Most people live by an unwritten rule: Do good to those who do good to you or who might treat you well in the future. What Jesus suggests we do instead is crazy! But maybe this is why people who follow Him stand out from the crowd.

It’s not just pastors, missionaries, and super-Christians with fancy titles who have influence for the Kingdom. It’s everyday people like you and me.

You may have read my last post and said, “Wow, Doug, how in the world can you actually lead and make hard decisions, if you are reflecting Jesus!? In my world…”

I get it, but hear me out.

This 11-minute video gives Biblical inspiration and real-life examples of the kind of people God uses for the Kingdom. What new thing is God asking you to say “yes” to?

I’m telling people that this Christmas is going to be my “Zechariah Christmas!” On December 11th, I had jaw surgery and am now eating through a straw and not talking for a couple weeks.

In my last post, I talked about trusting and resting in the God who hears and acts on our behalf. One of the ways He does this is by transforming the ruins of our lives into something beautiful.

This life, even for those who stay close to Jesus, is punctuated with painful events. Ever wonder why God must use difficulties – the ash experiences in our lives – to create beauty in and through us? I have on numerous occasions. And while Pam and I have experienced our share of ashes, we have friends who have had more painful experiences: physical illness, spousal unfaithfulness, prolonged unemployment, wounding from past trauma and illness or death of children.

Dear friends,
 
You may have heard news lately of the fires in Colorado. Last year, the Colorado Springs community was shaken by the Waldo Canyon fire. We couldn’t have imagined that just shy of one year later, multiple fires would be raging across Colorado— some of them in our own backyard. As I write, several other wildfires have popped up across the state. Some are contained and almost extinguished; others are just beginning their devastation.

As you may know, “trials of many kinds” took on a new meaning for Pam and I this summer when the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs came over the ridge west of the city and cascaded down into our neighborhood. We continue to rebuild and restore with God’s help.
Here’s a pic of the mountainside near our home, covered with snow and accenting the burned trunks of trees that remain on that hillside. It’s a constant reminder that God is not done with the restoration process – on that hill OR in our lives.

What do your hands say about you? Do your hands transmit pain or comfort? God’s hands communicate compassion and the desire to reach out to us.

 
Leprosy in first century Israel was a cruel disease with no apparent cure. But the disfigurement of a leper’s body was only part of the pain they experienced. Jewish religious rules identified lepers as “unclean” and caused the uncaring isolation of these sick and vulnerable people.

The last couple of blog posts have focused on where we can find courage. Without a doubt, how we view our daily circumstances plays a huge role in whether we approach the day with courage or with fear.

 
Of greatest importance in how we each view our circumstances is how we personally view God and ourselves (what we considered in the last two posts).