When You Come to the End of Yourself and It’s Not Enough

We all get slammed by challenges at times don’t we? I mean, I don’t care how spiritually mature you are stuff just happens.

We receive lab test results we don’t want. A spouse walks out and really doesn’t want to reconcile. We implode financially and count the days until bankruptcy.

Then our world spins out of control and we just can’t make it stop.

So how do we respond?

I don’t know about you, but I often step up my pace, double my efforts. And you know, sometimes that works.

Yet, if I’m heading the wrong direction I only get where I don’t want to go a lot quicker.

Plus often we end up exhausted from racing which keep us further away from finding solutions.

Instead God promises he has the map and he’ll reveal it to us as we need it.

No, in my experience, most of the time he doesn’t give us the map. He just navigates for us turn by turn. And personally I can find that really frustrating. Because I like knowing where I’m going.

But if we’ll just look for his leading and listen to his guidance we’ll discover he is with us.

How to Discover Answers When Faced with Confusion

We all experience confusing times. Well, at least I do. Probably more than my share.

We get blindsided by something unexpected. Suddenly our world turns upside down and we’re scrambling to work our way out of the mess.

Yet Jesus, as we looked at previously, promises us clarity.

So why don’t we see more of it?

Jesus gives us a clue, “They would turn to me and I would heal them.”*

You might be thinking, “I’m spiritually focused. I pray. I’ve been baptized. I even go to church sometimes.”

But Jesus says simply, “Turn to me.”

See I find we can stuff our lives full of activities that we figure will cause God to act in positive ways.

But Jesus says simply, “Strip away all the activities. Strip away all the fool proof formulas. Strip away all the stuff. And just turn to me.”

And I’ve found when I finally stop, turn to him and look for his answers they come.

Then he brings about what he promises when he says, “I will heal them.”

Literally he’s saying, “I will make them whole so nothing is missing from their life.”

Now that’s what I want.


*Matthew 13:15 (GNT)

Experiencing Life the Way God Designed It for You

All of us face challenges at times that seem unsolvable. We search for answers yet stare at brick walls. Maybe shoot up a prayer but hear only silence.

Yet contrast that with a promise Jesus gave, “Their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand.”*

Wow, who wouldn’t like a little of that?

Our eyes will see. We’ll see his miracles. We’ll see clearly his path.

Our ears will hear. Not to get too woo-woo sounding, but I’ve had a few times when facing critical choices I sensed God talking to me. Not an audible voice, but rather like a voice deep inside me speaking to my mind.

Either that or I’m just hearing things but I don’t think so.

Our minds will understand. Frankly, I think all of us would like some clear understanding fairly often.

I don’t know about you, but I find this promise pretty remarkable. And to be honest I’ve experienced all of it on occasion. Often not as much as I wish but I think those times I just got in the way.

I wonder what God would show us if we just asked then truly expected his answer?


*Matthew 13:14 (GNT)

Ever Feel Confused and Just Need a Clear Answer?

I’ve seen people come up with some of the strangest spiritual concoctions. Particularly it seems rather prevalent on the internet along with a lot of other strangeness.

Now, I’ll be the first to say, life can get pretty confusing. I mean, how many times have all of us, in the midst of a crisis, thought, “Wow, if I’d just like a clear answer. If I could just know exactly what to do right now I’d give anything?”

So off in search of that elusive insight people sometimes develop a sort of mix and match spirituality. A bit of Buddhism here. Mix in a pinch of eastern mysticism. Sprinkle liberally with some new age. Then hang a Native American spirit catcher from your rear view mirror.

The only problem is, well, come on really?

When you think about it logically how could it work? They’re making up their own recipe.

Jesus spoke about some who listened to him, “For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.”*

Yet, God does offer to guide us with clear direction.

He does though when we truly seek the answers from him in his way.


*Matthew 13:13 (NLT)

Do You Need God’s Miracle and His Guidance?

Have you ever faced a challenge when you just wished you could see a God work a miracle and hear him speak?

Or more frustrating have you ever had a time you experienced that and now you’re facing a struggle but God seems to have left on vacation?

I can personally say yes to both.


Photo Credit: Frederic Poirot

Photo Credit: Frederic Poirot


I went through a serious medical challenge about eight years ago that was misdiagnosed and left me debilitated. Yet I watched as God arranged “coincidences” in miraculous ways and spoke to my heart which eventually led to my full recovery.

Fast forward to today. Honestly, when I write most mornings, I sense God’s leading. In fact sometimes I’m surprised by where posts come out. Although I would guess sometimes God’s probably surprised by what I come up with also.

Yet, to be honest I’m also frustrated with my blog at times. It continues to grow but excruciatingly slow. I pray regularly for God to show me how to grow it fast. Yet, what do I get?

Well, actually I do sense one answer, “Wait.” But frankly I don’t like that answer. I don’t do waiting well. And no don’t ask my wife.


So, it causes me to question again, “Why do I sometimes see God act and hear his quiet voice? And other times he seems to have left the building?”


[Read more…]

The Power to Overcome Our Everyday Battles

Number 48 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 went to the church I pastored I came with the understanding we were going to change things big time. The church had dwindled to a place it was either change or die.


Photo Credit: Ray Chang

Photo Credit: Ray Chang


I met early on with the Executive Board, a group of eight core leaders. One evening in our living room I said to them, “We have the opportunity to make a difference. We can change the direction of this church and see lives impacted eternally.”

All of them were excited about being a part of something that would make an eternal difference.

Then I said, “But realize we just declared war on the evil one. And it will be a real war. So you need to put on God’s armor every day. And trust in him to keep you safe and give you wisdom.”

Most took me seriously.


But within six months, one had a complete psychological breakdown. And within a year another had resigned.


[Read more…]

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…]

Insights When Life Grows Confusing

Number 22 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!


I find life can be really confusing at times. Challenges blind side us without warning.


Photo Credit:  Henry Burrows

Photo Credit: Henry Burrows


Relationships explode suddenly sometimes with little advance notice or possibility of reconciliation.

Surprise health issues hit us and continue to spiral down.

Economic setbacks slam us and leave us struggling to stay ahead.


Suddenly we’re reeling from the blow. We feel confused, angry and depressed as we think about our situation.


I think part of the problem today also which adds to this is we all live somewhat isolated lives. So we lack the support networks of previous generations.

Often our extended family is absent or at a distance. We tend to not join support organizations as people once did.

So when we’re faced with those challenges we can feel really alone. We don’t have the support and collective wisdom from others. And that can feel daunting and overwhelming. [Read more…]

God Rocks #1: Guidance from Unlikely People

Part of the new series “God Rocks:  101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!”  Stories of the awesome blessings and promises God gives us each day.  I hope it encourages you today!


I’ve been writing this blog for a year now. And though it’s had some success it hasn’t set any land speed records for growth.

So I’ve been reevaluating. Trying to discern where to go with it.

Not frustrated really just wanting to be more effective.


Photo by Samantha

Photo by Samantha


I enjoy it but it’s not like a hobby. It’s tough writing everyday.

Over the last year I’ve felt like it continues to improve but right now I’m at another cross roads.

I need a fresh vision. [Read more…]

When We Need Answers Now

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”  (Ephesians 1: 17 NIV)

I find life gets pretty confusing at times.  Relationship stresses, unexpected challenges, setbacks, worries.

So many questions we’d love for God to answer but the connection keeps dropping.

So we turn to the church and if your experience in anything like mine at times you come out even more confused. [Read more…]