There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes - seize it, don't miss it.
You know people just assume, 'Well, all my life I'll be a worrier.' That doesn't have to be true. There's a way to drink from God's presence so much that worry begins to dissipate.
A season of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the reward. Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.
About four days a week, I do pretty good at having a morning prayer time. But even at that, it's a rambling sort of thing. What I have learned to do better is to try to keep my mind turned toward God and ear inclined toward God throughout the day, and I think I'm doing better at that, but I've got a long way to go.
The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace - what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That's the thing about grace. It's like springtime. You can't put it in a single sentence definition, and you can't exhaust it.
We are Jesus Christ's; we belong to him. But even more, we are increasingly him. He moves in and commandeers our hands and feet, requisitions our minds and tongues. We sense his rearranging: debris into the divine, pig's ear into silk purse. He repurposes bad decisions and squalid choices. Little by little, a new image emerges.
For years I thought my assignment or the Church's assignment was to articulate the Gospel and nothing more. Now I believe that if we don't support the verbal expression of the Gospel with physical demonstration of compassion, we are not imitating Jesus.
I was raised in the greatest of homes... just a really great dad, and I miss him so much... he was a good man, a real simple man... Very faithful, always loved my mom, always provided for the kids, and just a lot of fun.
The idea of a spiritual heart transplant is a vivid image to me; once you have the heart of somebody else inside you, then that heart is there. Jesus' heart is inside me, and my heart is gone. So if God were to place a stethoscope against my chest, he would hear the heart of Jesus Christ beating.
One of the greatest gifts we can give people is the hope that their death is nothing to fear - you know, not that it has no fear in it, but the promise of scripture is that God will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.
Become a worry-slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Do you procrastinate when a bloodsucking bug lights on your skin? 'I'll take care of it in a moment.' Of course you don't! You give the critter the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety.
Initially, when I first became a Christian and got into ministry, my thought was that God existed to make my life better and to take me to Heaven. Now I realize that it is not about me at all. It is all about God and that He did this to display His plan to restore the Earth to the Garden of Eden state.
People assume when they come into a church and see a person up there speaking, 'That person must be a good person.' My challenge through the years has been believing that: 'I guess I must be a really good person.' I struggle with it. It just helps me to keep that confessional posture.
If we think that this life is all there is to life, then there is no interpretation of our problems, our pain, not even of our privileges. But everything changes when we open up to the possibility that God's story is really our story too.
Well, I think the main message is there is more to your story. There is more than what happens between the crib and the grave, and that is what I am really trying to speak to, this idea that all of life is this life and that there is nothing more than what we see and experience right here on this earth.
My first encounters with faith came about the time I was a Boy Scout, at about 14 or 15. I made the logical deduction that they operate the same way; I treated my faith like earning a merit badge, and everything about Christianity was about earning merit badges.
One of the things I discover a lot in marriage counseling is the husband or wife trying to get their spiritual thirst quenched by their partner; I think that's a real common mistake that we make.
There's something about compassion that causes society to say, 'We're going to take this person seriously.' Take Mother Teresa. She was confrontational on abortion, but she wasn't rejected by society.
If we can understand that death is not the end but is really a transition into the next life, the great part of life, that frees us up into receiving God's courage and his help.
I get one hour, really 25 minutes in a sermon on a weekend, to combat all the hours of the week that people are told you are what you have through billboards, commercials, and sitcoms, and so forth.