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Dealing with My Biggest Disappointment

March 28, 2017

The psalmist said, “I have been young, and now am old . . .” (Psalm 37:25), and that is how I feel. Fifty-something is not over the hill, but it is surely down the road—and now that I am down that road I see things a lot differently than I did when my shoes were new and I hadn’t broken a sweat. Back then I was filled with convictions that have lasted and idealisms that have not.

I am more convinced than ever that Jesus is God’s Son—the One who made atonement for sin and exemplifies righteousness—that the Bible is God’s Word revealed to us in perfection and sufficiency, that heaven and hell are real, and that God’s glory is the only thing worth fighting for. But I am less convinced about methods—mine or yours. I am not persuaded that my way is the only way, or even the best one in some instances. And I have lost my naivete about people. I frequently doubt when a person expresses their sincerity, their longevity in leadership, or their commitment to do as they say they will. It’s so shocking to look back and see how frequently people are excited about accountability until they are the one who needs it.

I am more convinced than ever that God’s glory is the only thing worth fighting for.

And it’s not just others I am disappointed with, it’s myself. I see how often I have failed to be all that I wanted to be for God and for others. Without question my biggest disappointment is with people—you and me, the whole bunch of us. On our best day we are incredibly flawed, and the harder a sincere person tries to push the blame on others, the more they should feel the weight of their own shortcomings . . . what “I” should have done differently.

But here’s the thing: give others the grace you know you need and move on in the lessons you have learned. Too much navel gazing and wallowing in disappointment hinders the work of God in and through you. The Christian life requires “forgetting those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13). If your focus is on the rearview mirror today, I challenge you to lift your eyes to the road ahead and leave your disappointment with people behind you.

HOW???

Jesus had disappointments with people, right? With the religious leaders who attacked Him, with the family members who first rejected Him then fought for their own prominence when His popularity was on the rise. Where were they at the cross? Then the disciples—Peter denied, Judas betrayed, the rest ran when the Savior needed them most. Or did He? Of course Jesus loved people, but did He need them? An interesting verse in the opening of John is a lesson I could have used a lot earlier. Read More

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Essentials for a Vertical Church

March 22, 2017

What would make your list of essentials for a vertical church? Here are four things to consider:

Praying for God’s manifest presence… Isaiah 64:1
Faithfulness where God has placed you… Psalm 37:3
Generosity that leads to increase… Proverbs 11:24
Investing in life-on-life discipleship… 2 Timothy 2:2
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Let’s Hear It for Winter! 

February 10, 2017

Southern loved ones who see “summer year round” subtly speak “advantage,” through words of pity for us Northerners frozen beneath white months. But I have grown to treasure winter. When friends in February flip-flops shake their heads, lamenting our blizzards and forced fireside days, I always think “they really don’t seem to get winter,” and how awesome it actually is. Read More

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