Category: God

Who Needs Your Blessing?

Who Needs Your Blessing?

baptismMy son honored me this summer by asking me to honor him.

Through a series of circumstances, Conor had never been baptized, though he became a believer in Christ as a young boy. Last month as our whole family enjoyed a reunion at the family camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where Conor accepted the Lord, he asked me to baptize him in the lake. I have never been more honored to pass on a blessing to anyone in my life.

I was reminded that for 30 years Jesus remained virtually unheard of, until he was baptized, and as he rose out of the water, the voice of his Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well-pleased.” (Mt. 3:17)  Later, God the Father mentioned the very same words a second time in Jesus’ life in the presence of a few of his followers, with one very profound additional phrase: “Listen to him.” Jesus then went out and became the central figure in world history.

Even the Son of God benefited from words of blessing from his Father. Is it any wonder that perhaps your daughter and son might, too? It’s been said that good parents give their kids both roots and wings. This is one way to do that as a dad, or as an older man in a younger man’s life.   baptism2  

The words of God to his Son demonstrate the key, simple components of blessing:

  • Acceptance– This is my son (or daughter).
  • Affection– Man, I love him!
  • Affirmation– I am so proud of him.
  • Anointing– Listen to him! He brings something to the table.

Men, I urge you, even if you are not a father, think through who would benefit from hearing words like that from you? Your daughter? Your son? Another man? A grandchild? A sibling? Your wife?

Please don’t hesitate; it does not need to be complicated. Jesus’ Father used one sentence. Those words changed the world.

 

When Your World is Ablaze

When Your World is Ablaze

As a result of last week’s firestorm, Colorado Springs joined a list of many cities around the world that have recently known stunning devastation at the hands of nature: tsunami in Fukushima, Japan; earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; tornado in Joplin, MO; floods in Minot, ND, are just a few. There are so many more. We lost two souls; others lost hundreds of thousands. I can’t imagine the weight of that grief for so many.

When our world is on fire, or under water, or when it falls into a chasm in the earth, we come face to face with our own powerlessness and mortality. I’m not sure I have ever felt as weak as I did when I looked out our kitchen window to watch a wall of flames sweep into our city, and then start to blow a huge orange-brown cloud of smoke toward our home.

In our state of stunned shock I, and many others in this area and around the world, went to the place of power beyond our own—to God. We prayed for rain, for the wind to turn direction, for protection for the pleasant community of Mountain Shadows in the path of the fire. God didn’t answer those prayers the way we hoped. The wind picked up speed, the fire roared downhill, Mountain Shadows exploded in fire, a devastated shadow of its former beauty, the rain never came—until a couple of days later bringing warnings of flash floods.

In circumstances like this, and even in the everyday challenges of life, I can think of 4 places to land when God seemingly ignores heart-felt pleas for intervention:

  1. He isn’t there.
  2. He doesn’t care.
  3. He can’t do anything about it.
  4. He is all I believe him to be; and, a complete mystery.

There are legitimate reasons to choose options 1-3. We have to admit we can’t prove God’s existence, and his silence often feels like apathy or absence. I doubt I’m the only one who has felt this at times.

But it’s in these very times that I, we, need to decide what we believe about him. It’s when He is a mystery that faith is about the only place we can stand; and  I stand on option 4. When I encounter God’s mystery in my life, in the life of a local career ministry couple who returned home last week to find their home and a lifetime of keepsakes vaporized, in the life of a parent whose Eagle Scout child gets killed in a head-on crash on the 4th of July, and in the headlines we read every day, it’s then that I simply must stand on who I believe God to be:

  1. He is good
  2. He is powerful
  3. He is paying attention
  4. He is sovereign
  5. He feels more grief and agony over the wretched impact of a fallen world than you or I can even imagine
  6. Some day He will reveal the bigger story…and the mystery will no longer matter

“Be still, and know that I am God…” Ps. 46:10

Where do you stand?

Man vs. Nature. No Question Who’s Boss

“A firestorm of epic proportions.” So spoke the Fire Chief of Colorado Springs, a man who has seen many fires in his career. What started as a relatively small smoke spiral at noon on a Saturday in a popular hiking spot in the foothills west of town, quickly expanded to a 3500 acre blaze moving […]