Posts Tagged: "Adventure"

Advent Day 9: Grace Takes Us To Unexpected Places

*picture above: a statue of Mary in a church we visited this summer in Narni (an ancient hilltop village in the Umbrian region of Italy)

And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation forever shall call me blessed of God. —Luke 1.46-48

Mary was waiting – she was engaged to be married. Her whole life and future family was ahead, but not quite yet. Maybe she was excited. Probably she was a little scared. And then an angel visits her and makes an announcement. She questions. She wonders. And then she says yes.

As this shocking news of a God-laid-out-plan for her life sinks in, Mary’s response is to sing. We call this the Magnificat (my soul magnifies) or Mary’s song.

Luke 1.48 records, “He took notice of his lowly servant girl.” Another translation says “He set his gaze upon me.”

There’s something encouraging here… a reminder that God sees, God notices, God pays attention. There are times when I feel invisible, insignificant, small, or lowly in the eyes of the popular or powerful—and yet, God takes notice. He sets his gaze upon me.

Ultimately, Mary responded to God’s invitation with an emphatic… Read More

Our Addiction to Adventure

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the repetitive nature of the Christian life. Yeah, I know, this isn’t exactly an “amen” worthy point. It is true though.

Eat this bread. Drink this cup. Do it again. And again.

I mean, when will we have read our Bibles enough?

Is it possible to have fulfilled the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” so we never have to do it again? Can someone say, “Oh, I already did that, so I don’t have to love neighbors anymore.”

And what if the church isn’t teaching us anything NEW? Y’know… stuff we haven’t heard before? Where’s all the next level stuff? Gimme some of that!

What about giving? Can ya hit a certain level and just be done with it already? You know, kind of like that High Striker carnival game with the heavy sledge hammer and the bell thingy?

high striker carnival game

Ding ding ding ding ding! Congratulations. You’ve hit the level. You’ve arrived. You never have to give again!

And what about forgiveness? How many times do we really have to forgive the same… Read More

21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years Of Marriage

Today is our 21 year anniversary. Yup. 21 years ago, I was 21 years old (and Shari was 22). We had a Friday night wedding – on a budget (which means we had cake at the reception, but not a meal). We were young, in love, and ready to begin our life together.

wedding picture 1993

Here are 21 things I’ve learned in our 21 years of marriage…

  1. Opposites attract. We did. I’m thankful for our differences (and they also can be frustrating). But we do make each other stronger, better—and we make a great team.
  2. Hotel sex!
  3. Her dad was right… Read More

Part of the Adventure is Knowing How to Grow & Change

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Part of living the adventure is knowing how to grow and change.

Spiritual growth (growing in our relationship with God) isn’t something we do once and complete – it is a daily necessity.

One of my pastors would always say: “you grow daily or die gradually.”

The apostle Paul said:
“I pray that you will keep on growing.” (Philippians 1:9).

What we learned last year, last month, last week, or even yesterday isn’t enough for today and tomorrow.

Because today is a new day, bringing new challenges and new demands.

Growth and change is a way of life – don’t hate it, embrace it.

Athletes, and the sports they compete in, continue to evolve and improve. The game changes. Sometimes the rules change. The level of play continues to rise. New records are achieved as athletes raise the bar year after year.

This is true in life: the game has changed. The bar has been raised. There are new challenges and new demands today.

We cannot be effective today playing at the level we did a decade ago.

Have you heard the expression: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”?

Here’s what that phrase is saying: Don’t fault the successful participant in a flawed system; instead try to discern and rebuke that aspect of the system which allows or encourages the behavior which provoked your displeasure.

When it comes to spiritual growth, don’t hate the playa or the game!

Part of the adventure is knowing how to grow and change.

Don’t resent the need to grow and change. That’s just life.

Enjoy doing things differently – it makes you stronger!

Be hungry to learn, adapt, change and grow today.

Embrace growth and change as a way of life.

You choose: grow daily or die gradually.