Tag Archives: Service

10 Characteristics of Transformed Lives

In the past week, two very different people sent me two very different thank-you letters. Both men wrote to thank me for something that God alone is responsible for. Rather than argue theology with these two guys, I simply rejoiced with them that their lives were solidly on the road to recovery from a lifetime of besetting sin and affirmed my willingness to continue walking with them…as long as it takes, over as many bumps in the road as will undoubtedly occur.

The road to recovery and transformation is long and hard, no matter the details of your particular mess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deceived. That said, God is rich in mercy, and He sometimes “breaks in” and gives people who are sincerely seeking Him “a leg up” on the recovery process, a rapid boost intended to allow His people to get a glimpse of His power in their lives. He did this for me in July of 1997 when He “all-at-once” removed the desire to drink alcohol and/or take illegal drugs.

Since that epic moment in my own life, I have continued to watch for signs of His mercy in my life and in the lives of others (Psalm 130:6). There have been countless reasons to rejoice, just as there have also been countless times to mourn (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). More on that some other time. For now, here are some mind-blowing excerpts from last week:

Much-Needed ‘Reminders’

Every now and then, my faith begins to fail me. The exigencies of living in a fallen world – filled as it so often is with setbacks, disappointments and heartbreak – seem to “catch up to me” and bring me to the cusp of despair. If maintaining one’s faith in God’s good plan can be helpfully compared to a tank of gas, I sometimes feel myself “running on vapor.”

Jesus, in His great mercy, often stoops down to offer me a tangible, right-here-right-now reminder that He is in all things and superintending all things (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3), which is precisely what I need to refill my tank. Jesus offers these here-and-now reminders to all of His people, if we will only ask for “eyes to see” (Matthew 13:16).

Overcoming Busy Schedules and Aging Knees

Last week – for the first time since becoming a part of The Crossing community – I volunteered to help at Kids Club. Prior to last week, I always thought that I had good reasons as to why I couldn’t get involved in the amazing, chaotic world of Kids Club.

For instance, for the last eight years, I’ve done child care out of my home and, to be honest, volunteering to help with hundreds of excited, screaming kids in the evening (after spending 10 hours of my day caring for little ones already) just didn’t sound like something I was physically or mentally capable of doing.

This year, however, I learned that the Kids Club organizers were still in need of a few people to lead discussion during Bible Story Time – a.k.a. “Hero Training 101” – and so I decided to step up, though not without some trepidation. After all, I’m no spring chicken, and the idea of four days of non-stop activity was daunting to me.