Sacrifice. It’s not a popular word. It never has been and probably never will be. But to those who desire an authentic life, the kind of life that produces a story worth telling, sacrifice must become a way of life. Faith is the stuff heroes are made of.
This past weekend in America, we celebrated Memorial Day. We set aside a day to remember the fallen, those brave men and woman who served in our Armed Forces and gave their last measure of full devotion — but why did they do it?
I would suggest most did it because of what they believed to be true, most definitely in spite of what they saw, sensed, or felt. For readers of my new book A Story Worth Telling, that explanation should sound familiar — it is the very definition of faith.
What if you throw a party and no one comes? Is it still a celebration?
As I write these words, it is the morning of my book launch. A Story Worth Telling has been nearly two years in the making — more than that if you count the living-of-the-story part.
And we have worked hard to prepare for it. There have been a lot of long nights and early mornings and full weekends and questions from my youngest son like, “Daddy, when are you going to stop working?”
This morning I’m not scouring the Internet for any mention of the book. I’m not nervously reading reviews. I’m not watching sales numbers.
I’m pausing to reflect on just how good God is and why I need to celebrate more.
The Tyranny of the Next
In American culture, we seem enslaved by what I call The Tyranny of the Next. What we have now is never enough. What’s coming next is what captivates our hearts. New necessarily means better. New car. New job. New definition of marriage. Different is cool. Normal? Not so much.
Special Alert! Guest Post with Ron Edmondson Today
I am privileged to have a guest post featured with Ron Edmondson today at his stellar blog where he shares his thoughts on leadership, church, and culture.
Ron is one of the leading bloggers on pastors, leadership, and church issues — and truly great guy.
Check out my post and share it if you think it has value:
And to those visiting FaithWalkers for the first time from Ron’s site, welcome!
I invite you to claim a free chapter from my new book releasing everywhere in just a few hours!
Click here to claim a free chapter of A Story Worth Telling and find out how to get faith-building resources valued at $284
It’s been said that when the going gets tough the tough get going. But let’s face it: it’s easy to say we believe until we face a faith challenge.
Only when we face a challenge do we discover what our faith is made of. Only then do we realize that growing our faith will take some work.
It might help to think of our faith challenge as a growth curve. When we first begin to step out by faith and test both ourselves and God, we’ll meet resistance.
Resistance doesn’t mean right or wrong, it just means we’re moving in a new direction. Easy doesn’t mean we have God’s green light. In fact, if we’re trying to grow our faith in response to a faith challenge, we should expect it to be difficult at first, especially early in the curve.
When I first started on the path to becoming a professional writer, nothing was easy. I mean nothing.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen fear keep someone from walking by faith. I’d be rich. Unless I had to pay someone else for all the times I let fear send me into hiding.
Along my journey to live a story worth telling, I have developed what I can only describe as a sensitivity to faith opportunities. Having confronted my own faithless demons, I seem to more easily recognize the symptoms of faithlessness in others. Here are a few popular and telling expressions:
- We can’t afford to do that.
- We don’t have time to do that.
- That sounds risky.
- What if it doesn’t work out?
- There’s only so much to go around.
But when you learn to walk by faith — to do what you believe to be true, often in spite of what you see, sense, or feel — your perspective changes. Now when I hear something may be risky, my ears perk up.
What if there were magical prayers you could pray – a few mystical words you could chant in order to make your story matter. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Well there isn’t. Not really. But Moses may have provided us with something better.
Psalm 90 reveals the the cry of Moses on behalf of God’s people. Now I’m not proposing that we take his prayers out of context or treat them as some secret incantation. For example, the prayer of Jabez is a worthy passage that has been stretched almost beyond recognition to justify asking God for whatever we may want. Let’s not do that with these simple prayers from Moses.