More Gratitude, Please!

We need more gratitude in this world. It is an oil for relationship that heals and calms. It is a telescope that sees the world in bright color and hopeful possibilities. So . . . Let’s start living our lives with the password, Thank you, and see what doors it opens. Let’s thank grocery clerks and restaurant waitpersons. Let’s thank postal clerks and garbage collectors. Let’s thank husbands and children and grandchildren. Let’s thank sisters and brothers and parents and nieces and nephews. Let’s develop hearts that lead with gratitude as we keep finding those deep places where others have added to our lives what we cannot The love The laughter The growth producing challenges The kindness The

More than Lip Service

Remember when you got in trouble as a child? Your parent said something like, “Do you remember what I told you? Why didn’t you do it?” Our childish minds went into overdrive to answer the question with anything that we thought would get us out of trouble. But it usually only made matters worse. When obedience is the standard, no excuse works. That’s what Jesus wanted those gathered on the hillside who were listening to his teaching about the blessed life. He looked into the eyes of people who had serious doubts about what they would do with his teaching when they went back home. That’s when Jesus asked a question that we must also answer. When the question stares us down, we know how f


Worry is a pesky intruder that threatens to undermine everything God wants us to enjoy. Worry shows up when we are out of control, fearful, doubting ourselves or someone else, or view the fuzzy unknown without holding onto God’s hand. We often treat worry as a necessary evil, something we can’t fight or live without. Jesus teaches the opposite. He’s with a trampling crowd while he tries to teach his disciples about hypocrisy, real enemies, and the futility of greed (Luke 12:1-21). Then he turns to the subject that has plagued humankind since Adam and Eve left the Garden without their next meal. “Life” Jesus said, “is more than food . . . and clothes.” (Luke 12:23) He reminded them that wo

Can't Never Could

Playing with I can’t is as dangerous as playing with fire. Can’t rehearses the wrong information. Can’t often sets up false boundaries. Can’t paralyzes, shortchanges, and destroys possibility. Jesus encountered a person who lived with I can’t too long (John 5:1-9) Jesus was in Jerusalem for a Feast Day. He and his disciples probably entered by the Sheep Gate which meant they walked past the Bethesda Pool. Bethesda means House of Mercy. But there wasn’t much mercy at the Bethesda Pool. That was where the disabled gathered, waiting to be the first in the water if the Angel of Mercy invisibly descended and “troubled” the water as a sign of angel presence. They were last hope people. What