Genesis Day 54: Just when you think you’ve arrived…

You work hard. You struggle through. You make the hard choices. Finally, you arrive at your long-awaited destination. That place in your life that you have been hoping for and working towards. Now it is time to simply sit back and relax. Then the phone rings.

I wonder what Jacob was thinking and feeling with the news of Dinah. He certainly had a flood of emotions. He no doubt was thinking, “what should I do?”

Genesis Day 53: Hope for the Best… Plan for the Worst… Lead from the Front

“If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”—so goes the saying. Not sure if you ascribe to that axiom. There is another saying: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Life does seem to require we make a conscious decision about whether we will press on towards the goal. Pressing on requires the opposite of foolishness—it requires wisdom. Yet if you are in the middle of a journey, it may be that pressing on is what God is calling you to do. This is the position we find Jacob in, as we read Genesis 33.

Genesis Day 52: Removing Your Outer Shell - The Layers of Our Lives

“I used to think you were arrogant.” Ouch! That is how a conversation began, the end-result of which was the peeling-away of a layer of protection I had wrapped myself in. We often use layers. Some layers are good, but not always—sometimes we need to have a layer ripped off, so that we can grow and change.  For three successive posts, I have reflected on change, both systematic, and personal. Today I want to focus on the personal. I don’t want to rush out of chapter 32 without intentionally staring at Jacob wrestling with God.

Genesis Day 51: Creating a New Culture…Don’t Stop Short (Part 3 of 3)

“Look, we’ve come a really long way. We have achieved what we wanted to achieve.  We don’t need to jeopardize all we’ve accomplished.” That is a phrase you will hear when you are driving for change. Why? Because to arrive at your destination you most likely will need to “cement” your changes. And that normally means facing some final, large obstacles.

Chapter 31 of Genesis ends with Laban departing Jacob. You and I, if we were in his shoes, might say, “I’ve done it. I’m free!” Jacob might rationalize, “Why bother to go back to my brother? All it will do is open up old wounds.” Yet stopping now is stopping short of the Vision—God’s Vision.

Genesis Day 50: Creating a New Culture…The Middle (Part 2 of 3)

“It’s a mess.” That is what I thought. We were in the middle of trying to transform ourselves, and our company. When you are halfway there, you still have “large chunks” of your life, your work, your company—that when you look at them—it appears as if nothing has changed. You know you cannot go back to the way things were. What do you do?

I have been suggesting that as we read chapters 30-32 of Genesis, we are witnessing the transformation of a man and a family. This is not just any family. It is the family God will use to launch the nation of Israel…

Genesis Day 49: Creating a New Culture…Amid Stress (Part 1 of 3)

It is one thing to live into a new culture in a season when everything is going well. It is quite another to live your culture amid envy, affliction, and even hatred. Many companies and many people seek to create a new chapter in their lives—be it a new corporate culture or a new and improved individual personality. Trying to turn the corner is hard. Doing it in a swamp of jealously and loathing is more than difficult. You try to hold onto your newfound principles and stay above it. Yet even the most motivated, newly-minted saint will falter. What does this have to do with Genesis 30?

Genesis Day 48: God’s Best-laid Plans…and Us

Some days I think I am doing okay following Jesus. It is not that I have erased my history (I know where I have disappointed God), but in the “here and now” I feel like I am doing okay. I am reading my Bible, saying my prayers, I haven’t lost my patience, and in general, I have kept my emotions in check. Then it happens. Things don’t go my way, or a difficult event takes place, or an important relationship falls apart. I find myself asking God, “Why did You let this happen?” I wonder, is that what Jacob is asking here in Genesis 29?

Genesis Day 47: Defining Moments

Most days, most of us go through the regular motions of life. We wake up, follow our routines, and press on. It is also true that most of us have had major defining moments. I have a bunch of these moments. We all do. Some are huge, life-altering events. Some of those events are full of joy and some are full of pain. Regardless, we have them. And we have been reading about them in Genesis.

Genesis Day 46: The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat life and the knuckleheads that fill it

There are days in our lives when people act out in the craziest of ways. There were those days, those people, in the Bible, too. The amazing thing about the Bible, though, is that it communicates, rather than sugarcoats, those kinds of stories. Today, in Genesis 27, I find one of these situations.

The situations in the Bible often give me pause. I find myself thinking that this is the inerrant Word of God, and yet it is simultaneously communicating a real event in real people’s lives, people who are part of God amazing plan. And today, those people seem to be—at best—knuckleheads.

