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.
This year I began posting my thoughts about the book of Proverbs one chapter and verse at a time.. you can read and browse through them (the first 19 chapters) here.
Here are some excerpts from my favorite (non-proverbs) posts:
- Jesus on Prayer
What it is like to pray like a hypocrite? I think that praying in this way means to pray superficial prayers.. prayers that do not engage your innermost being.. prayers that simply regurgitate platitudes and cliches.. sadly.. I have prayed these kinds of prayers. I am reminded that Jesus (in Luke 18:9-14) warned of praying proud prayers saying that only people who pray humble prayers will be justified before God.
- Spiritual Umbrellas
Rain can often represent difficult days for us.. times of testing and trial. During times of rain it is so easy to get our spiritual umbrellas out and 'protect' ourselves from the full effect of the rain. Often we will use the umbrellas of withdrawal.. of manipulation.. and of passivity to protect ourselves from the effects of the rain.
- Interactive Living
Guess what I am trying to say is that I think God involves us in the process of His will for our lives.. he engages us in different ways.. he asks us questions.. he seems to have ways of getting our attention and getting us out of our small boxes.. and I am thankful that he does.
- Everyone Wants a Miracle
Everyone wants a miracle. The words seemed understated and almost nonchalant in nature. I sat back and began to ponder about how most of us,when we face a trial or sickness, pray desperately seeking a miraculous answer to our prayer. We all want a miracle of some sort. We all want God to show up in power!
- The Prayer Question
So often I focus my prayers on answers and really don't put myself in a place of vulnerability and humility. I come to the Lord knowing what I want. I have a specific answer to my prayer in my mind and really don't want God to answer in any other way.
- Religious Lipstick
Owning up to my own bad behaviors and realizing how I used lipstick to pretty up my and others' bad behaviors has been a long and difficult journey. I so often want to be "positive" and "optimistic" about my life.. to see the bright side of sin.. to say "It's all good!".. I guess I just love the color of that lipstick :)
- Courage of the Heart: Jill's Story
Sometimes someone comes along that helps us remember what it means to be courageous.. what it means to be a Christian going through a horrible trial. I am thankful that I found Jill's blog several months ago.. her life has been so inspirational.. she encourages me to count it all joy as I go through trials of my own.
- Creation: Literary or Literal Interpretations
I think that the issue is not so much the "how" of creation but the "Who" of creation. By faith we can understand that God created all things but dogmatic faith does not dictate the science of creation.. and neither does dogmatic evolutionism. I think that there is a mystery to the creation story.. we only understand in part.. we see it in glimpses through that proverbial cloudy glass.
- Unbearable Sorrow
The words take me back to that Intensive Care Unit where I, along with my two young children, watched my first wife breathe her last breaths.. sometimes our sorrow is so unbearable.. often life presents us with seemingly impossible circumstances.. and sometimes it feels like God is not there.
- Don't Confuse God with Life
In all this I have discovered that Douglas' perspective is the only one that helps me live a productive life. When hard stuff comes I have not found it helpful to blame God for the difficulties. I have found that having that kind of attitude only makes me bitter. What Douglas says is true.. God is right along side of us in our pain.. He is touched by our sadness.. and our tears do not go unnoticed.
- The Balance of Seasons
Perhaps life is not really life unless it is balanced out with trials and hardship? Maybe we would not really know love if we had not experienced hate; and maybe the word "peace" would be meaningless with the word "war". I am beginning to appreciate how life like the year has it seasons.
- Trusting Providence
So when life doesn't seem to make sense or when times are hard it is good to know that we can trust God to providentially mold us and help us to manifest His divine character.. even in extremely negatives situations. He is the proverbial potter and we are the clay.