Are You Tired of Religion? Would You Like Peace Instead?

I’m tired of religion, even Christian religion.  I give up.  I can’t keep all the plates spinning.

Do you ever feel that way?

Worn out doing all the things that hopefully will tip the scale in your favor with God.

But then not knowing for sure how you measure up.   Whether God’s happy with you or not.  Whether you’ll attain Heaven or not.

I’m pretty sure the scale is tipped way over in my case and not to the positive.

Well, I’ve got some good news and bad news.

The bad news is your scale probably looks similar to mine.

The good news is that’s exactly the place you need to be to find God’s love and peace.

Jesus said, “Come to me and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble and you will find rest for your souls.”

That’s it.  No five steps, no slavish sacrificing, no self denigration.

Just come and learn.

Then you find soul deep peace and rest.  The quest to prove your self-worth to God has ended.  He accepts you blemishes and all.

He says, “Sit with me for a while and take a rest.  Then walk with me and learn how to really live.”

Now that, even I can do.

And I’m still tired of religion.

 

*Matthew 11:29

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed and Tired? Discover Peace!

Do you ever get really tired?  I mean, deep down in your bones dog tired?

We all run at a frenetic pace don’t we?  Then add on top all the challenges that seem to pop up constantly.

Do you ever have days it seems the faster you run the behinder you get?  I do for sure.

That’s why I love what Jesus promised.

“Come to me, all of you who feel weary and overwhelmed and I will give your rest.”

Wow, exactly the prescription we need isn’t it?

And the thing I love about it is, there’s no five step list.  Like you need more to do anyway?

No just simply come to him.  And if you already have he says, “Keep coming back into my rest.”

He promises you’ll find peace deep in your soul that will give you rest.  You’ll find confidence that he is still in control of the challenges of your life even if they seem out of control to you.

In that confidence you will find rest, deep soul level rest.  And you can let the challenges fade until another day.

I’ve discovered the truth of this promise over and over.

Sometimes I just don’t know why it doesn’t stick better.

 

*Matthew 11:28

You Can Have the Emptiness Inside Filled Up with Love

I gave into lunch with an acquaintance who, as a self proclaimed atheist, wanted to debate religion.  I told him, “I don’t debate religion, but I will share what I believe.”

He finally agreed to those terms then promptly flipped to a debate.

We enjoyed a nice lunch and he enjoyed the debate.  He didn’t convince me nor do I imagine I convinced him.

On my drive home, I thought, “How depressing to feel that your existence is a cosmic mistake.  That you are utterly alone.  And when you die that’s it.”

That’s what I love about what I believe and have experienced.  That God, miraculously, came to earth as Jesus because he wants to have a relationship with me.

John writes, “The Word became human and lived among us.  We have seen his glory, of the One who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”

That alone fills the core emptiness people carry deep inside.

God wanted to live in a relationship with you so much that he sent his son here so people could see, hear and touch him.  2000 years later you still can.

All you need to do is ask.

Now, that’s worth believing.

And no, I still have no interest in debating.

 

*John 1:14

Find Healing When You’ve Lost Someone You Love

We’ve been on a run lately of people we know passing away.  My wife said, “I’m ready for a break.”  The problem is too they seem to be getting closer to my age.

I know you can relate and have felt the hurt of losing someone you love.  All the encouraging words and hugs help but the empty hole remains.

Nothing you can do ever completely heals the wound.

If there was no other reason for wanting a relationship with God than that it would be enough.

David writes, “The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever.”

Aren’t you glad?  No matter how much God promises to bless you in this life he promises even more in the next.  And those loved ones you’ve lost wait to greet you.  How much better could it be?

That gift is given not to those who are perfect because none of us are, even David who wrote these words.  Rather the blameless are those who come to God and say, “Forgive me and accept me.”

Then he says, “You are forgiven.  You are my child.  Live with me forever.”

I’m glad.  But I still wish people would quit dying closer and closer to my age.

 

*Psalm 37:18 (NIV)

Find Power in the Midst of When You Feel Overwhelmed

I’ve heard said, “The problem with life is, it’s so daily.”

At times it can seem like series of challenging puzzles coming one after another.  And the biggest problem is often you don’t get one solved before next one hits.

You tirelessly work day after day.  And frankly after a while you can start feeling, “If this thing called life just wasn’t so daily I could get some rest and get on top of it.”

It’s what I love about what David writes, “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

We all have days when those those lions seem like a step up don’t we?

Yet, into the midst of this daily grind God brings his goodness.  And when you stop and seek his answers a feeling of renewal comes.

Renewal based on believing that God sees your struggle and knows the answer.  He sees your need and has the solution.  And when you feel overwhelmed he mysteriously gives you his peace.

