Hearing God

An Unearthly Delight

An Unearthly Delight

Sometimes I hear God best in surprises. Seemingly unrelated circumstances suddenly unite, and their merger stirs something in my heart. Like a succession of waves on a beach, one last surge dissolves my sandcastles.   This last month I talked with: A despairing man whose ministry seems stagnant, and all his work seem fruitless; Another man who keeps a tally in the front of his Bible of all...

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Sharing Our Victories or Our Struggles?

Sharing Our Victories or Our Struggles?

Many years ago, I met with a Christian leader who had influenced me in my youth. As we talked, he offered to give me input on a recent sermon series I had preached. A month later, he shared a few positive comments, and then he added this critique: “I think you share your weaknesses too much. People need to hear our victories more than our struggles.”   I think he is mistaken. The...

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Hearing God When Seeking Guidance

Hearing God When Seeking Guidance

My wife and I spent the last two and a half years selling our house. Now we have a buyer who will let us stay in our house a few extra months, so we have time to continue our search for a new home. Which is not going well.   Before even looking for our next house, my wife and I prayed, brainstormed our ideas onto a whiteboard, and we easily, and mutually, agreed on three priorities: layout,...

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Surprised by Ignorance

Surprised by Ignorance

During my sophomore year at university, I met a freshman new to college life. His dad was a business-exec in a wealthy suburban neighborhood; my dad was the pastor of a poor church in a dodgy Detroit neighborhood. He studied performance violin; I studied physics.   His dad frequently traveled; my dad never missed family dinner. His older sisters taught him boys were naughty, and to flee...

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It’s Only Stupid If

It’s Only Stupid If

I recently heard a popular Christian speaker tell of a “rich spiritual exercise” he began practicing in secret. A friend of his encouraged him for years to try it, and for years he resisted. Finally, he gave it a shot. And he loves it.   The friend who introduced him to the spiritual practice is an Eastern Guru, and the exercises themselves are born out of Eastern Mysticism. At first,...

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Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation

In February 1978, I sensed God call me to spend a summer volunteering on a kibbutz in Israel (a communal farm that provides room and board for six days of work). I asked friends to help me discern if I heard God correctly. Some were pretty sure it was from God, and others were certain it wasn’t. After deliberation, I decided to go, but not until April.   The deadline to register as a...

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