Life has a way of deadening our emotions. Pain and disappointment chip away at our childlike enthusiasm and hope until our most common feeling is simply “numb.” Remember as a child how you lived unencumbered by all that weighs you down today?
There was no morbid self-consciousness. There wasn’t a trace of timidity. Your head and heart were connected and you weren’t jaded, disillusioned, or bitter.
I spent most of Saturday digging trenches for a new playground at the church. My son Max and I had a pretty simple task for the day: dig eight, three foot deep holes for a swing set. The problem was that the ground was solid rock! We quickly brought out “little jack,” a 30lb jack hammer to help break it up. After a couple hours, I brought out “big jack,” an 80lb beast that obliterated the rock…and my back.
When Your Marriage Hits Rocky Ground
Most marriages hit rocky ground now and then. Sometimes these rocks can seem impenetrable, but I’ve seen even the most “doomed” marriages experience incredible breakthroughs. Unfortunately, I’ve watched many more couples walk away when they hit resistance and didn’t see a quick breakthrough. Continue Reading…
“The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationships we maintain. This is all God asks us to give our attention to and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.” –Oswald Chambers
The one thing that matters more than anything else today is the quality of your relationships.
It’s easy to segment our relationship with God from our relationships with people, especially those we struggle with the most, but a quick survey of the New Testament confirms it, “We can’t love God and yet withhold love from people.” (1 John 4:7-21)
Consider this surprising connection Jesus makes between faith and forgiveness: Continue Reading…
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become jaded and cynical? Sarcasm seems to be our lingua franca.
A couple years ago I started a new tradition at “White Elephant” gift exchanges–wrapping up a common but valuable item from the host’s home and giving it away during the exchange. The look on their faces is pretty enjoyable. On top of that is the benefit of their awkward attempts to retrieve their possessions. I started another similar tradition when I first discover a friend’s trigger–stepping all over it without cracking a smile. “I don’t know where we’d be without Obamacare! Don’t you hate it when people use words like ‘socialism’ or ‘redistribution’ to hoard their money and keep people from basic healthcare?” When I take my “playful” tendencies with our kids too far, Bonnie often reminds me of Ephesians 6:4: “Father’s! Don’t provoke your children!” Continue Reading…
Wesley Furlong is the founder and director of City of Refuge (refuge.life), a network for community transformation and the director of Church Development for the EVANA Network, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across North America.