Sunday Music: “Your Raise Me Up” by Celtic Woman

What a beautiful rendition of this song.  The words and melody touch my heart.

There are times for all of us when we just need a touch from God to raise us up.

I hope it encourages you and fills you with peace on this Sunday.

 

If you are having trouble viewing this video you can watch it here.

 

Do you have a favorite music video?

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Seizing the Moment

Number 47 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” The miracles and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

When I first committed my life to God and entered into that incredible relationship it radically transformed my life. So much that I wanted to share my joy with those I cared about.

I had literally gone from darkness to light. From anxiety to peace, emptiness to fullness, loneliness to love. I thought everyone would rejoice in my new discovery.

Yet, I found resistance and excuses often.  Annoyingly, the same exact excuses I’d once used.

 

Photo Credit: Sandeepachetan

Photo Credit: Sandeepachetan

 

One friend said, “Well it sounds nice for you but it’s just not for me.”

Another said, “You know, maybe later. I’m just not done really living quite yet.”

Another asked, “Well, what about those people in Africa who haven’t heard of Jesus? I don’t think I could believe in a God who’d condemn them.”

I felt frustrated because what was so life changing to me was met by some with indifference or even criticism.

And I felt somehow responsible for the eternity of those who’d rejected what I said. That was a heavy load.

 

Frankly, I don’t want to be in charge of the universe, thank you very much.

 

[Read more…]

A Family Transformed

Number 46 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” The miracles and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

When I pastored I saw firsthand the devastation of dysfunctional families.

Instead of love and support too often I saw anger and attack. Instead of being a refuge from the world’s pressures it became a war zone to escape.

 

Family Playing

 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t always the neighbors who didn’t go to church though. Sometimes it was some of those who were the most involved. Going to church wasn’t an inoculation against the disease.

And the destruction it left was devastating. Children abused or rejected. Marriages destroyed. Families torn apart.

 

Lives devastated sometimes in ways that couldn’t be seen yet manifested themselves later.

 

After many years of marriage I can say honestly Jennifer and I have gone through our times of struggle too. I mean, realistically who hasn’t?

Marriage is tricky. There have been times when it would be easier to quit. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “Now We are Free” with the Indigo Choir

A beautiful rendition of the the theme from “Gladiator” written by Lisa Gerrard.

Often it has been asked, “What language is it written in?”  Since it is not a known language.

Lisa Gerrard has never answered that question.

So just enjoy the song and the hauntingly beautiful words.  Let them mean to you whatever they say.

And rejoice that in our relationship with God, “now we are free”.

Oh, and don’t miss the last minute.  You will be touched.

 

If you are having trouble viewing this video you can watch it here.

Do you have a favorite music video?

Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or email me.  Thanks.

Traveling Light Yet Abundantly

Number 45 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” The miracles and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

When I sold my business to pastor a church we got hosed financially.

 

Photo Credit: Ian Lott

Photo Credit: Ian Lott

 

We had a successful business but increasingly I felt God was leading me into full time ministry. I had served years before in a couple of short term ministries and completed seminary.

Yet, we had two small children and Jennifer was a full time mom.

So when the church offered me $35,000 a year we jumped at the opportunity. Yeah, just kidding.

When I told Jennifer my thoughts she looked at me with that look that only a husband truly understands.

I remember the first morning I sat in the predawn darkness of our living room by the glowing fire and thought with anticipation, “What have I done?”

 

To say I was scared was like calling Niagara Falls some rapids.

 

[Read more…]

When You Get to the End of Yourself

Number 44 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” The miracles and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

I’m at my wits end with a problem. By all accounts it’s insignificant yet still important to me and perplexing.

We live in the country so through the years we’ve adopted many stray cats.

One we have now is very shy and yet my little buddy. As I write this in our sunroom, he’s laying on the sofa next to me so I can reach over and pet him.

A couple of weeks ago he seemed sick so we took him to the vet. She diagnosed diabetes. Ugh!

 

Photo Credit: Kristof Borkowski

Photo Credit: Kristof Borkowski

 

We’ve changed his diet and now I have to give him insulin shots twice a day. Let me tell you that brings new meaning to the word exciting.

Now he’s become more and more illusive. Yet, if I can’t give him his shots he dies.

I know this is pretty low on the importance scale compared to what each of us face at times and maybe what you’re facing right now. But I still find myself perplexed. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “Because He Lives” by Matt Maher

Happy Easter!  He is risen!

This song captures that fact and the implications for our lives.

Whatever you’re doing on this Easter Sunday I hope you spend a few minutes reflecting on this greatest of all miracles and what it means for your life.

He is risen indeed!

 

If you can’t see this video you can watch it here.

Do you have a favorite music video?

Please share it with me on Facebook, Twitter or email me.  Thanks.

Power to Accomplish the Impossible

Number 43 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

I’ll tell you the day I quit attending church.

 

Photo Credit:  Grand Canyon National Park

Photo Credit: Grand Canyon National Park

 

Our pastor was young, handsome, intelligent, successful with a beautiful family. He was one of the golden boys of our denomination. He had it made. And he was my friend.

He took a leave of absence and we were told by the staff he was working through some issues and not to contact him.

This went on for several months until one afternoon I received a phone call at my office from a friend. He told me our pastor had locked himself in his garage while his family was away and started the car.

 

I felt numb.

 

[Read more…]

The Life Change of Making a Difference

Number 42 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!

 

I’m convinced we’re all wired wanting to leave our mark in this world. We each want to feel we made a difference.

Whether it’s a gang banger tagging freeway overpasses or a teacher in the inner city of Chicago. A missionary in Africa or an annoying zealot Facebook friend. We all want to feel our life mattered.

Yet, how often do most of us really have that opportunity?

 

Photo Credit: Wonderlane

Photo Credit: Wonderlane

 

Or instead how often do each of us fill up our lives in lieu of it?

Maybe a bigger house, another expensive car, more golf clubs, more shoes in the closet? Personally I don’t get that last one.

Or maybe more TV or bigger trips. Somehow hoping to find something or at least forget.

 

Yet, it doesn’t really work does it? I mean maybe for a while but somehow that yearning sneaks in again.

 

[Read more…]

Sunday Music: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 and Bruce Springsteen

If you’ve never really listened to the words of this song this is a great rendition for that.  They speak of a deep desire that can only be filled up  with the one.

I hope you enjoy this on your Sunday.

 

If you have trouble viewing this video you can watch it here.

 

Do you have a favorite music video?

Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or email me.