To the Penny

1977 - Pete Holzmann Engr corner StanfordPete and I were chatting with a friend, sharing stories about how we’d learned to trust God. So often we’re focused on what’s happening now that we forget to look back at the many years of God’s faithfulness and direction. As Pete related one major lesson he’d learned many years ago, explaining how it laid the foundation for so much of the ministry he had now, I realized that it’s a story worth sharing. I didn’t know Pete when this happened—I met him a month later—but it’s had a huge impact on my life. Maybe God will use it in your life, too. Continue reading

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Going in Circles

God must love road trips. He took the Israelites on a 40 year road trip in the desert. You wouldn’t think it should take 40 years to get from Egypt to the Promised Land, even walking, but God doesn’t always travel in a straight line. There are too many lessons He wants to teach us along the way.

Exodus 13:17-18 reads:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert toad toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

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Sitting in God’s Waiting Room

Advent is a time of waiting. Children (and plenty of adults) are eagerly waiting to open their gifts, while others can’t wait to see their look of surprise and delight. We may be anticipating the arrival of family members who live far away, or we may be the ones traveling to see them. If we’re frazzled by all the holiday bustle, we may simply be waiting for January!

In the church, advent is a time of waiting for Jesus. Yes, He is already here. But each year we anticipate His birth anew, and the difference His presence makes in the world.

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What about the Other Guy?

Do you know the story about Jesus healing the paralytic? (You can find it in Mark 2:1-12.) It goes something like this. Jesus is teaching. He’s in a building, perhaps someone’s home. It’s a full house—packed with eager listeners, along with the usual contingent of Pharisees, trying to trip Him up. It’s so crowded that, when a group of friends arrive, they can’t get in the door.

It’s important for them to get inside because they’ve brought another friend who has been paralyzed for years and years. Everyone had given up hope. Then Jesus comes onto the scene, healing folks. Clearly, this is the big chance. If anyone can heal this man, Jesus can. So they scoop him up and bring him to Jesus. And now they’re reached a dead end. They can’t get inside!

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What Am I Missing?

There’s a new problem plaguing our society. It’s not caused by a virus, as is Ebola—or the flu. It’s not violence or drugs, although I suspect it’s more pervasive than either of those. No, this is something I had never heard of until I read Brady Boyd’s new book, Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul.

I’m talking about the curse of FOMO. Are you familiar with this condition? A quick Google search turned up over 75 million hits, so you might already be familiar with it (I tend to be out of touch at times). FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. The Urban Dictionary defines it as: “The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.”

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Don’t Waste a Moment

This will be my last Tuesday post for a while.

I have lots of reasons:

  • My new job is taking more time than I expected, especially during the growing season.
  • We’re expecting lots of houseguests this summer and I want to focus on them while they’re here.
  • I have less time to simply think about things, and I don’t want to write meaningless posts just to meet a schedule.

Perhaps when the weather turns cold, and all the hikers and gardeners go inside, when our guests go home again, when I have some down time to mull over what God’s teaching me—then I’ll go back to posting twice a week. For now, I need a break! And remember to check for something new every Friday. See you then!

Meanwhile…

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Bad News: Life is Dangerous

I often start my day by turning on my computer and scanning the headlines for the latest news. I want to know if anything major has changed while I slept. Does something new require prayer? Are there events that might affect me, or my friends and family? Has Elvis returned? What will everyone be talking about?

I read that thousands of people have been buried alive in an Afghanistan landslide. Hundreds of teenaged girls, kidnapped from their boarding school, are being held hostage in Nigeria. And “up to 20,000 migrants [from north and east Africa] have died at sea trying to reach Europe over the past 20 years.”

Then there’s the local news. Here are some of today’s headlines: “Homes Hit by Gunfire.” “Pedestrian hit, killed by pickup truck.” “Heroin and cash found in car after crash.”

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