Until Lambs Become Lions

by Andy Wood on August 12, 2014

in Conversations, Insight, Life Currency

Lion Lamb

(A Conversation)

I watched the Robin Hood movie again last night.

Kevin Costner?

No, seriously?  Russell Crowe.


I love the quote from there…

About rising and rising again?

Yeah… “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.”  That really resonates with me.

I can see why.  So are you rising and rising again?

Hardly.  More like “fall and fall again.”

Why is that? [click to continue…]

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PainCharles is nothing short of an odd combination.  He’s an immensely popular preacher and pastor, having preached to more people than anyone else on the planet, with the exception of Billy Graham and perhaps a couple of others. Yet while he rarely shows it, he’s a physical mess.  He suffers from rheumatic gout and kidney disease, and there are days he can’t even leave the house because of the excruciating pain.

His wife is a mess.  This woman, whom he loves dearly, has disabilities of her own, and this weighs heavily on Charles.

His finances are a mess. Despite the reach of Charles’ ministry, a sober look at his books reveals an ugly secret: the man is broke-down broke. 

His relationships are a mess. [click to continue…]

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If He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulder,
I know my brother that He will carry you.
-Scott Wesley Brown

It was on an old four-propeller Lockheed Constellation airplane, on an 18-hour-long flight from Tokyo to San Francisco.  It was the mid-1950s.  Carol Willis was just a baby and had a severe earache.  To try to comfort her, her dad walked her up and down the aisle of that old plane throughout that long night.  If you’ve ever traveled with ear-sensitive children, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Over the years the family nightmare became something of the family joke.  Harlan – my father-in-law – would say, “I walked all the way across the Pacific Ocean carrying you in my arms.”

But the family joke also became the family prophecy and the family legacy, and it was a part of Carol’s emotional DNA.  Carol spent her growing up years in Thailand, where she and her family traveled across that ocean again to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to a nation they love to this day. [click to continue…]

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For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning
(Psalm 30:5, NLT)

Until we experience the promise of a home where there is no more night, we all will encounter seasons that feel as though dawn is forever an hour away.  It’s not a matter of if , but when the shadows grow long and dark.  And no one, regardless of their faith or pedigree, is immune from the seasons when darkness comes.

When darkness comes, “tired” takes on a whole new meaning.  Every fiber of your being aches for rest, but rest remains taunting and elusive.  Even the simplest of routine tasks feels like labor to exhaustion when darkness comes. [click to continue…]

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Brad is a living legend… at the local bar.  At first his mostly-daily trips were his way of unwinding after a stressful workday.  But over the years, one painful situation after another brought Brad to the point where he lives pretty much continuously between buzz and stupor.  Offering the standard denials and predictable claims that he can quit anytime, Brad has long ago crossed the line between soothing his nerves and declaring war on his soul.

Sandy is a shell of the girl she once was.  The once-vivacious high school and college student now sits in her immaculate apartment, trying to stay busy enough to avoid the reminders of how alone she is.  Estranged from her family, deeply disappointed by marriage and even motherhood, Sandy has never let go of the bitterness that ultimately seeped into every corner of her life.  To a stranger, Sandy is a hard-working professional with impeccable taste in decorating and fashion.  But the excellent exterior hides a war-ravaged soul. [click to continue…]

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Lonely for God

by Andy Wood on September 17, 2010

in Five LV Laws, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance, Waiting

Thomasville, Alabama.  A long time ago.  I was driving from Jackson to Tuscaloosa and had stopped for gas at one of those places where they still pumped it for you.  Young man walks out and gets the pump going while I’m pretty much minding my own business.  I’m wearing jeans and tennis shoes, with some casual shirt.

He eyes me and asks, “You a minister?”

(I hated then and hate now looking like a preacher.)

“Yes,” I replied, surprised.  “How did you know?”

“You have this glow about ‘cha,” he said with a smile.

I was surprised again, and blessed.  This wasn’t a particularly glowing trip.  I was driving north to unload a car on the back end of a dumb purchase that had left us pretty beaten down financially.  It was a desperate move to get out of a stupid debt.

Glow?  I’d have to take that one by faith.  It felt more like I was panting.

