4 ways to be there for friends who are hurting

When I was in college I got a phone call in the middle of the night from one of my besties.  She was crying so hard it took me a few full minutes to untangle her words and realize that her mother had died suddenly of a Brain Aneurism.

I remember in the season that followed learning the incredible pain of caring for the grieving.  I remember the horrible feelings of being out of control, of watching someone you love hurt.  I remember thinking, perhaps naively, let me take this pain from her. 

Be Valuable

The Tuesday after December 5th, 2013 I drove with a friend up to our church offices to pick up a DVD I needed.  It was late.  Past midnight.  But I needed that DVD for the memorial service that was happening later that week.

I walked into that office that night for the first time since hearing that my co-worker had been taken from us. I wanted to get in and get out, afraid of that place and the feelings it would force me to face. I knew the DVD was on the far side of the office in my mailbox, but I went straight for the cabinet by my desk.  I knew there was something unspeakably precious to me in the top drawer: a scrap of paper with a joke written across it in sharpie.

Old dreams and new jobs

Ten years ago, I officially fell in love with my first local church.  I sat in one of the pastors offices and I told him: “I’m all in. I’ll do whatever this church wants.” I was young(er) and cocky(ier) and sure about who I was. I told him my gifts, where I wanted to serve, but explained I would do whatever our body needed.

In life, there are a few moments when you are sure of what God wants you to do.  That was one of them for me.

It didn’t work out.

Who wrote your gospel

Who wrote your gospel?  Think about what you believe about Jesus: who told you that was true?  Did you pastor determine that for you?  Did John Piper or Beth Moore or Christine Caine?

In the church in Galatia, they had a problem. They had trusted in the truth, but then people they admired and respected came to their church and preached a slightly different version, and they went with it.

Paul spends a lot of time explaining why the Galatians shouldn’t tweak the gospel God brought to them just because someone who seemed influential came along with some edits.  The people, just like us, had two problems: they were (1) blinded by influence and (2) blinded by ignorance.

Blinded by influence

Six days of questions

I recently got the privilege to be a part of creating a beautiful Advent Devotional with my church. There are a few extra days that we didn’t include in the guide that I thought I’d share.  Grab some time each day this next week and process these things prayerfully with God and with your family and community!

Looking backward & looking forward.

In Deuteronomy 3, God encourages the people to “remember the days of old” and to “consider the years of many generations.”  And in Proverbs 14:8 God tells us that a wise man looks ahead.