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Fear of the Future

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The future of our personal lives can fill us with apprehension. It is a great unknown, fertile soil for anxiety and worry. Since we do not know what it holds, we often fill in the gaps with what we believe about the world. Our experiences and past can emotionally shape how we handle what may lie ahead, or our perceptions of it. The more unsure we are, the more unease increases.

Feeling as if we own no control in life can cause a great deal of turmoil, yet we have little ultimate control over outcomes and circumstances. We seek comfort in being the master of the details of our lives, but will encounter trials, trouble sometimes hits, and tragedy may visit us. To seek control we do not possess adds to inner conflict.

Though life is full of difficulty, outright disaster is a possibility not a certainty. It can also be a matter of how we perceive something, rather than objective reality. Fear conveys the sense of heightened and known certainty, though it is not known. Panic tells us eve…

My Personal Testimony

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The following is my personal Christian testimony. I have never shared the full details before, though I have been very open about my struggles. This should in no way be assumed to be the normative or average experience of accepting Christ, it is that of a troubled man. It is because of the hope in this darkness I share it. (Note: This was originally shared in the September newsletter of Cross Road Baptist Church). 

I was 19 or 20 years old, living an isolated life with severe social anxiety. I had little contact with anyone, living in one room in my parents’ house. One day I went out to get the mail and found a tract on the ground in front of our mailbox. I brought it into my room and read it, discovering bible verses with how you can be saved. I accepted Christ. God had a unique way to reach me in my lonely life.

I can’t say everything became wonderful. I was spiraling downward with severe emotional and mental issues. It debilitated me for about 15 years, with severe problems affecti…

Considering

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The following will sound judgmental to today’s ears. I get that. I do not mean it so. Even if you may incline this way, I’d like to ask the reader something. Will you forgo dismissing it outright and consider what you read for a moment?
Imagine you opened your eyes in eternity. Your days are over, here you are. You discover, to your dismay, it is not what you presumed. In reality, the world never revolved around our self-gratifying ideas of “being spiritual”. There is a much more profound question instead. We are confronted before a Holy God, where the question is, “What did you do with my Son?”
God tore His heart out for us, so to speak. He gave His own Son. Christ suffered beyond the limits of our understanding by dying for our sin. We are not meaningless lumps of tissue which dissipate in space as some vague energy when our days are done. We are created beings God gave His utmost to, with the most astounding love which can be conceived. At that time in eternity-such a short way aw…

Why, God?

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Sometimes we may go through periods of pain and trial that are so traumatizing we experience defeat. We have nowhere to turn and feel alone. We may ask, why? Why God, why did you allow this? Why did this happen to me?

Such turmoil can cause a great deal of anguish, yet God can handle our questions. We can bring them to Him. The Bible is full of wounded cries to God. Job found himself in that position, as well as Jeremiah the prophet. They experienced deep suffering. The Psalms often articulate distress. An example: I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalm 69:3).

The pain of our circumstances can distort our awareness of God’s nearness. Yet, rather than our trial causing us inner conflict with God, He alone is the source of our hope, comfort, and peace. He Himself, as our true, living, intimate, Father is the answer to our questions. This is not an abstract or vague hope. It is a sure as a relationship to Him in His Son Jesus Christ…

Passing Pleasures or Abiding Joy

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The pleasures pursued in this life are but momentary. They do not last. Therefore, you must do them over and over, and yet over again. Restlessly wanting ever more, we are never satisfied. Then, one day, we become enslaved. It could be sex, drugs, food, alcohol, work, online activity, shopping, porn, you name it. It could be anything. Some of these are damaging sin, others lead to uncontrolled behavior when it is all we crave. In the end, we are trapped in the cycle of desperately striving for satisfaction, as it flies away with ever stronger force, chained to distraction and pleasure.

In contrast, the joy of Christ transcendentally abides, ever growing as we draw closer to Him. Circumstance matters less, pain draws us even nearer. With the utmost joy of being loved in unmerited grace we have true peace. We delight in our wonderful Lord, knowing a deeply satisfied contentedness which asks what more do we need? This present joy comes to the fullest fruition we could ever imagine when …

Finality and Hope

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In life we experience many endings. Those things we wish would remain and last slip through our hands like grains of sand. The list of them is lengthy and varied, occurring so regularly it exists as an undercurrent or theme to mortality. For every exciting event, we feel a low when it is over. Relationships cease or are severed. Friendships, careers, physical wellness, youth, cherished periods of happiness, financial stability, all can come to an end. Some, such as youth, are guaranteed to if we live long enough, while the loss of parents, spouses, and loved ones bring sorrow.

I react to endings with a sense of deep sadness. Circumstances are fleeting. I feel the good should remain, yet it changes, it ends. My reaction may have a great deal to do with the formative years of my life. I do not think this response is uncommon, however. It is part of being human. Finality is painful. When loved ones pass or tragic events impact us, it seems wrong to us. Though inevitable, our hearts cry …

Has Humanity Adopted a Willful Depression?

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In an age in which humankind has taught itself we have complete autonomy at every level, with nothing outside of our own existence or perception, we find more disorders, anxiety, and depression than ever. Philosophers and scientists tell us such angst is the price to pay for knowing the truth.

It rings hollow when weighed against our experience of personality and being. We were created as individual personalities, fashioned to be dependent. The objective reality, the true truth cannot be denied deep within our innermost hearts, no matter how hard we subdue it. Our fractured turmoil calls us back to the Creator who made us to depend on Him, if we have ears to hear.

It is ironic we avoid being uncomfortable at all costs, yet accept such emptiness. In practical life and experiential circumstance we run from discomfort. We do not want a God for the same reason. To acknowledge one immediately infers accountability. That causes a pretty immediate reaction of discomfort. Yet, to avoid this,…