- January: Flowing with Weakness
I think that this kind weakness is something that often looks like desperation. It is the kind of thing that really brings you to the end of yourself and to the beginning of faith. I have to admit that I do not feel strong spiritually right now. I am forced to trust the Lord in a way that I have had to do on several other occasions. I am again reminded that I can only flow with the Spirit at a heart level ... I can only be at peace when I give up control of this situation.
- February: Which Reality?
I often find myself going through the day subconsciously talking to God. On one such day a few weeks ago I heard myself thinking "I am a realist". What I heard back surprised me. This thought instantly came back to me: "Which reality?" Over the past few weeks I have thought a lot about this one ... it is a challenging thought. I am very comfortable with the reality that I can see with my eyes, feel with my hands, hear, smell and taste. I am not so comfortable with that reality that can only be discerned with my heart ... that place of faith.
- March: Invisible Ministry
The desire to be visible is a dark side of the ministry ... wanting to be seen and appreciated by people is a dark force that permeates much of American church leadership. Many large ministries and churches, as well as small ones, are led by men which have surrendered to the dark side of visible ministry. These men were, at one point in their lives, seduced by public ministry.
- April: God's Will
Does it surprise you to hear that your heart plans belong to you? Does it challenge you to think that those plans in your heart can be an expression of God's will? So often we can get so wrapped up in our religious "Christian" ideas of "God's will" that we forget the kingdom of God is not so much about what we do but how we do it.
- May: Living in the Invisible Kingdom
The beautiful thing about the Invisible Kingdom is that it can become visible at any time ... peace and joy can be manifested in our lives even in the most difficult of circumstances ... if our focus is on the invisible ... following Jesus' command in the gospels to seek first this Invisible Kingdom.
- June: Thick Skin, Soft Heart
Developing a tough thick skin is a way that we can guard our hearts from the wounds that cause it to develop a hard crust. I read that having a thick skin is being able to withstand criticism. Ouch, I don't like that because I don't like being criticised ... I much prefer the idea of being able to withstand wounds - sound a bit more noble. Keeping criticism out of our heart is so hard because many of us are such people pleasers.
- July: Facing Down Nebuchadnezzar
Life has its way of intimidating us doesn't it. Nebuchadnezzar can show up in all sorts of ways. Sometimes he shows up overtly demanding that we bow to the things that we know we should not bow to, but sometimes he shows up so subtly intimidating us to bow in thoughts and attitudes. This is where I am challenged today as I watch my wife back in a wheelchair and struggling physically from MS. I find Nebuchadnezzar standing over me today intimidating me ... telling me to bow to a subtle worship of fear, self-pity, hopelessness and despair.
- August: Offended by Jesus
Life in jail must have been pretty discouraging for John the Baptist. After all it was not that long ago that John was baptising many and experiencing so much success in his ministry. John was even the one that introduced Jesus to the world as the Lamb of God. John certainly thought that Jesus would free him from Herod's jail but he never did. You can almost feel John's disappointment when he asks Jesus "are you the One?"
- September: Spiritual Fingerprints
The post caused me to think about how different we all are ... different in gender ... different in race ... different in culture ... different in personality ... different in many other ways. So ... I am still processing ... why is it that I still want to make rules and generalizations around things like how we love Jesus and how we walk out our faith in Him?
- October: Where you do not wish to go
Sometimes following Jesus takes us on a journey that is both hard and heartbreaking. Reading Jesus words to Peter so resonates with me this morning. It reminds me that sometimes our path takes us to places "where you do not wish to go". I am in such a place in this season of my life.
- November: Grateful For What Really Matters
We all know in our hearts what really matters.. we are all thankful for the tangible and intangibles of life that we hold so dear.. but sometimes the events of our lives can overshadow those things that we are thankful for.. pain can breed an inward focus and cause us to forget what really matters
- December: The Trustable Heart
To live from your heart you have to give up control.. the brain is all about controlling.. the heart is all about trusting. For many this is difficult because the brain wants to follow rules while the heart wants to follow God.. a desire to make and follow rules is evidence of people wanting to live from their heads.
2007 in Review
At the end of the year I like to take a look at the posts I have written.. I see some common themes and a few new ones. Here are some excerpts from my favorite posts by month: