All posts tagged: trust

Is Your Anchor Attached to the Almighty?

Have you ever heard a speaker address a large crowd, but knew God was using the person to speak directly to you? I’ve attended many conferences and have heard many speakers deliver top of the line messages but for some reason, there has been one message rolling around in my head more than any other. At this year’s Belonging Conference Robert Madu said, “You don’t have a faith problem, you have an awareness of God’s authority issue.” As he spoke these words, they hit my heart deep and helped me see things about myself I’ve been missing for years. If faith is the anchor to your life, I’ve always had a strong anchor. I hope for the things of God and see the evidence of Him lived out in my life, but an anchor needs to be attached to the boat. Robert Madu explained how the chain is your awareness of God’s authority in your life. You see, for me, I believe God has the whole world in His hands, but I fail to trust …

Can You Trust God’s Ultimate Plan?

At Southern Hills, we are making our way through the first six chapters of Daniel. So far, we have been taught about God’s sovereignty, King Nebuchadnezzar’s (“King Neb” as I will call him) pride and anger, Daniel’s faithfulness to God, and more. It is interesting to note at the end of chapter two King Neb is praising the LORD, God of Israel. Then, Daniel 3 begins with King Neb fashioning an idol made of gold. And this idol is huge! Once the idol is finished, King Neb demands everyone bow down and worship it. Whoever refuses will meet death by fire. As you can imagine, people worshiped the idol—just as the King had commanded. Everyone except for 3 men—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As you may know, these men refused to bow down to King Neb’s idol and were thrown into the furnace. But they lived! Let’s consider the conversation place between King Neb and the three Hebrews. King Neb said: “But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery …

It’s Not What It Looks Like.

Last November the church was going through a series on finances. I don’t remember the series name, but with our life groups we were using a book called the ABC’s of Financial Freedom. I remember I was in my office reading the book, preparing for how we would use a particular chapter when God opened my eyes to something I had never seen before. I wasn’t generous. I did a pretty good job of looking the part. Karen and I have tithed since we were first married, and there were times this was hard to do. We support several friends who are missionaries oversees. If you ask me to help you, I will. If you have a baby, we will bring you a meal. You get the idea. I read my actions and concluded I was generous. Here is the danger in this thinking. In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told a story about a Pharisee and a tax-collector. The Pharisee gave immensely and prayed a lot. He entered the temple and talked about all he had …

God is a Good Promise Keeper

The prophet of Isaiah wrote: Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” – Isaiah 40:3-5 John the Baptist would be the one to come and prepare the way for Jesus. Let’s look at two ways the birth of John the Baptist as recorded in Luke 1 was miraculous. First, Luke tells us in verse 7 Elizabeth, who would be John’s mother, was both barren and advanced in years. She could not conceive a child. Second, Zechariah, who would be John the Baptist’s father, was chosen by lot to enter the temple and burn incense. It is there Zechariah had an angel appear to him with the message that he and Elizabeth would have a son. Was this chance? …

Not a River You Can Just Wade In

Wisdom is less like a deep ocean and more like the force of a river. The power of the river is in its ability to adapt to its environment, change its course when necessary, and yet find its way towards its destiny. – Erwin McManus I read these words recently in a book titled The Way of the Warrior. I was immediately taken back a couple of summers ago when we took a trip out to Colorado. The quote evoked a very specific memory I had of a river we stayed near for a night. There are few places in that area of the country that don’t romance the soul. I remember taking the kids down to the rocky bank and deciding to take a swim. The river had some rapids visible upriver and downriver, but the spot we were at appeared deep enough and slow enough to wade in, chill out, and relax a little. After committing to just past knee deep I was suddenly taken aback and surprised by the sheer force of …

Search For Truth in A Fog of Fatigue

Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done… but did not do. – Johann Wolfgang Not too long ago I got a new Study Bible; kind of a fresh start and exploring a different translation. At the front, on the first blank white page all Bibles seem to have, I felt prompted to start a list. I wrote at the top of the page “Men After God’s Own Heart.” The first name which belongs on this list is David (see 1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). But he hasn’t made it on there yet, simply because I haven’t made it to his story yet. I wanted to jot the names down as I came to them, recognizing those who stand out in His story as being chasers and seekers of God’s identity and purpose. Men who desire His thoughts, adopt His will as their own, and are in friendship with Him. (I’ve got four names on the list so far.) …

Questioning Your Purpose? Get a New Perspective.

Our purpose in life seems to be a question everyone at some time in their life must ask. While it’s a great question, I think the answer people are looking for is not right. Or perhaps we are looking at the question wrong.  Melissa and I sure were 3 years ago. One Wednesday night when our church still met at the chicken farms, Melissa texted me to come to the preschool area of our facility. This was the first time she told me about Hailey. Oh, how to describe Hailey? She has an infectious smile, and a carefree attitude that surpasses reason. She’s also been through a lot more than I could ever image. Hailey had just entered into the foster system and was staying with Melissa and Steven Beam.  But I remember my Melissa, in her own way, basically telling me we would be adopting Hailey. It took me a little longer to get used to the idea of adoption, but I finally understood what we needed to do. We signed up to start …

How Can You Be Content With Less?

I think most would agree being content is not an attitude that comes easy. I wish I could just wake up content, but I think the opposite is true; I wake up wanting. I believe this is why Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11 he has “learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Have you ever seen an advertisement suggesting, “Don’t worry, you don’t need this.” Nope! Billions and billions and billions are spent on pushing back against contentment, convincing us stuff, trips, and food will bring about completion, then we will be content. But it’s only good until the next thing comes along. It never stops. So where does wanting end and being content begin? Are you ready for this, because it’s pretty genius… Jesus! As Shannon said, and many before him, and many after him, Jesus is enough. The first key to giving generously is being content. Why? Because we no longer hold tightly to anything anymore. There are no more strongholds to what we believe is ours, or to what …

Are You Resolved to Move Forward?

I began 2018 with a goal to thoroughly immerse my time of study in the major prophets of the Old Testament. I had never really spent much intentional time there and had been feeling drawn to them, so I started with Isaiah. The Book of Isaiah was rich in painting the context of the character and intent of God. It taught the honor that comes from being a true message carrier for Him and all that can be done through us, despite circumstances. Then, I moved into Jeremiah, who succeeded Isaiah as God’s primary prophet to Judah. The flavor and tone changed drastically and it was not long before I was tempted, and even looked, to move elsewhere in the Bible. However, I pushed through and as I did so, I grappled with what was bothering me so much in these ancient writings. This was a man, who much like Isaiah, was given the burdensome gift of prophecy and the difficult charge to confront an entire nation, almost always, alone. But there was something different …

How Can You Trust When Trust Seems Impossible?

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 As a dad, I have to teach my kids how to trust others, how to assume the best and believe all things. But to be entirely transparent, there are times I question how much I should trust someone else, especially someone I have just met and don’t really know. This was the reality that I had to grapple with when my first born arrived in this world. To say she was born early and a little unexpected would be an understatement. Ten weeks prior to my wife’s due date, we found ourselves in the hospital, with a doctor we had just met looking us in the eyes and saying, “So, we are going to be delivering your little one today.” Those were not the words I had hoped to hear. As they wheeled my wife off to prepare for surgery, I watched her till she was out of sight and could not wait to get back …