Showing posts from April, 2010

Heart dreams

Don't give up because of obstacles. 
Keep trying. 
Keep learning. 
Keep giving your heart dreams to God
and asking him to help

with the next step
...and the next step
...and the next step.

Photo Credits: (c) 2009 Brown

If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

I'm reading If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, by Randy Alcorn (Multnomah, 2009).
The section "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" offers readers insights on the following topics: How God Uses Suffering for his gloryHow God uses Suffering for Our SanctificationHow God Uses Suffering to Build Our CharacterSuffering can give Birth to Joy, Compassion, and HopeHow God Uses Our suffering for the Good of othersAlcorn's book is wise and relevant.

I want to highlight one of Alcorn's points which resonated with a recent experience I've witnessed: As dentists, physicians, parents, and pet owners regularly demonstrate, suffering may be lovingly inflicted for a higher good. Not long ago, I watched as a doctor/father held his two-year-old child and administered a breathing treatment.
The hospitalized child yelled "No! No!" as he pressed the mask against her face, covering her nose and mouth. Assurances and soothing tones did not still her cries. …

Some day my prince will come . . .

It isn't politically correct for modern stories and movies to let princesses get so embattled by problems that their only hope is for a prince to rescue them. That's the old style.
     You don't see modern princesses like Princess Tiana completely helpless. Tiana works hard alongside her  prince to overcome struggles and fight off enemies together . . . all the way to the altar.
     In contrast, Snow White bites into a poisoned apple and collapses. From then on, she can only sleep gracefully in a glass coffin. She is completely helpless to rescue herself from the curse of the sleeping death. Her only saving grace was wanting the prince to come for her.
Snow White models an important biblical truth.
     Ever since Adam and Eve munched forbidden fruit, death's curse has been capturing God's children, prince and princess alike, one by one, and we've been helpless to free ourselves. God's true love, in Jesus, has the power to break death's curse. Those who …

Awesome God

Christ broke our chains

of sin,

suffering and death

... so we can 

to our Father's

outstretched arms. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.        -Ephesians 1:17-23 (NRSV)

Hope through dark times

Today I am meditating on the day after Christ's crucifixion. This day in Holy Week  doesn't get as much press as a joyous Easter sunrise service. 
The time between death and resurrection can be a pain-filled and confusing experience of jumbled memories, questioning, regrets, and anguished prayers. When someone we love dies, something within us dies also. Some wrestle with helplessness and despair.

The disciples experienced many emotions after Jesus died. Mary grieved for her son. The disciples mourned for their mentor and teacher.
If you've ever lost a child or someone you love, then you know something of grief. Perhaps you are grieving today.

God doesn't leave his beloved children bereft.
God's story of redemption doesn't end in death, defeat and destruction, even if it may feel that way for a time.
On a dark day, a time of hurt or grief, I've learned to ask, with the psalmnist:        Why are you downcast, O my soul?
       Why so disturbed within me?

Beauty for ashes: Home, by the Esh family

What's so good about Good Friday for Christians? Jesus opened death's doorway, so we could find the heart of God, our home.

Eight members of the Esh family went Home after dying in last month's crash on Interstate 65 in central Kentucky. Read their story.

The song with the lyrics:

Thank you, Shirley Brosius, for sharing the Esh family's story of faith. God gives beauty for ashes.

What are your memories of home? What makes a house a home?

What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Didi Benami was eliminated on "American Idol" last night. I expected she would be. Tuesday night Didi sang "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?" During a mentoring session with Usher before the show, Didi couldn't sing the lyrics without breaking down into tears. She'd chosen this song, she explained, because it meant something to her, because it moved her. Unfortunately for her and the audience that night, Didi didn't sing the song well. And her performance didn't move her audience to pick up the phone and vote for her.
     Sometimes we can be too close to suffering to be able to talk or sing about it in a way that is meaningful for listeners. I think that was what did Didi in. Didi's delivery was too affected by her own feelings to allow her to sing well or to provide a catharsis for others. Then, when given the chance to connect with listeners by explaining her story, she couldn't or wouldn't.
     An emotional Didi left "American…