Viewing entries tagged
Growing Faith

Object of our belief.

Object of our belief.

Ever consider how everyone has faith?  Some have faith that God doesn’t exist, care, or heal. But faith is such a part of everyday life that we often don’t even notice!  Like now…the chair you’re sitting in. Did you question if it would hold you when you sat down? Did you inspect it beforehand and ease into it cautiously? The food you ordered – did you think it poison? The structure you’re in – do you question its safety? The friend you trust – do they ever have a lapse in judgment?  There are things in life we don’t question—Too much experience has left us believers! And yet…chairs break, food spoils, friends disappoint, and structures collapse. That also doesn’t mean we quit sitting, eating, seeking friendship, or being indoors.

Faith is a useful motivation in life when rooted in God’s faithfulness. However, if we can't see the difference it makes in our lives, faith will always feel nice…but just not very useful.  The better we understand who God is – as generous, merciful, just, compassionate, blameless, and redemptive – the more faith will shape our life. We can literally become like the object of our belief.

Here’s to faith becoming Useful!

A Child-“LIKE” Faith

A Child-“LIKE” Faith

Perhaps the thing that makes parents ‘light up’ over their kids is when they act beyond their age! Maybe they were good at sharing, not complaining, helping without being asked, or just being a trooper while running errands.  When I see our kids act in such a way toward each other, toward adults, among friends, or with strangers, it feels so promising!  It’s not because they’re doing this for me but because they’re experimenting with a new desire that considers others.

When asked about whose the greatest in kingdom of heaven is, Jesus sat a child in their midst as an object lesson. A child had very little status in ancient society. In an agricultural society, often with large families, small children were viewed more as a burden because they couldn’t contribute. However, a child has an innate ability to trust in the care another. All children need an advocate because all children are supposed to grow up to be an advocate.

The idea is that we’re all supposed to spiritually grow out of child-ish, “meet-my-needs”, “bless-me” ways. Jesus affirms a child, signifying that the process of growing is most significant. Child-likeness is needed for faith to thrive - trusting our Heavenly Father while we to help others who might not notice, appreciate, or return the favor.

…How might God be parenting you?

…In what way are you growing as an advocate?

…As you grow, are their ways you can better serve your ‘faith family’?

A Storied Life.

A Storied Life.

The power of story captures even the most distracted of us! We cheer for underdogs and relate to ‘against all odds’. We love the timing of dialogue in the heat-of-a-moment. We savor (& binge) on story that paint pictures, weaves emotion, and invests us to outcomes. A screenwriter friend described what makes a gripping story is the development of a character. “To be interesting…”, he says as he leans forward over his coffee, “a person needs to go through something... something interesting or intense. The difference between an ‘extra' and a principal actor is what we see when a character goes through challenge. It can be attractive or repulsive. Either way, it's what makes the story." 

God’s story in us, that is a living faith, develops the same way. We grow as we’re forced or required to endure. And the secret ingredient to transformation is the Holy Spirit present within us. Given our access to education, industry, healthcare, and line of credit…it doesn’t seem to require faith to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. To be sure, God graciously provides but it’s easy to see my success, determination, and common sense exclusively tied to my strength. Yet, faith unfolds when we CANNOT see a way we can humanly make it happen. Faith works when we respond to the prompts to help, give, stop, receive, or turn. Faith is about learning how to love another in a world full of self-promotion and preservation. And, in the midst struggle and prosperity, within the mundane and the busyness – faith lives when believe that God sees, loves, redeems and restores. 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”. (Ez.36:26-27)

Here’s to our story becoming God’s Story and a Living Faith!