Weekly John will challenge readers to grab hold of life this day because there are no guarantees about someday. Subscribe to the blog over on the right side. It can be delivered to your inbox or add it to your online blog reader.
For the record, there is no eleventh commandment that says: “Thou shalt not enjoy life.” Nor does God ever say, “My plan for you is to be miserable on earth until you arrive in heaven.” What the Bible does say is that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (I Timothy 6:17b)
God has given us an amazing world to enjoy—so what’s holding us back from living a life that’s deeply satisfying?
John Merritt invites you to join him on a pilgrimage of adventure that will address some common obstacles to living an exhilarating life. When Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full,” he wasn’t talking about waiting until we get to heaven. (John 10:10b) Jesus was pointing to a God-oriented life where we are thriving as fully alive human beings. The earth reflects a joyful Creator who gives us his creation for our pleasure! Heaven and earth are converging in stunning fashion all around us, and we have the opportunity to seize the day in all of its infinite possibilities. John’s hope is that there is not one piece of that life you want to miss out on.
Before kids, married two years, half way through seminary, only 24 years old, and wondering what God wanted me to do with the rest of my life—an opportunity crossed my path to spend a year in Argentina to work with a group of missionaries in the NW part of the country. I was sensing that God might be calling us to serve on the mission field, but Debbie was not sure about that notion at all. This short term commitment seemed the perfect way to see if we were cut out for work in the third world.
We made a very important discovery—that we were better suited for doing missionary work in our own culture and country. While our year in the Southern Hemisphere was valuable, it was also difficult for two misfits trying to make a contribution while knowing this work was not in our futures. Never did I think I’d return to that part of the world…
Ever been to Pismo? Quirky little beach town with a fabulous beach lined with rocky cliffs to the North and sand dunes to the South. A perfect setting to unwind and feel the sand between your toes. Debbie and I did just that in between sessions I was leading for a group of pastors and their spouses addressing how to stay healthy physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
People have been asking me, “So how are book sales going?” And my response has been, “Very good, and the feedback has been encouraging.” But there has been one recurring comment that I did not see coming—though maybe I should have.
I have found that there is little power behind the good intentions of New Year’s resolutions. But I know that there is power in prayer. I’ve often said that had it not been people praying for me, I wouldn’t have survived being a pastor for nearly 40 years. Prayer matters, even if we do not see the results. God honors the faith behind our prayers. I believe there is nothing more important in 2016 than to pray. (more…)
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin referring to the anticipation of someone who is coming or arriving. And so the Advent season is about waiting and anticipating the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. (more…)