Stretch Marks: Part 5 – Shattered Dreams


Stretch Marks: Part 5 – Shattered Dreams
Genesis 37 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. – Psalm 136:1  Growing up we used to sing a simple chorus in church called, “God is so Good.” It went like this: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.” It’s true, of course. God is good. “God is good,” the leader declared. “All the time”, we replied. “All the time”, the leader repeated. “God is good,” we exclaimed. Yes, God is good all the time!  ...

Stretch Marks: Part 4 – Bouncing Back


Stretch Marks: Part 4 – Bouncing Back
2 Samuel 11; Psalm 51 I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – The Apostle Paul The Christian life is a lot like running a long foot race, a grueling marathon. Trusting God while trudging life’s hills and valleys can be tough at times. Especially when we take a tumble along the way, which happens to all of us at one time or another. The real question is not whether we trip and fall but how we respond when we do. How we answer the questions that come when we collapse on life’ ...

Stretch Marks: Part 3 – Death Sentence


Stretch Marks: Part 3 – Death Sentence
2 Corinthians 1:8-10, 4:7-18 Do you ever feel like God doesn’t make sense? Many people do. It’s understandable. David sang triumphantly, “He has delivered me from all my troubles,” (Psalm 54:7). But the writer of Psalm 10:1 lamented, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Sometimes it seems like he deserts us in times of trouble; other times we experience a miraculous deliverance. How can we hold onto our faith when God seems to desert us wh ...

Stretch Marks: Part 2 – Walking on Water and Other Foolishness


Stretch Marks: Part 2 – Walking on Water and Other Foolishness
Matthew 14:24-33, Mark 6:47-52 & John 6:16-21 Have you ever been blindsided by a bad storm? I have! More than once I was caught in a downpour on my bike after being assured there was no rain in the area. News flash. Weathermen don’t always get it right. But doesn’t Jesus know everything? Why would he send his disciples on a night-crossing of the Sea of Galilee if a storm was brewing? And then walking by them on the water, what was up with that? ...

Stretch Marks: Part 1 – Saws, Chains and Swords


Stretch Marks: Part 1 – Saws, Chains and Swords
Hebrews 11, James 1:1-3, and 1 Peter 4 What does it mean that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)? What does it mean to experience the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10)? More specifically, what do you believe it means? That’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s where our faith is put to the test. The test comes when the rubber of our faith — what we believe should happen if we trust God — meets t ...