Thursday, February 23, 2017 by Ron Carlson
At times, being a Christian has been a lot harder than I expected. In some respects, it seems like my life was less stressful before I started following the Lord. If I’m not careful, that line of thinking can lead to unnerving questions like this: wouldn’t things be easier if I didn’t have to obey God’s Word all the time? Wouldn’t it be better if God would leave me alone? In his agony, Job wrestled with those thoughts too.
Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Ron Carlson
The older I get, the more I appreciate comfort. For instance, I never used to wear slippers. I thought they were just for old men. Well, now on winter mornings (and now that I’m older), I find sinking my cold feet into that fleece lining is a simple pleasure. It’s natural for us to want comfort, but there’s a warning about that.
Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Ron Carlson
When I was six years old I watched a movie called The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. In it there was a Cyclops. The sight of it frightened me because that Cyclops looked so real. Today I went on YouTube and found that movie. When I saw the Cyclops, it almost made me laugh. This time he looked more comedic than frightening. When it comes to movie creatures, what passed for awesome decades ago, isn’t very impressive now. Do we have a similar response when it comes to our faith? Or have we gotten to the point where what was awesome to us when we first believed, is no longer that impressive? Do we need to be constantly wowed to be awed by our God?
Thursday, February 2, 2017 by Ron Carlson
In 1877 Richard Dugdale published a study of the New York State Prison System. The purpose was to discover a common thread among the inmates. What Dugdale found was many of the prisoners were related. Not only that, a number of them could be traced back to one man. Dugdale gave the man a fictitious name, Max Juke. Over four generations and roughly 709 family members here’s part of what the study revealed about his descendants:
Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Ron Carlson
I heard this powerful statement recently: “Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.” (Pastor Craig Groeschel)
What are your strongest thoughts? Are they mostly positive or negative? Are they thoughts like, “I’m overwhelmed, my relationship with that person will never work, this job stinks, or I am always worried or this situation is unfixable.” Sounds pretty destructive, doesn’t it? I’ve had some of those thoughts before and they didn't lead me into a good place. What we think is so important to how we live.
Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Ron Carlson
Several trees came down on our property over the winter. My chainsaw has been getting a workout. With all that cutting it doesn’t take long for the chain to get dull. Once that happens it takes a lot more effort, fuel, and time to keep cutting. I can persevere, but gradually my efforts become less effective and I become more frustrated. It’s similar to what happens to all of us at one time or another in our Christian walk. We lose our spiritual edge and trying harder doesn’t help.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 by Ron Carlson
Recently I spent some time with my Dad. It wasn’t the best of circumstances. He was in the hospital with what could have been a life-threatening condition. The good news was, for the first time in decades we had some space for just the two of us to have a long conversation. We talked about his days as a young soldier during World War II, his time as a professor and dean at the University of Washington, how he and Mom survived some tough financial times in their early marriage and how all along the way he could see the Lord’s hand on his life.
Thursday, December 22, 2016 by Ron Carlson
It’s not a gift like one of my friends got once. His wife found out he’d always wanted a Corvette so she surprised him with one. He was thrilled until he found out there was a bigger surprise. All she’d done was make a down payment. The rest of the bill was up to him. Some gift.
The gift I’m hoping you’ll enjoy doesn’t come with a loan payment plan. It comes free of charge. I wish for you the gift of peace. It’s a gift only our living God can provide.
Thursday, December 15, 2016 by Ron Carlson
If you are having a tough time with someone, then you may wish the Bible didn’t contain this verse.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." (Matthew 5:44)
If that’s a challenge for you, I’m right there with you.
Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Ron Carlson
It’s common for a man to face a time when his path in life looks treacherous, full of roadblocks, or just plain foggy. It can make a guy feel pretty anxious because we naturally feel most secure when we know where we are going and can see a straight road ahead. It’s during these unsettling times that we long to sense the Lord’s guiding hand.