Why Your Perspective Requires Both Eyeballs

I sat in the front row of my 8th grade math class and squinted at the chalkboard. A total blur. I had to face it. I needed glasses.

Why It's Important to Use Both of Your Eyeballs

(Photo by Photodune)

I’ll never forget the moment I put on my glasses for the first time. WOW! A different perspective entirely! I had no idea the details of life I had missed. They were there all the time, but I literally could not see them.

Glasses and contacts made a huge difference. Trees had leaves. Shapes had sharp edges. Colors were more vibrant. And, oh yeah, I could see in math class.

That worked great for about 35 years. But now I have another problem. As my eyeballs have aged, they have given me 2 choices:

  1. I can see far away (with my contacts).
  2. Or I can see up close (without contacts).

It was one perspective or the other—until my optometrist gave me a really weird solution.

You and I have the same challenge spiritually.

How God Broadens Your Limited Perspective

Have you noticed how often we tend to interpret our faith as we want it to be, rather than as God reveals it to be? We have adopted the lifestyle of a tourist who only wants to see the highlights of the city.

How God Broadens Your Limited Perspective

(Photo: courtesy of Oomph)

Forget all the back alleys of New York. Show me Times Square. Let’s just jump to the Empire State Building. We focus on how the Christian life “ought” to be. (As if the tough parts are electives.)

A broad chasm stretches between the God we want and the God who is. Between the life we want and the life God wants for us.

As tough as it sounds, the only way to bridge this gap is the cross.

How to Follow When God’s Plan is Strange

God’s leading is often strange. That’s because He doesn’t share the plan. He keeps it a secret.

We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust Him.

How to Follow When God's Plan is Strange

(Photo by Tom Butler, courtesy of oomf.com)

Genesis began with God blessing all He created. But the fall of man, Abel’s murder, the rebellion at Babel, and the global flood gave cause to doubt that there would be any recovery of that blessing. Genesis 3–11 sketches more than 4,000 years of suffering that people experienced under the curse of sin.

But God’s plan chose one man through whom He would resurrect His blessing for all mankind.

Your life may seem in chaos as well. But God has a plan He is hiding.

What You Must Have Before You’ll Have Success

Most of us Christians have experienced those incredible moments of intimacy with God when we have no yearning for any earthly joy, much less for sin. Christ becomes our entire desire.

In those times, we make impassioned commitments of absolute dedication. We really believe we have turned a corner in our spiritual lives. But for some reason . . . it doesn’t last.

What You Must Have in Order to Succeed

(Photo by Photodune)

In those deflating moments, our spirituality exits like air from a balloon:

  • Driving away from church, our family fights over where to eat.
  • After our quiet time, our bickering children rapidly rob us of joy.
  • On the way to work, a hurried driver cuts us off and waves with only a fraction of his hand.

All of a sudden, commitment wanes. And these are just the little things.

What about real life crises? What about those times when success is demanded but a lack of success seems all we get?

Jesus spoke words of encouragement for moments just like these.

The One Thing Jesus Did to Change Activity to Efficiency

I’ve noticed an unsettling habit in my life. Whenever I find myself with a free moment, I feel compelled to fill it with something productive.

Because I hate to waste time, I fill it with activity and justify it as productivity. But I’m learning that constant movement doesn’t represent efficiency.

It could, moreover, represent just the opposite.

The One Thing that Changes Your Activity to Efficiency

(Photo by Photodune)

As with every other part of the human experience, Jesus remains our model of efficiency. But His life—even before the cross—was no easy walk:

  • The demands on Him were constant.
  • The needs He faced were overwhelming.
  • The expectations He encountered were unrealistic.

No person was ever more qualified to do it all, and yet Jesus took life in the fast lane in stride.

What was His secret?

The Secret to a Lasting Satisfaction

Have you ever noticed how we dedicate so much time and money to feed feelings that last only a moment?

We plunk down twenty bucks for a movie (and even more for popcorn), and it’s over in two hours. We long for that glorious vacation but come home in a week to face the same daily grind. We enjoy the zing of a new relationship or a new church fellowship only to discover it’s just like the last one.

The Secret to a Lasting Satisfaction

(Photo by Photodune)

Now, nothing’s wrong with any of these activities, per se. But when joy and satisfaction in life elude us, we need to ask an obvious question with a not-so-obvious answer:

How do I deal with the futility of life when my satisfaction always fades?

Eventually we figure out we can’t exist for the next relationship or vacation or pat on the back. Instead, we need to learn to live for what never fades and what always satisfies.

In order to find lasting satisfaction in a temporary life, the Lord challenges us to look beyond the moment and to love what lasts.

Follow Your Heart—Why That’s a Bad Idea

It’s the mantra of today. It’s the moral lesson of most movies. It’s the guiding light of many lives. After all, it sounds so right, doesn’t it?

Follow your heart.

Follow Your Heart—Why That's a Bad Idea

(Photo by Photodune)

“Follow your heart” is another way of following your feelings. Even as Christians, our feelings often lead us, don’t they?

  • “I don’t feel good about this.”
  • “Am I comfortable with this direction?”
  • “I don’t have a peace about this decision.”

Following your heart is a popular, but unwise, way to make decisions.

Although our feelings are real, they may not represent reality. And even if what we feel does have some connection to reality, it is never all of reality.

God offers a better way.

The Jordan River—Your Place of Transition

Other rivers have more beauty. Many are longer. Most are cleaner.

But none has garnered as much affection as the Jordan River.

The Jordan River—A Place of Transition

(Photo: The Jordan River, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

It wasn’t the beauty of the Jordan River that inspired centuries of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to include it in their verses.

Its significance began as a simple geographic barrier, which—practically speaking—represented a border (Joshua 22:18-25). In fact, the serpentine river still represents a border between Israel and the nation of Jordan.

In Scripture, however, the river’s presence on Israel’s eastern edge stood as an enduring metaphor of transitions.

Significant transitions, in fact.

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.

What if Your Busy Life Isn’t Productive?

I used to have an old car with a funny way of handling cold weather.

In the mornings I’d turn on the headlights, the heat, the rear defrost, and the radio. Everything was fine until I got to an intersection and turned on my blinker.

When I did, the radio blinked off and on.

What if Your Busy Life Isn't Productive?

(Photo by yellowj, via Vivozoom)

The small drain from the blinker was more than the power source could handle.

Many mornings I feel like my old car. Every ounce of energy is already being used, and if even one small additional drain is required from me, the overload starts shutting down my system.

We’ve all been there. A busy life means little margin. And often, little productivity.

Jesus told a story that directly addressed the busy life of a believer.