Needed: Real Tears

obama weptLast week, our President stirred up a hornet’s nest as he took executive action to close loopholes on background checks for those selling guns.  President Obama took to the airwaves to justify his actions and the legality of going around Congress to take this executive action.  Flanking him at the news conference were some of the parents whose children had died in the senseless gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary back in December 2014.  President Obama wept Continue reading

Another Force Awakens

If you can believe social media, we are just days away from the most important event of the year. No, it’s not a count down of shopping days until Christmas. Continue reading

This Is War!

Paris Prayer Symbol

Last Friday, the world news was once more filled with images of shattered buildings, bloody bodies lying in the streets, and reports of radical Islamic terrorists shouting their slogans while shooting unarmed citizens in a concert hall. At least 129 lost their lives while hundreds more were wounded. The French heartache over these losses cut deeply. We can emphathize. We remember 9/11 even as France deals with her 11/13.

The terrorist attacks on Paris brought a swift response from the French President, Francois Hollande. He declared that “France is at war Continue reading

Disheveled

IMG_1947You know the look.  Either that person got caught in hurricane-force winds that twisted their hair every which way, or they are posing along the shoreline of Lake Superior.  The strands of hair stand on end while being determined to fly off in opposite directions.  The disheveled look is a silent testimony to the power of outside forces rearranging things in our lives.

I found myself reflecting on the disheveled look a few weeks back, as I tried to fit my prayer and devotional time into a day already bulging with out-of-control commitments.  I tried to stop for a quiet time with God, but my Google calendar screamed for my attention.  When I turned to open my Bible, voices began to shout that they were a higher priority.  Prayer wasn’t working, because even though I had my eyes closed, my ears were open and the shut off switch wasn’t working.  The day’s demands refused to be tamed by a few moments of peaceful prayer.  They jumped on me and worked me over like a WWF wrestler.  I desperately hung on to the ropes, hoping the referee would step in and signal the round was finished.  It wasn’t, but I was.

In our increasingly fast-paced world with the tyranny of the urgent often determining what we jump to next, making time to slow down and get away with God takes tenacious intentionality and a great deal of effort.  Some of us need learn how to disconnect from our phones, to unplug our tablets, and to shut off ourselves from our social media.  We’re so concerned that we might miss out on something important, but fail to start our days with the most important Person of all – the Lord Jesus.  He’s waiting for us to slow down enough to make Him the first priority.  We can say that Jesus is our very life (Colossians 3:3), but we often make life Jesus plus so many other things.

“In the secret, in the quiet place” – the song goes, “in the stillness, you are there.”  Jesus made it a priority to get up early, while it was still dark, and go to a solitary place so He could begin His day with the Father (Mark 1:35).   “In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait, only for You, ’cause I want to know You more.”  When I hear these words, my soul wants to rise up and run to that secret place to bask in the LORD’s presence and allow Him to comb through my harried life.  Sometimes, that comb needs to work through a rat’s nest of twisted priorities and over commitments.  But as I surrender all these things to God, and invite Him to take charge, my frantic soul calms down.  God’s peace comes.  The priorities become clear.  I rediscover fullness of joy (Ps 16:11).  I’m in a good place.

Friend, I don’t know how things are with you, but I pray for when your life feels disheveled.  Let the LORD quiet you with His love, and rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).  Allow Him to comb things back into place.  Wait for Him…  Slow down…  REST…

Is Your Soul Showing A Belly?

It was Friday afternoon and I had just pulled into Costco to fill up my truck. As I pumped gas, I overheard the helpful attendant talking to a nearby customer. The station attendant was pointing out that the man’s car had a low front tire. Continue reading