Amen seems the token conclusion of our prayers, but in reality it is the reason our prayers can be prayed, for in it lies the hope for their answers. Answers to prayer are made possible in Jesus who is named The Amen.Read More
Not long ago, a man I did ministry with here in Chattanooga, Anton, went into cardiac arrest. Then things only got worse: he was put into a medically induced coma, was 100% on a breathing machine, and worst of all, the front portion of his brain ceased functioning. Anton’s family was facing the question of letting nature take its course, or putting him in a nursing home for the rest of his life...Read More
God’s original plan and continued desire is that from our earliest moments, an approving face-to-face would be one of the vital means of nurturing a healthy identity, having an understanding of intimacy, and acquiring a deep sense of well-being - of shalom*.Read More
If you have found yourself in a season of isolation, loneliness, dryness, loss, emptiness, feeling like things have been stripped away, take courage. It’s in that very place that the Lord often reveals the majestic sound of His voice, the tender provision of miracles, and uses the harshness of the wilderness to shape us into His people of power, prophecy, worship, and ministry.Read More
So where, beside the theological, do we find the presence of God - where there is fullness of joy?
Well, certainly we shall find it as our souls migrate to the life after this one. But finding the places in life where the presence of God exists is also an unmistakable reality not far off into the future, if we have time and the discipline to pursue Him.Read More
When things swiftly go to pot or we are feeling suddenly oppressed, it is worth asking the simple question, “Could this be spiritual warfare?” Warring not against flesh and blood but spiritual enemies requires us to develop prayer lives capable of combating such forces.Read More
When you close your eyes and recall the faces of those who have most profoundly shaped your life, how are they looking back at you? Is their expression kind or harsh? Loving or angry? Happy to see you? Or displeased?
Let’s face it. It matters.Read More
Years ago, while still in college, I remember being furious with God. For months I had been praying for an answer to a specific question I had about a difficult situation in my life, and had only been met with silence. Even more offensive to me was the fact that God had provided clear, direct answers to a myriad of other things I had been praying about during this time period—we’re talking the kind of answers that make you look up to Heaven and say, “WOW! There is a God!”
So why in the world was He remaining silent concerning this issue?Read More
I wonder how much we would grow in our own sense of worth, security and identity if we were just to allow ourselves to be fully present to God, even for just that prescribed 30 minutes a day. Just cognitive of His awareness of me --that he sees all of me, hears what is spoken and unspoken and intimately knows and loves me.Read More
Two weeks ago I went through a life-threatening, traumatic and extremely frightening experience. I hadn’t done anything to provoke or deserve the intrusion and as many innocent victims understand, the feeling of powerlessness and fear leaves scars and leaves you wondering if it’s possible to return to the state of mind and heart that existed before the event. To be honest, at this point I feel like I may never see the world in the same way again. I don’t feel it necessary to describe the event as I write, but I do want to speak into what I’m learning from it.Read More
“THIS IS NOT OKAY!”
The dam of emotion broke as her verdict was pronounced.
I don’t fully understand why those words brought so much comfort to our family, but they did. Perhaps she nailed the conviction we were too weak to scream. Perhaps it spoke solidarity: we were not alone.Read More
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I spent a lot of time working out in my parents’ garden. See, I was struggling with depression, and being able to put my hands in the dirt, root up the bad stuff, create new flower beds, plant new things, and tend to them brought so much wonderful healing to my life. I found so many “life lessons” in gardening.Read More
Cue images of beauty pageant queens proclaiming their desire for world peace, bumper stickers with “imagine whirled peas,” tie-dye and peace signs, and some nebulous inkling of sunrises and calm water and doves.
What even is peace?Read More
It was an unforgettable night at ChattHOP during our Monday night prayer for the city. In the context of worship, God was setting a beautiful vision in the hearts of our ministry team leading to a powerful time of prayer:
Jesus was making His entrance into our city!
Jesus came and lived in a time when there was no closed canon of Scripture, and there were distinct religious groups who all had different perceptions of how they believed God wanted them to live. You had Essenes, Pharisees, Zealots, and Sadducees. Some of them started following Christ, all at the same time, without everything being worked out—and it worked because God was in their midst.Read More
I don’t know about you, but living life alongside so many different humans, along with having access to see thousands of other people’s lives through the media, it’s so easy to compare my life to theirs. In fact, more than easy. In fact, it’s probably kind of automatic for many of us. What are other women wearing these days? What kinds of homes do other people my age have? How many kids? How much money? How happy are they? How perfect do they look? What kind of adventures are others having that I haven’t had? How old should my daughter be when I let her get a cell phone because “other kids have phones”!? What kinds of people are described as successful? How did they get to be successful? Am I successful?Read More
I recently went to a conference that was hosting thousands of people in a large arena. On the opening night, during worship, I kept noticing that my girlfriend Micah was periodically glancing over away from the stage to our left. I was intrigued and wondered why she kept looking over in the same direction time and time again. I couldn’t work it out. Eventually in a quieter moment, she turned and tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a man dressed all in black sitting just inside the barrier to the side of the large stage.Read More
“I don’t need anything.”
That’s what the woman told the holy man who sought to repay her for her kindness.
“I have everything I need.” (So, leave “well enough” alone.)
She was a wealthy, influential woman of her village who had observed Elisha, this holy man of God, regularly passing by her way. From an earnest desire to extend hospitality, she and her husband persuaded Elisha to come in as often as he passed by: for rest, a meal, and ultimately a custom built roof-room, complete with bed, table, chair, and lamp.