Just One Day Later…
So just one day after writing about “…one of the best weeks of my life,” in terms of loving people the way Jesus commanded us to, I fell to the earth like a shot bird. Late Saturday morning Kathy and I Continue reading
Last week I was playing basketball. A group of us were there at the Cedar Hills Gym in Portland playing 3 on 2. That’s a little awkward, 3 on 2, but we were jabbering at each other and generally having a great time anyway. Then in walks this guy who’s tall. Not NBA tall, but tall, you know, like 6 feet 5 inches. He’s taller than the rest of us, and he hardly says a word. He just joins in to make it 3 on 3 and–in a silent Clint Eastwood-like manner–proceeds to completely dismantle us. It didn’t matter how we arranged the teams, the silent assassin always won. He was so amazingly effective.
And that guy reminds me of Jesus.
He reminds me of Jesus because of this curious quirk in the gospel accounts. Continue reading
There’s This Thirty-Something
There’s this thirty-something in my life who is always asking me these great questions about the Bible: provocative questions, hard questions, but very interesting questions. And it’s caused me to look at the Bible differently. I read and hear so much about how the Bible is restrictive. But this person with the questions has got me thinking about the freedom God has given us. Freedom to make our own choices. Have you ever considered what’s not illegal in the Old Testament? For instance, prostitution is not illegal in the Old Testament, and neither is polygamy. I’m not saying that either of those are good, I’m just saying neither of those is illegal in the civic code given to Israel in the Old Testament. People are free to engage in these activities without legal repercussions, though the spiritual ramifications and life consequences are still there.
God is radical when it comes to our freedom. He wants us to have the freedom to do what we want, even when it’s wrong. And it’s really made me look at my own ideas about what God wants me to do concerning the behavior of others. Because sometimes I want other people to do what I want them to do, and I can get frustrated when they don’t.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there. Maybe you want to spend money a certain way but your wife wants to do it her way. Or maybe you want more time to recreate with the guys, but she has other ideas. Or maybe it’s just deciding what to do for dinner (not that this question would ever result in a disagreement). Whatever it is, our perspective changes when we Continue reading
Loving and Giving Until It Hurts
Carol is a single mother with a heart as big as the moon. She loves strays of all kinds: stray dogs, stray cats, stray iguanas (today she informed me there’s a local herpetological society that will contribute toward your care of a stray iguana). She also loves stray people. But early in life she thought she could help a stray person who was struggling. She was sure that with enough love she could bring out the good person she knew lived inside him. She loved him, and loved, him, and loved him. But no matter how much love she gave, she couldn’t compete with his addiction. He spent his money (and hers) on his habit. He neglected her. He neglected his job. He neglected his kids. Finally he left. Not to be deterred, she found another stray. Surely with enough love she would turn this person around. But the pattern repeated until he finally left too. Now and again she would surround herself with several stray people at a time, each one was in a dark place, and that too sent her life into a destructive spin.
So she asked me today, How does this work? We’re supposed to love people like Jesus loved people, but how do we do that without our good efforts deteriorating into something self destructive? Continue reading
What a blessing it has been to write for our Father in 2013. I thank Him for the privilege, and I thank you for reading and for your support. I’m also excited about what’s coming in 2014, but more on that later. Below you’ll find 10 of the most popular posts of 2013, on God Running.
By far our most popular post in 2013. This article shows how you can know for certain you will receive God’s Holy Spirit baptism. Look for the book by the same title to come out in 2014.
God’s Holy Spirit is also the topic of our second most popular post in 2013. This post explores God’s creation of marine life as it relates to bearing fruit by the Holy Spirit. It includes some surprising findings from the Census of Marine Life project, a ten year study with the mission of finding new species. You’ll see how scientists concede they grossly underestimated the quantity of diversity of marine life in the ocean. The rate at which the Census of Marine Life project has discovered new species is amazing. What does that have to do with God’s Holy Spirit? Read the post and find out.
If you want to stay in your comfort zone, don’t read this post. Continue reading
(One of our most popular posts–from the archives)
When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus loved people by spending time with them, in spite of their sinful lifestyle.
How to Love Like Jesus
There’s a blog I follow called Not Ashamed Of The Gospel. Not long ago, they posted a three part series about a ministry which reaches out to sex industry employees. I couldn’t help but notice there weren’t many comments offered on the last post in the series, An Insider’s Look — “Awkward!” I think for most people, that post was just too hot to handle.
Finally, one person posted and as best as I could tell he used scripture to infer this post about the sex industry ministry was an example of ungodly men perverting the grace of God.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to comment.
It’s Time to Die
The last post was about how important it is not to die indiscriminately. In other words the last post was for people who can’t say no, as you might gather from the title: How Not to Become a Christian Doormat.
This post is probably more important and for a greater number because this post is for all of us who don’t want to die. And at some point everyone of us will have to. I’m not talking about the physical death of our bodies necessarily, but rather the time when the Holy Spirit will tell you, “Yes, it’s time. It’s your time to die now. It’s your time to submit to My will and not your own.”
You and I and every single one of us will encounter God in that way. Every single one of us will be called upon by God to die, and frequently.
Frequently because we’re commanded to love, and love so often demands that we die to our own will. And there are all kinds of ways to do that, there are all kinds of ways to die. You might be called to die by allowing that guy at work to take the choice assignment, or by agreeing to your wife buying a new pair of shoes, or even by simply turning off the TV and engaging with the kids.
Or, it could be something much harder.
A Tale of Two Fathers Continue reading
Baseball Player Lines
The World Series is happening right now and it reminds me of a story I once heard from a Fire Chief named Dennis Compton. Like me, Dennis is a Cubs fan. (Please pray for us, and for the Cubbies as well.) And one year he was excited and filled with hope, because the Cubs had this hot new player named Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro had just finished a close second to Tony Gwynn in the National League batting champion race, and it looked like his potential was off the chart. So what do the Cubs do? They trade him to the Texas Rangers. Well Compton was so upset about it, he telephoned the Cubs’ sports psychologist, who happened to be a friend of his, and invited him to lunch so he could find out just what in the world the Cubs’ management was thinking.
This sports psychologist had an interesting way of explaining the situation. He drew these lines on a piece of paper. Then he explained Continue reading
It’s better to do less and reflect the nature of Christ, than it is to accomplish more in an un-Christlike manner.
I know what you’re thinking: “What about the fruit? Isn’t it important to bear fruit? The bible says to bear fruit!”
True, the bible does say to bear fruit. But Continue reading
This guy is a great example of someone who loves like Jesus! You’ll want to watch until the video covers how he loves his own son–he sets an especially amazing example there.
Wright’s Law, Jeffrey Wright loves like Jesus
Jeffrey Wright is one of the craziest teachers I have ever heard of. His antics in his high school physics class include lighting his hand on fire (on purpose), sending students on a homemade hovercraft ride (without steering), and blowing up a pumpkin (in the classroom). As one student said, “He is exploding with fun!” His students are never bored, even those who normally fall asleep in the rest of their classes. He also has a heart to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds: Students who cover their bruises with make up because they’re taking beatings at home from their dad. Students who are pregnant. Students without a mom or dad in the home. He’s amazing. As one person put it, “Mr. Wright has the keys to the city!”
Jeffrey Wright loves his students. But he loves his son Adam even more. When Adam Continue reading