgment of Pilate, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my …

Seven Easy (and Essential) Habits for Reading the Bible Well

After fasting from food for forty days, Satan tempted Jesus and challenged him to make bread. Jesus quoted Moses and his response was earthshaking: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) WHY WE READ THE BIBLE Life isn’t easy. We were either busy, stressed, or both. We …

A Prayer from Ephesians

A prayer written by Tom Holladay: as a summary of his sermon, which you can find here. Lord—I want things to change—really change—in my prayer life. I pray from time to time, I want to learn to pray all of the time. Teach me to pray. I pray casually, I want to learn to pray earnestly. Teach me to pray. …

The Wrong Way to Pray

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this …

A prayer for the burdened

Our savior Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Father. I come …

Can Anything Good Come From Feeling Hopeless?

The people in the Bible are far from perfect. It’s actually quite refreshing. Job asks a question and makes a declaration that don’t paint a pretty picture of faithfulness to God. Job was hopeless and it was real, raw, visceral: “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.” …

Two Upsides to Unfair Accusations

I felt like I was unfairly accused the other day, and I don’t respond well to what I consider to be unjust criticism. Some people can roll with it, but that’s not my natural response. If you are interested, you can read about that HERE. That experience had me on high alert when I was reading 1 Peter. God used …

How to Actively Hear God’s Voice

I don’t like it when I’m treated unfairly. You probably don’t either. All of us react differently when we are attacked. I lean heavily toward a “passionate response.” That’s code (and rationalization) for fight fire with fire. It’s not very Christlike, and I’m working on it. I’m an assistant coach, and a few days ago, a parent had some constructive …

Why Relational Connections are Important to Me

I recently spent a little time thinking about my friendships and thanking God for their impact in my life. Fellowship is a gift! We aren’t entitled to friends, we have to be a good friend to develop significant relationships. As I was considering the benefits I receive from my close friends, the following blessings bubbled to the top: Laughter and …

A Personal Leadership Tune Up

The people we know deserve our best, so we ought to work on getting better. When we delay our personal growth, we aren’t just limiting our potential, we also have a weaker impact in the world around us. When it comes to personal growth, we get to choose our own adventure: either we decide to have consistent check ups or …

Prayer from Habakkuk 1:13

Father, Thank you for showing me who you are. Thank you for being holy and just. Help me to know you better, to know you as you actually are, and not as I want you to be. Thank you for not tolerating evil. Thank you for not being OK with the bad things that have happened to me. Help me to …

Does it matter that God is holy and just?

This teaching from Habakkuk is a call to praise the God who is not like us and has no tolerance for evil. Let us be holy like he is holy—uncommon in our world but not disconnected. Let us also take an inventory to see how much evil we tolerate in our own lives so that we can bring that to him in humility and repentance.

What God Can’t See

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13) A few questions for reflection: What does this scripture teach about God’s character? What is your initial response? How does this make you feel? Does this verse raise any questions or confusion?

Who Will Rescue Us?

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:21-24) In this world, on this side of eternity, life is difficult and draining. Every failure creates conflicting feelings that are hollow …