Why You Can’t Afford to Stay as You Are

A couple of months ago I noticed the “maintenance” light come on in my car. That meant the oil and filter needed changing. I thought, Yeah, I’ll do that soon. Right.

Why You Can’t Afford to Stay as You Are

(Photo by Photodune)

About a month went by and I thought: You know, I need to deal with that. I forgot again. It wasn’t until a couple weeks later I finally got it changed. I put it off because I’m a busy guy—and hey, oil and filters can always wait another day.

But then another warning light went off. This one was serious.

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Tuesdays with Morrie [Book Review]

I’ve heard for years that I should read, Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson. My wife and I picked it up at an estate sale recently and read it aloud.

Tuesdays with Morrie

The greatest takeaway from this touching account of the slow death of Mitch Albom’s friend, Morrie Schwartz, is that you’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die.

Over the course of many Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch visits with Morrie about “life’s greatest lesson,” discussing issues of life such as self-pity, regrets, death, family, emotions, aging, love, marriage, and forgiveness.

“Aging . . . is more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand that you’re going to die, and that you live better because of it.”

Everyone reads a book through the filter of his or her own world view. And although I can appreciate the truth and wisdom of each chapter as it relates to life, I couldn’t help but think the book overlooks the potential insight this life offers to the next life.

“Aging . . . is more than the negative that you’re going to die . . .”

Yeah, but you can’t sidestep the negative. It’s the most-certain event of anyone’s life.

I totally understand that the book isn’t about the afterlife. I get it. Nevertheless, it seems strange to read a book about a dying man sharing distilled wisdom about life and death with no discussion about life after death.

Tuesdays with Morrie does a great job highlighting how death brings clarity to life.

Okay, so you apply those lessons and have a great life.

Then what?

Question: Have you read the book? What did you think of it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

When God Takes Something Away from You

It’s always great when God replaces something painful with something wonderful. Or when He provides for a need in a context of desperation.

But what about when God takes away something we enjoy—or even something we need? Or when He allows something bad to invade something good?

When God Takes Something Away from You

(Photo: by Hariadhi. Own work, GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Can we then say what Job said?

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. —Job 1:21

During the times when God takes something away from you, it’s easy to feel duped, as if God was some kind of pusher, giving free samples and then removing them after the cravings have their hooks in your heart.

The Lord’s generosity can be misunderstood as cruelty.

Rather than praise God for the time we enjoyed His blessings—we tend to resent His sovereign prerogative to confiscate them.

Here’s some perspective that can help when God takes something away from you that was a blessing.

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The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

In a forgotten corner of the Hebrew Scriptures we find hope.

We live in a world where it seems God turns a deaf ear to pain and evil. Children hunger, immorality runs rampant, injustice occurs in the courts, and our loved ones die of cancer. All under the nose of an all-powerful God of love.

See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.

(Photo: See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.)

It feels as if He were a God of love and justice and power, He would and could remove all evil. As it is, evil remains. So do our feelings of confusion.

In a forgotten corner of the Hebrew Scriptures we catch a glimpse of this seeming contradiction with the problem of evil.

We also see its resolution.

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Expect God to Test Your Vision

I sit still with my face in a brace, wide-eyed and waiting for that imminent blast of air in my eyeball. “Now don’t blink,” the optometrist says. POW! I know it’s coming, but my whole body still jerks. I feel like an idiot.

Sit still, please.

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

Then we do it again with the other eye.

This unpleasant procedure has to happen each year. Without it, my vision isn’t all it can be.

The Lord does a similar thing with the vision He gives us in the Bible. We think we see it clearly until a blast in the eyeball jerks our whole frame of reference.

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How Feelings Fuel Your Anger

Anger often stems from unmet “needs,” such as a desire for respect, admiration, or affirmation.

There must be a balance between legitimate needs and codependency. One major way we attempt to have these needs met is by trying to control others. The Bible gives the better alternative—freedom in choices and freedom from dependencies.

I recommend The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, an essential resource used in this series.

Part 3 – “Good and Angry” – Selected Scripture

Wayne Stiles Podcast