“What are the joy-stealers? Why do so many of us struggle with joy?” I often ask my students this question when we open the book of Philippians. “Time pressures.” “Financial pressures.” “Unfulfilled expectations.” “Hurts from the past.” These are common responses from my students. But Paul would point us toward two other foundational reasons for … Continue reading Joy
Life is Christ
“What do you want out of life?” The trained interviewer appeared relaxed—even casual—as she asked me this question, but I could tell she was intent on figuring out who I was. In the context of interviewing for a summer job at a local department store during my break from college, that only meant that she … Continue reading Life is Christ
“Your Life is Hidden with Christ in God”: A Devotional Reading of Colossians 3:3
A hymn I learned as a child was running through my mind. I was perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the town of Idyllwild, California—one of my favorite places to pray. I had set aside this time for prayer because I sensed a spiritual storm on the horizon. Here is the chorus of … Continue reading “Your Life is Hidden with Christ in God”: A Devotional Reading of Colossians 3:3
How Do You Identify?
If you fundamentally identify yourself as being in Christ—as opposed to all the other options for self-identification—you will regularly respond differently than those who closely identify with the world’s lesser alternatives. Let me offer some examples of responses that might proceed from people who view themselves fundamentally as “in” a lesser alternative rather than viewing … Continue reading How Do You Identify?
Rooted in Christ
Have you ever tried to uproot a tree? I don’t mean a little one… I remember as a teenager helping my dad remove an old and less-than-healthy cherry tree that sat in the middle of the front lawn of our family home in San Jose, California. All of us were tired of stepping on cherries … Continue reading Rooted in Christ
Ephesians 1:3-14 Re-ordered Twice
Following is a little exercise I did while working on my new devotional book on union with Christ (what I refer to as inChristness in the book). I had noticed—like many before me—that Ephesians 1:3-14 is packed full of references to inChristness. Consequently, I decided to try to re-order the various clauses and phrases in … Continue reading Ephesians 1:3-14 Re-ordered Twice