(What to Do When Your Brook Dries Up, Part 2)

In the last post I shared some ideas based on the experience of a prophet in the Bible named Elijah about what to do when we try to draw from familiar sources of support, provision (income), encouragement, or direction – only to find that they simply aren’t there anymore.  In the two days since then, I have talked to

  • a man who needed counsel and didn’t have a pastor,
  • a missionary who has seen a significant decrease in support,
  • a former lay leader in churches who is struggling to find a church home,
  • a pastor whose congregation is struggling both financially and in attendance,
  • a student whose marriage engagement has broken off,
  • a church member in another city whose pastor was terminated, then abruptly died.

What they all have in common – in the language of Elijah’s experience, their “brooks have dried up.”

I fully expect that nearly half the conversations I have tomorrow will be in the same vein.

Bottom line:  there are two kinds of people in the world [click to continue…]

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When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Isn’t it wonderful that we don’t walk through “the fire” alone?

Isn’t it interesting that we nevertheless must walk through the fire?

God doesn’t seem to need our advice for how hot the flames should be,

or even where in the natural they come from.

He only asks that, when the pathway leads through them, we keep moving.

And when the flames taunt, we keep trusting.

(Lyrics from “How Firm a Foundation.”  Photo credit:  AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

(For more stunning photography from the San Bartolome de Pinares in Spain, click here)

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Get Up!

by Andy Wood on January 20, 2010

in 100 Words, Five LV Laws, Principle of Freedom

When you’re wounded in the battle, knocked down and winded, get up.

When you’re shamed and blamed, defenseless and without excuses, get up.

When your “friends” abandon you in the darkness or point out the obvious by accusing you in the light, get up.

When the enemy comes in like a flood to kick you when you’re down or to rejoice over your wounds, get up.

When the easiest thing in the world to do is just to lie there and bleed, get up!

“A righteous man will fall seven times.”  But he will rise again.  Get up!

Get up!

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Laura Kate Wiley is finding her voice.

At 17 months, she’s off to a good start.

With safe surroundings and a fearless heart,

A free spirit and a supportive family,

She plays and rests and dreams and wants –

Sincerely believing that what she has to say actually matters.

She will need these things again and again,

As her world evolves and her voice is threatened.

Nobody can sing the songs meant for her alone.

Again and again, she will have to find her heart with clarity,

And express her mind with grace and courage.

So will you. 

Find your voice.

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DreamsIt’s time to dream again. 

And in doing so, I will not content myself with yesterday’s progress.
I have seen my share of victories; I’ve won some battles, and maybe even a war or two. 
But there are new victories to be won, and yesterday’s dreams will never achieve them.
When my greatest challenges are boredom and fatigue, I will rest in the womb of a new vision, and call forth even greater measures of faith and courage.

It’s time to dream again. 

And in doing so, I will see beyond the road blocks and crashes. [click to continue…]

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job-applicationSome of the rules have changed.

  • Time Magazine, in it’s provocative “Ten Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” reports that having a job is cool again.  Rather than regarding employment as a necessary evil to be escaped as soon as possible, jobs are now considered an asset.  (Nothing like losing something to recognize its worth, I guess).
  • Someone just told me about his father, who for eight years tried to make a go of his home-based business and now, in his 60s, realizes the need for an employer.  He’s finding it difficult.
  • My favorite job/career-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?, which has been updated annually since 1970, was back on the best-seller list in December.

So with the new demand for paying day-jobs and the shortening supply, I thought it might be helpful offer some strategies for improving your chances.  [click to continue…]

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Another saint doing battle with the powers of darkness


Fascinating word.  Occurs 173 times in the New American Standard Bible.  Nearly always, something interesting, if not transforming, follows.

Jesus uber-arose, as I hope you know.  As in, from the dead.

Abraham arose, too, as in from the bed.

Jacob arose, and bugged out of town.

A new king arose in Egypt, and things got ugly for Jacob’s descendents.

Moses arose and went up the mountain.

Balaam arose and got up on his donkey.

Arose is the difference between sleeping and moving.  Between sitting and acting.

Arose changes things. [click to continue…]

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In spite of all her lamentable weaknesses, appalling failures and indefensible shortcomings, the Church is the mightiest force for civilization and enlightened social consciousness in the world today.  The only force in the world that is contesting Satan’s total rule in human affairs is the church of the living God. -Paul Billheimer

What does it take to rouse a sleeping giant? 

Whatever it takes, I think now is the time.

One of the biggest clichés and repeated experiences in history is that of unrealized potential.  It’s one of the reasons I believe heaven will be a place in which God wipes every tear from our eyes.  When we see what was in light of what could have been – with our lives, and with our corporate potential – we will have no alternative but to weep.

For years, as a global body, the Western church has been asleep at the wheel or, worse, awakened to fight the wrong battles, the wrong enemy, or with the wrong weapons of warfare.  We’ve made an art form of “trivial pursuit,” and the world is worse off because of it.

The first Century Church didn’t keep up with its time, didn’t spend its energy keeping up with its time.  The first Century Church changed time.  It rewrote history.  It radically impacted culture.  The church was the forerunner, not the runner up. – Erwin McManus

If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, I’m referring to you.  I’m referring to me.  But the news isn’t all bad.  We serve a God who is wonderfully capable of  waking sleeping giants.  He did it on a national scale, both with His own nation and at times even with foreign, pagan countries.  And I believe He’s doing it today. [click to continue…]

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Nobody will ever name their boy Zerubbabel.  There are still plenty of Davids and Samuels, Joshuas and Calebs left for the hallways at the hospital.  Zerubbabel?  Not a chance.

Here was a guy who is never quoted in the Bible.  He never wrote a book that bears his name.  Yet he occupied a position of great importance, hope, strategic necessity in Israel’s history – enough that he held the attention of two Old Testament prophets.

He led an emerging nation, but would doubtless never be hip enough to lead an emerging church.

If Zerubbabel lived in the last 200 years and somehow been elected president of the United States, I figure he’d be a Calvin Coolidge or Warren G. Harding – somebody we know was there, but never talk about.

If he were a tree, he’d be one of those types that was nameless – big and strong, and I guess some expert knows what type it is, but most of us would just look and say, “It’s just a tree.”

If he were a piece of chicken, he would be the thigh.  Strong, muscular, flavorful.  But at the bottom of everybody’s list of preferences.

Somehow in the wisdom and providence of God, this silent champion was chosen to head a dangerous and deliriously exciting project: [click to continue…]

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Can You Be Content AND Change the World?

by Andy Wood on August 18, 2008

in Tense Truths

Tense Truth:  I must learn to accept the world and its circumstances as it is, not as I would have it.  I must also learn to take courageous action to be an agent of change.  The wisdom to know the difference is found in the discipline of hearing God’s voice.


Contentment and Change decided to play table tennis one day.  I was the ball.  Can you relate?

Serve:  Be grateful for all you have.

Return:  Do something to change the world!

Rest in the Lord.  Wait quietly for Him.

Press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ.

Be still.

Get off your butt.


Seize every opportunity.

Be content!

Don’t be complacent!

Don’t be covetous.

Be courageous.

Wow.  I’m tired, and I’m not ever keeping score.  I’ve never bothered to even count the number of times I’ve zigged (tried to change something) when I should have zagged (been content with the situation).  Or vice-versa – when the call was to hit the ground running, I hit the hay. [click to continue…]

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