The Blessing of Limitations

The Blessing of Limitations

We love stories of people who overcame limitations. There’s Harriet Tubman – escaped slavery as a young woman, then became instrumental in leading many other slaves to freedom and advancing the cause of abolition. There’s Jackie Robinson – first African-American to break the Major League Baseball color barrier, becoming so successful that he was admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. There’s Nick Vujicic – born completely without arms and legs, who now travels the world inspiring others and telling them about Jesus.

And we could name many others. There are plenty of Biblical examples also; Moses – a disgraced former Egyptian leader who God used to lead His people out of Egypt, David – a shepherd boy who became King of Israel, or Peter – an impetuous uneducated Galilean fisherman who Jesus transformed into one of the premier leaders of the early Christian church.

We focus on the come-back story, the impact these individual’s lives end up making, the glory at the end. We look at the biography, the obituary so to speak. We stand amazed, and we should. We may even feel a little envy. Why can’t I have that kind of impact? Why doesn’t life give me that opportunity? Why doesn’t God use me in that way?

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Developing Spiritual Resilience for Troubles That WILL Come

Developing Spiritual Resilience for Troubles That WILL Come

Tall TreeThere is no way to get away from trouble in this world. Sometimes things happen that we cannot prevent. Sometimes we have an inkling of what may be coming, but nothing can truly prepare you for the overwhelming waves of pain or anger or grief or exhaustion that will hit you when it comes.

That’s why you need to develop spiritual resilience now.

Looking back over the past few months of my husband’s illness and his death only days ago, I know I would have coped much worse if I had not previously invested in my relationship with God over a long period of time. When fatigue or emotions or stress builds up what’s deep in your soul is what comes out.

I hope your trauma is not as painful as mine. But whatever it is, you will need some inner reserves to make it through. One day you will face one or more of these troubles, if you haven’t already:

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4 Times that God Needs You to be Angry

4 Times that God Needs You to be Angry

FistThe only people who are never angry are dead people – either dead literally, or dead-on-the-inside kind of dead. I’m going to go so far as to say that if you’re never angry, you’re mostly useless – to the people who really need you, and even to God. God needs you to be angry!

Of course that doesn’t mean we should live in a constant state of being “worked up” over every little thing. That’s dangerous to your own mental, physical, and spiritual health. And it doesn’t mean being the kind of volatile human being that everyone fears and would rather run away from. That’s dangerous to your own wellbeing and damages the kingdom of God.

But you need some fire in your soul if you ever want to accomplish what God has put you on this Earth to do.

Just days ago I was driving in heavy traffic, and felt my throat tighten and my blood pressure rise. I was facing some significant stress at that time that I had no control over, and piles of conflicting thoughts chased each other through my mind. I was tired emotionally and physically. And if one more person tried to cut me off in traffic . . . ?!!

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How to Find Unprocessed Food for the Soul

How to Find Unprocessed Food for the Soul

Preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, refined flour, extra sodium, trans fats – there are many reasons to avoid processed foods. You know they’re not good for your physical health, and that more natural, unprocessed options are almost always healthier.

When it comes to food for the soul, the same principles apply. “Processed” soul food is full of artificial excitement, manufactured emotional experiences, programmed relationships, and superficial spirituality. And just as with physical food, all that artificial stuff makes it taste good for a while, but ends up leaving you strangely unsatisfied. You’re not getting the true nourishment your inner being really needs.

What does processed soul food look like? How about reality TV, Facebook relationships, or emotion-only religious services. It’s not that TV, Facebook, or spiritual “highs” are necessarily bad: it’s just that those experiences don’t last. They’re like emotional fast food.

We don’t often think about taking responsibility for finding nourishing soul food; there are plenty of processed options easily available. But you have a choice in what you feed your mind and heart just as you do with what you feed your body. You don’t have to settle for the hyper-palatable junk food that popular media and popular religion often serve up.

So where do you find this unprocessed soul food? Here are some thoughts:

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How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

The wake of the Ashley Madison scandal has left many marriages traumatized. Church members have discovered the indiscretions of their pastors. Wives and husbands have discovered the infidelity of their spouses. It’s not that we didn’t know even Christians often struggle to remain faithful to their marriage vows. But the sheer volume of data that was hacked and suddenly available publically has left many somewhat stunned.

There is no easy answer to the problem of marital infidelity. There is no guarantee that your spouse will not fall into some such sinful behavior, or that you yourself will not be sorely tempted. We are each fallen human beings. There is no hierarchy of sins with God. We are all in need of a Savior – today and every day until Jesus returns to take us home.

But that doesn’t mean you are helpless, or hopeless. You may wonder if your own marriage is destined for failure. While there are always many factors involved, I can point to some strong research showing you how to save your marriage with prayer.

Prayer provides a level of insulation against the common human vulnerabilities leading to marital infidelity. In a study of several hundred participants,

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