When were you last asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The last time someone asked me that question, I responded, “I have absolutely no idea.”
My response startled this person.
Prior to that moment, I had planned to get a doctorate in piano performance, become a professor, and form a chamber music trio with other faculty. I had literally mapped out my life plan in five-year increments all the way to age ninety!
I applied for this part-time administrative support position primarily to generate more income. But deeper reasons existed too. My patience in teaching music had worn thin. Plus, I was dealing with intense physical pain in my upper body when performing. I recognized I needed to transition away from that field, at least temporarily.
What does this have to do with enjoying God and the study of Psalm 1:5-6?
Continue reading “Do You Enjoy God? (Part Three)”
Growing up, I recall the backyard of my parent’s home had several large oak trees and a maple tree. Also lining the edge of their property line and the start of the neighbor’s yard behind was a row of cottonwood trees.
I remember climbing both the maple tree and one of the cottonwood trees frequently.
Sometimes I climbed the trees to see how high I could get or as a hiding spot when playing hide and seek with neighboring kids.
I also recall times when I would go to the trees when I was hurting emotionally. Being hidden amongst the leaves and supported by the sturdy tree branches helped me feel safe in those moments.
Why all this talk about trees?
Today, we will study Psalm 1:3-4, which uses fruit tree imagery when describing a blessed or happy follower of God.
Continue reading “Do You Enjoy God? (Part Two)”
There was a period in my life when I was reading through a variety of self-help books.
Something was out of whack in my life, and I was trying to figure out what it was.
Then, two different people within the same week asked me to explain my faith to them.
I struggled to respond to their probing questions, which bothered me greatly.
I picked up a one-year bible and immersed myself in scripture. If I was going to claim to be a follower of Christ, I felt this was the right next step.
Making this one decision began a transformation in my faith life. Although not always easy, this decision has proven more powerful and encouraging than any other pursuit in my life.
What does this have to do with Genesis 18, Hebrews 11, and seeking God’s city?
Continue reading “Are You Seeking God’s City?”
You may have learned in previous posts of mine that I read through a chronologically arranged Bible every year.
I have several reasons for doing this, but the primary reason is to know the Lord and learn how to live a life that honors and glorifies my creator.
The characters referred to in Hebrews 11:1-12 lived in a time that did not have the benefit of the written word of God. Yet, they are all held up as heroes of the faith.
Join me as we take a brief look at each of their lives to discern how their examples inform us of not just how we can be encouraged to respond to God in faith, but God’s faithfulness to us.
Continue reading “God’s Faithfulness and Our Response”
We define the word enjoy as:
- To have a good time
- To have for one’s use or benefit
- To take pleasure or satisfaction in
Based on the above definitions, I enjoy many things in daily life.
- A tasty meal or snack.
- A walk in nature.
- The afterglow of a beautiful sunset.
- Reading a good book.
- Time with friends around a firepit.
- Completing an important project.
- And so on.
But how do these definitions apply to God?
- What does it look like to have a good time with God?
- How is God useful and beneficial to us?
- Is there a uniqueness to the pleasure or satisfaction found with God?
We will answer these questions by studying Psalm 1.
Continue reading “Do You Enjoy God? (Part One)”
Some of us know our biological fathers or grandfathers. Others do not.
Regardless of which camp you are in, would you describe your biological or other father figures as intentional?
An intention can simply be a determination to act in a certain way.
Intentions can be good or harmful.
Which end of the spectrum would you place your father or father figure on regarding their intentionality? Mostly good? Mostly harmful? Other?
Did your father figure receive their intentional traits from their own father figure?
Continue reading “Do You Have an Intentional Father?”
When was the last time you received news so good you struggled to explain or believe it?
Consider the following example:
When a cancerous tumor disappears before treatment starts or other medical recoveries, that has no logical explanation.
This type of experience often elicits expressions of “I can’t believe it” from our mouths, minds, and hearts, even though we are full of joy.
Jesus’ disciples experienced this in Luke 24.
Continue reading “Too Good to Be True?“
What leaps to mind when you hear someone begin a sentence with, “If anyone asks you”?
Obviously, when someone starts a sentence with that series of words, more instructions are about to follow.
Back in 2009, I had just started my first day of a two-week temporary assignment as a receptionist at a church.
Within the first hour of my temporary assignment, the senior pastor called the staff into a meeting. Meanwhile, being a temp, I remained at my post. As the staff came out of this unexpected meeting, I realized they had received upsetting news. Many were crying as they walked past the reception area to return to their offices.
My manager came and shared with me the news that the person whose role I was covering had stage four cancer and would most likely not return to work. She then proceeded with a version of “if anyone asks you” instruction on how to respond to questions that might come from church members as word of this spread.
This was a tremendous help to me in that unexpected situation. She coached me to be truthful while still protecting the privacy of the person.
Jesus once coached two of his disciples to respond to an “if anyone asks you” question for a specific situation.
Continue reading “If Anyone Asks You“
Have you ever found yourself in a deceitful situation?
Sadly, most of us will probably say yes to that question.
Were you or someone else the one practicing the deceit?
Again, most of us, if we are truly honest, have experienced both being deceived and being the deceiver.
What motivated the deceit to occur?
Deceit occurs because we believe we have no other option to get or do something we want.
How can choosing God’s ways help us overcome deceitful situations?
Continue reading “Overcoming Deceit by Choosing God”
Have you ever experienced deception?
I have. More than once.
Ranging from practical jokes to outright cruelty, deception is something we all have or will encounter during our life journey.
How we react when a deception towards us is revealed often depends on the motives driving the deceiver.
If the deception was to keep us in the dark so that we can experience a surprise blessing from our family and friends, we might react with delight and joy.
When deception is dishonorable, though, our reaction might range from sadness to outright rage toward the deceiver.
Isaac, in Genesis 27, experienced deception by both his wife Rebekah and son Jacob.
Have you ever thought about Isaac’s reaction to this betrayal?
Continue reading “Too Dim to See Part Three”