Don’t Think of Pink Elephants!

I’ve created a word picture for you.

Every day, I pull out of my driveway to go to work. Every day, the GPS says, “Make a right.” So I make a right. I’ve discovered that the GPS knows the way.

I trust the Spirit of God to help me navigate too. The Spirit of God helps me navigate my life. In every little detail, I try to just listen to Him. He’s like my GPS voice, a voice that says, “Make a right.”

But what if instead of just saying, “Make a right” every time, the GPS voice said, “Make a right, just don’t make a left.” Continue reading

You’ve Got to Show Who Jesus Is

Saved by grace alone?  Doesn’t that let us off the hook?  Is it true we can do anything now — or nothing?  Last time I discussed how salvation by grace is a call to action.  This time, I expand on that.

I’ve had a lot to say about grace as the unmerited favor of God, but that’s only part of the story. Grace is also the Spirit of God working through you. You’ve got to show who Jesus is! And if you can identify the artist behind this cartoon, please let me know.

The Least of These

Throughout my baseball career, God has continually increased my role in Christian social justice projects. Due to my participation in hunger and abolition initiatives, and after I saw the joy expressed by Ugandan children over clean, clear water, I read about the judgment of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 with fresh eyes. And as I told you last time, this opened me anew to the simple truth of the Gospel. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you make that dedication to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the Spirit of God becomes alive in you.

That’s when the aroma of Christ will flow out of you. Continue reading

Hot Water

Hopefully you’ve been following my posts over the last couple of months about the lesson of the copper pipe, and if you have, you might now be saying, “Jeremy, I follow you. I know in our flesh we are all copper pipes. Every person is the same. We’re all made of the same flesh. And just like copper pipes, we can’t change what we are. But just like copper pipes, we can be changed. We can be changed by God, who flows through us like hot water. When we access the hot water of the Spirit, we don’t judge our neighbors, we love our neighbors. We love our neighbors as ourselves, just as Jesus told us to do.”

I hope that’s what you’re saying! And if you are, then you might also be saying, “But Jeremy, how do I access that hot water? How can I feel God’s Spirit flowing through me?” Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness

What is happiness? Happiness is something I feel deep within me. Happiness is an internal soul feeling. You look around you, and something in your soul says, “This is good, and I’m peaceful. I’m just happy.” Or you find that you can look around at your life and feel peace. I feel happiness when I can just look at everything and say, “You know what? I don’t have any concerns right now. My kids are having fun, and I had a great date with my wife the other night.” I don’t know if I can explain it. Something in my soul just says, “I don’t know, I’m just so happy!” Happiness is an emotion, but it’s not an emotion I can really describe. It’s just a feeling of completion that you have.

Why is happiness such a struggle? I think it’s because life is not easy. From the time you’re born, it’s just not easy. Continue reading

The Struggle to be Good

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Jesus told us, “Do not judge,” and lately I’ve been writing a lot about that. First I shared the lesson of the copper pipe, a simple metaphor that suggests that each of us, in our flesh, is just a copper pipe. No one is different than anyone else. And we can’t change. But like any copper pipe, we can be changed. Hot water can run through us, and make us warm. Hot water is a simple metaphor for the Spirit of God. We can hit that hot water any time, and when the Spirit of God flows through us, judgment is replaced by encouragement, and understanding, and love.

“Do not judge.” That concept is so much easier for me to grasp when judgment is replaced by loving my neighbor. Continue reading