"2am" | A Psalm from Darkness

"2am" | A Psalm from Darkness

Megan has chosen a profession that requires her to take up residence in the Valley of Tears. Joseph Tenney, worship pastor at Church at the Cross, spoke a few weeks ago on people who are called to live lives of suffering, never experiencing deliverance from the Valley. For the first time in her life, something in her head and heart connected, she realized that her home was in that Valley−and it was good. “I’ve been a nurse for seven years and [Joseph’s sermon] helped me to finally see the whole reason God has put me in the place He has. It’s okay to be frustrated and to voice that, but it’s unrealistic of me to ever ask for God to take all of this away, because that’s not going to happen in my environment. When He comes back we will not have to face death anymore. Babies will not die. Nobody will have to die. All those tears we have cried will be dried up, and it will be no more.”...

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Souls that Rest in the Love of God

Souls that Rest in the Love of God

Many of us are weary in our communion with God because we’ve passed over this essential foundation to our communion. Our faith is on a 24/7 mission to find rest for our souls, and many of us are restless because we struggle to simply see him as loving. Again, Owen rightly notes, “every discovery of God without this will but make the soul fly from him.” Why? Why will every other discovery of God result in us flying from him if we don’t see and receive his love for us? Because if his sovereignty and authority were at work against us and not for us through his love, we would all fly and hide from him. We would buckle under the weight of living to gain his approval versus living life as approved sons and daughters...

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WHY BOTHER WITH LENT?

WHY BOTHER WITH LENT?

Typically, evangelicals are shy about Lent. The 40 days prior to Easter—Sundays excepted—are known popularly as a season for giving up chocolate or other extras in order to show God how much we love him. With such impoverished notions, it is no wonder that Lent has fallen on hard times...So should evangelicals bother with Lent? Whatever the popular conceptions, the season can encourage gospel-centered piety...

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ISIS and Peace on Earth

ISIS and Peace on Earth

We must pray for our enemies and desire their salvation. Christians need to renounce the spirit of Jonah who wanted the destruction of God’s merciless enemies and hated the thought of those enemies receiving mercy from God. But, God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) and desires that all people come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). If that is God’s heart, should it not be ours? Should we desire the destruction of the wicked? Death to all of God’s enemies? Our call is to follow the command and example of Jesus who told us to love our enemies and pray for them, and who himself laid his life down for his enemies, even praying for their forgiveness as they killed him. Again, if we are calling for missiles but not praying for missionaries, we have lost touch with the heart of God...

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Love - The Taylor's Story

Love - The Taylor's Story

The process of adopting our daughter went very smoothly and every step of the way the Lord continued to reveal His heart to us. Adoption is the perfect example of how God's Love works. When our daughter came to us she was so frail. At 1 year old she weighed just 14 pounds. She was dirty, undernourished, and terrified. She did not understand who we were or that we already Loved her deeply. As she grew she became stronger. Her fears gave way to joy and seeing her begin to smile at us as we talked to her filled our family with some much elation that we could not imagine how we had ever lived without her...

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Joy - The Annis's Story

Joy - The Annis's Story

Finding this diagnosis was not a pleasant experience. During a particularly painful exam where I had to hold my arms above my head for over a half hour, I began to feel despair creep in as I struggled to keep my arms up and hang on to my Joy. In that moment, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me of Christ hanging on the cross. It was not a detached challenge to "be stronger"; it was a gentle reminder that He has also suffered...and that I was not alone. In that moment my heart and body were strengthened, and my Joy was restored...

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Peace - The Reynold's Story

Peace - The Reynold's Story

My daughter completed her treatment and returned home to begin rebuilding our family's relationship, but the road to restoration was a complicated one and shortly after she returned home, we found ourselves at odds again. I was determined to make our relationship work but all my best efforts continued to fail. Months later, sitting in a church service, I found myself once again unable to communicate what was happening in my heart. But this time it was not because of my battered relationship with my daughter; it was because I was suffering a stroke...

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Hope - The Robinson's Story

Hope - The Robinson's Story

After mourning this loss for a short time, we mustered all the resolve we could find and began our fertility treatments again. But this time our hearts were simply too broken to endure the rollercoaster process any longer. We discontinued the treatments and tried to come to terms with the idea that we would never have a child of our own. During this extended season a number of friends had suggested the idea of adopting a child. This was something that we believed in but the Hope of having our own biological child had always been our focus...

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THEOLOGY OF INTERRUPTION

THEOLOGY OF INTERRUPTION

Interruption is God’s invitation. God is inviting us to see him all around us, in the lives of others, in our conversations, in our serving those in need. Interruption is not simply a matter of our hearts developing patience, it’s about experiencing life! It is one of God’s ways of waking us up to what’s around us to see there’s perhaps more to be done than our task for the day, as important as it may be. Interruption is God’s enhancement of our art and his tender way of encouraging his creatures to be a part of the kingdom come...

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