All posts tagged: God’s presence

Where is God in the Mess?

Do you ever feel like everything around you is falling apart? Like everywhere you turn there is a mess? I live with 4 kids so this is pretty much my everyday life. Not only are my house and van a physical mess, but one scroll through my social media newsfeed or a few minutes of the evening news confirm the world around me is in a mess too… a moral and ethical mess very similar to the one the prophet Micah dealt with. Micah was responding to a social and cultural climate that had chosen to place its affections on objects that provided wealth, versus having true affection for the Lord. This created a devastating decline of social justice and morality–the people of God were living in a manner out of alignment with their status as the covenant people of God. – Nicki Koziarz, Prone to Wander Wow, sounds familiar doesn’t it? Whenever I read or hear a particular current event, I’m tempted to think “Where is God in this mess?” But as I read …

Are You Accepting These Gifts from Christ?

Have you ever given someone a gift they truly appreciated? You see their eyes light up with excitement, they wonder if it is truly theirs, and their heart is full of gratitude. Or maybe, you’ve seen the opposite to be true. You find the “perfect” gift for your loved one, but then realize you were far more excited about the gift than the person to whom you gave the present. We would all rather the person receiving the gift genuinely appreciate and love it. I imagine this was how Jesus felt when He met Zaccheus and offered Him multiple gifts. We must be like Zaccheus and accept the gifts Jesus generously gives. The Gift of Acknowledgment In Luke 19, we see that Zaccheus climbed the tree to get a better view of Jesus. As Jesus came to the tree, He greeted him by name, acknowledging him despite his reputation. On his own, Zaccheus would have just been another member of the crowd, but with Jesus’ gift of acknowledgment, everything began to change for him. Being …

There is More to You Than Just You

Colossians is one of my favorite books of the New Testament.  I’m not just saying that because I was asked to write about it; I truly enjoy the theology that Paul uses here.  The problem with writing about this book is I don’t really feel up to the task.  I don’t know if I have the right words to get what’s in my head onto “paper.” But that’s what Paul is trying to teach in this letter isn’t it?  I don’t have the right words, my thoughts don’t always come out the best way possible.  That’s why he taught that our life isn’t really our own. This is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. – Colossians 1:27 It’s Christ in me that gives me the hope of glory, but Paul doesn’t stop there. We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. – Colossians 1:2 It’s not just Christ in me, but me in Christ.  Let’s take it even …

This Week For Sunday

I’ve always found it interesting that in the English language the word good is only one letter different than the word God . This has served as a helpful reminder to me that God is the definition of good. His grace, love, mercy, and faithfulness are unending. He will never let us down. He is such a good God and a good Father. The goodness of God can be found in every aspect of our lives. One aspect in particular is during the darkness and storms of our lives. As Tim Hughes writes: When faith is shaken, when fears surround, my feet will stand on solid ground. In every season, my song will be, oh God, be here with me. In every breath, every joy and tear, every passing hour, let me know You’re near. In life, in death, for eternity, oh God, be here with me. In spite of our lack of faith or our unbelief that God is with us, He is always faithful. He is always there, even when we can’t see or feel …

This Week For Sunday

Have you ever had a period in your life when you felt like God wasn’t near? I think we’ve all been there.  We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like our prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling.   King David wrote, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” (Psalm 139:7)  This Sunday we’re singing a new song that says: In every breath, every joy and tear Every passing hour, let me know You’re near In life, in death, for eternity Oh God, be here with me While we’re assured that God is always with us and nothing can separate us from His love, it doesn’t always feel that way (Romans 8:31-39). When God feels far away, it isn’t God’s fault.  He is always faithful, always the same, always consistent.  When God feels far away, it’s a heart issue; our heart issue. So what do we do when God feels as far away as the stars? Diligently seek Him. God says to the prophet Jeremiah, “If you look for me …

