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Shoes Can Take You Anywhere

Good Shoes

Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere. – Forrest Gump

Warfare always requires walking. And often, it requires running. Either way, good shoes are essential.

Shoes offer us protection. Any parent who has stepped on a lego checking on their kids at night understands this. They protect our feet from the harsh ground on which we walk, from the elements, and from infection and disease. In the same way, it is the gospel that brings peace that has covered us with an eternal and irreversible protection.

Shoes also take us places, as does the gospel. The freedom we find in the good news of Jesus initiates an adventure of unimaginable wonder.

And shoes leave prints – a record of where our steps have taken us. When we walk in the power of the gospel, we leave a mark on the places we go, or at least the gospel itself does. It changes everything around us.


Lace up. Value the gospel and know it intimately. Wrap it around you tightly and securely. Walk around in it daily and spread peace wherever you go.

And in the security and serenity of the gospel’s peace, walk confidently, run freely, and dance gracefully.

photo credit: Môsieur J.

The True Source of Real Joy

BubblesIt is very possible to discover happiness in your current circumstances, assuming your circumstances are happy ones. It’s also possible to find happiness in material things… for now, career success… whatever that looks like, and when all of your relationships are sailing along smoothly.

But happiness isn’t the goal. Joy is. Joy is possible in bad health, a bad marriage, a bad job, and on a really bad day. Joy is deep. It’s profound. It’s mysterious. It’s rooted in both the security and the significance found in a personal relationship with our Creator.

Paul once wrote to a poor and persecuted church,

…you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering, with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

– 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NIV)

Real joy is supernatural. It flows from its Giver – the Holy Spirit – who quietly but assuredly takes up permanent residence in the life of every believer, intertwining Himself with our spirits to gently remind us of the assurance that no matter what happens, we are loved.

photo credit: marfis75

When Police Pepper Spray Peaceful Protestors… There Is Hope

Police Pepper Spray Peaceful ProtestorsI just watched a video of police pepper spraying peaceful protestors at UC Davis, which led me to investigate further into why people are occupying Wall Street (and plenty of other streets too), which further led me to read some of the testimonies of people who are suffering in this present economic recession.

That last link is a collection of hand-written notes about where people are financially. Most are drowning in student loan or medical debt. Many work very hard for very little and struggle to make ends meet. One, however, that grabbed my heart was written by the kind of person we have a tendency to write off in our culture…

I have major depression, OCD, an eating disorder, and I cut myself. My parents can’t afford the treatment. I am the 99%.

What do you think? Is it real? Is it just drama? Is it just an attention-seeking person ranting about “the system?” Should we ignore it if any of those questions can be answered “yes”?

What is happening around us isn’t anything new. The videos I’ve seen remind me of early-1970’s era footage from Vietnam War protests. They remind me of what I’ve read about the Boxer Rebellion in China and the earliest rallies of the Nazi’s in Germany under a yet-to-be fuhrer named Hitler. I don’t have all the answers for cleaning up the present mess. But this much I do know… there is hope.

Things are broken. Whether you write off the above quote or not, it represents reality for thousands. Of the 7 billion people on the planet, 7 billion are broken. Society is broken. Governments are broken. Systems of trade are broken. Even nature itself is broken. But this much I do know… there is hope.

Humanity is being ravaged by a universal disease known as sin. It is present in every human being born into the world, and the mortality rate is 100%. We are all sick. We are all sinners. We all miss the mark. We are… broken. Sound harsh? Don’t stop reading… there is hope.

Jesus Christ is the Great Physician. And the same Bible that declares us all to be sick with sin and doomed with a broken world apart from Christ also declares exactly what He came to accomplish…

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
~ Luke 4:18-19

And He completed the mission. There is coming a day when all government will be completely submissive to Him. People will turn their weapons into farm implements because there won’t be anything to fight about. Protests and pepper spray will be unnecessary. I don’t fully understand how God will bring all of this to pass, but I rely on and trust completely in the Scriptures. There is hope.

There was a cross, and Jesus died on it to absorb the entirety of the wrath of God against my sin so that I could be reconciled to God, redeemed, and set free from sin’s penalty, power, and presence forever. He rose again as the absolute, guaranteeing assurance that He was exactly whom He had claimed Himself to be and that He would indeed fulfill all that He has ever promised.

I don’t trust in governments or systems, presidents or policies. I trust in Jesus Christ. I trust the ultimate Rebel who came to completely overthrow and destroy this broken, awful system. He began that work with His cross and resurrection, and He will complete it when He returns someday.

There is hope. Even for someone with severe depression, OCD, an eating disorder, and an addiction to cutting. There is hope. His name is Jesus. Trust Him.

4 Keys to Preparing to Do God’s Will for Your Life

Maps, Maps, Maps

In John 17:4, Jesus makes an astounding statement in His conversation with His Father, “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do.” (NLT) That’s a claim that none of us can ever make. Jesus did everything the Father had given Him to do.

What is success? The world defines it as achieving great things, making a good living, or generally finding happiness on earth. But God defines success in this way: doing everything God tells you to do. In other words, success is simply fulfilling the will of God for your life – nothing less, and nothing more.

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