My family has spent a lot of time in the hospital. I mean a lot. My son, Kaleb, has spent more time in the hospital than anybody I know. From the time he was born, until the present day, hospitalizations have been a common part of his life. Hospital stays have ranged from a day,... Continue Reading →
Our adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour people (1 Peter 5:8) who answer the question this way. How so? Because he is halfway from getting you to curse God.
The picture above was taken of me and Katrina in 8th grade. We had been voted "Cutest" for the yearbook superlatives - lay off the helmet-hair jokes - and sat beside each other to take the photo. We knew of each other, but did not know each other. I thought she was cute - I mean, duh, she won the vote - and felt I had no business sitting beside her for this reason.
Everyone has fears. I'm not talking about encounters with undesirable creatures (spiders, snakes, etc.), but experiences with undesirable realities. It could be losing our job, our spouse filing for divorce, getting cancer, or a child dying. We all have worse case scenarios in our mind that we pray never makes it into our lives.
This verse rings of happiness. I imagine it being recited by a family of smiling faces diving into a big meal. I see a church worship gathering beginning to sing praise songs and someone exhorting them with this verse. I see a man or woman repeating it to themselves as they gleefully walk into the new job they've been wanting . The passage sounds peppy. It feels lighthearted.
I woke up at 4am Saturday after a few hours of off-and-on sleep. My bed is a chair that pulls out into cot just feet behind my son's hospital bed. As I laid there, my thoughts raced. Here is my son, unconscious and unable to respond to us, receiving treatment for fungal meningitis. Is he going to beat this infection?
There are moments of pain that make praying difficult. The difficulty is not from a lack of faith, but from an abundance of sorrow. Crying out to God in the midst of pain often lacks cogency and clarity. It is hard to keep a train of thought when your thoughts are scattered in so many directions.
Many Christians are unaware of the life and ministry of John Newton. He is often known as "that guy who wrote 'Amazing Grace.'" What many do not know about Newton is that he was a highly influential and effective pastor in England in the 18th century. He wrote many hymns. He provided spiritual direction for many Christians, including William Wilberforce - who Newton helped persuade to fight against the African slave trade.
Just over thirteen years ago I got a phone call that changed my life. It was my wife. We had been in the hospital for a couple months with our ten week premature baby. He had a bad kidney, filled with cysts, that needed to be removed. That day began as a hopeful day. The day prior his bad kidney was removed. We were supposed to be getting discharged from the hospital. We were finally going home.