Profound Truths Learned in Simple Moments

Have you ever been doing something insignificant and in that moment God speaks? We recently took a little weekend trip down to Savannah to visit some family and spend some time on the beach. I wish you could have seen how excited my boys were to be on the beach. They wanted to be buried in the sand, build sand castles, chase seagulls, play in the water, and take sand baths. We did it all! However, once we started to build the sand castle, the boys quickly wanted to move on to something else. So, I ended up building the majority of this massive sand castle by myself. Every 10 to 15 minutes the boys would come check my progress and do just enough damage to think they were helping. In the midst of all that, God reminded me of several truths. To be restored, one must break first. Our lives are just like the walls of a sand castle. At first, it’s frustrating how often the walls cave in. However, every time a wall would fall, I …

God Is In Your Career

-written by Kyndel Pirkle How completely crazy are we small humans to think that we can put God inside a box? We all do it, right? We only think about the omnipotent Creator when it’s convenient for us. We put our quiet time in a 20 minute time slot, check it off our list, and leave it on the coffee table until the next day. God doesn’t fit inside our box. He manifests himself in the dark corners and unknown cracks  where we forget He exists. This place for me is my career. In the education system, Christ is He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named. What I love about my Savior is that this human law doesn’t stop His power. I’ve experienced God’s power through the people with which I work. I have been encouraged, uplifted and prayed for within the education system, a place where God isn’t supposed to exist. I have experienced suffering that led to triumphant praise. Because the people I worked with let God use them, a child whose parent passed felt peace throughout his mourning process. A child …

Being God’s Presence

When I became a Christian, there were a lot of feelings and emotions going on in my mind. Obviously, the most dominant feeling was thankfulness to the Lord that He had saved me from my sin, meaning I will now spend eternity with the Father in heaven. As great and wonderful as that is, the beauty of being a Christian is that not only do I get the free gift of eternal life in heaven, but I also get to use my life here on Earth for God’s kingdom. Becoming a Christian gave my life purpose; it gave my life value. And now, as born again Christians, we have the opportunity to share our faith through evangelism to invite others into this life-giving love of the Father. We now have the opportunity to be God’s presences in the lives over others. And the best news? It’s not on you or me to change people’s hearts. It is now our privilege and responsibility to share the Gospel with those around us, but we trust and lean …

3 Ways to Focus on God’s Presence this Christmas

If you’re like most people alive today, Christmas is a scheduling nightmare with parties, pageants, purchasing of presents, and preparing pastries. You know that Christmas should be a time of prayer, peace, and the presence of God but every year seems to become more and more busy. This year, let’s prepare for Christmas the right way by stepping into the presence of God. Here are 3 ways to focus on God’s presence this Christmas. 1. Prepare your heart by focusing on God’s Word. This year, why not start a tradition of reading the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus in Scripture? There are many ways to do this. You can simply open up your Bible and read these passages: Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 1:26-38, and Luke 2:1-20. Or maybe you want to start a Christmas reading plan using the YouVersion Bible App. Or maybe you want to gather your kids around and check out the Christmas story in the Bible App for Kids. Each day’s video teaches a memory verse or a key truth using music, movement, and other concrete …

Who do you believe God is?

The way you think, the way you act, the way you respond demonstrates who you believe God is. My Aunt Margie had a slew of kids, milked cows every morning, grew her own food, and raised pigs and chickens,which you could see walking up under the house through the kitchen floorboards. She was country. On one visit to her house, a few of her kids, my brother, and I went with my cousins who lived up the road to a drive-in horror movie marathon. My cousins said they would pick us up at the end of the driveway. Aunt Margie’s driveway was two miles of thickly wooded pot holes, swamp, and dirt. Nobody liked driving down that driveway.  What none of us had thought about before we left was the walk back home after a marathon of fright! They left us at the end of the driveway in the pitch black of a moonless Kentucky night. As we proceeded down the dark road, one of us “thought” we heard “something.” We paused for a moment and then all began to run! For the …