Paul Barton says that when he was growing up, he does not recall hearing the words, "I love you," from his father at all. Paul says, "When your father never says those words to you when you're a child, it gets tougher to say them yourself each passing year."
To tell the truth, Paul could not remember the last time he had told his father he loved him either. And so, he decided to set aside his ego and make the first move.
It’s so easy to believe that we’re alone – that no one understands the things we're struggling with. Have you been there? Recently, Jennifer emailed us:
When they called him back for surgery, their lips met like two butterflies. Hours later, the doctor sat to talk with the elderly woman. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but the words from the doctor fell like bricks.
This caused me to look at the man sitting beside me. We had also been married for many years, but to be honest I often acted as if we had all the time in the world.
What a tremendous thing it would be if Christians around the world began to pray for Christ's body, the church. And for our world leaders as well, in the same way that Paul prayed for his friends in Ephesus.
Do you sometimes feel completely stymied on how to pray for some people? Well, the good news is that Scripture assures us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know how to pray ourselves. But the other good news is that Paul teaches us how to pray by example.
I’m author Holley Gerth, and if we could have coffee today I’d say:
You don’t need to have it all together. The world tells us we need to be “perfect.” It heaps on the pressure. It tempts us to hustle for approval and praise. But I’m learning this: The breaks in our “perfect” facades are actually more like windows where people can most clearly see Jesus.
My car was jammed with my daughter’s belongings. As we drove to the university a few hours away, we talked about the adventure she was about to experience.
We arrived on campus and carried in heavy boxes. The whole time I pointed out how exciting it all was. Hours later, we said goodbye. I walked briskly to my car, put my head on my steering wheel and cried like a baby.
Verses like this perfectly illustrate to me why the word of God is depicted as a sword (Eph. 6:10-18): it can be a powerful tool in the fight against the enemy, but can also hurt when wielded without great care.
Here's a big question. How do you recognize the voice of God? Instead of being frustrated that God does not speak to us in an audible voice, perhaps it would be helpful for us to remind ourselves how He does speak.
Most of the time when I think of homelessness I picture people sleeping on park benches in the midst of a bustling city. But, that’s not always what the homelessness looks like, especially in Northwest Arkansas.
I've been thinking more about that big question of how we recognize the voice of God. A few weeks ago I was leading a retreat for university students. It was that Saturday when here Northwest Arkansas, the rain absolutely poured down in torrents. And I came upon Psalm 29.
"The voice of the Lord is over the waters. The God of glory Thunders. The Lord Thunders over the Mighty Waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forest bare, and all in His temple cry, glory!"