As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So my soul pants for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;

When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2)

Ever feel like you were panting?  Like you couldn’t quite catch your breath as you went from one thing to another?  From one stressor to another?  From one disappointment to another? [click to continue…]

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You never knew Lillie Edwards.  I hardly did either, except for a brief two-week period years ago.  But Lillie will always be a significant figure in my life and memory. 

When I met Lillie Edwards, she was dying.  I was green-green-green as a young pastor, serving in my first church in a senior role.

Lillie Edwards would be my first funeral service.  But she taught me some things about living, and about dying, before our paths parted. [click to continue…]

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This has been a season for sinking souls.

In California, two very dear friends are facing their second-greatest fear as their son is deployed with the Marines to Afghanistan.  They know the promises of God.  They know full-well that every other military parent or spouse has walked this same path.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the emotions are more than they bargained for.  Tossed about and beat up, their souls are sinking.

Here in Lubbock, a bright young professional had launched a successful and lucrative career when his work was upended by petty, jealous people.  He lost his job and another significant source of income.  And though he was innocent of the lies told against him, and though he has bounced back in a different setting, he still retreats to an emotional cave of isolation, as if he were totally guilty.  Broken, bewildered, and just going through the motions, his soul is sinking.

In my home state, a once-confident, faith-filled woman lives in the wake of one of the most grotesque griefs of all – the death of a dream.  Sure she had heard from the Lord about her future, and bold in her expectations of how He would order her steps, nothing has turned out as expected.  First the heartbreak.  Then the waiting.  Then more disappointment.  Now rudderless and aimless, she feels powerless to choose any direction… her soul is sinking.

However committed or expectant you or I are, none of us is immune to the sinking of the soul. [click to continue…]

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candle-smokeTense Truth:  Jesus, the Light of the World, will sometimes allow us to experience seasons of darkness in order to teach us to trust Him, not guarantees.  But He warns us not to turn back to that other kind of darkness – a world of evil or self-initiated “light” in order to find quick-fix relief.

First I’ll give you the pieces, then I’ll put them all together.

  • A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend and he made a profound statement: “When your world is dark, the temptation is to turn deeper into the darkness for relief.” So true. And yet it makes about as much sense as digging your way out of a hole.
  • Someone once asked me if I’d ever had a midlife crisis. I blurted out instantly, “Yeah, I’ve had about a dozen of ’em.”
  • I’ve noticed a recurring pattern lately. I’m dealing with a significant number of professional men, all of whom could be classified as successful. In fact, they’re geniuses at what they do – so good, they can do it without a lot of thinking. And yet they’re bored, restless, or even depressed. Before my very eyes, they’re starting to act dead-before-they-die. In fact, my most common deep spiritual advice to them is, “You’re not dead yet!”
  • Have you ever noticed that people who are living “in the darkness” are also the loudest to predict a dark future? Wonder if that’s just a coincidence?

More than once somebody or something has rocked my Zippity-do-dah world and faith and, for lack of a better way of describing it, “turned the lights off.”  What’s ironic is that it didn’t happen because I’d screwed up or was somehow running from God.  In fact, the darkness happened while I was pursuing the Lord and, by all accounts and purposes, growing. [click to continue…]

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This just in… modern newlyweds are increasingly dealing with “the bridal blues.”  Doctors report that the expectations of newlyweds are so high, and married life such a letdown after all the planning and excitement of the big day, that an increasing number of brides are suffering post-nuptial depression.  The feelgood factor fades so fast that up to 10 per cent of couples suffer enough remorse, sadness or frustration to seek counseling.

Wow.  You mean it wasn’t whispy clouds and fairy dust as you lived happily ever after?  And Franck Eggelhoffer isn’t there to plan the details of your marriage like he did your wedding?  And Daddy’s not there to pay your bills?  And sex doesn’t cure everything, or come with an orchestra in your bedroom?  And to add insult to injury, you find yourself married to a sometimes-sweaty, stinky boy, who leaves socks and underwear on the floor?  Or to a woman, who – get this – ain’t yo’ mamma, your maid, or your madame?  She’s no Cinderella, and you’re not exactly Prince Charming.

Those expectations take you for a ride sometimes, don’t they?

Dr. Terry Eagan has a name for post-wedding depression. He calls it the secret sadness.  Why? Because the women who suffer from it are often too embarrassed to tell anybody. And men simply bottle up their feelings.

The Secret Sadness is real.  And it isn’t limited to newlyweds. [click to continue…]

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