All posts tagged: fear

A Letter to New Parents: Make Fear Your Ally

I can tell you this: being brave enough to recognize fear as it manifests itself in your own temperament and day-to-day living will give you the stepping stones that you need to bravely, confidently, lovingly, even with your internal organs gathering up in your throat, give those fledglings the push they need to fall from the nest and stick their God-given wings out onto the air of adulthood.

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Fear, Failure, Faith, Google Search and Bear Poop

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” {Hebrews 11:1}

So fear could be the “insecurity of what we worry about and the terror of what we do not see.”

“Do not fear” is God’s phrase for reminding us that he can see every possibility and he’s got it. Faith is a viable option.

The Advent Fulfilled: The Unbelieving Priest and the Promised Prophet

Sometimes I imagine what characters of the Bible may have been feeling, taking in with their senses and experiencing behind the narrative in the scriptures. I do this to understand, to find sight where the details are few, to stretch within the miracle of scripture and find the human-divine connections. I do this to better understand. Every Christmas, I think about old Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, and his unbelief and the unique discipline of silence exacted upon his by Gabriel. In my Christmas devotions today, I write from Zechariah’s voice, or thoughts, not to pretend that I know what he’s thinking, but to search for the deeper story of God’s faithfulness to us, even when we grow older and jaded and overly-familiar with God. He can make life spring up in the barren places (Isaiah 35) and give us joy and delight (Luke 1:14) where there had only been despair and sadness. God is always good on his word. And God is always good, as Zechariah learns here: Long ago, many years ago …

The Advent Fulfilled: My Prayer This Christmas

“It’s a scary thing to pray for someone to recognize her own need for Jesus,” she confided, “Because you don’t really know what God might allow to bring that about.” I nodded. I agree. And I know from personal experience that it’s not enough to “be on good terms with God”. It’s a comfortable place, the good-terms-position, because it relies on the grace found in the name of Jesus Christ while denying the requisite of the shedding of his blood. It relies on the good nature of God while ignoring his justice. It relies on the morality of ones’ actions and dismisses the whole of the person Immanuel. Because however it happened, whatever it took to place the person of God into a crying, suckling, messy human baby, it didn’t happen so that we could keep grace in our back pockets and face the day to day according to our own wills. God himself submitted his will to the necessary, the vile, the reproachable so that I can have the freedom to choose or deny …

The Advent Fulfilled: Looking Closely At King Herod’s Blood-Stained Hands

Christmas devotions are spent in the living room, sprawled on the floor and snuggling on couches. The soft, twinkling lights on the tree cast magic into the room and we tell the story, again, of the appearance of the angel to Mary, of the travels to to Bethlehem, of the night the canopy of sky rolled back and the glory of heaven appeared and angels sang. But the day King Herod ordered the slaughter of Bethlehem boys… well, that sounds like the record was ripped from the player and the needle scratches and we sit stunned by the grotesque. And every year my kids are aghast at the horror of that king’s actions and we talk about what history tells us about Herod the Great, King of the Jews under Caesar. Ultimately, the question comes: why didn’t God stop him from killing babies?