Two weekends ago, I had one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had while flying . . . and given how much time I've spent on airplanes in my life, that's no small statement.
On the way back home from New Mexico, the sight of small high desert towns and cities set against the inky blackness of an entirely contourless new-moon landscape caught my eyes and held them captive nearly the entire way to my stopover in Las Vegas.
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Unfortunately, that inky blackness surrounding Sin City was experienced in a whole different context the following weekend . . . READ ON
Last week I had one of those amazing evenings with two of my favorite girlfriends where we opened up about our past experiences and current challenges, provided mutual encouragement, and simply gloried in the strength and solidarity of each other’s sisterly presence.
At one point, specific difficulties faced by one of us were addressed with reassurances she accepted, not quite reluctantly, but with the slightest tinge of skepticism. But later, when she brought up her own encouragement toward another friend, I stopped her and said that she needed to record those words and replay them for herself. They were so applicable to the situation we’d discussed earlier that I was struck anew with how often we tend to believe all the best about others and only the worst about ourselves.
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This was one of my own biggest struggles for the first 19 years of my walk with Christ. Because it didn’t really affect me prior to that, I truly believe this battle came from a place of spiritual attack – which may explain why so many of us are susceptible to this dynamic once we find ourselves in God’s grace.
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[T]he harder we try to compete with the grace we’ve received, the more unworthy we feel . . . and sometimes, as in my case, it takes one or more powerful encounters with the presence of God to forever end . . . READ ON
I do believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
That verse was always confusing until I went through an experience that made it come alive for me. I was praying one night and my thoughts wandered to my financial situation – which had improved tremendously over the course of the prior year, but was still somewhat tenuous at the time.
Gradually, I became gripped with fear that I would end up back where I had been and that potential shattered me. I began . . . READ ON
The Force. Well, apart from the quaint metaphor, and the whole midi-chlorian debac – um . . . decision – George Lucas wasn’t really all that far off the mark.
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Having grown up as Princess Leia – or as literally as I could make it given that we practically shared a name (just for the record, I did come first) – the Dark Side was always the enemy, the interloper, the usurper, the “other.” Good was where it was at; I knew this instinctively way before I ever became a Christian. Luke and Leia and Han and Chewy and Obi-Wan were the heroes; Vader the archetypal villain.
The Star Wars mythos became the cultural icon of my young life . . . READ ON
Let’s face it – life is just one big raw deal. Now do I mean this in the melancholic, overly-dramatic, “Oh, poor me” sense? No. It’s just reality. Everyone experiences pain, everyone has issues. Every human being who’s ever existed came face-to-face regularly with the disappointments inherent in life from the moment of his or her birth (and perhaps even before).
Our existence is difficult and challenging and draining . . . why do we expect otherwise? What is this irrational, sadistic drive in us that tries to put demands on this life that it was never meant to live up to? Jesus Himself, God in the flesh, didn’t escape the pain, injustice, and frustrations of life – why do we think we should we be so lucky? What do we suppose makes us so special?
Well, the fact is that . . . READ ON