I’m told that in NASCAR, racing fuel is everything! What is the fuel driving your spiritual life? When you wake up in the morning, where does your spiritual energy come from?

Do you ever have weeks where things get so heavy, painful, or discouraging that you find yourself saying, “If I can just make it till ———— everything will be alright”? It may be a stretch of serious work travel, or an upcoming meeting that I am dreading. I may think, “I’ll be able to thrive, have joy, or enjoy life more after . . . .”

Do you have a friend who always seems to ask “conversation stoppers”? You know, accusations, declarations, or questions about aspects of Christianity that can trip us up or tongue tie us. If you are like me, after that kind of conversation-stopping experience, I find myself saying, “Lord, why didn’t I know the answer to that question? I let you down.”

Let me whet your appetite for some very practical ideas that Michael frosts writes about in Surprise the World, to help us move towards the people God has placed around us. These are good!
 

What is it that 99 percent of people possess? I’m sure you thought of several things. The one I’m thinking of is neighbors. Most people live in some kind of neighborhood—yes, an apartment complex counts! What can you do right now, for those people in your neighborhood to get started being a light in their worlds?

Over the next few posts (starting today!) we’ll look at some simple tools to help you begin to engage with those God has placed in your lives, for His purposes. It helps me to remember—nothing happens by accident. Those people I encounter in the “normal pathways of my life” are there by His perfect design and purpose.

In the Christmas story of Matthew, we see an amazing portrait of seeking . . . and finding. As people living as exiles in this broken world, let’s follow the example of the wise men who travelled across a continent to find a King and worship Him. As you enter the new year, to what lengths are you willing to go in seeking after God?

It’s not often we would ever consider putting the word “vulnerable” as an adjective to describe the God who made the heavens and the earth, and holds it all together! But the Christmas story displays just that conundrum and teaches us so much about vulnerability and faith.

Have you noticed that most of the time in life, we find that we have just enough resources to make it through the next season? Whether it’s trusting God with a quarter tank of gas left, just enough in the checkbook to make the next payment, or trying to figure out how to fit all our responsibilities into the limited hours and energy we have in a day ... Life can be stretching! Consider the situation Mary and Jospeh found themselves in:

Is there something going on in your life, or the life of a friend or family member, that just does not make sense? For me, when overwhelmed by the unexpected, I can try to fix things or figure them out. Check out three things we learn from Joseph in the Christmas story.