Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog and would invite you to follow me there. It is called Intersections. I will be dealing with scripture and life and how they intersect.

Follow me at Intersections

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

All Grown Up, Now What?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A Toys R Us kid is just right!. Who wouldn't still love to be one of those?
What do you want to be when you grow up? As a kid I wanted to be one of several things: astronaut, president, neurosurgeon, anesthesiologist, and more. I did not dream, however, of ever being a preacher!!

This leads to another, deeper, issue. Why are we here anyway? What is my purpose of my existence? I would venture a guess that no one said to be a disciple. When I read scripture, this is what I find to be true for each of us. In fact, a disciple that makes a difference. This is exactly what God designed us to be so that we can make a difference wherever He places us. So often we segregate every part of life so that we make very little difference in all the places of our lives.

In Luke 4, Jesus travels through Galilee to Capernaum. Located on the Northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, this poor fishing village would become HQ for the Galilean ministries. Peter and Andrew live on the seashore and head straight out to work each day. James and John live down the shore a little as they work with Zebedee. No doubt they all knew one another and worked together. While in Capernaum Jesus teaches in the synagogue, heals Peter's mother in law, and heals many others. He tries gets away one morning to pray but is followed and nearly mobbed by the large crowd that was gathering. They begged Him to stay. His response is not what most would think!

"I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom to other towns also."

Really? He was going to leave? Aren't there still hurting, sick, and lost people in the village. He had already left Nazareth, but that was understandable. They rejected Him, but that doesn't sound like Jesus. He was leaving again. Why? Because many people still needed to hear the gospel.

We are called to be like Jesus. We are designed to be disciples that make a difference. This is God's design for you. He has placed you at home, work, or school to make a difference. Whatever you dreamed of being as a kid. Whatever you are currently doing. Your design is to be a disciple that makes a difference. We make a difference when we tell others the good news about the Kingdom of God. Before we get stuck in our personal space and never leave. Remember that Jesus left to go to other towns. This means to go on mission! Go! Take a trip short or long. Take a trip close or far away. Go someplace and share the Gospel!

This was the attitude of Jesus that we are called to have as well. Read the words of Paul to the churches in Philippi. Is this my attitude? Now that I am all grown up and supposedly have it all together. Is this my attitude? AM I obedient? AM I willing to die?

Jesus was. I am supposed to be like Jesus. Lord, help me be a disciple that makes a difference!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hide and Seek

When was the last time you played hide-and-seek?
I remember playing this as a kid. Honestly, I played this just the pother day WITH the kids. There is no simpler game, right? Someone count while every one else hides. Now they have to find someone and tag them.

Simple. The we had to change the rules. As we got older the simple game seemed, well, too simple! We then started adding new rules:
  • Move from hiding spot
  • Safety zones
  • Kick the can
  • Jail
  • Tag out of jail
The purity of the game was its simplicity! Everyone could play! If you could count, then you could play. Something within us decided that we had to make complex that which was simple. It seems that we do the same thing in church, doesn't it?

Church is supposed to be simple. A group of people who love God gather together to express their love and devotion while also receiving a message from Scripture. Why do we make it so complex? In this age of technology, which I love, we are determined to mess up the simplicity of church. We bring complexity in a variety of ways.

We try to hide our past because if others in church knew our past they would reject me. This isn't too difficult for those who are not indigenous to the community. However, for those who grew up in the community it becomes extremely complex. "Joe" may be living for Jesus today but everyone knows the little terror he was as a child and/or teenager. "Janet" may not be living for Jesus right now and all we see what she used to be without giving thought to how she needs help today.

Hide and Seek.

We try to hide our present. The technical word for this is hypocrite. Ouch! Doesn't that word sting? Attempting to hide our present is the majority of complications we have today. There are those who are immoral in town and "pure" in the church. I believe the devil is more subtle in his approach. Hypocrisy means to not be who you are in all places. We complicate matters because we read Paul who says that he became all things to all people. This sentiment is not the discussion here. How often I find people with whom I laugh and enjoy life with during the week only to find them all buttoned up and zipped up in church service. What a travesty? If we cannot be ourselves as we gather, then we have taken the simple and made it complex.

Hide and Seek.

