“I don’t know what to pray for anymore or what I should pray, can you please pray for my mother?” My mother died of cancer in 2007. If you are a person of faith and have ever walked with a loved one as they are living out their last days and the hope of healing diminishes, then you may have experienced a weariness in your prayers. I have. When I struggled to find the strength to pray and what I should pray. I looked to someone else that had what I considered to be a bigger picture of God and his Spirit. Continue reading
Church planting isn’t totally like going to space, but it does have some similarities. As a kid I dreamt about becoming an astronaut. I imagined myself going through the months of training and then the day of the launch. Even though I was full of excitement I also had a little bit of fear. How fast would the rocket be going? Would I survive the launch? Would I wet my pants? So many important questions for a kid. And here I am now, definitely not a kid and definitely not an astronaut, but very excited about a different launch that God has been preparing my family for.
There is a story included in both Matthew and Luke of Jesus healing a Roman Centurion’s servant. Healing someone is amazing but that is not the most amazing part of the story. Well, according to Jesus it isn’t.
Romans 6:1-7 (NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
So you have a son or daughter who is headed off to college. You want them to have a successful transition in this new stage of life. How can you assist them with this transition in a way that helps them grow in their faith? I’ve got six suggestions.
Salvation is not limited to any temporal aspect. It is not limited to any specific time and place. Salvation is all encompassing. Salvation is through Jesus Christ and includes the past, present, and future. To help us connect salvation to the past we will refer to it as our justification. Salvation in the present is our sanctification and salvation in the future is our glorification.
A life without pain may mean that we have resigned to helplessness and hopelessness. A pain free life sounds great but it may be that we have grown numb or that we are self-medicating to stay numb. A pain free life may mean that we have also become numb to joy and love. In our efforts to avoid pain to try and spare ourselves from the worst, we may inadvertently choose to miss out on God’s best. Pain is a gift, but it is the gift that no one wants. We don’t want it because the problem with pain is that it cannot be switched off. Continue reading