All posts tagged devotional thoughts

Trusting God in Tragedy

Seven Biblical Responses to Overwhelming Events This post is simply a resource for those who are hurting or know someone who is hurting. To hear the message from our Sunday morning service yesterday, CLICK HERE. Yesterday we studied “Trusting God in Tragedy”—seven biblical responses to overwhelming events. Perhaps they will encourage you in your time of trial, or perhaps you could share these principles and the message above with someone who is hurting! Here are the responses we studied in the life of Mary as she received tragic but wonderful news that shattered her world and shredded her life plan….

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The Dust of His Feet

How big is your God? Is He bigger than your burden? Is He greater than your need? Is He mightier than your storm? As I write this post, we (along with 50 million other East Coasters) are bracing for Hurricane Sandy. Our attention is riveted on preparation for whatever this storm will bring to the East Coast. Many friends have messaged me saying, “Welcome to the East Coast!” Hurricane Sandy is presently about 900 miles across—spanning from North Carolina to beyond Maine. It’s massive! This morning, as I watched the clouds and wind passing overhead, and spent time with God, my…

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Falling Off the Wagon

Have you ever fallen off the wagon? I have. In fact, through all the transition of the past few months, I’ve just about fallen off the “blog wagon.” If you read these posts with any regularity, you know that. (Thanks for hanging with me, by the way!) But falling off the “blog wagon” got me thinking about other wagons we fall off of easily—and our responses to falling off. For some reason, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. We find validation in staying on the wagons of life, and hence we feel like losers when we fall off of one. For…

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If—A Powerful Poem by Rudyard Kipling

I must be literarily challenged! Every now and then I come across something that everybody else knows of, but somehow I missed. Does that ever happen to you? This may be one of those cases. Yesterday, while reading, I came across a powerful poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895. It’s simply called “IF”—I’m sure I’ve heard it, but had long forgotten about it, and I found it challenging and useful. I hope you will be encouraged by it and pass it along or use it in some way…

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You’re Too Busy If…

Do you ever have the feeling that you’re so busy, major values and priorities in your life are slipping? This is a sinking feeling—and bailing water doesn’t help. Time to plug the holes in the boat! Here’s a short list that might help you evaluate priorities and return to that which is most important in your life. Not all of these things always indicate busyness. Sometimes they indicate a lack of discipline or planning. Sometimes they indicate distraction by lesser things. But if you’re so busy that these things are falling through the cracks of life—you’re just too busy. You’re…

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More Stuff Christians Should Stop Doing

Hello from left field again! Apparently a lot of you have brains that spend time in left field as well, because the post that I almost didn’t post turned out to be one that many of you responded to. Thank you for the comments, emails, messages and for those who referred the first half of this article to others. One friend said, “Thanks for the slap in the face—I needed that.” I laughed. I guess it was a bit of a “wake up call” but at least I slapped myself first, if that’s any consolation. So, in the first post…

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Oswald Chambers is “The Man!” (or was…)

Lately, especially while battling cancer, I’ve been greatly encouraged by devotionals from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest.” Nearly every day the Lord has blessed my life by something profound from this man’s heart. So in this post, I’m shot-gunning a collection of quotes that have been significant to me and why. I hope they will prove a blessing and useful to you! Quote 1—Regarding Obedience to Christ: “What an astonishment it will be to see, once the veil is finally lifted, all the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you have been in the habit…

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Things I’d Like to Say to Every Young Adult

Here’s a quick list of things I wish I could say to every young adult! 1. You are of eternal value and significance because God doesn’t make junk. Regardless of who mistreated you, what lies you’ve been told, or how bad your past has been—you have a future and God has good plans for you. Life can be bad, but God’s heart is always good! And only He can turn the bad into good. (Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an…

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‘Twas the Night Before Chemo

Note: This post is both related to encouraging biblical principles as well as current events in my life, so I’m posting it here as well as the Hodgkins blog. I pray it will be useful to you. Will a living man complain against God? Hold that thought, we’ll come back to it. It’s the night before treatment, and I’m looking for words to describe all that’s running through my mind. Not quite fear or anxiety, it’s something more of a sobering, focused intensity of soul. Similar to the feeling of the start of a mission or critical race of some…

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Diagnosis and Moving Forward…

First, I must thank you from the depths of my heart for so many of you who have written, messaged, or somehow contacted our family expressing love, support, prayer, and encouragement. We have been overwhelmed by your kindness, and are grateful beyond words. A few moments ago, I spoke with a doctor and received confirmation that, as suspected, I have classical Hodgkins Lymphoma. This was not a surprise, as several doctors already indicated such. God has greatly strengthened our family in anticipation of this diagnosis, and we are fixed upon loving Him, trusting Him, and living for Him as long…

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How to Survive a Rough Day

One Sunday evening this past summer, Dr. Don Sisk preached at Lancaster Baptist. He shared one of the most encouraging messages I’ve ever heard! It was entitled “How to Survive a Rough Day” and it shared seven appropriate responses when things are going against you. Dr. Sisk began the message with this humorous reading summarizing the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:

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Who Is Increasing In Your Life?

The final message of Spiritual Leadership Conference 2010 was brought by Dr. Don Sisk and entitled “He Must Increase, I Must Decrease.” It was awesome! It profoundly impacted me, and I wanted to share a synopsis of it here. Perhaps it will encourage you. Taken from the statement of John the Baptist in John 3:30, Dr. Sisk challenged us with this question: Who is growing (or increasing) in your life? A servant leader will always seek to decrease that Christ might increase. And when Christ increases, many things will reveal that increase—Dr. Sisk gave six evidences:

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Get a Bike…

If you and your family haven’t gotten into taking bike rides yet, be sure to get it done before your kids get too big! I confess—I waited too long. A few years ago I bought myself a bike and had a grand vision of getting all five of us cruising around Lancaster’s “beautiful” east side on calm summer nights. A few weeks later, Lance took my new bike for a ride from which it would not recover for several years. He inadvertently flattened both tires in a patch of thorns. Sadly, I never got around to fixing the tires, which…

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Skeptics, Spectators, and Servants

In John 11, the amazing story of the raising of Lazarus unfolds. Not long ago, I was studying this passage and it occurred to me that there were three distinct groups of people at this resurrection, and those groups are still pretty much “alive and kicking” in today’s local churches. Picture the scene—Jesus has waited for Mary outside of town, and “the Jews” have followed her, weeping (John 11:32-33), as she goes to meet Him. Then together they go to Lazarus’ grave, and the Jews follow. In the next few moments an unbelievable miracle occurs—Jesus raises a man from the…

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Three Lost Boys and a Local Church

A Story of the Power of Local Church Ministry Opening scene—a young family of five is running late to church on a Sunday morning. Three lost, long-haired, little boys (all younger than seven years) sit quietly in the back seat of the car, while a frustrated mom and dad debate over “why” they are late. The scene is a microcosm of their lives—two frustrated adults, groping for truth and direction, fighting for a young marriage and children, and three boys romping through childhood, unaware of how desperately their family needs a miracle. The family has rarely attended church, but they…

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A Walk Through Divine Artistry

Fifteen minutes west of our church campus, God does something amazing every spring, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and this year in particular it has captivated my attention. Perhaps this devotional moment will encourage you. After a long winter of excessive rain, the desert has blossomed, once again, with the explosive orange hues of millions of radiant California Poppies. This touch of Divine artistry is tucked away—easily missed. To get there, you must intentionally travel down a long desert road that seems to be headed to nowhere. In the distance you…

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