What am I talking about? Did you know that Jesus faced this same issue? In Luke 4:14-30 Jesus has gone home. He is in church on the weekend as the guest speaker. Most likely, he was a well-respected member of the community. He rises and quotes Isaiah 61.1-2. He then proceeds to sit down, as was the custom, and speak to this passage. Do you remember what He said? Today this is fulfilled before your very eyes.

What did He say?
Someone tell me He did not just refer to Himself as the Messiah?

Hide and Seek.

Jesus could not run from his past. Humanity has a way of shackling us a preconceived notion and understanding. He was calling into question everything they had believed. The carpenter's son could NEVER be the Messiah. He is not royal enough! He is too human! He is too much like us! Even Philip had his moment when he said, "Nazareth? Can anything good come from Nazareth?" I find some solace in that fact that Jesus could not outrun the complications of the world. He was challenging them to overcome the humanity around us and put away past realities. What a strong word for the church today! We, the forgiven, are to accept each other as we are. We are not a perfect people. We do not have perfect churches, classes, or music. We do not have perfect pastors, families, or kids. We are human. Jesus challenged them to overcome the hypocrisy. Be who you are as God designed.

Let us release each other from the past that plagues us. Respond with love and grace while remembering who you are in Jesus. May we spur each other on to love and good works!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Have you ever had one of those moments where you can't remember what you were going to do? It seems that once I hit the magical age of 40 they are coming with more regularity. It could be the diet coke, right? I was cleaning the garage and building new shelves for reorganization when I needed something in the house. From the garage to the house is roughly 40 feet. By the time I reached the family room I stopped. Typically in these moments I will look at the ceiling of to the side and throw my jaw out and grunt a little, this is what my wife tells me anyway. Then I close my eyes and concentrate.

No memory.

What had I come to the house to get? Throwing up my hands I go back outside. Halfway to garage I remember and turn around. Mumbling what I need over and over so I don't forget as I enter the house, I get these weird looks. I am sure my family thinks they live with a mumbling idiot! I know that if I don't keep saying it I might forget again which only wastes time and adds to the "my-dad-is-so-weird-that-he" list.

When Jesus was presented with temptation from the Devil in his weakest moments, he did not have this problem. A case could be made in light of certain experiences that because he was only 30 he would not have had this problem. Theologically, some would argue that because he was God he could not have sinned. Or, that because he did not have a biological father that the sin nature was not transferred. We must be careful not to drive so fast into His divinity that we leave his humanity in the dust. In fact, had Jesus not had the choice and chance to sin then the pure sacrifice would not have been so meaningful. Because Jesus could have sinned brings hope to us that do. It is possible! We could, if we continue to develop spiritually.

What is impressive is the simplicity in which he resisted the pleas of Satan. He was hungry and Satan prompted a physical appetite option. Turning stones to bread would be easy. A weak point for many people stems from physical appetites that consume us. From gorging at the buffet to gorging on the internet, we are driven by our desires, passions, and appetites. In addition, if we can do all of this in private we can justify the act because it is not hurting anyone. However, Jesus responded with scripture.

Jesus was starting a new ministry. He would need a lot capital, a fresh marketing plan, and the authority to speak to the leadership at large. How many times have we seen guys come through seminary and begin the self-promotion campaign. They create brochures, cards, email blasts, websites, and cool ministry names. It would seem that while all of this is done in the name of ministry it is also screaming "self" more than Spirit. We change our churches to capture the ever-allusive next generation and forget the Spirit. We change our organizations and conventions to streamline the work. Now, nobody knows what anyone is doing but it looks hip and cool and "leader-like". Jesus responded with scripture.

Jesus was trying to reach people. A spectacular show would entertain and drive people to himself. He could jump off the temple and instantly draw a crowd because he would land unharmed. It reminds me of a ministry leader in Tulsa that camped out on top of a tower and claimed he would not come down until a certain money figure was reached. He made the headlines and raised the money! Is this Biblical? We produce smoke and lights and concerts we call worship so that we can bring in the people. We reduce the message, remove the blood of the cross, and demand nothing in order to get more people into our building. Jesus responded with scripture. We clamor after the headlines and promotions. We deeply desire the awards and accolades. Jesus responded with scripture.

Simple. Clean. Powerful. Scripture.

