A new day … take a step into what waits for you.
Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) was a leader among tax collectors. He could afford great jewelry and fine clothes. His position allowed him to charge the people of Jericho more than they owed. Everyone knew he skimmed off the top. They feared this little man.
But this little man had a secret—he wanted more. He had a need. A nagging in his heart that rubies or fine spices couldn’t satisfy. When he heard that this man Jesus was coming to town, he knew he had to talk to him. See him.
Zacchaeus left his tax collecting table for the place where he thought he’d have his chance to see him.
Drat. He’d already passed. He needed to guess … which road would he take? To see Jesus he’d have to take a gamble and run ahead. Hopefully he’d guess right and get there before Jesus arrived. But where to go?
He had an idea. By the Sycamore tree. That’s where he’d wait. He’d have an opportunity to talk with him, for sure.
But when Zacchaeus got to the Sycamore tree, other people were waiting there for Jesus, too. Double drat. What could he do now? He wanted—needed—to see this Man of God for himself.
Zacchaeus looked back down the road and saw a crowd walking his way. Was Jesus surrounded by all those people? How could Zacchaeus make his way through so many people? He was so short … he’d be lost in the crowd for sure.
He looked around. There—the tree! He could climb the Sycamore tree and at least have a look at him … this man who heals. Zacchaeus wasn’t sure what he’d gain by just seeing him, but it had to be enough.
The crowd came closer and Zacchaeus could hear their voices. Begging for Jesus’ attention. All coming at him with requests. Needs. Everyone had a need.
He had a need.
Zacchaeus sighed. What’s the use? He had been fooling himself. He may be rich, but his wealth cost him more than he planned. He had treated people terribly. And now he was going to miss his chance to ask this Jesus for what he wanted most: peace. He needed peace. But it wasn’t to be.
The crowd milled then stopped under the branches of the Sycamore tree. Jesus hushed the crowd with his hands. They waited, anticipating divine wisdom from Jesus. Instead, He looked up.
“Good day, Zacchaeus.”
Zacchaeus caught his breath. “Um … good day to you, teacher.”
Jesus smiled. “Why are you in the tree?”
He felt foolish. “I wanted to see you. I’m so small.” He cleared his throat. “I really wanted to talk with you … I thought maybe you could help me. But you’re busy. Everyone wants to ask you for something.”
Jesus continued to smile as he held out his hand. “Zacchaeus. Come down. I’m coming to your house today. I’m going to stay with you. We can talk about your lack of peace then.”
Is this how it began? I put a bit of flesh to the story, but it could have happened that way.
How diligent are you chasing after Jesus? What are you willing to do to find peace?
Sound bites that find their footing in truth, but sometimes come off a bit too churchie.
(Can I get an AMEN!)
But don’t turn your back on the gist of what’s being said. Bad things happen. Splinters. Continue reading
Fix Her Upper: Reclaim Your Happy Space faces dark issues with truth … and levity. Yes, that’s right. Levity. Beth Duewel’s story of sitting in the dentist chair made me laugh out loud (yes, for sure). Because Rhonda and Beth offered this work with levity, I dropped all my barriers and was excited to let them in. I wanted to hear what they had to say.
Yet make no mistake. This isn’t just fun and games. Their anchor into Happy is their relationship with Christ. These women make Christianity look attractive. The message isn’t preachy, it’s offered with a smile and hug.
We’ve all at one time or another lost our Happy Space. This book helps us find it again … or find it anew.
It’s available at Bold Vision Books June 28th, but you can pre-order it now.
I follow Brandon J. Adams, and you should consider following him too. Here’s his latest post. If can find him at https://brandonjadams.com/
I see it all the time – some character on the internet asking why they were taught (fill in the blank algebra) they never used after high school instead of (fill in the blank practical math like budgeting or taxes or mortgage math).
Having served in the teaching profession, this question is really mine to answer. I now oblige.
Beyond the fact that many schools do offer alternative courses in such math (I’ve taught them)…
…or the fact that practical math is far easier for someone to self-teach, so we reserve algebra for professionals…
…or lines like “it’s about problem-solving” or “we could use more trade schools” or “because federal agencies are dictating our content #lessgovernment #murica”…
…the answer is simple.
Sometimes books need updating. That’s how it was for From Pain to Peace: The Journey of Forgiveness After Divorce. I pulled it off the shelf, added a new title, cover (Thanks, Amber Weigand-Buckley) and punched up the information.
I’ll soon introduce Learning to Bloom Again; walking through forgiveness after divorce to y’all. A bit more tweaking, but it will be available in paperback and ebook format.
Here’s your first peek:
After writing From Pain to Peace in 2008, I thought I had all the tools needed to heal after divorce. I realized women who sought God’s direction and had learned from past mistakes—their own as well as those made by others—maintained healthy lives after divorce. Many caught the vision and experienced true healing.
Yet, there are still people hurting.
There’s no denying it: pain surrounds divorce. Life lessons remain. Marriages still end. But I stress throughout this book… relationships never end—they only change. Whether the person moves away, remarries, or even dies, though changed, the relationship remains. I learned early: “Do your best to get along with your soon-to-be ex-husband. As long as you breathe, he will always be in your life. One way or another.”
The word divorce has many definitions. In today’s society, it suggests being so upset with a spouse you no longer want them to be part of your life. However, the Greek term for divorce, Aphiemi [pronounced af-EE-ay-mee], means “to forgive” or “go and leave something behind.”
How ironic, the word we use today that conjures up negative feelings in most people was meant to leave a positive impression? That I divorce you can truly mean I forgive you? Anyone who has been affected by the heartbreak of divorce knows it is anything but positive. Forgiveness is often the last thing that comes to mind. Continue reading
I recently spent the weekend with friends who picked my brain about writing. How did you start? Where did you learn to write? Why do you say it the way you do? I smiled when I pulled up Cindy Ervin Huff’s latest blog, Twelve Fave Writing Craft Books from My Bookshelves.
She’s listed several of my favorites as well. If she’d ask, I’d also add Eva Marie Everson’s Common Mistakes Writers Make and Stephen King’s On Writing. My copies are highlighted, coffee-stained, and much loved.
Thanks, Cindy, for the great list.
What are some of your favorite writing books?
Like I said … the worst.
Check out Brandon J. Adams’ latest post on 5 Encouragements for the Long Road to Finding “Your People”.
Whatever stage of life you’re in, know that “your people ” are out there, ready to be found.
Thanks again, Brandon. Your insight really hits the mark.
I recently had the privilege to write an article for One Christian Voice Christian Magazine about Pastor Kevin Brown of Lighthouse Church in Harrisburg, PA about just that. Thinking outside the box that we create for ourselves when it comes to serving in foreign missions.
I challenge you … think outside the box when it comes to reaching others for Christ.
That is … if you dare.