I think there is a problem with our responses to controversy. It isn’t that we respond, though many could argue reasons why our responses aren’t helpful. Rather, it’s that we move on so quickly.
Over the August 2 weekend, two cities experienced the evil of back-to-back mass shooting: first in El Paso, Texas, then in Dayton, Ohio. Our nation was reeling.
Last week, I couldn’t open up a social media site without seeing the words El Paso and Dayton. I knew in my heart then that many of us would write about it and call attention to the tragedy and then we’d move on.
Right now those communities continue to mourn and search for healing. Families have lost loved ones, children have lost parents, and historically safe and peaceful communities must now stay on alert. But the rest of us have moved on.
Obviously, we can’t carry the weight of every sorrowful and tragic situation that makes headline news. Our sites and conversations will naturally move on to other things—normal life must resume. And only Jesus can truly carry the burden of all the tragedies in the world.
But in all our uproars and emotional responses, my hope is that we remember real people are involved in these situations. If we feel that the tragedy is important enough to write about, speak about, or share on social media, may I suggest that we also tuck away in our private lives to pray for these communities? And to take action where possible?
As I shared on Tuesday, it’s time to build a launch team for Sacred Endurance and there’s so many wonderful things planned for us!
Sacred Endurance releases on November 12th. God promises to finish the good work he began in us—but that doesn’t come without bumps in the road!
I’m gathering a community around this new book and would love you to consider joining me. This group is forming to serve two purposes:
to journey together in setting and reaching a spiritual goal. Each member will set a spiritual goal such as prayer and Bible reading that they would like to tackle over the next few months. I will be available in the group to encourage you as you work toward your goal and journey over the bumps along the way.
to help me launch Sacred Endurance. We will read and discuss Sacred Endurance together and then, Lord willing, we will share about the book.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve read about or heard of prominent leaders leaving the faith. Some ministry leaders have decided to no longer follow Jesus. Some have decided they no longer believe. Others have fallen due to unrepentant sin. This isn’t anything new—people make these decisions often. But it has seemed to be a unique time. And over the past two years, I have been writing and editing a book on enduring in the faith, Sacred Endurance.
It’s not often that a writer shares the inner wrestling involved in the writing process. I wrote this book to serve you and me. I wrote this book because I have experienced enough trials and sorrows to know that this Christian walk is one filled with deep valleys and beautiful mountaintop highs. But what I couldn’t have known was that we’d be in a season where so many would be struggling to finish their race in such public and confusing ways.
So, what’s the wrestling I’m writing about?
I’ve been reluctant to share more about the book because I realize the weight of what I’ve written about. The topic is of utmost importance because it’s a matter of life or death. I want nothing more than to see everyone finish their race and finish it well, whether by crawling across the finish line or by leaping. But I believe with all my heart that no one wants you to finish well more than Jesus and as you will see through his Word, he has given us all we need. He has promised to finish the good work he began—he will surely do it.
But we are in confusing and difficult times. Circumstances aren’t easily explained away. And yet we have a God who is faithful. We know that Christ holds us fast. And if you don’t know this, I pray that the Lord would remind you and help you to remember through his Word and if he might use it, through the pages of Sacred Endurance.
In a few days, I will invite you to consider joining the launch team for Sacred Endurance. I’m looking forward to being a part of this community online. We will read through the book together, there will be times of prayer, I imagine there will be times when we will mourn, and there will also be times of rejoicing and enjoying all that the Lord has done and will do.
I have faith that we will make it. I am also praying that we will make it. And I am praying that the Lord might use this work, Sacred Endurance, to help in whatever way he chooses. I hope that the book is useful and helps you in this journey.
Be on the lookout on Thursday for more information.
My husband and I were chatting about our kids and he said, “We need to start thinking about saving for college.” College? What in the world would we need to be thinking about college for? I thought to myself. Then he said, “You know our oldest will be out of the house in about five years.”
My entire body tensed up. Five years! And then it dawned on me, in eight years, assuming that all goes well and smoothly with our children’s schooling, my husband and I will be empty-nesters. Eight years is a blip on the radar of the years in a lifetime. Those eight years will fly by. We will blink and our children will be asking about whether it is acceptable to eat Ramen noodles seven days a week.
In another conversation with a friend who is in a similar life stage, she said, “When our kids leave, I just hope my husband and I have something to talk about!” I think her sentiment is one many in our middle years begin to wonder. What will happen to our marriage when the kids leave? Will my spouse be a stranger to me? Will we have anything to talk about now that we aren’t running errands for the kids?
Although the thought of my kids leaving in such a short period of time always throws me off, my husband and I have been preparing for that day from the moment we brought our firstborn home from the hospital. We don’t do this (or anything) perfectly but here are three ways we are preparing for that empty-nester stage of life.
If you have studies that last for 8 or 10 weeks, I have some news for you: If God Is For Us can easily be expanded to meet your study needs!
I believe any variation of this would work for your 8-10 weeks study:
Week 1) Overview of Romans in general. Encourage them to spend this week reading the book of Romans, especially Romans 1-7 (this could take the entire week for them)
Week 2) Focus on the purpose of Romans specifically in Romans 1 and Paul’s declaration that he is not ashamed of the gospel. Encourage the women to do the homework on Romans 1-7
Week 3) Begin the study where I start- week 1
Week 4) same- week 2
Week 5) same- week 3
Week 6) same-week 4
Week 7) same-week 5
Week 8) same-week 6
Week 9) Go through the extra material–evangelism and taking it to the world
Week 10) Encourage them to read the rest of Romans this week (or discuss ways they’ve applied the text or will apply the text)
I hope that sparks some ideas for you as you work through this study with a group!
Two years ago, the wonderful team at The Good Book Company took a chance on me and my desire to share with little hearts about God’s very good idea. The fruit of this work and partnership has surpassed all my prayers and hopes for what God might do. The video below captures the heart of the book as women of different ethnicities read in English, Spanish, and Korean.