“When God moves I move.” This statement was at the heart of the ONE3ighty Student Ministry Retreat this past weekend at Cranhill Ranch in Rodney, Michigan. I was so blessed to be the main speaker of the event. I spoke to about 100 middle school and high school students about how to get moving with God, about our “inner jerk” that Continue reading
Yesterday, the kids and I were in the car headed to school and on display through the windshield was a spectacular sunrise. We all were excitedly talking about how colorful and unique it was. It was fun to hear the kids each describe what they thought it looked like. Our oldest said it looked like seeing the sunlight from under the ocean. Another said it looked like a scene from the Toy Story movie. One of the kids said that it looked like the sky was colored with crayons. Then after a pause, Hannah, our middle child, said, “Dad, Continue reading
Our television was on the fritz last month. It would turn on and most everything worked, but the picture would suddenly switch to a negative of the image. As with any problem in my life that needs solving, my first stop was to the font of endless information about random things–the internet. Sure enough in under five seconds I was reading posts from others who faced the same exact problem with their flat panel screen. The solution offered by the majority was simple–buy a new television. Ugh! However, one website offered an alternative. “Fix it yourself at home!” What did I have to lose. So, I opened up the back of the television and like a surgeon Continue reading
One of my many jobs in high school was with the Cadillac Evening News. Six days a week this little, local newspaper put out a paper reporting on the many (often not so newsworthy) happenings of our northern Michigan town. I worked in the darkroom. It was my job to turn the reporter’s film into negatives and then transfer the images on to photo paper. So, for two hours every afternoon, I earned gas money by hanging out in a small dimly lit closet watching Continue reading
How’s your vision? Is it getting clearer or fuzzier? If we’re talking about the eyes in our head, it’s possible that, like me, they are getting a bit fuzzier as you get older. However, when it comes to the eyes of our heart (our spiritual eyes) with every year our spiritual vision can grow sharper. How are you doing sensing God’s purpose for your life and seeing God’s vision for the world? If you want to move toward 20/20 spiritual vision, you need to keep your eyes on the glory and wonder of Jesus. This simply means learning how to see the world like Jesus saw it and by faith living out that vision on a daily basis.
Check out this great quote on spiritual vision from John Owen who was a Puritan from the 17th century.
“It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world, for as we behold his glory, the life and power of faith grow stronger and stronger. It is by faith that we grow to love Christ. So if we desire strong faith and powerful love, which give us rest, peace and satisfaction, we must seek them by diligently beholding the glory of Christ by faith. In this duty I desire to live and to die. On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will become more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.”
“Let the little children come to me…”
These seemingly innocent words from Jesus were revolutionary in the first century. The youngest generation had little or no value in Roman society. Unless you could fully provide for yourself, you were not fully human. It was common place for children to be discarded and neglected simply because of their youth. So, Jesus’ words made everyone stop and listen. Here are two big ideas from Jesus’ words to the children. Continue reading
I woke up this morning to snow in Mount Pleasant, but by midday I was walking the steep slope of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, in 90 degree temperatures. (Dave Durfee and I were flown out to Phoenix by Orchard Africa to attend a meeting to talk about our South Africa mission project. We took an afternoon before the meeting to see the mountains.) In the desert, everything is harsh. The terrain is Continue reading
Can you believe it. Spring is finally here. We have been waiting for it and now its official. So, this morning I got out my shorts and sandals. I packed away all my sweaters. And then I walked outside…
Hey, wait a minute. 20 degrees. Snow. Where is spring?
You ever feel that way when it comes to life. You know that God has brought new life to you, but nothing has changed. You still don’t have relief. You still face the challenges in your marriage. You still think your job is a waste of time. What do you do in those times?
Faith is knowing that though everything looks cold and wintery around you, Spring is still on the way. It is trusting God that he does provide for our needs. He does refresh us when we need it. He is sprouting new life below the layer of snow and ice.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
I read about someone recently who really inspires me when it comes to joy. His name is Bill and he chose joy even though he was losing his wife to cancer. The story comes from Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. This is what Mark relays about Bill’s joy-filled Continue reading
There is a lot you can learn from story-time with kids just before bed. While tucking my daughter into bed recently, I picked up one of my favorite books off my daughter’s bookshelf. Its a story of two web-footed friends. One is named Frog and the other Toad. The moral of the story is its hard Continue reading