FEELING LIKE YOU ARE IN A SPIRITUAL DESERT?

A Game Plan That Works

We all experience seasons of life where we just feel “down.” Discouraged. Disheartened. Sometimes I find myself there because of a specific circumstance; other times I really could not tell you specifically why I feel the way I do. It is like wandering in a spiritual desert at times and I am not sure where the “exit” is.

My emotions wreak havoc and I find myself turning very introspective. The glass-half-full turns into the glass-half-empty and I start to view my world through a lens that does not take me anywhere profitable.

3 WAYS THAT LISTENING TO YOUR WIFE IS DIFFERENT THAN HEARING YOUR WIFE

And Why It Matters

I feel like for me that marriage has been a lot of figuring out as I go. I got married 28 years ago to this woman for whom I declared my love and devotion. “Love and devotion” -seemed easy enough (enter chuckle about this point).

And from the time that I joyfully declared “I do” until now, learning the art of loving my wife has seen both some major overhauls as well as some fine-tuning to my thinking and actions. 

WHAT DOES A ONE-FLESH RELATIONSHIP MEAN FOR A HUSBAND?

And What Can Happen When You See It Correctly

I was recently up in Canada on a backpacking/canoe trip with my good bros from Pilgrimage. And one of the highlights of my week was our solo day, where we break off from our group, find a place in the woods, hunker down, and get with God.

I found a gorgeous spot on the shore of our lake, the sun was coming up, and my view was majestic. Warm mocha heated on my mini stove. Perfect place to chat with God and listen to God.

QUIT PURSUING (FILL IN THE BLANK), AND START PURSUING YOUR WIFE

The "other bulls-eyes" of a man's heart

At the age of (almost) 51, I feel as if I am in a season of life where my influence is greater than at any other time. This is not about giving myself a pat on the back; rather it is about the time it takes to learn lessons. After I hit my finger with a hammer for the 10th time, I start to learn both what to do and what not to do. God teaches through life.

And experience can be a very valuable thing.

4 ESSENTIALS THAT SHOULD DEFINE A MAN

And the Danger of Not Having a Clearly Defined Path

I look at the state of us men today and it becomes weighty at times. I listen to men talk about their lives, I hear their struggles, I see their pain. I see young dudes without a compass guiding their lives and a lack of older guys willing to come alongside. The generation gap seems to just be getting wider and the chasm deeper.

And so I see guys doing one of two things: 1) either jumping the ship of faith, saying something to the effect that they just are not sure about this “stuff” anymore, or 2) putting on the “everything is OK” mask and quietly disengaging from what is relevant.

WHAT IS REQUIRED IN A LIFE TO FINISH WELL?

3 Considerations in Completing Your Race

If you watched this year’s Super Bowl, you will recall it was one of the greatest comebacks in Super Bowl history. Though the Falcons led for 59 of the 60 minutes of the game, the Patriots pulled out an unbelievable comeback, scoring 31 unanswered points  and erasing a 25-point lead. And to top it off they won it in overtime.

I am not sure I have seen the likes of it.

TWO WAYS THAT A MAN IS RUINING HIS FAMILY

The Deadly Cliffs of Passivity and Control

Have you heard of the term “extreme sports?” It refers to activities that typically involve more risk because of speeds, heights, exertion on the body, or equipment used.

There is an interesting playlist on TED that involves such examples as Ueli Gegenschatz wing-suit flying over 100 mph as he races through canyons. Or Ben Saunders, who successfully navigated an 1,800-mile journey from Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Or Guillaume Néry, who attempted to free dive 400 feet below the surface of the water in less than 3 1/2 minutes…all without an air tank. 

4 REASONS FOR DRIFT IN A MAN’S LIFE

And the Failings of Not Paying Attention

I grew up in California and loved the Pacific Ocean. Living in Wisconsin now, I miss the sandy beaches, the rugged coastline, and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. A few years back, my family and I visited my sister and her family in the LA area. A fun day trip was going to one of the local beaches. And one of the highlights was grabbing a boogie board and catching the waves and riding them to shore. 

Part of the fun was hanging onto the board and floating, feeling the cool water around me and the soft sand beneath my feet. It was not long, though, before all of us were getting farther and farther out to sea and moving down the coastline.

I was not paddling out from the shore nor was it my intention to move down the shoreline. I was just drifting.

THE REALITY OF THE EMPTY TOMB

Or Choosing to Live Like A "Good Friday" Disciple

Like many around the world, this past weekend our church contemplated the suffering Savior in our Good Friday service and then all-out celebrated the now-not-dead-but-fully-risen-and-alive Savior on Sunday.

Our Good Friday service was intentionally designed: dimly lit auditorium and a somber mood. I wanted to feel the weight of this night. Though I know how this story ends, I wanted to get a sense of how the disciples must have felt on that day that this Savior willingly allowed Himself to be put through the most gruesome and vile sort of death one could witness.

Wasn’t He supposed to save them?

HOW YOU RECAPTURE YOUR AWE OF GOD

When the Gospel Becomes Too Familiar

I remember when I moved to Wisconsin, one of the benefits I gained was a beautiful drive to my workplace. When I lived in Oregon, I was surrounded by exquisite outdoors, but my commute to work involved driving to a park-and-ride and then taking a 45-minute transit train to the heart of Portland. 

Not exactly breathtaking.