When the challenges of life become too much for today, you can rest in him and find the strength to go on tomorrow.

So welcome to life.  Be careful out there, it’s gonna be daily.

*Psalm 34:10 (NIV)

Are You Feeling Smashed? Time to Unleash Power?

Most everyone I know feels smashed.

We’re called the sandwich generation.  I’d call us the flat tire generation.  We have a crisis blowout concerning our kids and before we get it fixed another happens with our parents.

Friends have said, “We’ll get together when things settle down.”  Two years in we’re still waiting.

But it can leave you feeling crushed with no ounce of reserve left.

I was refreshed though last night when I read a favorite verse again.

Zechariah writes, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

Wow!  All my chasing and crashing often accomplishes little more than stress.  But when I settle back into trusting that God will accomplish everything I need I find his power again.

No matter what crunch you’re facing right now, just take the time to give it back to God.   Settle down into the rest he wants to give you.

Then you’ll discover a peace in your heart and mind that will help you think clearly.  You’ll find renewed strength in your body.  And you’ll see God’s power enter into your pressure cooker life and release the steam.

Personally, I think I’ll go sailing.  I’m going to let God have his shift for a while.

*Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

Stop Worrying and Get Some Sleep!

Have you ever had those times when you were so consumed with worry you couldn’t sleep?  Pressures and the challenges kept you staring at the ceiling most of the night?  And the longer you stayed awake the more frustrated you became?

I have more than a few times.  But see I was raised by a family of worriers.  They perfected worrying to an art.

Yet really, there’s always something to worry about isn’t there?

I discovered a promise though that shocked me and helped calm those sleepless nights.

Solomon writes, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

Wow!  He says you can strive and worry if you want to.  Or you can rest in God’s care and enjoy a good night sleep.  It’s up to you, whatever floats your boat.

See God enjoys giving that gift to those he loves.  No special formulas required.  Simply when you come to the end of your abilities and say, “Ok God, I’m tired.  It’s your turn now.”

Then, with that minuscule seed of faith, God works his miracle and you find peace again.

So have a good night sleep.  Let’s talk further tomorrow.

*Psalm 127: 2 (NIV)

Do You Need New Strength to Conquer Your Mountain?

Do you ever just feel worn out?

You’ve push and struggle against an unconquerable problem until you feel like you can’t go on anymore.  Yet, giving up isn’t an option either.

Yeah, I’ve been there,  way too many times.

That’s why I love what David wrote, “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on heights.”*

No matter what we face when we come back and just relax in God he renews and guides us.

Often I find this hard to remember as a full member of the type A personality club.  But I’ve also learned there comes a time to stop pressing and wait for God’s answers and strength.

It’s not doing nothing and saying, “I’m waiting for God.”

It’s more like productive waiting.  Praying, listening, reading, thinking, trying to understand your heart and God’s directions.  Oh, and resting too.

Then he promises he’ll give you renewed strength so you stand on top of your mountain.

*Psalm 18: 33 (NIV)

How to Experience a Miraculous Healing

I was sitting in my office chatting with a friend when he told me a story of his amazing healing.

He’d dropped by after golf and desperately needed cold water.

 

Child Healing

 

We got to talking about a mutual friend whose daughter is addicted to drugs.  He’s known her since she was a little and said, “She’s a lost soul.”

He went on, “I know what that’s like.  I’m a recovered alcoholic.”

Then he told me his story.

“I’d been sober for about 15 years.  Then I retired and started playing golf a lot.  Every day we’d smoke cigars on the course then come in and my buddies would have a few beers.”

 

“Pretty soon I found myself back smoking cigarettes and drinking.”

 

[Read more…]

4 Keys to Seeing God Work the Miraculous

I suffered with a misdiagnosed sickness that ravaged my body.  My digestive system imploded and I continued to lose weight uncontrollably.  Yeah,I know, that was a problem I wished I had all my life too.  But this was for real and serious.

Friends later told me they thought I was dying.  Honestly, there were days I wondered.

I prayed for God to heal me but I grew worse.

 

Walking Sunrise

 

After a couple of months tracking the symptoms and researching on line I figured it out.  I’d mysteriously and suddenly become lactose intolerant.

I was so extremely lactose intolerant that even a hint of butter on some green beans would wipe out my system.  I was trapped in an ill functioning body and chained to the vicinity of a bathroom.  For an outdoor adventurer I felt like I was living in a suburb of hell.

I prayed, “God why me?  Why won’t you heal me?”

At times I felt God had deserted me.  I’d prayed for and watched others on occasion be healed miraculously.  Yet, when I needed it most God was silent.

 

I struggled to understand and felt frustrated and at times angry with God.

 

[Read more…]