Jesus didn’t come to rescue us. He came to make a way for us. We have to choose to walk in that way.

We can rationalize that we didn’t light the match, but if we’ve been walking around pouring gasoline on everything, we own part of the damage done by the fire

We speak against hate, yet slander and mock anyone who disagrees with us

We advocate for the idea of unity, but unfriend anyone who doesn’t share our worldview

We petulantly rationalize our own acts of rebellion, while incredulously condemning the anarchy incited by others

We bemoan that no one has walked in our shoes, but then presume to know what other people think

We invest trust in people who don’t really care about us, while distrusting the neighbor, who’s never betrayed us

We convince ourselves that the problem is “Them”But this is “Us”

It is the spirit of this age, and the world system it fuels, that pushes us to embrace our identity as victims; powerless, offended, oppressed, and in desperate need of validation, vindication and compensation from a people with no capacity to provide any of those things. It is the Spirit of Christ that invites us to the reality that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and sacrificed that we might be free. Ultimately, it is the person He created us to be that He knew before we were in our mother’s womb (Jer. 1:5), but it is the person we choose to become instead that He can tell, “I never knew you (Matt. 7:23)”.

It is the impetuous nature of the Sower that compels them to throw seed onto frozen ground. But if we hope to bear fruit we must discern the times & seasons.

In the last year no term has come to mean less than the word “virtual”. Though we’ve had to make due with what was available, there is no pretending that all of these things (e.g online classes, Zoom calls, waving at grandma from outside the window…) are virtually the same as the real thing. We need to recognize how blessed our “normal” has been, and not take it for granted, if it ever returns.

With each passing year I am more convinced that the only thing that really has the power to stand in the way of God’s will for my life is my own will for my life. That what keeps me from having His heart for people is all the other feelings those people stir in me. That what keeps me from having the mind of Christ is all the other thoughts that I allow to occupy my mind. That what keeps me from hearing His voice clearly is all the other voices my ears are tuned to. That what keeps me from saying what He’s saying, is all the other stuff I feel the compulsion to say. That the only one who can really keep me from becoming the person He made me to be, is this person I’ve chosen to be instead. That the way that seems right to me is what keeps me from simply following Him. In light of this, how significant is it that “self” control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, it is the only thing that God has ever given me “control” of.

One of the reasons the Jews struggled to accept Jesus as the Messiah was that He didn’t deliver them from the Romans

There’s little doubt that life will drive you towards cynicism. But God’s heart is not even a little bit cynical. So that leaves us with a choice to make moment by moment.

I have recently been pulled into some conversations about what sort of “rights” a would-be father has, but I believe that before we talk about “rights” we need to address “responsibilities”.

1.    Impregnating a woman does not automatically qualify you as a father.  It makes you a sperm donor.  The streets are filled with sperm donors, while good fathers are in short supply.

2.    If you were unable to sustain a meaningful & committed relationship with the mother before she was pregnant, adding a baby isn’t likely to improve things.

3.    If you haven’t figured out how to take care of yourself (i.e. put food on your own table, clean up after yourself, show up to where you said you’d be…), you’re probably not ready for fatherhood.

4.    If your favorite recreational activity is partying yourself into a stupor, you might think about how you plan on handling the child who needs to go to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night.

5.    If you routinely hang out with unsavory characters, you might also consider that you will become their connection to this child.

6.    Being a father isn’t about how the baby makes you feel, it’s about what you bring to the child’s life.  If all you’re looking for is unconditional love, consider buying a puppy instead.

7.    A child is not a possession, a trophy, or some sort of validation of your manhood.  It’s a lifelong commitment to pour out your soul for someone else.

8.    Your child will be far more impacted by what you show it than what you tell it. 

9.    Fatherhood is not about what it adds to your life, it’s about what you’re willing to sacrifice. 

10.  While a child growing up without a father creates an emotional void, a child growing up with a bad father creates pain and destruction.