Failure and success

Time for a test

Time for a test

“Everyone loves a test!”

If that were a true or false question, the correct answer would be easy.

I’ve spent the last few days marking exams for the course on Revelation I’ve been teaching at seminary this summer. It was nice to be on the judging side, rather than the student side. I can’t remember how many hundreds of tests and exams I wrote, but I wish I’d had a party after the last one.

Hope for the desperate

Hope for the desperate

What happens when depression or anxiety strikes people who love the Lord? 

The body of Christ should be the greatest place to get help, but there’s a problem. To begin with, for anyone, Christian or not, there’s more shame associated with emotional issues than there is with physical sickness, because mental health issues seem to reflect on our worth and value more than physical illness does.

But what makes it really hard for Christians to ask for help is the fear that, in addition to this, people will also question the reality of our faith or our walk with the Lord. And so we hide. And it gets worse.

The trap of unrealistic expectations and how to avoid it

The trap of unrealistic expectations and how to avoid it

One of the biggest reasons people give up is unrealistic expectations.

And there are all kinds of these. Some of them are even reasonable. For instance, my wife has a number of quite understandable expectations of me that for various mysterious reasons may never be met. At least not this side of heaven!

All joking aside, though, unrealistic expectations can be an absolute killer. When I met with people coming into our church, I always made a point of saying they probably had some expectations that would never be fulfilled, if only because no church is perfect.

The power of faith

The power of faith

Sometimes you have to throw caution to the winds and just step out in faith. That was a topic of conversation the other day between a successful young church planter in Toronto and myself.

One of the enemy’s cleverest tricks is to keep our focus on what we can achieve by our own efforts.

I was taught a lot about faith as a young leader. The example of several men I personally knew who had taken extraordinary steps of faith in their walk with God took hold of me and challenged me to the core.

We can do a lot by our own efforts, but the kingdom will only really move ahead when we start doing what can only be accomplished by divine intervention.

What's your spiritual resume look like?

What's your spiritual resume look like?

I had to construct a resume - a “curriculum vitae” in more official terms. It’s been a very long time since my last one! But the institution for which I am teaching this summer required it.

To be honest, my resume writing skills were so rusty I had to borrow one from a colleague to use as a template. As I read all his impressive achievements, I began to wonder how mine would stack up. Not very well, at least in the academic context.

The word curriculum in Latin means a race. Vita means life. So a curriculum vitae means literally the race of life.