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”

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”

Fight or Flight: How do you handle pain? – Ezekiel 19, Preview

What do you do when you are upset?  It is fascinating to me how differently we humans handle our pain.  Have you ever heard of “fight or flight”?  While there are other ways to handle pain, fight or flight are two common ones.  The fighters among us tend to get aggressive and confront the painContinue reading “Fight or Flight: How do you handle pain? – Ezekiel 19, Preview”

An ancient parable to read when it seems hope is lost – Ezekiel 17, Part 1

Have you ever had that feeling of being dead inside?  Lacking hope.  Lacking energy.  Blah.  Depressed.  Feeling like there must be more to life than this.  Looking around for answers and satisfaction, and maybe finding it temporarily in TV shows, social media, food, alcohol.  What do you use to ease the frustration of life?  MaybeContinue reading “An ancient parable to read when it seems hope is lost – Ezekiel 17, Part 1”

Should we “fill our body with affliction”? – Colossians 1:24-2:5, Part 2

In the previous post Paul reminded us that we can learn to rejoice in the Lord, even amid difficult circumstances.  But as we continue to trace his teaching in Colossians 1:24-2:5, Paul writes something that seems bizarre to me. In fact, it seems wrong. Paul writes that he fills up in his body what isContinue reading “Should we “fill our body with affliction”? – Colossians 1:24-2:5, Part 2″

Is rejoicing in suffering a bad idea? – Colossians 1:24-2:5, Part 1

How should we respond to suffering? Maybe you’re suffering somehow, and you’re sick of it. I’ve had heel pain for the last few months, and though I will admit to being very inconsistent in treating it, I’m frustrated with it. I want it to be healed. I am not rejoicing in this suffering. Rejoicing? IfContinue reading “Is rejoicing in suffering a bad idea? – Colossians 1:24-2:5, Part 1”

How to overcome anger and discontentment, and have joy – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 4

Look at the woman in the picture. What do you notice? Longing, perhaps. Someone who is on the outside and wants to be on the inside. Frustration with life, maybe. Some who is upset enough to lean their forehead against a door. I wonder if something happened on the other side of the door thatContinue reading “How to overcome anger and discontentment, and have joy – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 4”

How to respond when your world is suddenly shattered – Acts 16, Part 3

Have you had one of those days where things are going so well, and all of a sudden, something happens and your life is turned upside-down? Maybe it is when the boss walks in, says “We’re letting you go, please turn in your key and company credit card, and collect your things.” Maybe it isContinue reading “How to respond when your world is suddenly shattered – Acts 16, Part 3”

“Christians must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Really?) – Acts 14, Part 4

How do you like the quote in the title? Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it. In the previous post we looked at the question of whether or not Jesus is okay with various levels of commitment to him. As we study Acts, it seems that a guy like the Apostle Paul was radically committed toContinue reading ““Christians must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Really?) – Acts 14, Part 4″

Why doesn’t God step in and stop the pain in the world? – Current Events Q2 2020: Is God in Control?, Part 3

When we are going through a difficult time, such as the coronavirus pandemic, it can seem like God is nowhere to be found. Deism is a view of God that says that God created the universe, he set things in motion, but is now hand’s off.  Like a bowler releasing his bowing ball. The bowlerContinue reading “Why doesn’t God step in and stop the pain in the world? – Current Events Q2 2020: Is God in Control?, Part 3”