Worry or Faith?

Fight or flight? God created our bodies with the ability to react to dangerous situations with a flood of
adrenaline into our system, giving us the ability to confront the threat or flee. This works great when the threat
is something concrete and present, like a tiger, an out of control fire, or an intruder. However, when we worry
about some potential future, our bodies tend to respond similarly. What if I lose my job? What if the stock
market crashes? What if my kid doesn’t get into the preschool I want them in? We fret and worry about so
many things, often things outside of our control. Our bodies are constantly soaked in these fight or flight
responses. This makes us tired, stressed, and miserable.
 


Secret Agents

You log on to your favorite social media network, and you see all of your friends have changed their
profile picture to support some cause. As you scroll down, you see videos of them doing various “challenges” to
raise awareness for another issue. While these efforts to support a cause are laudable, recent research has
suggested that public, low-cost support of a cause tends to quickly fade. Researchers found, though, that when
someone supports a cause in a more personal and private way (writing a congressman, giving privately, etc),
those individuals remained more committed to those causes for a longer time.
 


Unfathomable

Recently I was having a discussion with Lance (our Youth Minister) about Einstein’s theory of relativity and
the nature of time. We ended with more questions than we started with, but one point became very clear to me:
the universe is vastly larger than my mind can comprehend. Did you know it takes light, moving at, well, the
speed of light (186,000 miles/sec) eight minutes to reach the Earth? If the sun stopped shining right this second,
no one on earth would realize it for eight minutes. To give some context, if you moved at the speed of light, you
could travel around the equator 7.5 times in a single second. Put another way, you would have to walk around
the equator over 3600 times to equal the distance between the earth and the sun.


What Good is it to be Angry?

In Jonah 4:4-9, God asks Jonah two different times, “Do you have any right to be angry?” More literally, the
Hebrew is “What good is it doing to be angry?” The first time it is about God sparing the city. The second time
it is about the death of a plant that God grew to spare Jonah from the heat. In both cases they were something
outside Jonah’s control. He didn’t grow the vine. He didn’t spare the city. But he was still angry because of
what God chose to do.


His Plan for Me

The following is an excerpt from a message delivered by Leonard Ravenhill in 1981.
 
Have you ever seen the little plaque that reads, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for
Christ will last?” Well, that’s not what the poet wrote. The poet wrote this: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,
only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, if the lamp of my life has been
burned out for Thee.’” Do you think all Christians die happy? Not on your life! Some of them die as miserable
as sinners. Why? Because they have misused their time and wasted their lives. Many of you have laid dying
on a hospital bed and prayed, “Lord, if You would only spare me, I’ll do this, that or the other.” Well, have you
done it?


The Triumph of Truth

“It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the
truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. It is not love and it is not friendship
if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for
telling a lie. Read more


Flee the Swamp

I once saw a video that pictured sin as a dirty, muddy, algae covered pond. The further we get into the pond, the
less we notice or care about the slime. “We’ve already gone this far,” we think, “We may as well keep going.”
Our friends are playing in the algae, and it seems like they are having a good time. Maybe it’s not so bad after
all. And we begin forgetting about life outside the swamp. We convince ourselves that once we are in the mud,
there’s no way we could possibly leave. And even if we did, we’ll still carry the stench of the swamp on us
wherever we go.


Unexpected

Everything is upside-down in the economy of God. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. The
servant is the greatest of all. When we lose our lives we find them. God seems to thrive on the unexpected.
In the nation of Israel, God sent dozens of prophets to urge them to turn from their wicked ways. Some
of these prophets, like Isaiah, wrote massive quantities of perfectly crafted poetic prophecies, and yet the people
rejected them. In the New Testament, Stephen even asks the Pharisees, “Was there ever a prophet your fathers
did not persecute?” (Ac 7:52).
 


Commitment is the Key

“Until I am committed, there is a hesitancy, a chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself, then God begins to move also, and a whole stream of events begins to erupt. All manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, persons and material assistance that I could never have dreamed would come my way, begin to flow toward me the moment I make a commitment.” –John Maxwell


Mulligan

I recently played volleyball with the Tuesday Night group at the church. I was serving and had a few decent serves (about the only thing I did well that game!). But I misjudged one serve and it shot up into the ceiling and landed on our own side of the net. To my surprise, the group said the first time you hit the ceiling, it doesn’t count, and you can try again. There’s a certain sense of relief in getting a second chance.