jesus always

Chasing the Wise Among Us

Make every effort to discern My will for you—searching the Scriptures and seeking My Face.Also, seek wise counsel from other Christians.Jesus Always, July 11 It’s fascinating to me that in Jesus’ first 30 years of life, we have only a few stories about Him. He’s born in Bethlehem; presented in the temple on the 8th day; and his parents flee with Him to Egypt, on the run from a political tyrant seeking to take His life. And then there’s that one quick moment in Luke 2. Jesus’ family is wrapping up the Passover festival in Jerusalem and are heading back home to Galilee. Thinking He was with the larger family group of aunts, uncles, and cousins, Mary and Joseph hit the road. But after a full day, they discovered Jesus, who was 12 years old at the time, wasn’t in their company. I can imagine t...

The Healing Power of God’s Presence

The best response to the glorious gift of grace is a thankful heart that delights in doing My will. It is vital to proclaim the gospel not only to yourself but to the world. … Seek to share this good news—both near (to family, friends, coworkers) and far (to the nations). All peoples need to know the truth about Me. Jesus Always, July 16 From the beginning, God has always wanted to have a relationship with His children. Even after Adam and Eve sinned against God and hid from Him, He continued to have a relationship with them. And, in fact, one of the ways God strengthens our relationship with Him is when He reveals His presence to us. But in my religious upbringing, I learned to see God the way Adam and Eve did as they hid—I learned to think He would be a vengeful God. So I kept God at a d...

When You Feel Weak, Choose to Adore God

Accept your weakness and brokenness, beloved; let them open your heart to Me. You can be fully yourself with Me… Whenever you’re feeling weak and wounded, come confidently into My Presence to receive abundant Love and Peace.Jesus Always, September 23 This morning I ran the same stretch of road I’ve run several times for years. My feet know the path by heart—same country road, the same dog discovering me anew every morning, and the same state route.   No mile marker had changed … but everything had changed. The state route that once signaled the inertia of American culture—caffeinated drivers riding the bumper of the car in front of them, distracted with the 8 hours ahead of them or their phone on the dash—felt like a back-country road. Five cars passed me on my half-mile stretch. I he...

Seize the Opportunity

“When tests and challenges come at you from all sides consider it a joyful opportunity.”     Jesus Always, August 23 Mr. Opportunity Walt often greeted me with, “Hey, Dan, I have an opportunity for you.” This was how many of our conversations began. Over time I learned to laugh and beat him to the punch. “So Walt, what opportunity do you have for me today?” Walt was one of those happy, easy-going guys who had the gift to see the positive in every situation. Even the worst of times was an “opportunity” for someone to learn something new, to grow, to rise above expectations and do great things. Walt lived as if every “opportunity” was a moment for us to remain faithful, do our best, and then watch as God showed up to redeem and transform a difficult situation. I was a young man whe...

Our Father…

“I am a shield for all who take refuge in Me. When you feel afflicted or afraid, come to Me and say: ‘Lord, I take refuge in You.’” Jesus Always, June 16 “Our Father Who Art In Heaven.” This is how the Lord’s Prayer begins …acknowledging that we have a “Father in Heaven.” When God tells us that He is our Father, and we really grasp what that means, it opens the door to not only great benefits, but also great healing from the pain that many have experienced at the hands of their earthly fathers, who sometimes were not the best. Fathers are important…and key to our lives. And as a psychologist, I can tell you that some of the most difficult scenarios that people deal with and have to heal from have to do with their earthly fathers who did not do their job. At the same time, some of the...

Kindling an Ignited Faith

As summer moves to fall, I’m reminded this new season invites all of me—my heart, my soul, my mind—to adjust to change. When a new season arrives, it brings along new demands, new responsibilities, and a growing awareness that time is a truly precious resource, one we can never get back. And sometimes I find that as the seasons change, so do the flames my faith. “Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me. It is a faith-walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on me.” Jesus Calling, January 5 Building the fire In the past ten years, I’ve had seasons where I felt my faith had no option but to stay ablaze. I’...

Turn Toward Light

One of the most destructive storytellers in the world is shame. As we walk through our days, whether we face challenges or triumphs, shame leans into our ear, whispering things we wouldn’t tell our worst enemies. No one will help you. You don’t matter. You are invisible. You are not enough. Shame tells lies I’ve been a Licensed Professional Counselor for more than twenty years, and the last seven years I’ve trained in shame resilience. I know shame’s quiet power can take us down quickly. And I know the stories shame tells me about myself are lies. Yet the feelings shame evokes are so powerful, they often leave me on my knees, and not the peaceful prayerful kind—more like a pit stop on the way to the fetal position. I know your shame can take you to a dark place too. But instead of staying ...