Archives For God's Love

Every December I invest fifteen hours or so to plan my life for the next twelve months. I review my current activities, I add some items, remove others, and I prioritize.

Then I literally budget how many hours each week I’ll invest in each area. thinking-man r1Last year I decided to write a book, I budgeted hours for it, and it was published last December.

For the last ten years, I’ve budgeted about five hours a week in a small non-profit group. While planning this year, I began to question that investment. They are a great group, but I’m not sure I’m making a difference. I wondered if my weekly five hours is bearing fruit.

Actually, I did more than wonder. I obsessed. When my wife asked what to do for our weekly date, I talked about my question. While washing dishes, I mused on my concern. I emailed friends, talked with strangers, and tossed and turned all night. Obsessing.

A weekly five hour duty was grabbing fifty-percent of my mind. Probably more. I beseeched God how to budget that time. I just wanted an answer to my question.

Instead of telling me how to budget my time, God told me to learn to budget my brain.

Continue Reading…

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As a young boy, my weekends were filled with imaginary World War II battles. Nearby parks fielded the Battle of the Bulge, and the skeleton of a local building project (fatefully a new funeral home) formed our bombed-out buildings.

Dirtballs became our hand grenades, ditches our foxholes, and blankets our pup tents. We sacrificed our bodies (and the knees of our jeans) to save the world from Hitler.picture_para_drop

One Friday evening I watched the movie, D-Day. I was captured by the airborne parachute jumps, the bravery and heroism, and the infiltration behind enemy lines.

The next day I made my first (and last) parachute jump. I confiscated a sheet from my mom’s closet and requisitioned rope from my dad’s tool room. I tied one end of the ropes to the corners of the sheet and the other ends around my chest.

I slithered through an upstairs window and crept onto the roof. With my parachute and lines carefully laid out behind me, I perched at the edge of our second story, and I hurled myself into the air behind enemy lines. I waited for the tug of the opening chute.

Lying on my back, I looked up. The chute still lay on the roof, and the carefully cut lines hung limply over the gutter. I had forgotten to measure the height of the roof.

My lines were ten feet too long. Continue Reading…

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My brother-in-law Dan Lohrmann is the State of Michigan’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Deputy Directory for Cybersecurity. His job is to protect the state from attack.*

What does this mean? Every day the State of Michigan experiences five-hundred thousand cyber-attacks. cyber-attackThat’s right, half a million attacks every day of the year, or about three-hundred and fifty attacks every minute.

It’s been attacked eighty-three times since you began to read this article.

These attacks encompass simple spam to browser-based, infiltration assaults. Their nature varies from planting a tiny virus on a laptop, to flooding servers with requests (and so grinding them to a halt), to cyber-theft of priceless, electronic information.

Every attack tries to infect the way computers think. From the cheapest laptop to the most sophisticated server, the attacks try to alter how the computers process and therefore how the computers operate.

And that’s exactly what spiritual attacks do to us. Continue Reading…

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I once talked with a group of college students, and one of them asked, “How do you explain Westboro Baptist? I can’t stand Christianity because of churches like them.”

Westboro fan protests

Westboro fan protests

Have you heard of Westboro? They picket military funerals in protests against gays. Their website is, God Hates Fags dot com (I can’t bring myself to type the link).

Westboro Baptist is a tiny church. Where they fail to attract many members, they excel at attracting the media. And where they fail to represent the True Church, they excel at representing what’s wrong with the church.

I’ve never met a soul from Westboro—and I’ve never met anyone who’s met someone from Westboro—and I cannot say anything about any of its members’ hearts.

But I can say this: if we don’t understand churches like Westboro, we’ll never understand grace. Continue Reading…

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A lethal virus is infecting many believers today. It’s the pop-therapy that claims shame is bad. Shallow-shame is bad, but only deep-shame brings healing. Without it we are doomed.

J. I. Packer tells us, “Seek the grace to be ashamed” (Knowing God).

The gospels describe two different miraculous catches of fish. The first occurs at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry hiding(Luke 5:4-8) and the second happens at the end (John 21:2-7). They are very similar:

  • In both stories, professional fishermen fish all night.
  • In both stories, the night of fishing is fruitless; not one fish is caught.
  • In both stories, an amateur gives them specific directions how to fish.
  • In both stories, the fishermen catch so many fish that their boats are sinking.

But there is one, huge difference. After the first miracle, Peter exclaims, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” After the second, Peter throws himself into the sea and swims an Olympic-record-breaking freestyle to get to Jesus.

In the first miracle, Peter experiences shallow-shame and he runs from Jesus. In the second, Peter experiences a shame that is deep and he races to Jesus. Continue Reading…

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