Every now and then I read a passage in the Bible that just clicks.  One sentence will speak volumes and resonate on so many levels.  Today was one of those days.  This morning I was reading John 12 – the story of when Jesus went to visit the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus just after raising Lazarus from the dead in chapter 11 (see John 11:38-45).  The part that struck me was this:

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“But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.”  John 12:10-11

Lazarus had a great miracle happen to him.  He was raised from the dead by Jesus after being dead for 4 days in the tomb.  That isn’t the kind of thing that happens every day – even Jesus was alive on the earth.  And now that he was alive, he was a living testimony to the power of Jesus.  The chief priests were trying to tell everyone that Jesus was a bad guy or at least a normal guy at best.  Their message was “don’t follow Him.  He is nothing special.  Keep living your life as usual and don’t pay too much attention to what He is saying.”

But when Lazarus walked into the room, their message became much less effective.  Lazarus was a walking billboard – shouting out JESUS IS THE REAL DEAL!  JESUS IS ALL-POWERFUL!  JESUS IS GOD!  You couldn’t escape it as long as Lazarus was alive.

So the chief priests tried to kill him.  They hated his guts because he stood in direct opposition to their message.  Without saying a word, he was a bringing many people to believe in Jesus just by his very existence.

Are you Lazarus too? 

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God didn’t create you to be GOOD at everything, but He did create you to be GREAT at something.

That’s the premise of the latest series at The Well called LIVING YOUR STRENGTHS.  The idea is that yes, you can do whatever you want it if you try hard enough – but that doesn’t mean that you can do it WELL.  Based on the highly renowned Clifton StrengthsFinder ® assessment, the Living Your Strengths series will help you identify your God-given strengths and how to use them for your growth and for God’s glory.

God created us all uniquely – with different strengths – in order that the Body of Christ would be complete. The Church – including YOUR church – needs everyone’s strengths in order to be operating at full strength and fulfilling God’s mission in the world.

Living Your Strengths

This is a guest post from Dr. Mena Mirhom - a schizophrenia researcher at Columbia University and psychiatry instructor for Kaplan Medical, who has guest posted on my blog before.  You can follow him on twitter or facebook or at his own personal blog.  And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

Robin Williams

The news of the passing of Robin Williams took the world by surprise. How is it possible for one of the most iconic and brilliant comedians of our childhood to commit suicide? How could someone who brought us so much JOY, have so much hidden PAIN? When the explanation is “he had depression,” we sometimes can’t help but trivialize it by pointing out irrelevant things like…“But he had it all!”, “He was so funny!” or “He was so involved in charity!” 

There are realities that the death of Robin Williams will hopefully force us to face. Continue Reading…

Searching for Hope

August 13, 2014 — 7 Comments
A couple more weeks left in the summer and that means I’m still going through some of my favorite reposts from the past two years.  God willing, I’ll be back to all new content starting in September and then I’ll tell you all about the “special project” that I’ve been working on all summer long.  Hope you enjoy this post about a topic that everyone in the world could all use a little more of today…HOPE.  Enjoy!

HOPE.  What is it?  Where do I find it?  How do I get it?  And if I do get it, how do I keep it?  Why does that guy seem to have so much of it and I have so little of it?  Is there really such a thing as hope in my situation?

Of course we all know the “right” answers to these questions.  It’s easy to rattle off some Bible verses and spew out a few stories and then declare “so just hope in God.”  But do we really believe that?  Do you really believe that?

The honest answer for me?  Yes and no.  At times, yes.  And at other times, no.  There are those times when life seems to be going well – not perfect, but at least moving in the right direction.  Economy is up, career is progressing, and relationships are stable.  Life is good.  At times like that, it’s easy to talk about hope and tell others about hope as well.  Hope is ours.

But those “good” times seem to occur much less frequently than the “bad” times don’t they?  The economy seems to be down more than it’s up.  My career has more bumps than I expected.  And my relationships (or lack thereof) seem to be a constant source of stress and anxiety in my life.  Where’s hope then?

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The sixth and final message in THE DANIEL PLAN series and this may have been the most eye-opening, life-changing of them all.  The message was titled “Winning with the Hand You’re Dealt.”

Life is kinda like a game of poker.  We’re given a certain set of “cards” that we didn’t choose.  We didn’t choose when or where we were born… we didn’t choose our parents or how they treated us… we didn’t choose our physical weaknesses or limitations.  There’s a lot of things that go into us that are beyond our control.

The easy thing to do is to complain about it and wish I had a different set of cards; the right thing to do is to make the most of the hand I’ve been dealt.

That’s the subject of this week’s message.  If you struggle with a poor self-identity or thoughts/feelings of anxiety, fear or guilt, then you MUST listen to this week’s message to see how God wants to transforms those “cards” into a winning hand.

Enjoy!

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Talk about an oldie, but a goodie.  This is the post I wrote over 2 years ago – a few days before the opening of STSA (seems like an eternity ago right now).  But take a look at what I wrote and if that doesn’t get you pumped up about church, I don’t know what will!  And just as an fyi, two more weeks of reposts before I come back strong with all new fresh content starting the last week of August.  At that time, I’ll let you know what I’ve been working on during this time.  Thanks for your patience everybody.  Enjoy the post below.

As I announced last week, this Saturday, April 28, will be the launch date for St. Timothy & St. Athanasius (STSA) Coptic Orthodox church.  Somehow – even though we’ve been planning for this launch date for several months now – it wasn’t until yesterday that it all hit me and I became overwhelmed with several feelings.

I felt a sense of THANKFULNESS– because God has chosen me for this mission and is allowing me to be His “fellow worker” in a new field of mission – a mission that I know is very dear to His heart.  I also felt a sense of RESPONSIBILITY– because I know God is planning on doing huge things through this church and I know that my ability to discern/obey His voice is more important now than it’s ever been in the past.

But most of all – more than any other feeling – I felt an overwhelming sense of EXCITEMENT!

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Look who’s back!  After a month long hiatus from preaching, I made my return yesterday for the 5th message in THE DANIEL PLAN series.  And what I noticed is that when you try to keep a preacher’s mouth shut for 4 weeks, then you don’t know what’s gonna come out when it opens!

And that’s what happened yesterday.

The message above is one of those “from my heart” messages that I really want the whole world to hear.  It’s about how to live a life of blessing and how to be used by God.  It’s about how to dream BIG and how to turn those dreams into reality with the power of God.

It’s a message that I’d love you to listen to and apply in your life.  Enjoy!

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