Our lives hinge on placing faith in Jesus. Our journey of faith depends on knowing and living by the Word of God. When was the last time you could footnote a decision with scripture? Do we read for content or commands? Do I live by the Word of God or logical manipulations? Does the Bible direct my life? When we begin to read, study, and live by the word of God we won't have the same troubles with temptations as before. We won't have to stop in the middle of an issue and call up the preacher and ask for a good verse for the situation. Jesus just knew the right verse. Do you?

The transformation God demands comes from an intimate awareness and obedience to scripture. Get in the Book!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Exam

At the end of every semester it was crunch time! We had attended, listened, worked, partied, and studied little but now it was exam time. For many of our classes the exam was half of our grade! You would think we might have paid better attention, took better notes, and studied more. Yet, we did not. Instead, we would plan these elaborate all-nighters just before an exam. Yes, the night before! For some reason we thought it was smart to saturate our bodies with coffee and study all night to take the tests the next morning on no sleep.

In the words of my wife, "Stupid, stupid people!" In fact it was not the smart thing to do. We all knew it was coming. Why did we not prepare? Why did we act like it was a surprise? Those answers were apparently above our pay grade.

In Luke 4:1-2, we see that Jesus had just finished one of the greatest moments in life in baptism. As he rose from the water the heavens opened and the dove descended. The Father spoke to His Son in whom he was well pleased.

That same Spirit that landed on his shoulder now led Him to the wilderness. He fasted, prayed, and prepared. He was not shocked. He was not surprised. At the end of 40 days he was tested by the Devil.

Why am I so shocked in my own life? Why should I be surprised? After any "big" spiritual moment in my life the Devil hammers me in the weaknesses of my life. The Spirit of God leads us through different mountains and valleys in life. While always our light, He is most useful in the dark places of life. I am not speaking of the seedy spots to which we go. I speak of the desperate moments and experiences such as tragedy, death, loss of job, etc. I speak of those issues you thought were off limits. When we are led to a dark spot we need the light of God more than any other time. Not to say that we are not in need of Him in the good times. It is in those moments that we must praise, adore, and worship to prepare for the moments we encounter that are antithetical to the peace and prosperity gospel being sold to us.

I need God AT ALL TIMES! It is in the best of times that I must remember to study, read, and adhere to the Word of God. In this way, when the exam comes I will not have to pull a spiritual all-nighter. I can rest in the everlasting arms of Jesus because I have studied and shown myself approved. I have learned that dependency on the Word of God and power of the Spirit is like food and water. I cannot live without them and I certainly cannot thrive without them.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

How God Responds: Direction

How many times have we stood gazing into the future wondering what to do today? Like this picture, we so often find ourselves stuck. We don't know what to do. Do I change jobs? Do I marry this person? Do I move, purchase, leave, serve? There are so many decisions that need to be made. Having the patience to ask, seek, and knock and wait for the answer is tough.

What if an added stress is involved? There is severe loss whether it is life, job, or security. This stress complicates our thinking and ability to choose wisely. I always go back to that young couple who say they want to know what God wants concerning their lives and whether they should be married. However they complicate things and make the way fuzzy because of pre-marital sexual involvement. The fall-back code is "they love each other". I am sure they think they do love each other however they are complicating the issue and the validity of their future together because of the added stress of emotions and physical involvement.

Luke records for us in Acts chapter 1 that Jesus has returned to the Father. The followers are gathering together and praying. They have no clue what they should do, so the pray. The keep asking, seeking, and knocking and wait for God's response. He responds with wisdom and now direction. They needed to know what to do and what steps to take. Peter rises before the crowd and begins to lay out a plan of action.

20 Peter continued, "This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, 'Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.' It also says, 'Let someone else take his position.'*
21 "So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus' resurrection."
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.24 Then they all prayed, "O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs."26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

God responds with direction. Do you have questions? Do you need direction? God will respond to those who keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking until He responds. How bad do you want to know? Make God your first resort. Use your other resources as a way for God to inspire you. Wait upon God and He will respond with the direction you need for the best life, which is what God wants for you anyway!!

What Makes A True American?

