Category Archives: Evangelism

Taming the monster in your head

the monster in your head at www.gapingvoid.comDear friend,

You have just experienced the “dark” side of me. I tend to disappear, for months or even years at a time. I beat myself into a major guilt frenzy because I think I have let you down. Sometimes it’s because I stood you up at the coffee shop . Or I ignored your email asking me for a favor. Maybe I feel like a failure with my family or at work. Whatever the reason—real or imagined—there’s a monster in my head saying I’m not good enough.

So I just disappear into a black hole, which makes me feel even more guilt, which makes me dig an even deeper hole, which makes me … well, you get the vicious cycle picture.

At times I have allowed this monster to get the best of me, and I never re-establish contact with friends because of my guilt about letting myself and everyone else down. The dead remains of warm friendships litter the countryside, and I hope a dozen or more people have long since quit wondering what they did to deserve my never, ever returning their phone calls:

Where have you been?
Are you okay?
I’m worried about you.
Did I do something to make you mad?

With each email or phone message, it becomes harder to explain my silence, and now I feel it is impossible to climb out of that deep, dark hole. It’s too hard to say, “It’s me. I’m sorry I haven’t called.” I tell myself that you wouldn’t understand, and refuse to believe that good friends would welcome me back into the friendship.

Do you feel like you have let Jesus down? Can’t seem to get control over some behavior? We all do. Arrogance, anger, abortion; drugs, deceit, doubt; gossip, greed, and gluttony—we’re all guilty of something (Romans 3:23).

If you feel like you’re not worthy of God’s friendship and love, Jesus wants to banish that monster in your head. He is waiting for you (Matt. 11:28-30). He wants to be your friend (John 15:15). Peter, one of his closest friends, let him down. Yet, Jesus forgave Peter and gave him a second chance. Jesus loves us and welcomes us back, just as we are (Luke 7:37-47).

Jesus is your best friend. He cares about you, regardless of what you have done in your life. He loves you more than you can ever imagine (John 15:13, John 3:16).

Today is the day I’m crawling out of that hole. I’m making that attempt to say I’m sorry I let you down. I’m shining the light on my dark side and banishing the “Disappearing into the Darkness” monster.

Dear Jesus,
I’m sorry.
Will you forgive me?

Yes, he does.
(1 John 1:9)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christ, Christianity, Devotion, Evangelism, Faith, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Religion, Uncategorized

God, Is That You?

Key Verse: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21

My then four-year old daughter’s eyes sparkled; her laughter rang throughout the long hallway at the high school. “Look, Mommy! I’m walking backwards,” she laughed. As she veered recklessly out of control, I said, “I’ll tell you which way to go. Follow my voice.”

Instantly she looked over her shoulder and turned the wrong way, bumping into the lockers jutting out from the wall. She just laughed and kept on. With each near-miss, she veered off in another direction, bouncing around the hallway, out of control like a ball in a pinball machine.

I said, “Listen to my voice. I can see what’s ahead, and I’ll tell you which way to go.” Then she stopped looking over her shoulder, looked intently into my eyes and listened to my instructions. “Go right. Now go straight. Sharply to your left.” She did as she was told, and giggling all the way, safely walked backwards the rest of the way out of the building.

Like my daughter, many of us have a difficult time trusting anything other than our own instinct. It’s against our nature to take instructions without knowing what’s ahead of us, or why we’re being told to do something. We would rather stumble over a few obstacles on our own than to trust someone else’s instructions.

Most of the time God doesn’t speak to us audibly. But we know what God has to say. The Bible tells us what is true and right, and guides us in how we should live. If we don’t spend time reading God’s Word, how can we recognize his voice when he speaks?

What should you do when God speaks? Like Samuel, say, “Speak, Lord, I’m listening!” (1 Sam. 3:10) Then listen and trust God to direct you to the right or to the left. God knows the way, and will guide you through all the twists and turns of life.

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christ, Christianity, Church, Devotion, Evangelism, Faith, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Parenting, Religion

Hello world!

Someone kicked me through this door, I’m quite sure of that.  Firmly planted their foot on my backside and… pushed. Hard.

I wouldn’t have ventured into the unknown on my own. Not that I haven’t read blogs before–I subscribe to many. And not that I haven’t written or edited blog posts for someone else. I have. It’s much easier to write about what someone else tells you to write. And it’s even easier to edit what someone else has written.

My own blog. I’m solely responsible for filling the empty page with words. Should I be funny? Light-hearted? Should my thoughts be deep, inspiring? Convicting? Informative? Random? Or themed?

The unknown, then, is making my own decisions. Personal accountability. Being on my own. Ah, there it is.  The source of the discomfort.

But I’m not on my own. 

“I know I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who will give me the strength and power.” (Phil. 4:13)

I believe I’m a missionary. A “word” missionary. Taking God’s Word, through words, to others so that people will hear the life-saving message of Jesus Christ.

My life as a Christian writer hardly measures up against the talent and insight of other writers (who may or may not be great).  But I know to NOT write is to disobey God’s instruction to me. 

“Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others .” (Habakkuk 2:2)

I’d say this is the modern-day billboard. And it was God’s foot on my backside. So here I go. 

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it?

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christ, Christianity, Church, Evangelism, Faith, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Religion