Posted in Encouragement, Personal Helps, Proactive Faith, Stories & Studies

I Saw a Ghost on Galilee

I have to laugh when kids come dragging into school in the morning complaining that they’re still tired from things that happened two days ago. Every day is recovery from the day before, and every mistake made is simply blamed on being tired – regardless of having more energy at this age than they ever will have again. In our college naiveté we used to dream of the days when we could “set our own schedule” and sleep ten hours a night and not have to be responsible for twenty-seven things at the same time. (We’re still dreaming.) And life is busy and frankly exhausting, if you’re living it well. “Tired” is a fact of life, whether you’re a student, a mother, a caregiver, an employee, or anything else. In a proper cycle of expending and restoring energy, it’s a good thing.

But when the cycle is unbalanced for too long and we end up overworked, sleep-deprived, and bumbling like zombies from one task to the next, the brain starts doing some odd things. You make

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Posted in Encouragement, Proactive Faith

What the Fire Left Behind

What is left when it’s all over?

The young person fully surrendered has plenty of “stuff” for God to use. “I like airplanes; I could be a missionary pilot! I can play the flute a little; I could start an orchestra! I can spell; I’ll write 200 books! I like kids; I could raise a huge family to serve the Lord!” The sincerity is there; sometimes even the skill set is there. Certainly the willingness is there.

At 21, caregiving had never entered my mind until the Lord assigned me to it. And honestly, Continue reading “What the Fire Left Behind”

Posted in Personal Helps, Proactive Faith, Stories & Studies

In the Real Hero’s Shadow

Caleb’s name has been passed down through the ages as a courageous hero. His beloved Hebron is immortalized on thousands of church signs. You sing “I Want That Mountain” in church, inspired by his story. You know at least a few people named for him. But what if Caleb was… your dad?

You know the story. Joshua and Caleb were among those spying out Canaan, and would be the only two adults in faithless Israel to get to enter. Fast-forward 45 years: Joshua is now Moses’s successor, and is busy conquering Canaan. Caleb is now an old man, trying very hard to be patient as his tribe waits their turn for land allotments. He tells Joshua, “Moses promised me Hebron. I have been faithful to God and He’s kept me going. I’m still ready to fight. Can I please just have it now?” And Caleb the 85-year-old giant-killer charges into Hebron and possesses that thing.

Achsah (pronounced “ak-sa”) is Caleb’s daughter. Imagine growing up in Caleb’s shadow. You’ve heard him talk about giants and victory and Hebron your entire life. He spends his evenings telling you – again – about the amazing things he saw there. He’s ingrained it into you that fear, disobedience, and complaining are all roads to failure and misery. He’s stubbornly supported everything Moses and Joshua have ever said or done. You never get home from the tabernacle before dark because Dad’s volunteering the family for everything. But for all his annoying cheerfulness, you know unquestioningly that he is the greatest man you’ve ever known. He’s a hero to you – especially when he finally gets to defeat the sons of the giants and claim his beloved Hebron.

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Posted in Encouragement, Personal Helps, Proactive Faith

I Don’t Want to Say Amen

 

It’d be nice to lead what the world calls a “charmed life”, wouldn’t it? Bills paid and enough for a cappuccino afterward, no breakups or fallouts, no failures, no awkward situations or health troubles? The internet and magazines bombard us with the world’s recipes for better living, and then… well, we look at our own lives and cringe, and try to survive on our spiritual mood enhancers til the next wave of inadequacy hits. What we’re actually doing is confusing joy with happiness, which is pretty much confusing good health with a caffeine buzz.

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