How do we define those terms? What are we supposed to teach our children? What is a true American these days? Right now that is becoming harder and harder to define. We choose to tell the quaint stories of Washington not telling a lie and Franklin’s key and electricity. We choose to avoid the carnage and catastrophic loss families made to achieve what we call freedom. We have the freedom to speak, worship and pursue life and happiness all because of the bloodshed of many men and boys these past 234 years.

Freedom. It rolls off of our tongues without knowledge of the cost. Freedom is not in socialism. Freedom is not in persecution. My own lineage has preachers who sought religious freedom from the tyranny in other parts of the world, officers who fought in the revolution willing to sacrifice it all so that you and I could sit here today and worship the Creator. Freedom is not some politically correct speech. Freedom comes at a high cost.

It is hard to define what a true American is due to the seepage of socialism and relativism into our culture. It is hard to define when, in increasing numbers, people would choose to hyphenate their citizenship. It matter not what my heritage may be. I am an American. I choose to teach my children to honor the flag, say the pledge, remove your hats. All actions based on a respect for those who have come before that laid the pathway for freedom. Words like respect, honor, pride, and duty are being diluted with current philosophies and leadership. The freedoms we enjoy involve both the unalienable rights of humanity in concert with others that have been written down in the constitution. We have been given freedom. It is a gift to be cherished.

A true American respects and honors the freedoms for self and for others.
A true American takes pride in a job well done whether it be vocation, family, or community.
A true American pursues life for self and for others.
A true American pursues liberty for self and others.
A true American pursues happiness for self and others.

However, as important as it is for me to understand and pass on the wisdom of being an American, at the end of life citizenship ceases. On the other side of my final breath lies an eternity of different citizenship either in Heaven or Hell. By faith In Jesus I have already been assured of citizenship in Heaven.

I am a follower of Christ. I am an American. One does not make the other. I have had two births. I had no involvement in the first but am grateful. I made a decision concerning the second and will be eternally grateful.

Thank God for America. Thank God for Jesus.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

God Gives Wisdom

In Fall of 2005 I spent a lot of time talking with God about the future and what our family needed to do. I had been contacted by FBC Perry about being their pastor. I was happy where God had placed us but couldn't shake the feeling that He was up to something. So we talked. As time moved on we interviewed with the committee and met at a neutral site where I was able to preach. My wife and I began to feel a strong pull toward this church and her people. God and I kept talking.

I needed wisdom.

The followers of Christ, numbering around 120, were baffled about their current satte of affairs. Jesus had risen to life only to leave 40 days later. Now what? What were they supposed to do? Jesus said their would be a comforter to follow. Who was this? Where is He? When is He coming? Is He already here? No one knew and everyone was frustrated, I am sure. This group of believers kept gathering together and kept talking to God. The Bible isn't clear about how long it was, just that it was later. it was during one of these moments that Peter stood up and laid out a plan.

God responded to my wife and I with a sense of wisdom about what to do because we kept asking, kept seeking, and kept knocking. God responded to the group of believers by giving Peter wisdom that He knew Peter would share with the group. You see, the first way we see God responding to the prayers of the people is to give wisdom. James 1:5 tells us, "If you need wisdom, if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you."

Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. God will respond. Are you listening?

Monday, June 21, 2010

How God Responds

We all like to talk. Sometimes we talk to much and listen very little. I find those cell phone commercials where the tweener girl is talking for thousands of minutes non-stop both humorous and frightening as I consider my own child and how much she likes to talk already. Finding the balance between speaking and listening can be tricky. If I speak to much then I never listen and know if what I am saying is being received. If I listen and never contribute then it could be misinterpreted as uncaring.

Giving and receiving is the basis for good communication. Without both you simply have extended monologues. God desires to communicate with each of us. Jesus tells us that we should keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. I could spend pages trying to decipher all the meanings and parsings of these words. I could hours putting together good hermeneutics. An interesting things keeps popping up in my mind. If effective communication requires both parties to be involved and I am supposed to continue to ask, seek, and knock, then when and how does God respond?

Recently there has been much discussion concerning the church and her viability. We are in desperate need of a movement of God. Almost instantly I was inspired to read Acts. As I began looking at it again from this perspective I noticed a pattern. The people kept pressing God in prayer, but in a humble fashion, and God began to respond in dramatic fashion. As I read I noticed 10 ways that God responded to the early church. It was not that God responded 10 times but in ten unique ways. God heard the people and responded to the situation in a unique and wonderful way.

