Understanding God’s Presence

For as long as I’ve been a pastor, I’ve noticed God’s presence is one of the most talked-about ideas but, I think, misunderstood as well. In my observation, it’s because we define God’s presence by the goosebumps we can, at times, feel. While we all love that sensory confirmation of God’s presence, that is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Love. Trust. Love.

Everything starts with Love.

I just finished a 3 month sabbatical! I went into it on a journey towards emotional health. It started about five years ago, when I was introduced to the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It’s been a slow journey. I’ve re-read EHS a few times and referred back to chapters another half dozen. It’s been useful in helping me navigate relationships, but also propelled me on a journey of inner healing.

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What I hope For After the Coronavirus

My wife got up early and braved the cold, the rain and the long lines at the grocery story this morning.  And she was victorious!!  She came back with the oh so coveted toilet paper.  And as our bounty of paper products and cleaning supplies were laid out on our counter — and we cheered with great celebration — it occurred to me that this season of scarcity has brought us a great opportunity.  We didn’t know we needed it, but it may be one of the best things that could happen to us. 

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For the past decade I’ve been wrestling with the subject of prayer.  What is prayer? Do our prayers affect change? And especially, the James 5 idea of “the prayer of faith.”  Growing up, many of my leaders either taught or inferred that God will heal you — implying you just have to believe and have enough faith.  Now that I have more experience and have had time to consider it, I believe they were trying to teach us to pray with confidence and persistence — two attributes that are necessary for prayer.  Of course, if the healing doesn’t occur, what do you do then? This was my hang-up.

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