Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanks For Giving

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving.  I have a lot to celebrate.  I have my mom of 90 years next door to me.  I have my brothers and their families nearby.  I have my wife of 38 years right next to me.  I have my 2 children, their spouses and their 7 children that will be joining us for a couple of days over the holiday.  In addition to family, I have my friends and my work.   I am especially thankful for Janet who has been working with me for 14 years and has proven to be an invaluable part of the Spot On The Lake team.  I thank God for the people that He has put into my life and for sending His son Jesus to die for my sins.  

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Addicted To Love


One of my good friends has a son who has struggled with alcohol addiction most of his adult life.   I imagine almost all of us have friends or family that are struggling with addiction now or have struggled with it in the past.  It is a horrible life-robbing disease.   And it robs not only the addict's life, but it robs the lives of those closest to him or her.  In my friend's case, his struggle between strength and grace is palpable.   He wants to love his son - and he does love his son.  But what is the best way to show love?  Strength, acceptance, grace, withdrawal?  Showing grace can lead to enablement.  Showing strength can lead to broken relationships.  There is no easy answer, but God sent his son to the earth to help us - to set an example for how to be.   We can study and meditate on Him, and He will help us.   

My words and thoughts seem hollow as I write them.  I came across this TedTalk delivered by a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.  I praise God that He put a person in her life to help her, and I praise God that He gave her the strength to help others.  I love that she closes her talk with a message of hope for each one of us.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Fear what?

Last night in our ConnectGroup, we discussed the emotions of Jesus.   There are references in the Bible to Jesus feeling the emotions of happiness, sadness, anger and compassion.   The author of the book we are reading, Knowing Christ, did not mention the emotion of fear.   So while we could think of no direct mention of Jesus being fearful, we have to suspect that Jesus, being fully human, experienced fear.  But Jesus told us to "fear not", so is fear a sin?  We believe the emotion of fear is not a sin, but our response to it can be.  It is right for us to fear an approaching train as our car is stalled on the railroad track.   We should do something.   But our response to fear can often be sin.  If we don't do the hard things we know we should do out of fear, that is a sin.  The Bible also tells us to fear God, but for a believer, fearing God means to have a healthy reverence for his power and strength.   We can't fully surrender to Him without that.  That reverence for Him should push us towards Him when we are feeling fearful.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Pain Relief


We love getting together with our ConnectGroup from church on Wednesday nights.  We make time to have a meal together, discuss the book we are reading, and pray.  Several of our members are struggling with the health and wellbeing of family members, so the prayer time has been that much more important the last few weeks.  We know that when things aren't going just right, it can push us closer to God.  This song by Laura Story is one of my favorite songs that puts those ideas to music.  I hope you will take time to listen.