Posted in Devotions

What Do You Want?

What do you want? No, seriously. What? What do you really want? I don’t mean like, “What do you want for lunch?” Or, “What do you want to do this afternoon?” Though both of these could play into this. I mean, “What do you want that will ‘fix’ you? What do you want that will satisfy? What do you want that will turn the pain off? Or, what do you want that will at least turn it down for little while? What do you want that you don’t yet have? What do you want that someone else has? Is it...

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I Hate this Verse

“But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.’” (Luke 15:29) I hate this verse. I feel embarrassed for the elder brother. His prodigal brother is home and everyone is celebrating. Except him. The “good” brother has stayed home. Faithful. Obeying the rules. Doing what he’s supposed to do. Now he’s mad that his brother gets to eat the filet mignon. He has stayed home these years and had casseroles. Veggie casseroles with cream...

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Hooked on Wisdom

When I read a phrase like “For wisdom will enter your heart” (Proverbs 2:9a), I lean in to find out how that happens. I long for wisdom, personally. I long for wisdom in my marriage. I long for wisdom for my children. How does wisdom “enter your heart”? According to verse 6, “the LORD gives wisdom” and from “His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” So, answer #1 is by reading and knowing what God says. Gratefully, we have 66 books of the Bible to help us know what He has said from His mouth. But the author of Proverbs continues....

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Confessions of a New Year’s Day Struggler

This morning I wake up fully aware of my need to change. There are many areas in my life that need to adjust. Heck, that is the understatement of the new decade I find myself in. There are many areas in my life that need a radical removal and massive overhaul. A new month, a new me? A new year, a new me? A new decade, a new me? I want to change. I really do. I want to make some resolutions. I want to set some personal goals. I want to have my best life by March. But it...

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Advent 2019 – Merry Christmas!

From Russ Ramsey’s The Advent of the Lamb of God: “Since Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit God told them not to touch, every generation had been groaning with the pains of childbirth, longing to be delivered from the effects of their first parents’ fall. And now their deliverer had come. He was the hero of their story, the perfect spotless lamb sent to adorn the doorposts of their hearts with his own blood. He was the descendant from Eve sent to crush the head of the deceiver. He was Isaac’s ram caught in the thicket, God’s perfectly timed...

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Advent 2019 – Day 24

From Nancy Guthrie’s (editor) Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus: “What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do. Look at it in personal sense: ‘All things work together for good to them that love God’ – that is a promise – ‘to them who are called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28). ‘But how can I know that is true for me?’ asks someone. The answer is the incarnation. God has given the final proof that all his promises are sure, that he...

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Advent 2019 – Day 23

From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: “I asked my mother yesterday to tell me why, in our family when I was growing up, we did not decorate our house until Christmas Eve. I knew the answer, of course—we were conscientious Episcopalians—but I wanted to hear what she would say. She surprised me. She said, ‘I think Christmas should come in a burst.’ Exactly. Auden writes, ‘Nothing can save us that is possible.’ The human race cannot expect to receive any lasting comfort from the world. The comfort that we so desperately need must come from somewhere else—in a burst of transcendent power...

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Advent 2019 – Day 22

From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus: “One of the most excruciating passages of literature that I have ever read is about a Christmas dinner. It is in William Styron’s novel—his best by a long way, in my opinion—called Lie Down in Darkness. The family whose desperate and doomed lives make up the plot of the novel gather around the table. It is gorgeously laid with the family silver, linens, and crystal (this takes place in Tidewater Virginia). The dining room is gleaming with candlelight and festooned with evergreens. The mother has outdone herself with the...

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Advent 2019 – Day 21

From David Zahl’s Seculosity: “Christianity at its sustaining core is not a religion of good people getting better, but of real people coping with their failure to be good. . . Your life depends on letting go of control.”

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Advent 2019 – Day 20

From Eugene Peterson’s Practice Resurrection: “Why doesn’t Jesus advertise himself? If he wants to be known as God present with us, to heal and save and bless, why doesn’t he get our attention and let us know pointblank what is going on? If all those verbs and nouns that Paul has spread out for us to consider and receive are the real thing, why doesn’t Jesus at least raise his voice? The short answer: God reveals himself in personal relationship and only in personal relationship. God is not a phenomenon to be considered. God is not a force to be...

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