Category Archives: suffering

What Does Wrestling with God Actually Mean??

I hope I’m not the only one who’s asked this question. I hear people throw around “wrestle with God” in about every imaginable context: doubt, unbelief, sin, suffering, pain. We say, “I’m wrestling with…” “You need to wrestle with God on…” “I’m just wrestling with God through…”And when I hear it (perhaps because ambiguity discomforts

Spot-On Theology and Worship…from the Least-Likely of Sources

“Yeah, see…you can’t really celebrate His birth in Bethlehem unless you remember the Cross…and the Resurrection. You gotta keep all three of them in mind, or else it really don’t make sense. That’s why I drew all three.” Last week, I was minding my own business, very busy doing something terribly important, when a member

Quick Reads and Practical Helps: ‘Experiencing Divorce’ by H. Norman Wright

In a perfect world, everyone going through the painful, trauma-filled experience of divorce would set aside time to attend a local DivorceCare support group. But, of course, the world we live in is far from perfect, and many people who could benefit from the excellent information offered as part of those weekly meetings may not

‘GriefShare’ Begins Aug. 30th at The Crossing

Loss is a universal experience, yet one that often causes a great deal of pain and confusion. Broken relationships, dreams unrealized, hopes dashed…all of these life events produce a loss that, if not dealt with fully and grieved appropriately, can be devastating for an individual’s recovery. One of the deepest losses we experience this side of

Ten Reflections on the Orlando Shooting and a Prayer *

How might we as Christians process and respond to what happened Saturday night in Orlando? These reflections don’t say everything, but hopefully they are a starting point. Evil is real. Evil is deep. Evil is evil. We’re quick to minimize evil or underestimate its reality. Or chalk it up to bad circumstances or a tough

A Prayer for Charleston (and us)

At last night’s worship night we used Psalm 23 as our guide, which shows us the seasons of life. Our lives are secure and yet endangered as God leads us through dark valleys (23:4). What happened in Charleston, SC is a dark valley for many of us. We prayed in the spirit of the psalms to be able to bring this threat, this dark valley to God. Perhaps this prayer can help you give expression to how to respond to what has happened.

Our Father, as we see the evil committed Wednesday night in Charleston in the Emmanuel AME Church, we take our example from the Psalms, and we lament.

The Cross is Worth Dying For

If you’ve seen the news this week, you likely saw that ISIS released a propaganda video Sunday showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya – “the people of the cross,” as ISIS describes them.

Many of us saw the news and felt shock, hurt, and deep sadness tangled up inside of us. There are so many questions, so much we want to ask as we mourn the lives of these men.

While there is no blog post that can do this topic justice or accurately celebrate these lives, I was reminded by these men that the cross is worth dying for. No matter what persecution or suffering awaits us, we are all better off not renouncing our faith, even if our lives here on earth will end. It is better to suffer for doing good, as 1 Peter 3 reminds us.

God Really is a Refuge in Times of Trouble

We live in a world with no shortage of cynicism. That this often holds true for Christians just as much as anyone else means that many of us are tempted to read the following lines and mentally file them into the category of “useless greeting card platitudes”: God is our refuge and strength, a very

It’s All ‘Light and Momentary’

This past weekend, as my family sat down to dinner, I put my seven-year-old son’s plate down in front of him and returned to the refrigerator to get that most necessary of dinner accoutrements…ketchup. Tragically, I found that the bottle had been “helpfully” returned to our refrigerator absolutely empty. (Grrr!) Battling back my desire to

Surviving Hardship, Thriving in Faith

As Christians, we are specifically called to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “mourn with those who mourn,” as opposed to what most of us are typically tempted to do, i.e. run headlong into someone else’s pain with 1) an inappropriate rush to judgment, followed most often by 2) a hurried attempt to “fix it”