Why do people become friends or get married? Usually they want to be with each other and enjoy one another’s company. When I was courting my wife, I wanted to be with her all the time – nothing else compared. This is a shadow of God’s created order.
God created you, and He likes you, and He wants to be with you. That is why He formed and fashioned you. (You may want to take some time and let this sink into your soul – it is bedrock understanding for deep, experiential identity.)
If God created you in order to enjoy you, it follows that you will enjoy life and be most satisfied when you are aware of and are enjoying His presence, too. Unfortunately, our attention is prone to wander! We may go long periods of time without even thinking of God, let alone experiencing His presence. We can easily become distracted by others, worries, concerns, or our own obsessions.
What do we do when we realize that we have, for all practical purposes, been living apart from God?...
Most arguments seem to spring from a sense of not being heard or understood. When we are not understood we tend to press our point or perspective harder. Unfortunately, our extra efforts and energy can be threatening and put others on the defensive. Change is needed.
At a number of junctures Jesus is recorded as saying, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” These words were always clues indicating that the listener needed to employ a spiritual, kingdom understanding in order to grasp the point Jesus was making. He was encouraging His hearers to slow down, ponder and ask God’s help to understand the things of the Spirit.
In Revelation, we see Jesus using the same expression for people to understand His messages to each of the seven churches. He said, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We, too, need to take time to listen and discern what God is saying. We need the...
“How are you? … I hope all is well.” This is the kind of greeting many of us write to those we have not been in touch with for a while. It’s a very general and surface approach. When in person, however, we may want to go deeper. Unfortunately, oftentimes people are not very aware of how they are doing and aren’t inclined to answer very deeply. When you ask most people how they are doing, they may describe what’s going on around them – their circumstances. If you press in a little further, they might describe how they feel about their circumstances and what they are trying to do about them. Few people seem to take stock of how they are doing below/beyond their circumstances. Yet, our lives are deeper than what is happening around us.
Our circumstances will change. Sometimes great things will happen and sometimes horrendous things will happen. Sometimes life seems very routine. ...
Many people recognize a general brokenness in their own lives, and also sense it multiplying through our culture over the last 50 years or so. We have developed an expansive vocabulary related to different forms of dysfunction, addiction, and mental health. Most people seem to feel a need for help from beyond themselves to develop healthy and free lives. Often, they are on some kind of spiritual quest. In many circles it has even become quite chic to pursue spiritual things. For what kind of spirit and spiritual experiences, however, are people looking?
There is a (sometimes subtle) natural draw to seek spiritual growth primarily for the purpose of self-improvement, personal influence, or power. We can be tempted to use the spiritual realm, trying to get it to submit to our own personal wills. The temptation is to look for spiritual power that will help us get what we want. So, we may turn to impersonal expressions of faith/religion to boost our sense of self – a kind of...
Sometimes the things that seem like they will make our lives easier and more efficient are the very things that can steal our purpose and passion right out from under us.
God’s desire has always been to draw people from all nations into His eternal household. But, “doing church” (or, in this case, "doing temple") got in the way of that purpose in the lives and practice of the people of God. Addressing the people in Jerusalem, Jesus quoted from the book of Isaiah and said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:17) When the people came to make sacrifices at the temple they had to bring animals, or grain or whatever was needed. This proved to be quite an inconvenience for those who had a long way to travel, so they developed a system of exchange right at the temple. People could simply bring money and “buy” what they needed for...
When you consider your future, what do you think will happen?
Do you picture good things coming your way, or does the future feel somewhat bleak?
No one really knows the future. God rarely gives detailed insights into what is coming next. It seems that He wants us to rely on Him and not to become fixated on what will or won’t happen. This can feel disconcerting – and some become so concerned with knowing the future that they involve themselves in the occult, seeking dark powers for information about their future as if that will bring them security and comfort.
God’s Kingdom approach is quite different. He promises to be with us always; to never leave us or forsake us. His character is such that He can be trusted with our future, even though we don’t know what that future will hold.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
What does it mean to be a good human?
It relates to our identity as image-bearers of God.
We were created in the image of God. Being in God's image points to our ability to connect with and commune with God.
We understand and receive our identity from being with God. In that way we need to be Human Beings - humans, being with God.
We exercise our identities in God by exercising/expressing God's will/intent/perspective in our roles and life spheres. We express our unique identities through our unique offerings to the world.
What do you have to offer the world? ... that is your unique Human doing.
To be a Good Human is to be a Human Being - with God and a Human Doing - through God's enablement and power.
At this point in your life, might God be encouraging you to grow on the Being or the Doing side?
We need both to be Good Humans!
If you'd like to go a little deeper on this, you may want to check out my 1--minute podcast on this topic. Go to: ...
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~ Coach Tom
Often the expression, "Who do you think you are?" is thrown at us as a challenge or taunt. You may have heard it on the playground, or in the classroom. Possibly your parents spoke it to you as a way to get you to stand down - to get a handle on yourself - and to fall inline
The enemy of your souls will also taunt you with this kind of expression whenever you are growing, taking positive action or moving into his space. He taunted Adam and Eve with such thoughts ... and he used them against Jesus too.
It is hugely important for you to get a clear sense of who you are - your design and your identity. Who you are - or at least your sense of it - will become the foundation for most of the major decisions and steps of your life.
Take time to Get Clear - it will save you a great deal of time along the way.
~ Coach Tom