  1. Wisdom
  2. Direction
  3. Ability to Choose
  4. Power
  5. Transformation
  6. Salvation
  7. Presence
  8. Shared Ministry
  9. Leadership
  10. Rescue

Impressive. The God of the universe hears us and responds. Are you asking, seeking, and knocking? Maybe you should start. We'll look at the first one next time.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Recently our church started a prayer campaign called the "153 Prayer Campaign". We are praying for 153 days to see 153 people surrender their lives to Jesus. I was reviewing John's telling of them catching the 153 fish and was struck by the feeling that many people in our lives are just like Peter, stuck between a rock and a hard place spiritually.

Let's review.

They were all together in the Upper Room sharing a meal together. Jesus casually expresses that someone will betray Him and verbal chaos breaks loose. Peter rises and states that he would die for Jesus to which He replied that Peter would betray before the rooster crowed. And it was so. The last glance of Jesus would haunt Peter. Before Peter could say or do anything, Jesus was gone. Before he could reconcile, or rationalize, Jesus is crucified, buried, and gone. Peter is caught between the sin he feels shame and guilt for and forgiveness.

How many people do we know that are in this position? How many of us are in this position? We feel shame and guilt. We are not sure if God is mad. A person in this position does not feel useful, wanted or loved. I've been there, have you?

Peter agonizes over the weekend until the ladies come running in the room with an astounding statement: Jesus is alive! Peter bolts out of the room and runs headlong into the tomb. Why? First, surely he wanted to see his friend. There is more, though. He has a need to talk with Jesus. He needs to be released. He did not have the scriptures like we do. It is possible he couldn't read anyway. He knew his actions. He knew how that made him feel. He knew something must be done but Jesus was unreachable. He had died and abandoned them.

The problem today is many people are in this same situation. It is possible they are not conscious of their sin. Our culture has redefined wrong on so many occasions that for those without a scriptural foundation there is no absolute truth as a standard. What people do know is that they feel something odd. They are caught between the sin they committed and a state of peaceful forgiveness.

Peter did not find Jesus that day. The disciples were gathered when Jesus walked through the wall into their presence. Peter wanted to speak with Jesus, but this was a group event and not a good time. Between the timing and Peter's pride nothing was accomplished that day. Was Jesus mad? Was Jesus avoiding him? There are many things that go through the mind of someone in this position. Thomas was with them the next time. Again, a group event and Peter is still stuck. John writes that Peter announces that he is going fishing. He is returning to what he knew. He was going back to what was comfortable and easy.

How many of us do this? We feel unwanted, unusable, and out of place. We are not sure if our relationship with God is solid. Our mind tells us one thing, but the heart tends to rule in these matters. We go back to what we know and feel comfortable with in life. We find other things to do than attend church. We find family, sports, chores, yard work, the bar and old habits. When we do find the time and inclination to return to church we are unfortunately greeted in such a way that heaps the guilt and shame.
"Where have you been?"
"Haven't seen in you in a while."
While we might not intend anything with these statements, but the received message is negative. Why can't we simply be happy with the present presence? When someone is caught between a rock and a hard place do they need to be reminded of their situation or just loved out of it?

Let's watch Jesus in action. Peter has gone fishing and has caught nothing. There is a distinct lesson to be learned here. When we, in our situation, go back to the comfortable we find no satisfaction. Peter caught no fish. Jesus arrives and makes a suggestion and they catch more than the nets can hold. After a nice breakfast on the beach Jesus initiates a discussion with Peter. He does not guilt. He does not shame. He does not ask for explanations. He loves.

"Peter do you love me more than these?"

The reference would be to the fish. In other words, do you love me more than what you have known to be comfortable? Do you love me more than your habits or past? Peter expressed that Jesus knew everything and yes he did. Did you notice what Jesus did? He loved Peter. What could happen if we just loved people? What transformation could happen if we simply loved people out of their position?

We often find ourselves between the action committed and the state of forgiveness we need. We feel stuck. Where is God? What does He feel? What will He do? When we go to church we are piled on with guilt and shame. Jesus lovingly and gently helped Peter. Will we do the same?

