When God laments, it can change everything – Ezekiel 19, Part 5

In Ezekiel 19 (starting here) we have seen God lamenting, expressing his pain, in the form of an allegorical funeral dirge, that simply says, “My children whom I love, you have betrayed me and become something totally different and oppressive, something I didn’t want for you. I have tried hard to express my love forContinue reading “When God laments, it can change everything – Ezekiel 19, Part 5”

Why and how we need to sit in our pain? – Ezekiel 19, Part 4

This week we’re studying Ezekiel 19 and its two allegorical parables of lament. The first was a lament about lions. The second parable of lament is similar.  Read about it in verses 10-14.  Very similar to the lions, isn’t it?  A vine grows fruitful and abundant and strong.  But it gets uprooted, withered by anContinue reading “Why and how we need to sit in our pain? – Ezekiel 19, Part 4”

A lament about lions? – Ezekiel 19, Part 3

Now that we have taken time to understand lament here and here, we return to Ezekiel chapter 19, verse 1, where we learn that God is asking Ezekiel to deliver a lament.  Notice that this lament is the opposite of the psalms of lament.  In the psalms of the lament, David and the other psalmistContinue reading “A lament about lions? – Ezekiel 19, Part 3”

When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2

Jesus lamented. He was hurting deeply, and he expressed that hurt to God. We don’t normally think about Jesus like that, complaining to God. Yet arguably the most famous example of spoken lament comes from Psalm 22, where the psalmist, David, writes, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  It’s famous because JesusContinue reading “When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2”

Crying as a spiritual practice – Ezekiel 19, Part 1

I recently attended the baptism of my niece.  It was wonderful to hear her share the story of her faith in Christ, her commitment to him, and why she wanted to be baptized.  There was so much joy as my brother-in-law baptized her.  That moment when she rose up out of the water, as itContinue reading “Crying as a spiritual practice – Ezekiel 19, Part 1”

When God feels like a dropped phone call – Ezekiel 2:1-3:15, Part 4

What does it mean to have a relationship with God? Is it just an intellectual concept that has little bearing on our real day-to-day lives? How do flesh and blood people have a meaningful relationship with invisible spirit? As a result, does God feel distant? Does it feel like God is something we read aboutContinue reading “When God feels like a dropped phone call – Ezekiel 2:1-3:15, Part 4”

Two Marks of a Healthy Church – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 1

What is a healthy church?  What is a dead church?  What is a failing church?  How do we measure the success of a church?  As we continue our series studying the New Testament letter, Colossians, Paul shares two practices that mark a healthy church.  Turn to Colossians 4:2.  We are reading verses 2-6.  Pause thisContinue reading “Two Marks of a Healthy Church – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 1”

God wants me to be happy, not angry, and never to doubt? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 4]

In 1 Timothy 3:12 we read that “all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  Woah.  Maybe God doesn’t want us to be happy, and only cares about us becoming godly or holy, even if it takes us being persecuted? How are we to understand this? Does GodContinue reading “God wants me to be happy, not angry, and never to doubt? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 4]”

How to walk through pain [False ideas Christians believe about…difficulty. Part 5]

How should we respond in the midst of pain? The psalmists often lament, crying out their complaint to God as to why he is not answering their prayer.  This is why we are fact-checking statement about dealing with difficulty. The post you are reading is number 5 of 5. If you’re starting here, I encourageContinue reading “How to walk through pain [False ideas Christians believe about…difficulty. Part 5]”

A Guided Lament you can use right now

Do we lament when life is so rotten and dark that we have no where else to turn?  Yes. Do we lament when there is still hope, but much work yet to be done?  Yes. What we have seen this Advent as we’ve studied psalms of lament, is that lament is a faithful, clinging toContinue reading “A Guided Lament you can use right now”