focus

Keeping Focus

We all have them, seasons we would rather avoid, that cause us to lose focus and drain our joy. Still, rough patches are a part of being alive. They make up the texture of our lives and going through them can make us stronger in the process. The past year was such a season in our lives. Unexpected challenges arose in a steady stream, sometimes […]

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Gravity

Gravity, it is the weak force of physics that keeps us strongly rooted to the ground and affects everything from the lightest feather to the grandest sun. It is something we depend upon for life to remain ordered, and it is surprisingly difficult to overcome. We see that difficulty every time we watch a rocket launch. Massive amounts of fuel are needed to create the […]

Overcoming Walls

Do you ever feel like you are facing  obstacles with walls so tall and strong you cannot get past them? In spite of the oft-quoted promise that, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” the truth is that we frequently face things that are greater than we can handle on our own, but not bigger than the God who loves us, and wants […]

Redemption Journals

When I lead mission trips, one of the key tools I take with me are journals. I encourage each member of the team to keep a personal journal where they can write memories and insights then reflect upon them in prayer to see if they can sense the Holy Spirit leading them to a deeper understanding of themselves, of God and of their experience. I […]

Hidden Beauty

Sometimes real beauty can only be discovered by adversity. When we go through the fire, common things are refined into something uncommon. Challenge and pain can uncover hidden virtues, passions, and possibilities. Watching nature transition from the luscious life of summer to the vibrant beauty of autumn, it is hard to miss that a deeper beauty is revealed in the process of letting go. As […]

Be Happy

What does it take to be happy? Do we find happiness in our circumstances and the things we possess? Is happiness merely the result of our feelings, or is there something unwavering which produces happiness within us? Recently, I sat with another pastor who I just met. We were sharing ministry stories, especially discussing our favorite authors and resources. The conversation moved to our sources […]

Praising in Your Prision

“If only my situation was different; then I would be able to praise God.” This belief is very common. We often believe that our attitudes about life and even about God are the result of our circumstances. When things are going well, we feel good, we feel close to God and we believe God is active in our lives. When things become more difficult, more […]

LIght on the Path

During our honeymoon, my wife asked if we could please include a trip along Skyline Drive in Virginia. It is a beautiful trip through scenic woodlands along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The section we chose was about 15 miles long, and moments after beginning that portion of the trip, I was glad she suggested it. It was beautiful and being there with […]