The Strangeness of God

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9

The Strangeness of God

Disruptive peace; majestic meekness; unsettling comfort, these phrases don’t seem to make sense. But anyone who’s had a personal encounter with God understands that these apparent paradoxes come together in Him.

The Dean of the Chapel of Calvin College, wrote, ‘The faithful evangelical preacher of God ought to say not only that God is great and God is good, but also that God is elusive and God is strange, because spiritual health depends upon it.

It’s dangerous to think we know God’s mind, God’s will, or God’s intentions. In fact, to fear God is, in part, to recognize that His ways are not our ways. For certain, He’s revealed Himself to us in Jesus, and He revealed Himself in how He moved and worked through the lives and stories recorded in the Bible. But He hasn’t revealed Himself exhaustively. He hasn’t ceased to work in mysterious ways. And that’s why we surrender to Him. He’s greater than we can think or imagine and will work in strange ways, ways we can’t even think of or imagine.

- Steve Arterburn

I have felt His hand upon me in great trials and submitted to His guidance, and I trust that as He shall further open the way, I will be ready to walk therein, relying on His help and trusting in His goodness and wisdom.’ – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

New Life Live: February 24, 2015

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Topics: Verbal AbuseParent IssuesForgivenessDivorceDatingSexual Integrity 
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Sheri Keffer and Guest Host Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

Caller Questions:

  1. How do I deal with my verbally abusive 92yo father? 
  2. My mom is angry that I didn’t support her in a conflict with my grandmother. 
  3. How do I move forward and make my own decisions after my 30yr marriage ended? 
  4. My mom wants to marry a man she met online and has not met in person; how do I respond? 
  5. My wife doesn’t want to work on her trust issues after I had lust issues; is it time to give up? 

Suggested Resources:
Emotionally Destructive Relationship
Hope & Healing from Emotional Abuse
Worthy of Her Trust

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Reframing Our Work

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Reframing Our Work

Too often we view our work as a curse rather than a divine calling. Renowned author Dorothy Sayers is precisely right in observing that we need ‘a thoroughgoing revolution in our whole attitude to work.’ Namely, that our work should be viewed not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which we find personal delight and magnify God’s glory. Sayers believes work, ‘should be thought of as a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself; and that. . . [men and women], made in God’s image, should make things, as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing.’

With the right attitude your work can be a source of personal blessing and a vehicle for glorifying God.

- Steve Arterburn

Train yourself to recognize the hand of God in everything that happens to you.’ – Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Energizer

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

Energizer

Do you remember the Energizer Bunny? The pink, battery-operated bunny beat his drum and traveled about while a voice announced the company’s slogan, “It keeps going and going and going and going…

Can you relate? Many of us feel just like that bunny around the holidays. Church activities, shopping, Christmas cards, baking, cleaning, parties, keeping up with work, and more shopping all have a way of taking their toll. Hard work and service are both good and necessary, but so is stopping once in a while. Even the Energizer Bunny needed to stop for a battery change!

Take some time this coming season to stop and watch the snow fall, and if you happen to be in one of those warm southern states maybe substitute a cool, clear, star-filled night! You’ll find that when you stop, the significance of Christ’s birth will transform your busy heart to a peace-filled heart.

- Steve Arterburn

“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow.  I cannot be dictated to by a watch.“- Jane Austen (1775-1817)

My Past Haunts Me

Dr. Jill Hubbard, author of “The Secrets Women Keep” shares her research on women who are haunted by choices made or incidents that occurred in the past… things they just can’t share with others or seem to be able to work through. Do you have something in your past that still haunts you? Watch for more.

dr-jill

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Pursuing Your Dreams

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. – Hebrews 10:36

Pursuing Your Dreams

Have you ever seen Michelangelo’s David or experienced a live stage performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? These are amazing works of art and literature. They will most certainly be admired through all time.

But what if either of these men had allowed life’s difficulties to get in the way of their passion, their life’s work? We all face difficulties and we all have dreams. What’s the difference between average men and those who rise to greatness? Perseverance.

If a project is worth pursuing, it will require initiative, energy, and endurance. One stroke of the hammer didn’t chisel Michelangelo’s David. And Shakespeare didn’t pen Romeo and Juliet over a spot of afternoon tea. Any accomplishment worth attaining requires sustained effort. You must persevere to see your dream through.

Steve Arterburn

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.‘ – Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Calling

Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom – Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whether you receive a paycheck or emotional reward for your job, can you honestly say that God has directed you to your present work? Did you seek his guidance before or since taking your present job or position? If not, perhaps it’s time you did! You may find that he directed your path without your knowledge, or you might discover that he has some other work in mind for you.

Calling

How do we find the work that God wants us to do? First, we should take stock of our gifts and abilities. Most people enjoy doing things that exercise their gifts. Second, we can ask friends, coworkers, and family members if they have any particular feeling about what kind of work we might enjoy. Finally, we can take a test such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Don’t worry, it isn’t the kind of test you can pass or fail, but you can gain insights into the way you were created, and you’ll understand why certain types of work will suit you better than others.

As one man said, ‘Religious activity, Bible study, our personal devotions must be a preparation, not a substitution, for dealing with pivotal choices facing all of us: What am I giving my life to? Do my goals, ambitions, and values reflect the beliefs I espouse? How much of what I consider important does God consider valuable in light of eternity.’

Excerpted from “Flashpoints” by Steve Arterburn

Serving

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24

Serving

At the heart of the Civil War was a large portion of free people who concluded that slavery shouldn’t be. Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain was one of those men. In the movie Gettysburg he says, ‘This is a different kind of army. If you look back through history, you’ll see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot. They fight for land, power, because a king leads them, or just because they like killing. But we are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free.’

Throughout history, God has been calling men and women to give of themselves so others can be free. Are you willing to make sacrifices for others?

Steve Arterburn

‘For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice ‘ no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.’ – John Burroughs (1837-1921)

New Life Live: September 1, 2014

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Topics: MarriageFriendshipBipolarEmotional AbuseFear & Anxiety 
Hosts: Steve Arterburn and Guest Host Marilyn Meberg

Caller Questions:

  1. My husband will not ask for insurance coverage at work and I feel slighted. 
  2. How do I find direction after betrayal? 
  3. Is there a way to help heal a relationship between my friend and her daughter? 
  4. What therapy options are available for my daughter’s bipolar boyfriend? 
  5. I am separated from my emotionally abusive husband; why do I feel guilty and fearful? 

Suggested Resources:
7 Minute Marriage Solution
5 Blind Spots

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Marriage Weekend Workshop Testimony

Marriage Weekend Testimony

Before this weekend, my marriage was in crisis mode. Communication was non-existent and my husband and I were each holding on to so much pride and bitterness that we were stuck and unwilling to move forward. We did not leave any room for God to work in the marriage.

Marriage Solution Workshop - Testimonial

This weekend has been transformational. We have let go of anger, bitterness, and self-righteousness. We have committed to moving forward and using all the skills and techniques to do the hard work in order to have the marriage that God desires for us.

I leave here with hope that we are both willing to stop doing all the old patterns and sinful behaviors that were destroying our marriage and do the work to let God transform the marriage and make it in to what he wants. It’s going to be hard work but now we both have a spirit of willingness to do that work. This weekend will give you completely new ways and tools to use to break all your old patterns. It gives a completely new framework for marriage. ~ Betsey