1. Obedience to Jesus is the path of life. It is not the path of legalism.
2. When Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and it’s righteousness,” he was saying you have to want God’s reign and rule in your life more than all the physical things –– food, drink, clothes, sleep, money, reputation –– that you think you need to make your way in this life. Faith is not merely believing your sins are forgiven and you will go to heaven when you die, faith is following Jesus as a disciple, knowing he will care for you.
3. We have now moved to a place in our culture in which our default mode when something tragic happens…and in a 24-7 news cycle culture, that’s nearly every day…we use that tragedy to rail against groups of people. We are looking for not only blame but control. If we can say, “Well, they did that because they are part of this group or that group,” then there is a reason. And if there is a reason, we can understand why and what happened. And then we have some semblance of control over the situation. Because if we can’t do that, then the only reasonable response is pure fear. Or so we think.
4. I was asked recently if I was a professional counselor and I responded, “I am not a professional anything. I want my counseling to be the least professional thing in your life.” If I could answer again I would say, “I want to be as professional as Jesus, weeping at Lazarus’ tomb.”
5. The hardest part of following Jesus is not when suffering comes, it’s when success and wealth come. It is easier to look to Jesus when the day is hard than when the day is flush with ease and fun and all things go well. Maybe that’s just me.
6. Worse than an evil system is working that system against others for your own benefit.
7. “To not act is to act.” – pre-resurrection Peter
8. Pro tip: set reminders on your phone to pray throughout your day.
9. I bet the people who make money off of the news, love that we have made anger a primary virtue at the expense of patience and kindness and joy.
10. Because we live in a world in which the air we breathe is filled with complaint, I give my clients the daily homework of a gratitude list as part of their journaling. They have to list 10 things every single day they are thankful for. No repeats. Some get frustrated with this after a awhile, but they all realize at some point that it works. Of course it works, everything God has told us to do “works.”