Genesis Day 45: In the Middle of a Mess…Look for God!

Ever find yourself in the middle of a mess? Kind of a silly question—after all, who hasn’t? Messes… I have noticed something: in the middle of every bad decision I have ever made, every bad investment I ever chose, every poor hire I have ever selected, there is one common denominator: ME! Remarkably God shows up amid our self-made disasters—so look for Him! Why do I bring this up with Genesis 26? Because Isaac has created a mess. He, like his father…

Genesis Day 44: If I Could Just Get All My Questions Answered…

As a family awaits a baby, everyone, not just mom, is filled with all sorts of questions. Perhaps the most common: “Is it a boy, or a girl?” In the past, you waited 40 weeks for that answer.

Nowadays we can have the answer much quicker. In fact, the list of tests an expectant mother will go through (to answer all sorts of questions about her baby) is long. People have all sorts of opinions about the tests, but they reinforce an all-too-human belief: if we can just get all the questions answered, if we can just remove all the uncertainty, then we can move faster, get more done, and our lives will be better. Removing uncertainty isn’t a bad thing—until it becomes the only thing.

Genesis Day 43: Living a Well-Lived Life

Most of us want to live a “well-lived” life. When I am “on my game” I want to do that for God’s glory, and not my own.

There are events in our lives that have a way of bringing into focus how well we have lived. A funeral is, perhaps, the ultimate event on this earth which brings this into focus. Today we come to a funeral—Abraham’s.

Births, baptisms, graduations, weddings, funerals… these milestones give us cause to reflect intentionally on the guest(s) of honor. They are typically (or at least, hopefully!) joyful occasions filled with praise and positive memories. Friends and families gather, but sometimes they do so for better or for worse! Relationships can be… well… tricky, can’t they?

Genesis Day 42: God Loves | Love Stories

Breakfast at Tiffany's, When Harry Met Sally, Roman Holiday…the list of romantic movies is long. When the latest romantic movie arrives at the silver-screen, are you the kind of person who can’t wait to see it, or do you run the other way? Why do I ask? Because Genesis 24 is a rather long love story. It ends with, “And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac…”

Genesis Day 41: Showing Honor

There is a mental exercise that personal coaching consultants perform with their clients. They usually show an emotional video about a life-well-lived, and then they ask, “When you die, what do you want written on your tombstone?” Or a variation such as, “What would you like said about you at your funeral?”vMost of us want to be remembered well, especially by those we love.

Genesis Day 40: Our Job - Show Up & Trust God

“I don’t want to go. I have no idea why God would want me to endure such pain!” That was my plea to two good friends of mine—a husband and a wife. I was to attend a wedding of another friend. But the wounds of my divorce were fresh. The last thing I “wanted” was to witness a marriage ceremony. That is when they dropped a ton of bricks on me. They said, “Do you think we want to go and hear them play ‘Daddy’s little girl’ and watch them dance with their daughter? David, our job is to show up and support our good friend and leave the rest to God.” You see, they had laid to rest their two-year-old daughter months earlier.

Genesis Day 39: Dealing with Conflict

Do you like conflict? Most people don’t. It often shows up when you are not expecting it. It’s not that you are unaware of the tension, it is just a matter of timing when it comes to a head. How do you handle it? How does the Bible tell us to handle it?

Genesis Day 38: God in the midst of a mess

That title could fit many stories in the Bible—and many stories within the grand story of humanity. We make messes—serious messes—messes where people get hurt. He is God’s man, Abraham. He is trying to follow God. His history is pretty-good. By now you know it: he is not perfect. There are some events in the past (some messes, you might say), where he really miss-stepped. A few of them are never over. That is true in our lives, isn’t it?

Genesis Day 36: When deep fears emerge…we can forget all we’ve learned

Any deep fears in your life? I don’t mean something sudden, like being held up at gunpoint. I mean some deep-seated worry or fear that rarely emerges... but when it does, you act irrationally.

There are one or two things in my life, that if they emerge, completely derail me. Why do I bring this up? Because that is what is going on with Abraham. Why I am convinced that Abraham has a “deep-seated fear”?

Genesis Day 35: The End of the Line…

How many news stories are there, that when you hear them, you cringe?

And the reality is, they are not really new. You know what I mean. Certainly, the names of the people involved are new, but the base story isn’t. Same stuff, different people, year after year. Yet no matter how many times we hear the story, well, we still cringe.

I cringe as I read these eight verses from Genesis 19. They chronicle “the end of the line” for Lot. We won’t read any more of him.