2013’s Most Popular Posts on God Running

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.

2013 most popular God Running1) The Holy Spirit: How to Know if You Have Him

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.

2) The 5th Day of Creation–The Holy Spirit and Bearing Fruit

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.

3) Both of Lot’s Daughters Became Pregnant by Their Father

If you want to stay in your comfort zone, don’t read this post. Continue reading

The Reason for Tragedy

I’ve come to believe one of the reasons for trials and tragedies is that God wants a sort of divine blindness to come upon us. Because when things are normal, we’re so afraid God will take the self-life away from us, when we see Him coming we run and hide. But when we experience tragedy the eyes of our souls are so filled with tears, we don’t see Him coming–at least not in the same way we do when life is without trials.

And it’s then that He can connect with us in a way that He can’t when things are normal.

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71

 

What Jesus Gave For Christmas

Christmas Surrender Yourself to God

Surrender by “Ancient History” – Creative Commons

The thermometer said 3 degrees and there was snow and ice on the roads. We were experiencing some unusually low temperatures here in Oregon and it was during that cold snap, I was reluctant to leave the nest to go to church. Inside, my house was warm and cushy. There was food in the fridge and games on TV. The lure of the self-life called strong. I didn’t want to give up that comfort to go worship Jesus corporately.

What Jesus Gave

Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up, to come to us? He didn’t leave a warm home on a cold day, he left heaven. He left his Father. He left his throne. He left multitudes of angels who supported him at his every turn. He left a place where there’s no pain, a place overflowing with joy. He left a place so magnificent we can’t even imagine it. He gave it all up so he could come to our place, planet earth, to bleed on the cross, because it was the only way to reconcile us with our Father.

Jesus gave up everything for us. He gave it all.

What I Give

That’s what we celebrate on Christmas. I’ve been thinking about that lately, what He gave up and what I gave up. He gave up everything, I gave up–not much. I became a Christian a long time ago but there has always been some something I wanted to hang onto. Oh I wanted to be a Christian to be sure, so I could make it into heaven. But I didn’t want to let go of certain things.

I wanted to remain a Christian but… Continue reading

Overwhelmed by God–Book Review

Overwhelmed by GodA Book Just In Time

I don’t write many book reviews on God Running but the timing of Steve Mays’ book, Overwhelmed by God, was pretty incredible. About a year ago, my two and one half year old grandson Andrew developed a lump on his right shoulder. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. His pediatrician thought it was just an unusually large swollen lymph gland. But after three treatments with three different antibiotics the lump was still there. All those treatments, all those trips to the doctor, they took time. Months passed. Eventually his parents took him up to Oregon Health & Science University where the lump was misdiagnosed again. Finally his dad and mom sent an MRI down to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, to the same doc that did the surgery on his skull for craniosynostosis. (That was one radical adventure. If you’re interested you can learn more about it here.)

So now a year has gone by. The doctor at Phoenix Children’s says, Hey, they missed the diagnosis up at OHSU. We need to take that tumor out right away and have it diagnosed by a pathologist. “Diagnosed by a pathologist.” I’m not a doctor (nor have I ever played one on TV) but even I know what that means. That means they need to check it for cancer. Continue reading

What God Wants

What does God want

Jesus’ Last Moments

Jesus hung there on the cross between the two criminals. The sign Pilot ordered, hung over Jesus’ head, it said, This is the King of the Jews. The bible says the Jewish rulers were “sneering” at him. “He saved others,” they said. “Let him save himself if he’s God’s Messiah.”

One of the criminals who hung there with him also sneered. He said, “You’re supposed to be the Messiah? Save yourself and save us too.”

Darkness came across the land.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Then Jesus called out loudly, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

And then he died.

(Luke 23)

How God Said It

In the story of Jesus’ death we see him mocked and sneered at while he hung there to die. Before that we feel his pain as we see him falsely accused, and whipped, and crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross. We see it, we feel it, we experience it. That’s the way the bible is written. Have you ever noticed that? Have you ever noticed all the sensory experiential language in the bible?

  • Jesus’ first miracle had to do with tasting. He turned the water into wine. And the master of the wedding feast tasted it and said, This is the best tasting wine of the feast.
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good…” Psalm 34:8 says.
  • Jesus said, I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. (John 6:35) In fact most of John chapter 6 is about Jesus explaining how we must eat and drink of him.

And there’s also all the talk about Jesus our bridegroom, and how we’re his bride.

  • Jesus said, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them?” (Matthew 9:15)
  • The bible says in Revelation, “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready…” (Revelation 19:7-9, see also Revelation 21:2, 21:9-11)
  • And Jesus tells the parable of the virgins and the bridegroom in Matthew 25.

And those are just a few examples. So why does the bible push all this sensory and experiential language on us? What is God saying to us?

What God Wants

What is he saying to us? What does God want? Here’s what He’s saying to us: Continue reading

What Would You Ask of Jesus?

what would you ask Jesus?

And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Christmas is coming. The celebration of Jesus’s birth is coming. And people are asking others for gifts.

Jesus asked the two men, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

If you were sitting by the road,

And Jesus was passing by,

And you could ask him for anything,

What would you ask?

[Image via Peter2010 – Creative Commons]