Monday, February 15, 2010


When God gave Jesus the green light on ministry it wasn't long before He began teaching. People had gathered to listen to the new teacher and decide if He was worth listening to and possibly following. He went up on a hillside and began to teach all who would listen. I wonder if the people then reacted in the same way as I do to what He says.

What He says is completely antithetical to all I have been taught in life.

He opens with "God blesses". Who doesn't want that? I would kill for ultimate well-being, inner joy, and peace. The problem soon follows though that those God blesses are poor in spirit. Really? I have been taught by many and there are those who propagate it now that all I need is already within me I just have to get in touch with myself and unlock the power. Somewhere inside of each of us, we are told, is the power to overcome; the power to succeed; the power to find fulfillment. Jesus, however, says that if any of us want the fulfillment of God, the blessing of joy, we are to be poor in Spirit: desperate. I don't want desperation, do you? This means out of my control. Desperation is beyond our control. I must call on someone else to assist and manage the situation. Over the years I have challenged this concept. I, and you, might not have ever verbally challenged this idea, but our actions are voluminous.

It was a Wednesday. I had dropped off my daughter at school and headed back to the house to pick my wife and son. He had an endoscopy scheduled at 1pm. We drove the hour to the hospital, parked, and checked in. While we sat and waited, my son played his video game, and I read. It wasn't long and we were called back into the room for the pre-op process. He changed into the monkey pj's they had for him, which he really liked. They said he could keep his hat on if he wanted, which he also really liked. The nurses and doctors were kind and efficient. After we discussed the procedure and also his background a number of times it was time for the separation. We kissed and hugged him as they took him into the surgical room. Dulcie and I went downstairs and got a coke before returning to the waiting room. We had just down when we got the call that all was fine and the doctor was finished. He would be right out to talk with us. "How smooth was that?", I asked out loud. The doctor came and said all looked fine and we could go into recovery to help our son as we came out of the sleep. About an our later we returned to the room for post-op watch care and finalizing the process. I remember looking at the clock and thinking that this was sweet! We would be home before supper and could get little sis early from our friend. We had signed the discharge papers and been given our instructions. As we gathered up items I thought, "All was well. All was under control. I had this!"

Our son began to moan a little about his stomach, which was the reason we were having the procedure. We didn't think much of it. Then it became a loud moan and we paused to consider it. For the next two hours he writhed in pain and screamed.


During the two hours the nurses came. The intern came. The doctor came. We had no answers. We rolled him down to radiology and they had closed for the day. We rolled him down to the ER and quickly did x-rays. I held him up. I moved him. I laid him down. I rolled the bed. I was doing all I could.


All the while I discussed the situation with God. We had called the church and asked for prayer. My wife prayed. I prayed. I think everyone was praying! I watched for two hours as my son, my only son, writhed in pain and I could do nothing to stop it. I hugged him. I comforted him. In one of those moments he said, "Nothing will help! I can't take it anymore!!" I was powerless. I was in poverty. I was desperate. God was our only hope. As we prayed, God provided a peace.

Once our son was able to empty himself, he basically passed out and went to sleep. He was quiet. He was calm. He breathed easier. He rested. We rested. Soon we left and went home. The power of Heaven resolved the issue that day. The prayers of many, including ourselves, called upon the King of Kings. I acknowledge in my heart what I knew in my head. I am poor in Spirit. In those moments, the kingdom of Heaven became ours in its power and glory. We praised God for the relief and rest that early evening as we waited to go home. The prayers of desperation were the answer. So often, our prayers do not come out of desperation. Our prayers often come from want, or anger, but not desperation. We have been taught to be self-sufficient. We have been shaped into a mentality that those in need got there on their own and can get out of it as well if they only tried harder.

Our only hope is found in God. He alone has provided the pathway of hope in Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus alone that we have hope of eternity, joy for today, and spiritual balance. The more I try to fix me, help me, solve me, manage me I fall out of balance and forget my desperate position. I have been fooled into believing that I can manage. To quote an old hymn, "My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."

I will never forget what it felt to be desperate. It will forever mark our lives. I completely understand now...

God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

We were blessed that day! God gave us a strength, peace, and joy in a moment that called for everything else. I pray I never forget it. May I never challenge it again.

When have you been desperate? Comment please!