Don’t Should on Yourself Today!

“Don’t should on yourself today.” I heard this a few years back in a message by Brennan Manning. He credits it to his mentor, who apparently got it from someone else. Yes, I know… it’s a juvenile kind of humor, but there’s a serious truth in it too. I find I’m always living in a state of not enough. I’m not enough of a husband. I’m not enough of a father. I’m not enough of a Christian. I’m not enough of a minister. When I say this to myself, I’m actually saying, “I should be better.” Continue Reading...

What Should I Do When God’s Grace Isn’t Enough?

There have been several points in my life when God’s grace wasn’t enough for me. It wasn’t because God wasn’t willing or gracious. It was because I didn’t allow it to be enough. The most recent point was last week. As a teenager I was addicted to pornography and it stayed with me into the first part of my marriage no matter how much I hated it and tried to kill it. Finally, God gave me victory. With the Spirit’s help and the help of my wife and close friends, I remain free to this day. But the memory of my failure haunted me. Actually “haunted” may be a bit light. The memory oppressed and attacked me. The shame was nearly unbearable. Though I had forgiveness and victory, by accepting these thoughts, I was saying, “You grace isn’t enough to take away my shame.” Continue Reading...

How God Recreates His People

When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, he created a people for himself. He created a people to be ruled by him and who would, in turn, be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:3). However, this people rebelled against him by worshiping idols and broke the covenant he made with them. Between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, God exiled the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, his people. Thankfully God wasn’t done with the people he created. In the middle of this exile, the greatest discipline the Israelites had ever seen as nation, God promised to do something incredible. He promised to recreate his people. Continue Reading...