So what does it mean to become as little children? Is it merely a return to an earlier, less polluted human state? Is it about cultivating childlike qualities like goodness, obedience, humility, and dedication? Or is it way deeper than that?
What makes someone undesirable? Their physical appearance? Their actions? Does God see people as undesirable?
There are three girls I work with who complain about everything. Literally. There are too many people working, there are not enough people working, the menus aren’t in order, the food is taking too long.
A Pharisee, in Jesus’ words, is a hypocrite. All about the law and not the spirit. The talk and not the walk. The rules left behind by moments of true inspiration — not the inspiration itself.
You don’t see me. I don’t exist to you. If you were to see me as someone who has feelings and a beating heart, then you would also see that you treated me like I was less than human.
Our church in downtown Houston attracts all kinds of people. Last year I felt the need to pray about being more welcoming — for example, not feeling impatient when certain visitors become disruptive. I was trying to break down the whole concept that some people are “undesirable.”
I can't think of anyone I need to forgive 490 times. Can anyone? Then I remembered one of Jesus most radical statements: "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Hmmm...now I remember where I need to start in this forgiveness business.
What’s the most important characteristic of a healer? Selfless courage. One of the most impressive things about Jesus’ healings is how unafraid he was. No matter what the scene — angry group of religious extremists, packed temple of wealthy elites, demon-possessed horror film — Jesus always kept calm and focused.
Once I got involved with a project I just didn't “get.” It seemed flaky, plus I was put off by a key team member. I tried to be pleasant, but I just felt so overwhelmed by her. I thought, “Oh well, I’ll just grin and bear it.”
I have a million jobs. I’m a firefighter, student, Starbucks barista, writer, self-published author and owner of a small publishing company – and these are just the jobs that sometimes pay me.
There should be a Hall of Fame for people who have followed Jesus’ teaching to find our own lives by losing them in service to others. And when there is, I have my nominations ready.
I frequently find it difficult to know when and how to love my neighbor as myself. One Wednesday after work, I was dropping off a fellow employee at his parked motorcycle. Approaching the bike, we saw an old homeless man trying to steal the helmet attached to it.
“Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.” How absurd this story is! How is this even possible? He fed the MULTITUDE with five loaves and two fishes. TWO freaking fishes.
About 85% of my spiritual growth comes from letting go in one form or another. Some dumb thing is always holding me back, weighing me down, making me clumsy.
When I was just out of high school, my dad passed on suddenly, leaving my mom to raise 8 children. To help support the family, I went to school part-time and worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs.
I remember in high school I would have this intense monologue every morning before I opened my eyes. A fierce argument about why I shouldn’t get up and go to school.
“Don’t take any gold or silver or even coppers to put in your purse; nor a knapsack for the journey, nor even a change of clothes, or sandals or a staff...”
I'm not at a wedding. In fact, this feels more like a divorce. Every time I think about the way you betrayed me, my heart breaks a little more.
Do you know the story of Jesus walking on water? The disciples are sailing on one of those ”dark and stormy nights.” Jesus walks towards them on the water. They’re scared out of their minds and think he’s a ghost.
Prepping for washing feet this summer, I’m thinking of this from Science and Health: In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love, — which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.